The desert sand coated a fresh layer of red on my silver pickup truck. That dust manages to get into everything from cam axles to sleeping bags to toothbrushes. Its impossible to keep it out. While unpacking after getting home I saw that somebody had traced “STOKE TANK: FULL!” in the dust on the back of my truck. Full stoke: that’s probably about the best way to describe this last week of climbing. We may not have crushed the hardest, but we definitely tried the hardest. We may not have been the most bad-ass, but I guarantee you that nobody in Sothern Utah was having more fun than us. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Indian Creek is a special place and it certainly did not disappoint.
It started with three of us, and morphed into a dozen. The whole Iowa crew it seemed, was down to drive to Utah. Some of the group had never climbed cracks before. So, I put up The Big Guy, a 5.11 offwidth (welcome to crack climbing, ha!) Some of the crew had never mountain biked, so we rode 15 miles on rough desert trails, shredding our legs on our only “rest day.” Desert towers were on the list, so The Lightning Bolt Cracks (5.11) went down on The North Six Shooter. Bottles of whiskey and cases of beer were drank. We danced like fools to Ratatat, the “jamiest jam” we could find. Friends were made from Alaska, South America, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California and more. We chatted about Patagonia with Jim Doninni, drank beers and bullshitted with BD athlete Chris Schulte, and climbed till our fingers were bloody stumps.
I do feel obligated to shout out to the fantastic Marmot Austral tent I just picked up. One of our days was a full on dust storm – 40 mph winds, blinding dust and blowing sand. For as light as it is, (3 person tent, less than 5 lbs) that thing held up remarkably. I was completely blown away, it stayed solid while my buddy’s tents all collapsed.