Taking some Air!
Last week was quite a mixed week. The first few days after my last blog post it rained a lot and all the areas were pretty wet. So we took two days off. We all crawled in our cars and read our books. Another activity was to get all in my van and find as much gear placements as possible!
After two of those rest days we tried to climb a little, I did four routes but we needed to be selective with the lines we did. Some stuff was still wet and it can be dangerous to try hard stuff that is climbable but still too wet to place your gear safely. So we did some easy lines. The next night it rained the whole time nonstop, so for sure the routes where wet. So that following day we climbed in the late afternoon. I only did two lines, but I was happy to put my hands in some cracks! That same evening Tom and Mike arrived in the Creek. They’ve been in St George for about two weeks where they bouldered in Moe’s Valley. It was so great to see them back after only 3 weeks. I wish our future destinations were the same but unfortunately we have different plans. It was their first time in Indian Creek and also the first time they were going to climb some cracks with trad-gear.
The next day we all woke up with tons of sun in our dirty faces! Awesome, I was well rested and ready for a nice and long day of crack climbing! The motivation was high and the fingers and hands where healed. I went to ‘The Scarface Wall’ with Sam, Tom, Mike, Kevin and Liesel. Kevin and Liesel have already been climbing in Indian Creek for two weeks. I met them in Bishop a month and a half ago.
It was the first day for Mike and Tom to climb some cracks. First Liesel taught them how to make tape gloves like you see on one of the pictures. Pretty funny, I laughed a lot with Mike because before he could even tie his tape glove on his hand he dropped his construction of tape a couple of times in the sand. An hour later their hands where finally mummified and the torturing could begin! They tried some lines first on top rope before the trad-climbing challenge could begin.
I did two new 5.12-‘ses. They are both nice, thin and overhanging. The first one I did was ‘Not That Funny’. First, I had no idea where that name comes from, until I did the second 12- next to it. That line is called ‘Comic Relief’. It is a line with three roofs in a corner. It’s pretty funny to see people climbing that line because most of the time your scrunched up in the roof and you’re hands are moving blindly to come out of the roof! I did both of the lines. I needed three tries on ‘Comic Relief’ because I placed my last gear before the crux over the last roof where I needed to smear my foot afterwards. So I fell pretty funny trying to place my foot in the corner where the gear was. No problem, I loved to do the whole thing again five minutes after that second go.
Tom and Mike were dead tired (like everybody on their first day) from this first day of crack climbing. Like they said before they went to bed at nine pm; Everything hurts!
The next day I was even more exited to climb! Me, Kevin and Tom woke up at 7 am to go climbing at 8 am. We started so early because I was motivated to try ‘Air Swedin’ 5.13R again in the morning before it got too hot. With the song ‘Bad Boys’ of ‘Inner Circle’ blasting through the speakers of my van, all singing out loud, the day started!
We went up to the magic line. I put up a top rope on it reaching the chains from another line on the right. After Kevin and I tried ‘Air Swedin’ on top rope I gave it a go on lead with all the gear, ready to fly! While I climbed, Tom went up on a fixed line I prepared in the warm-up on the right to take some pictures.
The first part until the chains was going really well. It’s a nice splitter size .75 Black Diamond. At the chains of the first part (‘Swedin-Ringle’ 5.12-) I placed three pieces of gear size C3 #2 BD. This is a crack a little bit bigger than one centimeter. After placing that gear, when I was already a little bit pumped, I reached to the left slopy rail.
Then you go up for about 3 meters without placing any piece of gear. This three meter section is the crux. I fell there on my first lead try that day! The reason for not placing gear in that section is because it’s just too hard to place gear. The next piece you place is a C3 #0 BD, really small! To place this cam you need to do a tricky move, on top of that you place it without seeing the crack! It’s a blind placement, just hoping it’s good and clip it! After that the hardest part is over but it’s still tricky and scary. After that last C3 #0 BD you go up for 2.5 meters without placing gear until you can place a C3 #1 BD. Also pretty small gear. From then on you can start placing some bigger gear again! I fell once in the crux! It was really exciting, I was just so happy the gear placements stayed in the crack!
I’m glad there are some nice pictures of this climb. I’m definitely going to try that line again!
That afternoon I did two more easier lines and went to town in the evening with the whole group. After 1 month of cooking in my car, going out to a pizza restaurant all-you-can-eat was so luxury.
After 2 hours of dumping pizza in our stomach Tom, Mike and I went on a mission through Moab to sneak in one of the hotels’ hot tubs and swimming pools! At the first hotel we failed but at the second hotel I asked some people who were in the hot tub to let us in because we completely forgot our room key card! That worked easily! Just do the stupid Belgian thing: Me from Belgium! Me and friend forgotton key!
We could chill out the whole night in a nice hot tub! After that we went to the condo of Tom’s dad and his friends. It’s a house they rent for several days when they are in Moab. They are here to do some mountain biking.
This morning we took a nice and long shower at this place, we are all clean now! Feels really good! Or like Mike said when we first walked on the street all clean: Oh whaauw, this is crazy! I just want to dance right now!
You see what a shower can do for a dirt bag!
Enjoy the many pictures and check out Tom and Mike’s Vantasy!