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Indian Creek Trip Report

I’d never been to Indian Creek, so when I heard about Aaron’s self-organized trip, I jumped at the opportunity. I had visions of desert solitude, classic crack climbing, and basking in warm spring sunshine – so why is there a quarter inch of ice on my tent??
Tim climbing
Indian Creek is one of the best crack climbing anywhere. It’s located about an hour south of Moab, outside of Canyonlands National Park. I'm looking forward to my return trip. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Get the David Bloom guide book before you go. It’s full of great photos to wet your appetite, and beta to help you plan your trip.
  2. Early April weather can be hit or miss. The week before we arrived it was sunny and warm. When we drove in on Tuesday, April 1, it was snowing in Salt Lake City, and there was still 3-4 inches of snow on the ground outside Moab! It warmed up every day, and we had a good Utah spring experience – sun, wind, rain, hail, snow, and big sky!
  3. Most climbs are in the 5.10 to 5.12 range, so bring a rope gun! We were lucky to have Aaron and Tim setting up our daily routine of classic desert top ropes. Thanks guys!!
  4. Bring a big rack. Bring your friend’s rake. Go to the crag with other people that have big racks and their friend’s rack. One climb Tim lead needed 8 #2’s and 4 #1’s to protect!
  5. There are several campsites in the corridor, but only a few that are 2-wheel drive friendly. We stayed at Creek Pasture campground which was great – protected from the wind, good views to the East, pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, friendly neighbors, and no fees! Super bowl campground can also be accessed with 2-wheel drive. The sites there are a little more primitive, but have killer 360 deg views. Bridger Jack campground is closer to the climbing, but requires 4WD.
  6. There is no water, food, or cell service, so plan accordingly. There is an outpost about 8 miles away that has showers and some supplies. Load up in Moab.
  7. There are some short moderate climbs at most of the crags – so it’s not all 5.10 crack climbing.

Aaron climbng

On day one, Mark and I drove from Moab, set-up camp, and went over to check out South Six Shooter. It’s one of two prominent towers in the creek. With 4 wheel drive, you can drive to the base. With 2 wheel drive, you hike ~3 miles to the base, then 30-40 min huff up talus. We bailed with stormy skys and setting sun, but enjoyed a great hike in the desert and now have the approach dialed for next trip.

Day two we joined Aaron, Tim, Mike, and Carrie at Donnelly Canyon and Supercrack Buttress. To beat any crowds and get our choice of warm up climbs we arrived at 8 am. It was 37 deg in the parking lot (!), but warmed up quick after the huff up talus to the south facing wall. We ticked off - Chocolate Corner 5.9, Binou’s Crack 5.8, first pitch of Naked and Dead 5.8, Generic Crack 5.10-, Twin Crack 5.9, Gorilla 5.10, and Incredible Hand Crack 5.10

On day three we went to Scarface Wall. It’s faces due south so a good choice for early April. It also has some of the best views in the region. Some of our climbs: Spam 5.9, Where's Carruthers? 5.10, Unnamed 5.10-, Wavy Gravy 5.10, Scarface 5.11.

On Saturday we drove down to the remote Pistol Whipped wall to avoid any weekend crowds.  Beautiful location, nice approach, and more 5 star crack climbing! We did Jolly Rancher 5.10, Short and Stupid 5.8+ and others.

On our way back to SLT, Mark and I checked out Potash Road – only 5 min from downtown Moab. The Wall Street area has lots of moderate climbs, and you can belay right from the car!

Thanks for organizing guys! Dont forget the tape