Intro to Creek Season 2022


It’s been a while since my last post, we lost our Shasta to an unknown tumor. Our little world was shook to it’s core. I cannot put into words how much we loved her. I am not going to try.

We have been healing and raising a rambunctious new mutt as part of our healing process. I needed the closure of releasing her ashes before I wrote again.


It is Creek Season. For those close enough and others lucky to have a small glimpse on vacation, Creek Season is magical.

For my job, I am constantly “on call.” And for most employees, “vacation” or PTO translates to “will only respond by email.” Well, as you descend the curvy downhill entrance into Indian Creek, Utah, there is no cell service, no internet. And, the camping is well into the canyon, about 45 minutes or so.

Over the years, I have learned you just have to email everyone the Friday-Saturday before you leave and explicitly inform everyone that I am NOT reachable even by email – I don’t have a choice. And, as time has evolved it becomes clear this is not just a moment of backpacking for 4 days, this will be every weekend for two months.

And you know my partner loves it. I HAVE to return to my twenty year old self. I HAVE to not work. I am just the bruised up, dirty, messy bun climber trying to push her comfort level. I am open and carefree because I have to be. The person my partner feel in love with at Red Rocks in 2010.

Now, last year I had some days of waking up at 4 am and driving up the curvy road to check emails, sneaking out “just to make sure.” And, this year I am determined to just let people who cannot read their emails, figure it out.

Since there is no internet/cell service, if you are meeting up with people, you check the message boards near the campsite for a note written on paper clipped to a board.

Now the best part, the Creek is breathtaking. In my lifetime, I will never see everything there is to climb. The dirt and sand is bright red covered in juniper, green prickly pear and barrel cactus, lined with yellow and purple flowers.

The climbing is soft on your hands unlike Granite, and Trad can easily turn to aid climbing if you get stuck. And, everyone is out to have a great time. The atmosphere is full of energy and stoke.

So this Saturday kicked off our season. And, while partner worked I ran around cleaning out our camping bin, pulling out the gear, stocking up on sandwiches and we drove out to the Creek. We set up camp in the dark to await an early morning start to beat the heat.

Next morning, our first crack was at the Farside, a 5.10. It ran an interesting roof followed by a steady line up. I am taking hand, foot, hand, foot style line. The crack sucked you in and kept you grounded. As it felt sound to climb, it also meant it vacuumed up gear if you fell. We both took laps on the route.

On my last lap, I decided to go for a cam wedged in and left behind. I found an end of a climbing rope lost long ago, and pulled it under the cam from above. After some work, I dislodged the old rope and the cam (which turned out to be new, score!). There is a still a carbiner in that crack if anyone is interested in going treasure hunting.

The next crack was an off-widthy 5.9, not in the guide book. Off width is not much comfort level on lead, but with some balancing and a backwards clip to the anchor, it’s a delight to climb.

After several laps on the 5.10 and both of us taking a run at the 5.9, we headed to Hamburger Rock just to walk around. In that area, there a hoodoos that look like hamburgers stacked around.

Around sunset, we headed back to camp and started a campfire. We made hamburgers with Tortilla chips and salsa. And both read into the evening.

In the morning, the buzz feeling that you get as you fit into rhythm of what feels right, hit in: coffee and packing up camp. We headed out to Habitado Crag.

I lead a 5.9 and almost did it clean with one take near the top where it turned to “3’s.” My partner then set up a difficult 5.11 on aid. We each took our turn trying to master a series of “ring locks.”

After we headed out of the Creek to return home until next weekend. Well next weekend we will be in Moab to mountain bike the Whole Enchilada, but the following weekend.

Tis the season.

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