Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indian Creek, Part One

Every year I have made a point of traveling south from Alaska to the warmer climes of Indian Creek to climb the cracks with old friends. It's my favorite journey of the year. Jim Donini has always been the gracious host, guide, and guru, and living in nearby Ouray, is always up for a trip to the "Creek" at a moment's notice.

The standard campground for the gang is "Creek Pasture", and Donini had asked me to save a large campsite, since the whole tribe would be arriving for the weekend. I arrived without a climbing partner, so the next morning I decided to take a hike and made friends with Erin and Grant who were camped next door.

We searched near Sparks Wall for Anasazi ruins, but were skunked, having a great day nevertheless. Donini came in the evening with his friend Dan from Kentucky. Around the campfire, we made more friends. It's my favorite camping spot on earth.

By morning we had a posse ready to lay siege to the Cat Wall.

Jim, the master of Indian Creek, on "Unnamed".

After a few morning climbs on the Cat Wall, the sun started to cook, so we hiked back down across to the shade of Reservoir wall. Tom Engelbach, Karla Shaw, Mark Soot, and Kay Fisher had already wandered across.Donini found a hard crack and showed us all up with a tense ascent while I looked on with admiration. The evening brough even more friends. Next morning Jim and Dan were off to do some classic cracks; Tom, Mark, and Karla went to Lightning Bolt Crack on North Sixshooter; I headed to Supercrack Buttress with Kay Fisher. I had only been doing half climbs up to now, being the first time I'd climbed this year due to an accident on a fishing boat in June. But today, it was a fantastic time for me, climbing on "The Wave", and "Incredible Hand Crack".

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