Castleton Tower & Indian Creek Utah
November 7, 2009 § Leave a comment
The Moab area is one of my favorite places to climb anywhere. Terry and I traveled from NH to Utah to attend the AMGA’s annual meeting and to climb sandstone cracks. The annual meeting has technical and board meetings which work on issues such as access, member benefits, and guide education to name a few. There are plenty of fun events – the guide olympics -a variety of technical clinics – a silent auction and a desert requirement a wide crack clinic. Guest speaker Jack Tackle held a great slide show on his first ascents in Alaska and around the world. This years meeting was attended by many and next years should be even bigger as it is scheduled in Boulder, Colorado.
After the meeting w were able to spend time on the rock and enjoy the climbing. Our first objective was the Kor Ingals Route on Castleton Tower. The 4 pitch Kor Ingals route is on the south face of the tower. The climbing is varied ranging from hand cracks, to and offwidth and chimney pitch. Its a tough route for 5.9 – one needs to be competent with a wide range of crack climbing skills. A classic route that should be on everyone to do list.
From there we headed south of Moab to amazing Indian Creek area. We were able to spend a few days here climbing splitter cracks and varnished corners on the Scarface Wall and Battle of the Bulge Buttress. No where in the US are one pitch routes more gear intensive. Its all cams for protection. You may need six or more of one size to protect the longer lines.
Rack of cams
The climbing here is quite sustained and thus very physical. Jamming is the technique one needs to be familiar with get of the ground. Fingers and hands are preferred but this depends on your finger and hand size. What works for one climber could be very difficult for another as there hands are much smaller or bigger. The guide book is excellent but the ratings may not be accurate due to sizing.
This trip was much to short but it renewed my desire to climb in the desert. I am excited to plan a 2010 trip in the spring. Back in NH ice climbs are forming and snow is on the way. Its time to sharpen the crampons and tools and get the ice season started.