The more we went down the rabbit hole, the more we found. The irony of Indian Creek is while certain areas were crowded, there was still a vast landscape of buttresses to explore, new routes abound. Even when the rabbit hole led to buttresses that weren’t any good for climbing there was still this sense of adventure that we were visiting places that had hardly ever seen a visit from a human being.
With all this newness and openness in the air, the search for new routes began. It started simply enough, we began carrying drills in our packs to fix up old anchors and make them safe for ourselves and the general public, the nature of the sandstone in Indian Creek is delicate to say the least. Then we would see a line, around a bend, the ridge, just out of plain sight, that appeared as though it had never been climbed. We already had the drill up there so we’d arm ourselves with it and the necessary tools and do battle until the crack was a climb. This process got addictive and on every rest day I’d find myself hiking new cliffs. Most of the time the hikes led to nothing more than a good view. One day, Tim joined me on a hike and we found a slab that looked like a meteor had struck it, like a basketball sized rock from space crashed right there, leaving a crater in the slab. We shook our heads in amazement.
Words by @lukemehall_writer from his memoir American Climber - photo of Tim Foulkes on the first ascent of Sensual Chocolate Corner, Cave Wall, Indian Creek by the author. You can now score a copy of American Climber for free with a two year subscription- plus free copies of Volumes 12 and 13 of The Zine. Damn. Link in bio for beta. Word.
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