Turkey Day in Indian Creek

26 12 2009

Back in March, Lizzy and I decided the next time we went to the Creek we wanted to go with friends. Our trip had been awesome, but there is something about spending time with good company in such a beautiful place like Indian Creek. Over the week of Thanksgiving, we climbed with many people and ran into others multiple times throughout the week. To make logistics possible, I drove out with Konstantin and Lin while Lizzy drove from the bay with Sarah Kate.

The trip went amazingly well for me from the first climb to the last and I am very happy with how far my climbing has come in the last year and a half. I was able to redpoint many of the climbs I had top roped my first trip to Indian creek in 2008 and sent a ton of other four star routes.

Luke is getting quite pumped on Mad Dog. Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Unlike March, where we focused on easy routes and exploring new areas, this trip was about sending projects and pushing ourselves to failure. When toying with the edge of your fitness and mental space, failure can actually be very important. In a trend that I have been working on recently, I fell on gear and kept trying as hard as I could until the end. I saw fitness gains and had my most productive trip thus far. I climbed at least one route that I wanted each day and some day saw two or three exciting sends.

Luke is really excited the crack is finally getting bigger. Photo by Andre Kiryanov


Luke poses under Pit Bull Terror. Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Its interesting to figure out what feels hard especially as you go through the many different sizes. A harder finger crack can be quite powerful but feel much more secure than ringlocks of the same grade. The list below is of all the routes 5.11 and harder I did over this trip. I wanted to write this down and put an order to the climbs to note what felt harder so I can look back upon this in the future.  The grades in IC are totally subjective due to people’s fitness, skill set and the size of their hands. When you break into 5.11 and above the routes will demand odd size jamming and can often be quite continuous which requires good endurance and the ability to recover.

  1. Three Strikes You’re Out 5.11a/b Onsight
  2. Our Piece of the Real Estate 5.11a/b Redpoint
  3. Twitch 5.11b – TR Flash
  4. Mantel Illness 5.11b Flash
  5. Pit Bull Terror 5.11b/c  Redpoint
  6. Sicilian 5.11c Onsight
  7. Bachelor Party 5.11c Onsight
  8. Johnny Cat 5.11c Redpoint
  9. King Cat 5.11c   Two hangs
  10. Coyne Crack 5.11c/d Flash
  11. Mad Dog 5.11c/d Flash
  12. Layaway Plan 5.11d TR Flash
  13. Way Rambo 5.11d/12a Repoint
  14. Annunaki 5.11d/12a Onsight/Flash
  15. Quarter of a Man 5.11d/12a One hang
  16. Swedin-Ringle 5.12a Redpoint
  17. Cat Burglar 5.12a/b Redpoint
  18. Way of the Gun 5.12b/c – TR hangdog
  19. Digital Readout 5.12 b/c Redpoint

Luke gives Pit Bull Terror another burn. Photo by Andre Kiryanov

The two hardest routes were both finger cracks, which is fitting since that is my favorite/strongest size. It is fun to learn more about finger stacks (about a .75 camalot for me) and learn to do thin hands. I ranged from pumped on Coyne Crack, to very pumped on Mad Dog, to terminally pumped on Quarter of a Man.  Most of the trip I was able to manage my pump and really only ran out of juice on Quarter of a Man. Since I did so well I know that I will have to start trying harder cracks in the future. On this trip, Digital Readout seemed much harder than the other routes I tried and the only route I actually felt improvement on. For me the difficulty came from the poor feet and the insecure jams at the end rather than the pump of the climb. I found Cat Burglar to be easier but more pumpy since there is no midway rest. I could have done it first try if not for the pump factor. Digital Readout, on the other hand, required me to really pull hard, trust my feet, and commit.

Luke feels a bit beat up after Pit Bull Terror Photo by Andre Kiryanov

On the mental side of things I had a really good trip. On Johnny Cat I have to gun for the anchors to get through the bad size. There was a moment where I looked down at the cams below my feet and just smiled. I took falls on gear twice, both unexpectedly and the falls were clean. I still need to figure out how to push my self when the climbing is hard or insecure since I was a bit worried about falling before I finally peeled on Quarter of a Man and this lead to much wasted energy.

Enjoy the Photos!

- Luke

Sarah Kate onsights Soulfire

Lizzy enjoys some red Camalot hand jams on her redpoint of Soulfire Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Lizzy slots a cam near the finish of Soulfire Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Luke warms up on Long Island Iced Tea. Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Luke makes a few final hard moves on Annunaki Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Luke has the anchors in sight on his flash of Annunaki Photo by Andre Kiryanov

Luke on his way to an terminal pump on Quarter of a Man.

Andre redpointing Mantel Illness

Andre gets ready for some cruxy face climbing on Mantel Illness

Leah finds a pre-crux rest on Mantel Illness

Lizzy starts up Way of the Gun

Lizzy gets ready to pull the roof on Way of the Gun.

Konstantin pulls the roof on King Cat.

Lizzy works through a hard section of green Camalots on Mad Dog.





5 Reasons I Love the Pacific Northwest

1 12 2008

I really like visiting Seattle and the surrounding region. Here’s why:

  1. Moist air – great for the skin
  2. Trees – they’re green and they make the air smell nice
  3. Clouds – I miss them here in SoCal
  4. Friends and family – it’s nice to catch up with everyone
  5. Rock climbing – just being closer to Index, Squamish, and Smith Rock makes me happier

But, alas, we are now back in the hot dryness of SoCal. At least I only have one week of class left and not much in terms of finals. I’ve only got one school application and 2 fellowship applications to go. And in a week and a half I will be out in the field working on my project. Which is awesome because fieldwork is much more fun and exciting than homework.

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Luke and I had fun in Bishop before heading to Seattle. I even flashed my first “V4″ – Hard Crack at the Happy Boulders. It probably wasn’t V4. But it was awesome and the fall would have been scary, had I taken it. A longer TR with lots of photos to come soon.

~Lizzy





Learning How to Relax, Turkey Day in Seattle

25 11 2008

Luke meant to post this on Friday, but he forgot… Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! ~Lizzy

I am a go-go-go person. I like doing as much as possible. I am happy when I fall asleep instantly at the end of the day due to fatigue. At the same time I like things to be easy. I want to be relaxed while climbing, I want to flow over the rock and be captivated by the movement. I struggle to relax on weekends after sitting at a computer for 40 hours each week. I want nature, I want to push my limits and become a better climber.

Lizzy and I haven’t really taken a full week off since our sweet trip to Indian Creek back in March. Not to say that we haven’t had our share of three or four day weekends and adventures. Due to my job and Lizzy’s busy school schedule we are weekend warriors. Yet in the last 6 months we have visited new areas, made new friends and sent our hardest routes.

This weekend we will be up in Bishop with our friends Hartley, Jamie and Nicole from Santa Barbara. It is nice to get back to the simplicity of bouldering. We will then return to San Diego tuesday morning to fly to Seattle for Turkey Day. It will be nice to get back to Washington, breathe in the clean air and enjoy the green vistas. We won’t be climbing in the Northwest but it will be nice to read some books, see some family and rest up.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

- Luke








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