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.
- Three Strikes You’re Out 5.11a/b Onsight
- Our Piece of the Real Estate 5.11a/b Redpoint
- Twitch 5.11b – TR Flash
- Mantel Illness 5.11b Flash
- Pit Bull Terror 5.11b/c Redpoint
- Sicilian 5.11c Onsight
- Bachelor Party 5.11c Onsight
- Johnny Cat 5.11c Redpoint
- King Cat 5.11c Two hangs
- Coyne Crack 5.11c/d Flash
- Mad Dog 5.11c/d Flash
- Layaway Plan 5.11d TR Flash
- Way Rambo 5.11d/12a Repoint
- Annunaki 5.11d/12a Onsight/Flash
- Quarter of a Man 5.11d/12a One hang
- Swedin-Ringle 5.12a Redpoint
- Cat Burglar 5.12a/b Redpoint
- Way of the Gun 5.12b/c – TR hangdog
- 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!
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.