Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taylor Canyon-Moses

Aphrodite, Zeus, The Ark, Moses, and The Thracian Mare

T Bow on steep cupped hands,
Primrose Dihedrals
The Ear looms above!
Moses summit

Rappelling Moses with Zeus behind

An early attempt on "Chosstaman Rant" (VO R)
above the Green River

Another view of Chosstaman Rant

After not enough rest, TBow and I headed back into Canyonlands psyched to climb the Primrose Dihedrals on Moses, a classic route we have both been eyeing for a few years now. Now that the weekend was over, (some people have real jobs) we again had the towers to ourselves! Taylor Canyon is a narrow drainage with Wingate cliffs reminiscent of Indian Creek; unfortunately the NPS has decided that Canyonlands has enough climbing routes and has enforced a fixed anchor ban effectively eliminating all new routes in the park. After a casual hike up to this magnificent group of towers we threw ourselves at the direct start and promptly recieved the slapdown on weird stemmy face climbing off the ground. The whole route is no doubt classic, constantly throwing off-size jamming and interesting situations at ya. Our hopes to free "The Ear", a stout bolted OW, turned into just getting our asses up to the top! Maybe one rest day wasn't enough after all...we spent at least an hour on the perfectly flat summit napping and sunbathing before beginning the windy raps back to the base. Definately one of the best desert towers yet...we'll be back!

We also found some interesting bouldering above the Green River...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Indian Creek

Monster and Washer Woman

Monument Basin

Standing Rock

I'm lovin the 2nd pitch on Standing Rock

Stormy evening in Canyonlands

Monster, Washer Woman, and the Sandcastle

Monster Tower

Washer Woman Arch

T Bow on Washer Woman

Enjoying a great summit slab pitch on Washer Woman

Kyler crushing Annunaki


The Gambler

Ty takes a belay shift
Eric on Annunaki

The Kauffman Brothers have split ways, Joel is climbing in the Alaska Range before guiding Denalil in May, and I'm having a blast in the Utah desert! After training on the sandstone splitters of Indian Creek I was ready to get some towers, so I met T Bow and Wayne Harney in Moab and we bumped our way down the White Rim Road in Canyonlands Park. After a few hours of the most gnarly jostling of our lives we rounded a corner and saw Monument Basin! This place is unreal; shale towers jut out of the ground at mind boggling positions and the desolate spirit of the desert prevails. The gem of the area is Standing Rock, first climbed by Layton Kor in the 60's. The next day we rappeled into the basin and had an excellent climb on surprisingly solid rock and a true wilderness experience-no people!

Next up was Monster Tower, unfortunately the weather was pretty variable and we ended up being chased off the tip top by threatening clouds and buzzing biners, truly scary!!! We rounded off the adventure by climbing Washer Woman Arch, an intriguingly tiny summit reached by a great route. There are many more stunning towers to climb off the White Rim Road and we'll definately be back!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back in The Creek

Evening storm settles over Indian Creek

Bellyfull of Bad Berries



Pat on Pink Flamingo

Andreas on Luxury Liner

International Affair

Its great to be back in the western US (greatest climbing in the world) and more precisely Indian Creek. The mecca of crack climbing is seeing more and more pilgrams every season and the BLM land managers are taking action to reduce devastating impacts and generally make their presence felt. This is the first season there has been wall closures for nesting falcons easily disturbed by grunting climbers; Cat Wall and Reservoir Wall are both off limits until September. We are all glad to see conservation issues addressed to protect The Creek and its fragile desert ecosystem. However, changes come at a cost and we must ensure the area maintains its wild and free spirit in the face of regulation.
After a morning snow squall, the bum squad headed into Moab to catch up on happenings. We must have seen at least 30 climbers at Scarface Wall, Battle of the Bulge, and Supercrack, the popular cliffs. All I could do was yell "Save the stone!" as we passed by. The rock here is very fragile when wet, but some people don't know or don't care. That is precisely the attitude which scares me most when it comes to Indian Creek.
We've had great climbing days mixed with needed rest days waiting for the rock to dry. Hope ya like the shots!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Neil and I have taken the last few days to rest and regain our strength.  We have lots more photos to share from our most recent escapades in South America.  Neil is currently purchasing an external hard drive in an effort to organize photos and free up some space on his laptop.  All the climbing photos were taken on a Panasonic Lumix, 10 mega pixel camera and I need to post the climbing pics from Arenales and more from Patagonia.  Needless to say, the climbing blog is a select few photos of our adventures.  Neil and I have filled three 8 gig memory cards in the last 4 months.  That is approximately 3,000 photos...

     While we work on the technical aspects of blogging, please check out, where TNF athletes (who have a professional film crew and website designers) have posted some really impressive high definition videos of Patagonia and more.  We had the pleasure of spending time in El Chalten and the Torre Valley with this eccentric crew.  Note that the description of the wing suit flight goes hand and hand with the video.  Also note the back of my head at Bean Bower's wedding and a side profile of Neil during the jam session at Niponino.

Tonight or tomorrow we plan on driving to Indian Creek for a few more pitches of splitter cracks before the brothers part ways.  I have a flight to Alaska on April 14 and Neil will continue seeking pure rock lines on his way to California.  I wish that Good Vibrations find you today and elevate your thinking and words to higher levels.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bienvenidos Estados Unidos!

Cajon Arenales

Asador Marcello tends the coals for our farewell asado

Repacking (again) with Crystal & Juan's van
Crytsal and Juan climbing on El Teton in Arenales
Joel and Juan sampling some polished face

Joel and I are back in the USA after our four month odyssey in Argentina! Flying into chilly, snowy Salt Lake City was quite a change from the muggy haze of Santiago Chile.
We spent the last week of our trip in Cajon Arenales in the Andes west of Mendoza, the land of sun and wine! As we rode through the Mendoza valley and into the dry foothills in Crystal and Juan's sweet van, we were greeted with great views of the high and white Andes. Amazing to to see these snowy giants far above the hot vineyard country!
Arenales has some really interesting granite, some of it very polished, making for some interesting face climbing! The upper canyon holds the longest routes around with a true alpine character following great crack systems. High spires tower thousands of feet above the narrow stream cutting the valley and the desolation of the Andes is evident from these perches.