So it appears that all that primping led to much pimping during my week in the creek. For those of you not familiar with Indian Creek, it lies just outside Moab, UT and is a crack climbers haven. Being the crack whore I am there really is no destination more inspiring and captivating to me than “The Creek”. Line after line is begging to be climbed… and there was truly not enough hours in the day.
It has taken me a minute to digest this whole experience as I have been home for over a week. I have been trying to zero in on what it was that separated this trip from all others. I could talk crack all the day long and I will give you some play by play but what was particularly inspiring about this trip was my level of commitment to fully express myself beyond my identity as a climber. Let me explain. I notice how often I try to fit myself into this perceived identity of being “a trad climber”, calm, cool and collected… well if any of you have the pleasure of knowing me up close and personal… then you know I am anything but… yet I often feel my wild creative side has no place in that scene. Or rather that I can’t be that expressive wild being unless I have some “skillz” to back it up. I called bullshit on that and decided my challenge for the week was to focus less on what I sent and focus more on giving my fullest expression to the moment and embrace that which inspires ME to be engaged in the climbing process. Over time I have noticed where I hold back, either while climbing or in simply being. Where I shy away from going deeper into my process and my experience because dare I say it… I feel more vulnerable to myself and others. Yet on this trip I was more resolute than ever to tap into my creative mojo to have the experience truly resemble “ME”.
Well the first step in operation expression as you have already seen was the unicorn party. Any reason for a costume and I already feel like the creator is crunking inside. So that one was a gimme to open me to a greater experience of self.
Then I proceeded to dance. For some reason I had this idea in my head that my ipod had no business pillaging the sweet stillness of nature… Yet the desert is so inspiring to me and I love dancing outside about as much as I love climbing… So why wouldn’t I let myself have that? Each morning I rolled out of my tent, cranked some Mimosa in the ear phones and shook my ass in the sunrise. I created from scratch a pure joyful experience… all for me. It proved to be just what I needed too… my hardest onsight of the trip came the morning of my dance revolution. I even brought the shuffle to the crag and allowed myself to opportunity to move to some beats, turn inwards and relax into myself before a climb if it felt right. A dose of Rodrigo y Gabriela got me totally in the mood for my onsight attempt of Way Rambo (5.12-) … I think it was the Spaniards influence… they were cranking on it before me. I didn’t get the onsight and definitely took some whips at the finish. I managed though to finish the climb and am looking forward to a redpoint in the fall.
While unicorns and fresh beats aided me on my creek mission ultimately it was continually coming back to presence and a willingness to show up for my experience that changed the game around on this trip. I became more acutely aware of what closes me off to my experience and the varying layers of self limiting mumbo jumbo that make it almost impossible to be fully present whether I am climbing or not.
Day one I was full of ambition and climbing’s sneaky game of expectations put me in my place pretty quickly on The Wave (5.10+) at Supercrack Buttress. I immediately decided to then jump on Coyne Crack (5.11+) … ummm we won’t talk about that. Day two of the trip was certainly an off day… the release of expectation and the humbling effects of .75 camalots were still lurking about. I didn’t want to lead that day and cursed, very vocally, the lie-backing on Desert Vaurnet… damn thin hands corner lie-backing… Nice send Roger Suen! (on the right below) But I got through it. Allowed the momentary freak out to pass and not spoil my enthusiasm for the pure lines at the creek.
Day three saw the biggest shift as we hit Broken Tooth. I rolled up for the onsight of Rock Lobster (5.11) and some finger intensive fun on Polygrip (5.11+) and Inflictor (5.12-). I really do like tight finger locks… feels sooooo good. I had to do some icing at the end of that day!
Day four found my limits on Way Rambo (5.12-). Hands to thin hands cracky fun with some awesome sporty moves… HELL YEAH! Followed by an afternoon jaunt up Anasazi (5.11-).
By day five the heat and the non-stop climbing were catching up. We had a triple-cone day but fatigue was to intense for me to see any sends… Lots of fun was had anyway over at Battle of the Bulge. The 80 feet of red camalots on Cave Route made me giggle as my palms were so pumped by the end I couldn’t clip my gear anymore… that is good times!
Finally, the end of the trip was here. So much still on my tick list! I decided to go for my redpoint on Scarface (5.11-) on the way out and finally roped up in my gold shiny spandex tights I had made for the trip. There was no way I couldn’t send in those babies!
All in all a wonderful trip with lot’s of great creek folks to connect with and some of the most beautiful and inspiring lines to climb. I definitely got some gems from this trip… So don’t be surprised when you see a unicorn in spandex, crunkin’ and crankin’ her way up a route… It’s an omen and a statement to let your expression be your guide.