7 or 8 or 9 days in Utah- Beta????


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Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 12, 2013 - 01:29am PT
So it looks like I'm gonna have a chance to deke out at the end of the month for a quick road trip. Originally the plan was Yosemite & to spend the entire time there, but the other day there was a paradigm shift & a new idea was manifested.

We are now gonna head to Utah, we figured since we are granite snobs by geographic nature it would be good fun for us to play on some sandstone. Plans are loose right now & we are hoping to have about 8 days climbing, maybe more. We are both non discriminate climbers who love bolts, boulders, & bongs (both kinds) we are hoping to switch up the styles a few times to keep the rest days away & ensure all skin & muscles are thoroughly worked by the time we head home.

Things we're psyched on & tentative plans:

Stopping off in Joes for a few days to trash the tips
A few days in the creek to remove skin from the backs of the hands & fingers

Then either:

A. Stay in the Moab area & mosey up some towers or try & find some sport routes


B. head to Zion


C. Head up to Maple canyon & clip a few


D. Maybe go to Red Rocks for a few long ones

We aren't too worried about grades but are more stoked on quality routes & free routes from 10-1000' high of any style & grade. If there's a must do 5.9 tower & a must do 5.12 sport pitch up in the hills around Moab I'd be interested to hear about both.

What I'm hoping the great sages of the taco can tell me is:

A. If I'm going to die.


B. if these places will be in good conditions at these times (we just went thru 6 months of rain so high temps don't concern us too much as long as they aren't 90+)


C. Good local or experienced Beta for camping, eating or route/area beta/recommends. Areas/crags with relatively high route concentration would be ideal as we are looking to lap out on as many new routes as possible as opposed to projecting.


D. if hitting more than 2 of these places will be a bit too ambitious.

The only of these areas I have been to is Joe's & have driven thru the Moab area but never climbed. Super psyched.

Thanks in advance to all!

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:55am PT
Fischer Towers - mud aid

nuff said
Rocky IV

Social climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:59am PT
the fishers are awesome. If you're in indian creek do six shooter, incredible 5.11 cracks. it's hard to beat tower climbing, plan on doing a few, you won't be disappointed.

Camping in IC is super chill and free. There's a free campground at the castleton trailhead. it's 10 bucks a night at the fisher campground next to the river, 15 at the trailhead itself (5 minutes away).

have fun

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:25am PT
My first sandstone route was Bad Moki Roof, a 5.9 on Potash Road. I think you should follow in my footsteps son.
back in the day eh?
back in the day eh?
Credit: Relic

After that, we drove straight to the Creek and got on the easy classics which means hand cracks. They are a must do. Generic Crack at Donnelly Canyon was my first one there. There's a million splitters everywhere so you can't possibly go wrong. Of course go do incredible hand crack and supercrack of the desert. Usually peeps all over those but do em anyways. Harder stuff there I could recommend too if ya want. Cat wall is amazing but closed I think right now for the birdies.

Have fun! Who's all going?

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:35am PT
No way. Go to Indian Creek for sure. Learn a day or two there what the windgate sandstone is all about. Go do a tower after that. IC is amazing. You will love it.

Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2013 - 03:47am PT
Thanks for the beta guys, I really appreciate it.

Sick photo Relic. But I herd potash road is a piece of poo where u get hit by cars tho?? I'm going with my good buddy Josh who will take care of any severe ropegun duties which is nice.

like the idea of climbing towers, that 6 shooter rig that Rocky recommended as well looks amazing. Can you link up some of those towers in a day???

We are gonna drive down & Joes is on the way to Moab, kind of- the rock on those blocs is as good as font Bruce :-) you gonna be down that way?? It sounds like it wouldn't be worth it to drive to Zion once your in Moab with a week or so to kill? Probably 5 hrs in the car that could be spent climbing.

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Apr 12, 2013 - 04:45am PT
ya potash rd is kinda pooey and sandy I guess. I thought that roof one was cool but IC is 580043 times better.

Ya bringing a monster sized rack of cams? go heavy on .75 and 1 camalots for doing a lot of the 5.11 to 5.12 cracks. By heavy I mean 6-10 each!

I'm super light so maybe don't listen to me though.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 06:31am PT
I agree with Bruce Kay - skip Joe's, go directly to Castleton Tower (5.9).
If are a solid 5.10 crack climber, do Moses, and you will also have lots of fun at Indian Creek.
If you are a solid 5.11 crack & face climber, then do Zeus along with Moses.
If you aren't a solid 5.10 crack climber, you'd be better off at Red Rocks instead of Indian Creek.
Skip Zion; desert towers and Indian Creek dominate it and it adds driving.
Captain...or Skully

Apr 12, 2013 - 08:43am PT
Concur with Clint & Bruce. Amazing locales. There is No summit like a Tower.

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Maple may be in at the end of the month as we've had a pretty dry winter, but I wouldn't go there if you're coming from BC.

Definitely hit up the creek. Definitely climb castleton. You can spend 8 days in the Moab area easily, and not get bored. Especially if it's your first time down there. Free camping is everywhere.

Edit* - Zion is super dope (like really, really dope), and vegas is near by. You'll have more good options for bolt clipping is you choose Zion.

Are you driving?

Trad climber
Washington DC
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:59am PT
Clint summed it up pretty good, as usual.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 11:19am PT
What? You're not going to the fishers to follow peluts super duper badass mud routes!!??

Super jealous!!! You bastid!! It's nice that you're bringing your 5.13 ropegun!! Tell Josh the cripple says hello from rehab! I don't think he even knows i'm in here!!

Please turn this into a live trip report!! I need some action! Surgeon said no climbing yet! The bastid!

Make us proud dude!!

The crip

Aka Big Mike ;)

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
I think Zion is amazing. My favorite is Tree house of horror (probably too hot to climb it now, though.) And if you get bored climbing trad in Zion, St. George is an hour away and you can clip bolts on limestone there along with sandstone. I heard that richness of it all is really good (4 pitch, 12a sport).

Maple is a choss pile.

Having said that, Moses and Zues are really good, too.
Zues and Moses
Zues and Moses
Credit: Shiho

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Squamish seems to breed well rounded climbers who enjoy... CLIMBING... of all sorts. Squamish may very well be THE best crag in N America based on the proximity of varied climbing, as far as I'm concerned.

Don't listen to those who can't climb small blocs... Joe's is definitely worth a stop, as is Big Bend when you are in Moab. Quality boulderings to be had at both. Ibex is also worth hitting. IMO some of the best quality stone around. Pretty remote, but a mix of multi pitch mixed (one stellar 5 pitch (?) 12c spurt climb) and quality blocs.

If you enjoy getting mind numbingly pumped while riding the white lines, definitely hit Maple...but be warned, it is DEFINITELY choss... pretty unique. Kolob canyon (near Zion) has a few good steep spurt routes too. Tons of new slimestone routes in the Utah Hills over the last few years.

Indian Creek is fun, but gets boring after a couple days... same moves over and over and over... just different size cramming.

Potash is almost as bad as Pie Shop = not worth stopping.

Weather has taken a turn for the worse recently. Definitely DON'T climb on the sandstone when it is wet (give it 2 days to dry after a rain). Ibex is quartzite and fine after a rain.

If you want to maximize your time on the rock and minimize travel time and the possibility of getting shut out by the rain/soft rock combo... St. George/Zion/Utah Hills area is your best bet.

beyond the sun
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
Wait for the full moon and do a midnight ascent of Kor Ingalls on Castleton. Hang out on top for as long as need be until the sun comes up, then rap off.

Me and a buddy and 2 other dudes did this about 15 years ago a few days before he was to be married (it was his bachelor party) and it was absolutely epic. We brought some rum and hippie lettuce and had us a party on the way up.

Also did the same with Supercrack (minus the intoxicants). The light of the moon was *almost* good enough to not need headlamps for both, but not quite, so bring a couple.

Social climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Forget the climbing, and go hiking! Utah has some of the best hikes on the continent.

I got a chuckle out of Mechrist's typo, 'spurt' climbs. A good way to avoid the pump.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Maple may be in at the end of the month as we've had a pretty dry winter

Not in Maple. Folks were still ice climbing there on 25 March, one of the best seasons and deepest amount of snow on the ground ever. Really.

That said, the steep stuff dries fast and folks have been "spurt" climbing there.

Great suggestions up thread. LCC for slabbin' will be fine if you miss that kinda rock/climbing...

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
One word: TOWERS

More words: Do some towers. That's the draw of the colorado plateau. You got some good suggestions above. Surely you're familiar with most of these, but Lightning Bolts, Fine Jade, Honeymoon Chimney, Sister Superior, Ancient Arts, Washer Woman, Monster Tower, King of Pain, Castleton North Face, etc.

This should be your focus.

Potash doesn't completely suck *ss, there are days when its good and makes sense, but there is so much more better.


Mountain climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Can't go wrong in UT..you'll have a great time wherever!

Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
Wow, lots of great replies. Seems like there is more than a few cans of worms to crack open down there & a lot of really cool ideas here. Since i've had the valley on my mind for the past few months straight time none of this stuff has been on the radar ever, now that I'm looking into it more I am just blown away by how much there is there! So stoked!

Tower vision is setting in for sure, my only concern being access as 4WD/clearance will not be possible as my car has about 5" of clearance on a good day. It seems that this doesn't shut the door on tower climbing altogether but scales back the ease of access to a few that look very good such as Moses, Zeus, & sister superior. It seems a few good days could still be had though with castleton/fine jade, sixshooter, & maybe ancient art or something muddy, combined with some creek cragging & big bend bouldering in the evenings maybe could be awesome, Joes would be easy enough to hit for a day or two on the way in or out i think depending on weather-what about Mill Creek?? I can't find too much beta on the place but what I have seen tells me it would be great for a few days with what looks to be fantastic rock?? Is it close to Moab?

Bruce, I appreciate the advice based on your experience & it's definitely something we will consider when putting our plans together, btw u didn't seem dismissive about bouldering at all, you're just giving me an honest opinion of what ur stoked on down there & that is exactly what i asked for. I am going to give u a call soon & will most likely take you up on the guidebook offer & scrub some more detailed beta, thank you for that. It's pretty obvious that this trip will just be a sliver, I can already see that I'm going to have to come back & take the entire tab for the full experience. Still fun to eat a sliver & drink a bunch of beers:-)

Thanks to everyone else for the ideas as well, so much good info & im grateful for every reply. As for the live TR? Sorry Mike, where it says Squamish under my name to the left there isn't necessarily where I'm from, it is just the only place I post from! Your live TR was amazing but to be perfectly honest it is not my style. Climbing vacation time is scarce & precious to me as a slave to the 365 full time dime with a wife & a life -this trip is all for me & a chance to unplug from the everyday, this includes the taco for sure. I will happily share the story when I return.

Edit- haha thanks Captain ill be sure to wear my tinfoil hat!
Captain...or Skully

Apr 12, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
Remember, it's Zeus, not "Zues". Those guys are gonna get hit by lightning. ;-)
Have a good trip, man.

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 07:42pm PT
I envy you.
You can walk into Sister Superior. Jah Man is a great climb. Thing about Moab, Castleton area, and Indian Creek is you move between them with a relatively short drive.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 12, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
A good idea to be conservative with your ride, but I can get just about anywhere with 2WD and 5" of clearance,..

in a rental car. Its amazing where those things will go.

Trad climber
Apr 12, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
For the vehicularly challenged, I present: Lighthouse Tower, a most excellent adventure.
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