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Category Archives: Indian Creek

Tips to Hips

Lobotomy

On the road. 
One new adorable nephew, Henry.  Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law.  
One lost wallet scare…luckily just called the restaurant in Sedona where I left it.   
One snowy bivy near Flagstaff and 
Tons of amazing company and adventures packed into this week already!!!

I left the front range April 2nd with Randy the Forester,  packed for 2 months of adventure.  First stop, Indian Creek in a snowy push.  Great friends, some unexpectedly, were in the area.  I spent one joyous day elbow deep in the beautiful sandstone.  Our posse took over the Cliffs of Insanity.  I warmed up on MC’s Hammer, followed by a quick and lovely lap on an unnamed 5.11 just to the left.  I googled at Broken Brain as Clay and I clumsily meandered our way to his climb of choice, Lobotomy.  

Clay digging deep!























So proud!!!  


He styled the lengthy off-width section quickly.  The 150 foot splitter quickly diminishes near the finish to fingers.  I top roped this climb, working on both my double fisting technique and a good grunt.  


My plan was to then attempt Broken Brain.  The first half of the climb starts as a not-easy finger crack before getting into a series of hand cracks through pods.  This puts you at the base of an awesome head wall, and one of the steepest splitters at the Creek. Go from good hands, to thin hands, to ring locks, to hard finger stacks, all a bit offset!!  I was exhausted from Lobotomy and honestly thankful that we didn’t have the necessary 70 meter available.  Lazily, I hopped on another short unnamed 5.11, finishing just as the sun began its habitual bedtime ritual…tucking behind the North Six Shooter.  Returning this weekend to give it more than just a good look!  


The Pond, running for once!  

We all hiked out in darkness, lounged on the tailgate sipping the beer we had buried in the cool earth.  A quick bite and I was off to Durango.  

Chris with a big smile and blue duffel bag piled into Randy Friday afternoon.  We landed at my parents house in East Mesa shortly after sunset.  Saturday I woke early, excited to hit one of my favorite 4 mile runs.  This run has become a “gage of fitness” trail run for me over the years.  Surprisingly, I ran a personal best!!!

Afterward, we escaped the valley heat by climbing in Queens Creek at the Pond area.  Shade chasing was the name of the game at this sporty volcanic climbing area.  We climbed many pitches of 5.10, a few 5.11’s and I hopped on a Desert Devil a 5.13a.  This climb is super steep with good edges and sadly some cemented holds.  I put together the lower moves quickly but was stymied after the 4th bolt or so.  Big move with right hand up then cross to a pocket with your left….not sure if that right hand hold was still there?  Fun to try anyway.  Video shows the moves…http://vimeo.com/35871188
   

Weaver’s Needle from Fremont Saddle.  















Sunday, Chris and I adventured into the depths of the Superstition Wilderness area for a solo of Weavers Needle.  The 8 mile hike with about ~2800 total elevation change took us 4 hours CTC.  The class 5 climbing was very mellow, albeit typical Superstition chossy conglomerate.  We on-sighted the bushy approach, did no running and soloed both up and down.    

Anvil Boulders, Sedona






Monday the west was blanketed with bad weather.  We both tinkered away the morning inter-webbing and sipping bailey’s and coffee.  As the clouds persisted, we settled on a lovely boulder session at the Anvil Boulders.  We scurried about the unique sandstone boulders, some splitter cracks, intermingling push-ups between problems.
In the afternoon I went on two rainy runs.  

Soloing Anvil Rocks



The first run followed a great single track trail for 5 miles around Courthouse Butte, outside the Village of Oak Creek.  The second run, feeling like I didn’t get enough in, took me on a short loop and summit of Sugarloaf in West Sedona.  This town has some amazing trail systems I could get lost in!!! 

Wednesday the clouds finally broke and the sandstone was dry.  Through much discussion we settled on climbing the Mace.  A great choice!  Moderate climbing and fantastic summit.  The 3 dimensional chimney/off-width on the 4th pitch was really enjoyable!!  

Thursday we were back in Durango for a little work.  Breakfast was a 2000 meter swim, lunch was a fantastic yoga class on main street, and happy hour was climbing at East Animas,  6 pitches (and jugging two more).  

Integration

I love climbing.

Central Park this fall
I enjoy moving in the mountains for hours at a time.  
I love a good glass of wine and laughter filling the room.  
I love falling in love, playing the piano, learning, teaching, and a full breathe filling my lungs.
The list could go on.    
This fall was filled with some unbelievably good times along with some heartbreaking ridiculousness.  
I haven’t slept in the same bed for more than 3 nights since September 1st.  This in part to–too much travel, a break-up turned sour, and two residential moves.   
2nd Meat Wall -Indian Creek (Photo Nathan Welton)
We have had two fires in the town of Estes Park.  The first one, in June, saw KMAC evacuated and the boys running around to save Harry’s house and property.  As I write, the Fern Lake fire continues to smoulder over Eagle Cliff –closing in on the 66 corridor.    
Top Sirloin — Nathan Welton
In early November, I took a 25 foot fall in Zion, thinking I broke my hand and my femur.  Fortunately, my helmet-less-ego-hurt body faced only minor injuries considering the rock broke, my blue Alien popped and I fell upside-down below my belayer and the ledge he was standing on.  Andrew caught me abruptly.  The only other piece I had placed was a .03 Black Diamond Cam and it was only 4 feet above our belay.  I limped noticeably for 2 weeks with a giant softball muscle wad in my left thigh and a purple thumb/palm that still refuses to hold a plate or zip my fly without pain.  
We also elected, as a Nation, to keep our current president.  I am happy about that.  I had an amazing 80’s prom themed birthday party and I have made some moves towards forwarding my company Dovetail Mountain Endeavors.

Lightening Bolt Crack-North Sixth Shooter (Nathan Welton)
All of these events have thrust me into a whirlwind of thoughts and actions.  Learning to trust myself, my instincts.  More importantly, to ask for help and take it when it is given selflessly. 
  
I am learning to place less value on the things in my life.  I am thankful for the people within the moments and the moments as they happen–good or bad.    
The gang atop the N.Sixth Shooter– Nathan, Quinn, Dustin, Prairie, and Matty.  

I continue to climb because it is ingrained in my soul to move, to explore with a sweaty brow, to push through my fears with tears welled in the corner of my eyes.

I continue to teach, to learn, to grow.  I feel a little slow in my attempts towards integration…but better than not at all….Right?

Taking in the vast Canyonlands vista


“Think of the state of mind you were in before you began reading.  It was a fresh mind.  With no ideas, you came with a fresh mind to look at this book (blog).  If we can maintain that state in our daily lives, that is known as integration.  To be fully integrated means to integrate oneself totally from the body to the self and also to live in integration with one’s neighbours and surroundings….. In this way we remain ever fresh, ever peaceful, and with ever growing intelligence.”

BKS Iyengar–The Tree of Yoga

  
Lungs filled, hearts sighing.  

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