The first time I ever heard of Indian Creek was while looking through my dad’s collection of Rock and Ice Magazines. Every day after school I would pick up one of the magazines and look through it gazing at the photos and reading all the articles that interested me. Out of all the climbing areas featured, Indian Creek always captured my attention. The magnificent hundred foot sandstone walls completely blank except for one obvious weakness. Perfectly parallel cracks ranging from desperate tips all the way to heinous off widths. This was the perfect traditional climbing area. As I grew older, some of my climbing friends started visiting the creek and came back with amazing stories of how pure the crack climbing is and how you can easily be onsighting solid 11’s one day and be thwarted on a 5.9 the next day. I started looking through the Indian Creek guidebook and found a route that fit my style perfectly. Ruby’s Cafe 5.13a. An intimidating straight in finger crack that follows two corner transitions to a steep and blank looking roof. This immediately became my goal, but at the time it looked as if I wouldn’t get a chance to try it. With school holidays being either to hot or to cold it looked as if it was impossible. It wasn't until I moved to Boulder, Colorado that I finally got a chance to get on it. I recently joined the CU Alpine Club and one of their scheduled trips was to Indian Creek.
After getting the logistics together, I headed out with three other people with two racks between us. We arrived in Indian Creek late last friday night and in a failed attempt at finding the rest of the CU group we set camp up in a crowded area in Creek Pasture. We woke up in a reserved group camp spot and quickly packed up and found a quite camp site along Davis Canyon Road. Psyched to finally be in the creek, we quickly got ready and headed to Battle of the Bulge Buttress. The first routes we got on were two unnamed cracks (5.10 and 5.11) that were both short thin hand cracks. Both routes went fairly easy and my confidence was pretty high when we arrived at the base of Ruby’s Cafe. The sun had already turned the corner and the rock was warm and greasy. Looking up at the line, I knew it was definitely not the best conditions and at 10am it was already 80 degrees. After talking with my climbing partners about the conditions, I decided to go for it. We borrowed enough gear from parties near by and I started up the crack. The first thing I realized very quickly was that the sandstone is really slick. By the time I reached the first changing corners crux, my feet had slipped on the easier finger locks down low several times yet I was still hanging on. I made the transition into the corner and as I was reaching up my foothold slid and off I went. Thankfully my pieces held. The rest of the route went easier, but my feet were still slipping everywhere. Finally I made it to the top full of energy knowing it would go my next try in cooler conditions. In a rush to flee the sun, we found the only shade on the wall which happened to be in a large cave where the cave route resides. For two hours we hung out there, watched a few parties do the cave route then we did it and finally decided to head back to the car. Out of our group of people, Brent was the only one that had been to Indian Creek before and he showed us a nice shady area by a stream where we cooled off and hung out until evening. The next day we headed over to reservoir wall and ticked off some easier routes such as Warm-Up Hand Crack 5.10 and Ninja 5.11+. By the end of the short trip we were dirty, tired, and sweaty but happy to be in such a beautiful place with so much climbing around. Even now I am still baffled at how much route potential there is. Indian Creek is definitely a very unique area and I will be heading back there soon.