Back again for another Red Rock Rendezvous, this time fresh from the Utah desert, well primed with a great sunburn base layer down and plenty of grit to fill in the spaces between red patches. I left the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show this February planning to do a day of bouldering in the nearby Joe’s Valley, two hours to the south of the O.R. ground zero in SLC. After a short night under the cold stars, I dragged myself out of sleeping bag and coffeed up, and started what seemed like the 100th search in Joe’s for something other than a sharp crimper problem. It’s sandstone, right? Luckless again in that vein, I decided to head down towards Moab for a day at Big Bend, a legendary roadside spot featuring hard lines and rough grades. Klem Loskot is alleged to have said to Big Bend: “If you can climb here, then Fontainebleau (recognized as the toughest grades in the world) should be no problem for you.”
Indian Creek to the Red Rock Rendezvous and Beyond - Chris Schulte
En route, I got a phone call from some friends in Durango, CO., asking about the blocks I’d climbed on in Indian Creek over the years. I’d waxed wistful and poetic on that subject more than once, the main theme being the big lines that seemed undoable. I’m on the way now, said I. Once in the valley, I didn’t leave for two months, save a week on which to catch up on neglected life administration duties and have a shower. The lines I’d looked at for years with longing went one after another, and kept coming like gifts from an earthly paradise. The style, the rock, and above all the quiet recharged me to full and changed my perspective and value system when it comes to how I view climbing. What once was a pursuit that I saw as a way of life, a yoga, or a martial art went from a spiritual level to downright mystical. I had one of the best trips of my life. It actually affected me in so many ways. Real growth and all that... No exagerration or colorants added. I’m a little different now.
So, dessicated and hollow (but also full to the brim) I drove down south for my 5th Rendezvous, and brought it all down from this wild visionquest to the basics of instruction from one person to another. I had a couple great helpers including 5.10 athlete Flannery Shay-Nemirow, with whom I thouroughly enjoyed working. She was a great Yang for my Yin, or vice-versa. Whichever. The weather was fine, indeed: no epic winds or rains for us out in the Kraft Boulders, though I heard other clinics weren’t so lucky. Perhaps a little blessed luck came along with me, and I’m looking forward to the next one already.
Some of you have seen my instagram posts on the bouldering in Indian Creek; if you have not, check ‘em out at chris_schulte on Instagram. Also, there is a video up on the Black Diamond Journal page at this address here:
Enjoy, and good weather to you!