August 1, 2017
It was a long winter in the PNW, with a record-breaking number of grey days. With this in mind, my boyfriend and I planned a road trip to Utah—chasing sunshine and sandstone with friends. Knowing the weather would be a little iffy, we packed ourselves into the car with enough gear to see us through just about anything and hit the road. The drive from Seattle is marked by stunning mountains, winding roads, and a whole lot of coffee. Watching the topography change as we headed East gave me a thrill of joy, knowing we were drawing closer and closer to our destination!
We finally hit Moab and went straight to the Big Bend bouldering area, keen to get our hands on some solid rock after hours spent in the car. The boulders didn’t disappoint and we had a blast climbing in the sunshine and meeting some new friends.
With the trip off to a great start, we headed to the Creek to meet some friends and pulled in just as the sun was setting. We set up camp, made a fast dinner and fell asleep to the hushed sounds of the desert. The feeling of anticipation was strong as we got up the next day, excited to get on some of the classic routes in the area. Several cups of coffee later, it was time to hit the crag!
It’s difficult to put the raw beauty of the Creek into words. Even photos don’t do it justice. Splitter cracks are surrounded by stunning, red sandstone with unique formations stretching as far as the eye can see. Wildflowers dot the landscape, bright spots of color, and the clouds dance overhead—their shadows adding mystery to an already dynamic landscape.
The climbing proved to be everything we had heard and dreamed of with routes galore to choose from. After coming off of an admittedly lazy winter, it was definitely a challenge for me but I embraced it—sore toes, scraped knuckles and all! There are so many quality routes there—from the classics to those that are less well known. Scarface wins for most aesthetic line of the trip but Soul Fire was my favorite with thin, delicate hands and fun stemming moves in the corner. I could climb that route over and over and still enjoy it!
In between snacking and climbing, we were treated to some of the most spectacular sunsets and weather systems imaginable. We were stopped in our tracks while leaving Original Meat Wall one day. Ahead, an incoming storm system was dancing over the shooters, sending rays of light across the valley. We watched the rays dance for over a half an hour, standing in the biting wind with eyes wide open and hearts full. It was the perfect experience to cap off a trip I won’t forget anytime soon and I can’t wait to get back to the Creek for more!
All photos courtesy of Meghan Young