Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Supertopo Indian Creek Gathering - NO REST FOR THE WICKED!

Forum meet ups are usually NOT at the top of my list of things to do, but a trip to Indian Creek seemed like a nice opportunity to hang out with old friends and put a face on some other users from the supertopo forum. It was organized by Jim Donini and his wife Angela. Jim is one of the most inspiring climbers I know personally. Aside from being the president of the American Alpine Club in the past, he has put up numerous big first ascents in the greater ranges and several Yosemite classics like Anticipation, Overhang Overpass, Enema, Leanie Meanie and Basketcase, BEFORE the cams were invented. Accomplishments and hero-worship aside, I wanted to join his group because Jim is awesome to hang out with - positive attitude, humorous, charming, he has a ton of stories to share. His excitement about climbing is contagious, and even though his favorite line may be "up rope I'm not moving," the guy sure likes to under-state his abilities. A few years ago he has climbed the Nose on El Capitan in a push with his long time partner George Lowe - their combined age was 138! Since I personally picked up climbing a lot later in my life than most of my buddies, people like Jim give me hope this lifestyle could be sustained for a long time! ;) However, he still did not confess which steroids he is on...
Jim taking care of the bird
Spiky things could be pretty...
Views of endless rock
Some noob in pajamas sendin Anunaki (5.11+/5.12-)
Base Boy Direct and the beautiful Calico Basin
The day we drove out to the creek was quite crazy for me, but my carpool buddy Andre (moosedrool on ST) and I got to Vegas in time to pick up Cristiano (Sabirila on ST) from the airport. We had some Thai food with my friend Michelle (Noriko Nakagawa on ST), slept and resumed the drive after a 4am alpine-start. Since we don’t get out to the Creek too often, we were set on getting as much climbing in as we can manage. But first we took a stop to use the restroom and met up with Ueli Steck in the parking lot. My feeling of guilt went away, mountain climbers need their fix of low commitment cragging too! :)
With only a few hours of daylight we met up with Greg (eeyonkee on ST), aka the Wolverine aka the offwidth sprinter aka I would not want to go against this guy in a tackle football game. Since we had only a few hours left we went to the Optimator wall and got to get in 4 pitches each! For me, the highlight was doing Anunaki, which is supposedly a 5.11+/5.12- overhanging crack. I do not usually climb overhanging cracks because there are not many that I know of at the grade that I climb, aside from ones in the gym, so the lead was a little intimidating! Most difficult crack I have redpointed was 5.11+ (red zinger), so I was stoked to get something that difficult on my first attempt. Thank god the thing is short and allows good foot placements. After that I also took a lap top roping a cool fist crack/OW that Greg sprinted up, probably an UNDER estimation. When the guy says "I don't do small moves on offwidths," he really means it. All had a great initial session and went back to camp after checking out the Optimator (5.13-) itself. Maybe I can flail on it in the fall, if I train hard enough?!
One of the hilights of the trip was a visit to Anasazi ruins
Some more rocks
Another noob on the send train
Ed on the Cave Route - LOVED this thing
Quarter of a Man - 5 star route Cris and I both did clean!
Next day Cris, Edward (ecflau on ST) and I got out to Battle of the Bulge while the big group went out to the Supercrack Buttress. We did a bunch of climbs, but the highlights were Quarter of a Man, Big Baby, Cave Route and Sweden Wringle. Sweden Wringle spit me off at the top but I was pretty damn happy to get up as far as I did on another 5.12- in the end of the day. Desperate TRRedpoint gave me hope that the day when I could get it clean on lead will come. Warm up before the Optimator in a few month? Yeah, that sounds good. Haha
Campfire stories! Moose is PSYCHED!
Some good wild life in Calico Basin (Vegas)
These dudes look WAYYYY RAMBO, but the gun show doesn't help with ring-locking! :)
Sweden Ringle
Way Rambo wall is Way Cool! This 5.10 gem is right across from it.
A night of sharing campfire stories, binging on food, getting to know new people and we were back at the cliffs in the morning. Third day of climbing felt a little rough since I was pretty sore from all the climbing we already did. In any case, this turned out to be one my favorite day because we all went out to Way Rambo Wall and had a lot of fun leading and top roping a bunch of pitches of high quality. Climbs turned out to be very photogenic and the quality of climbing, again, was top notch! Way Rambo, The Serrator, Blue Sun, The Monk and The Inhabitants were my favorites on the cliff, even though we did a few more. Layaway Plan looked stellar but I had enough excuses to leave that one for a later trip - sun was hot, post Way Rambo pump was real and desire to chill rather than crank took me to the base of the Blue Sun for before we packed our shit up and headed across the canyon to check out some Anasazi ruins.
Monkeys are whippin!
High Traverse not climbing.
 We took our time checking out different ruins and headed back to camp. Saturday night was the big Turkey/mashed potatoes night. Again, we hung out by the fire, ate, hydrated and shared a few stories. Adam tried to start a fire without using some Anasazi techniques, which was entertaining to watch. Thanks to everyone who prepared or shared food. It was super tasty!!! 
Attentive belayer [X]
We already have a campfire...STUPID!
The group of rebels in the parking lot
Weston crankin!
Cris shaking out in Vegas
Or yellow? My mom liked the red one...
Next morning the weather was shitty and we decided to use this as an opportunity to rest and shortening our commute to the Bay by driving to Vegas. We met up with Michelle and she allowed us to crash at her place, which was awesome. Next day we did some cragging with Weston (WML) at Calico Basin and continued the drive. We got back fairly late. Going back to work Tuesday morning was a real pain in the ass, which only increased when MediCal commission showed up. Three cups of coffee and a fairly shitty day later I packed my bag for the following weekend and am resuming the grind. No rest for the wicked!
Cris and Moose on Baseboy

I thought we doing splitters! WTF IS THIS A FLARE?!
Big Baby!
More cool Anasazi stuff
Thank you to everyone who participated in the IC gathering! Thank you for the good company, stories, food, tips and your presence no matter if we got to hang out much or not! Special thanks to Jim and Angela for organizing the gathering, getting the campsite and getting that Turkey. Hope we can do it again around Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Great climbs and great pics, Vitaliy!
    Keep it up.