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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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Help needed - climbing and places to stay in Moab
peteclimbs
1/09/2014
11:29:30 AM
Hi 'stoners - I'm looking for some advice from those of you who have climbed in and around Moab. We've got a trip planned to the US in October, starting in Yosemite on October 15 then driving through to Boulder CO via Moab over about 10 days. I've climbed in Colorado before but not the other spots.

The idea is to spend 5 days or so in the valley and then 3 or 4 in Moab. I know this won't be anywhere near long enough but we're hoping to get an intro to both areas. Doubtless we'll be back for a longer trip.

I lead up to 20 (on a good day) on trad. Up to mid 20s sport. Been trading a bit over 12 months. My partner leads up to 16 or so on Trad. We both enjoy the challenge of crack climbing but, like many peeps, our enthusiasm isn't really matched by our ability :)

I'm reasonably happy that we'll find plenty of climbing in our pay grade to keep us entertained in Yosemite (and maybe Tuolumne if it's not too cold) but I'm a bit more concerned about Moab. From looking on Mountain Project it seems that there are some lower grade climbs but not heaps.

So my questions are:
- Given our abilities, is Moab a good choice and, if so, are there any particular recommendations in terms of climbs?
- For the time we have, do you think the balance of Yosemite vs Moab is about right?
- I know the second half of October is getting late enough in the year that weather might start to play a factor. Will Moab be freezing?
- Finally, does anyone have suggestions for places to stay in or around Moab/Indian Creek? We won't be camping as the logistics for such a short trip seemed too hard.

Thanks in advance.

The good Dr
1/09/2014
12:59:53 PM
Moab should be fine if you have already has a start in the Valley.

October the weather is great (was there last year). You need a car to get around of course. There are cheap hotels in Moab itself if that is your thing and keeps your stuff safe(ish).

As to the climbing, Potash Road is mega convenient (next to the car belays) and has some easier routes in your pay grade. You could easily spend a couple of days there. Further up the road is the Ice Cream Parlour which has a slew of easy routes which are fun for a day and well protected. Whilst in Moab I would highly recommend the Kor-Ingalls route on Castelton Tower (5.9 - 4 pitches). A great, famous route which is mostly reasonable, though the crux chimney is a bit runout and pretty slick on polished calcite. If you are uncertain and have the cash hire a guide for it. It is a great day out. You would also need two ropes for the rap off.

The brew pub in town is not bad with acceptable beer and there are a few other places to eat that are also reasonable. Just get chatting to some other folks at the crag. Don't go to Dennys for breakfast! There is also no decent coffee to be had.

regdog55
1/09/2014
2:53:21 PM
Don't know anything about Moab, but I would have thought October might be a bit late for Yosemite? We were climbing in the Sierras a couple of years ago in September, and by the end of our trip pretty much all the camping areas in the various parks were closed or closing. On our way out we drove through Tioga Pass in a blizzard. You might want to check with Yosemite Parks to see what they say.
Wendy
1/09/2014
3:14:37 PM
I always wonder what people mean when they say "on a good day". Probably more useful for your trip would be - what do you feel safe and confident on when you rock up to a new crag? Considering you are turning up at 2 new crags with only a few days each - it can easily take that to get into the groove of a crag and I wouldn't expect to be doing what I can do on familiar crags for longer than that.

What did you end up doing on your flying trip to Buff? That will probably give you an idea for the Valley, but you are right, it has a lot more easy options than Moab. I haven't done anything outside of cracky heaven there, but I remember very little below 5.10. Although the classic 5.10s like incredible handcrack tended to be cupped hand cracks for me, so if you have normal to slightly large hands and are confident lobbing them in, they should be cruisy enough. Have you climbed at Frog or Ben Lomond? Or done any of the Blue Mtns splitters like Kaladan or Interstate 31? Lift girls Lament or Paralax at Buffalo? That would be as close a style as I could think of in Oz for grade guestimations. Just take every single face feature out of the equation! Have you thought about going via Red Rocks instead where there are lots of big easy routes plus sport climbing? Or doing as Mark suggests and hiring a guide - often the best way to suss out any new area when you are on such a tight schedule.

My thoughts timewise would actually be just to spend the whole time in the Valley. 10 days isn't really a lot and you certainly won't run out of things to do and you will probably end up leaving just as you start to get used to the climbing if you try to do both. Weatherwise, I'd swear it would be too cold, but my advice on temperature always needs to be taken with the knowledge that I seem to experience weather about 5-10 degrees differently to most people. Actually, it was pretty warm in the Creek at the start of October when I was there and 1 week after I left it was snowing, so it could do anything.
peteclimbs
2/09/2014
11:19:53 AM
Thanks all.

Wendy - never been to Frog or Ben Lomond so crack experience pretty much limited to the stuff on offer at araps and in WA (West Cape Howe and Margs have a few).

As an aside, we've been scouting around some of the local crags trying to find awkward stuff (preferably cracks) to experiment on. The most awkward lowish grade thing we've found so far was Half Man, Half Biscuit (17) at Black Hill. The bottom crack was soaking wet which didn't improve things. I climbed Mari for the first time on the weekend and thought it was much easier :) If you like to suffer a bit HM, HB might be for you. It's actually a really pretty spot at this time of year.

Back to Moab, Incredible Hand Crack and Supercrack do look amazing. A guide might be a good idea, if only for the use of their rack. I'm not sure my doubles of #2 and #3 C4s will cut the mustard!
Olbert
3/09/2014
5:49:44 PM
I agree mostly with Wendy - why don't you spend all your time in the Valley?

I have been to Moab a couple of times now, and although it is a really cool place in terms of landscape, unless you are climbing 20 cracks (and I mean cracks - not face routes with gear), then I wouldn't bother. There are two worthwhile types of climbing in Moab - crack climbing (probably the best in the world) and desert tower climbing (meh). All the other climbing is just not what you fly around the world for. You can have great day out on a desert tower but its about the adventure and getting to the top of something, not particularly great climbing.

Also the gear. If you do decide to go to Indian Creek then you'll need quadruples of hand sizes. The hand cracks are the 'easy' ones and on the classics you'll need a lot of the same/similar sizes.

Unless you plan on getting spanked at the Creek I would stick to Yosemite. You'll jizz in your pants just driving into it.
VisitMoabUtah
5/09/2014
4:51:28 AM
October is heavenly weather wise (usually) Many will be here camping and hoteling, so you know.
Pick up "High on Moab" new book by local climber (also own the Desert Bistro restaurant), Money goes to the Access Fund. it is in Pagan Climber and Moab Gearheads shops on Main streets of Moab. and there are climb guides to be found on tours of DiscoverMoab [dot] com, if you were to go out one day and they can assess your abilities and make recommendations to be in the sun rather than the shade that we seek in Summer. The book is $35 or pagan donated a copy to the Moab Library. You can't check it out because you are not local but can look at it and jot a few notes. But pay your respects to the local climb professionals in some way while you are in Moab.

JMK
5/09/2014
8:15:46 PM
Moab has 3 reasons to visit - the climbing, the mountain biking (slick rock) and the beer. A week is too short for either the valley or Moab. Indian creek grades are hard - I thought they were harder than the valley. Incredible hand crack at 10 c felt 21 ish and not a modern soft touch 21 sport. The gear is 7 or 8 gold cams and 1 blue for the lip and a couple of reds. I only mention this as you need heaps of the same size. On the positive size very few people have this many cams so you usually pool your cams with people at the crag. I was lucky to meet a guy in red rocks who invited us to Moab and then lent me his desert rack. Another interesting thing bout the cracks in the area is that some climbs suit different brands better. For instance the golds felt too flared and the blue too tight but wild country hand size was perfect on one of the 11a's.

If the valley is too cold Moab will be awesome. Some nice pinnacles. Start on the owl and move up from there and finish on six shooters.

The valley deserves a trip just for itself

stugang
5/09/2014
8:21:38 PM
On 3/09/2014 Olbert wrote:
>I agree mostly with Wendy - why don't you spend all your time in the Valley?
>
>I have been to Moab a couple of times now, and although it is a really
>cool place in terms of landscape, unless you are climbing 20 cracks (and
>I mean cracks - not face routes with gear), then I wouldn't bother. There
>are two worthwhile types of climbing in Moab - crack climbing (probably
>the best in the world) and desert tower climbing (meh). All the other
>climbing is just not what you fly around the world for. You can have great
>day out on a desert tower but its about the adventure and getting to the
>top of something, not particularly great climbing.
>
>Also the gear. If you do decide to go to Indian Creek then you'll need
>quadruples of hand sizes. The hand cracks are the 'easy' ones and on the
>classics you'll need a lot of the same/similar sizes.
>
>Unless you plan on getting spanked at the Creek I would stick to Yosemite.
>You'll jizz in your pants just driving into it.

Bollocks. Desert sandstone shits on the valley.
Wendy
5/09/2014
8:31:22 PM
On 5/09/2014 JMK wrote:
>Moab has 3 reasons to visit - the climbing, the mountain biking (slick
>rock) and the beer.

hang on, this is utah ... where you have to go to special hidden govt licensed shops to get anything other than super light beer. There are great craft beers in the states, but I don't remember any from utah!

stugang
5/09/2014
8:58:54 PM
On 5/09/2014 Wendy wrote:
>On 5/09/2014 JMK wrote:
>>Moab has 3 reasons to visit - the climbing, the mountain biking (slick
>>rock) and the beer.
>
>hang on, this is utah ... where you have to go to special hidden govt
>licensed shops to get anything other than super light beer. There are
>great craft beers in the states, but I don't remember any from utah!

yes i did think that comment was a little off the mark. However it did not support my thesis so I chose to ignore it.

In any case the first time I went there was with a californian dude that knew what it was like. It was the start of the road trip and I was freaking as to how much beer he was buying on our first supermarket trip.

Anyway to the point of the original post - you can pretty much doss/ bivvy /bandit camp any where out there seriously it is BIG space out there. We got a ticket from a mormon cop one time near moab for sleeping in a car park. Got nearly shot for dossing in a shooting range full of rednecks but other than that it was fine. But we did manage a free jacuzzi with a bunch of ladies in central moab....everybody loves moab.

stugang
5/09/2014
9:20:29 PM
huh silly me. In my haste to have a crack at Wendy I forgot to read the original post. Now that I have read it I think you'd have a great couple of days around Moab. Seriously doing something like castleton is pretty mind blowing and it is pretty much at your pay grade. In 3 or 4 days there you could do another couple. You won't get the mileage but you'll do something you will never forget.

JMK
5/09/2014
9:22:12 PM
I went to the craft brewery/ steak place in Moab to treat the dude who lent me his cams. Had awesome beer- could only buy in jugs for takeaway ( similar Europe with its wine) . There is a nice campground in the desert near the creek - has a small shop with friendly but straaaaaange lady behind the counter

There are 13 messages in this topic.

 

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