Canyonlands National Park
Ok where should I start? My last entry is a long time ago and lots of stuff happened in the mean time. After a intense iceclimbing season this winter I found myself flying over the Atlantic. The aim was the desert of Utah, the long clean lines of Indian Creek the towers, the arches, the emptiness. The first thing I felt being out in the desert was water, water and water. I am born in a region where water is just normal and if your in the mountains you will find tons of springs and lots of rivers rushing down the steep valleys, everything is green and juicy.
I had lots of days in the mountains where my thoughts where just focused on the next sip of water running down my throat.
Here in the middle of the desert our water reserves where the biggest treasure. Water is life, and we had a easy life with our recourses. Imagine the natives living in these canyons for hundred’s of years is just mind blowing.
Desert is dead no life at least no “warm blooded” life. I was wrong.
Deer’s, Rabbit’s, Turkeys, Coyote’s, Flowers in fresh colours I didn´t expected that variety of life, it was everywhere.
I felt somehow vulnerable and stupid because of my lack for basic survival knowledge. I am a climber, I visit remote places, know how to survive in the mountains. But I don´t know where to get water and food out of the desert because nowadays there is no need to learn these skills.
It just reminds me that we our society is running more and more in an addiction where organizing food from mother earth is almost impossible even the theoretical thought is not there because everything is available all day. We life in a organized and structured environment. It´s a big advantage yes but on the other hand we are addicted. And this was what I felt the most while climbing in the desert.
The sandstone cracks in Utah, think everyone knows it or at least has seen some pictures of the area, clear and CLEAN lines, powerfull, sustained, crackclimbing. Stemming, jamming and yes liebaking, it´s somehow a European thing ;) but it works soooo well.
We climbed tons of cracks from offwidths to tips, my personal suffer size was an open green to a closed red placement. After some time I focused on this size of crack to learn how to jam, move fast and economic with “Ringlocks”.
Most people ask me about the suffering on this type of climbing, the pain. The pain oh yes it´s there it´s part of crackclimbing but while climbing I forget the pain I feel free I am in a flow.
In the morning swollen hands almost impossible to close. Sand everywhere, rattlesnakes and massive whole body pumps.
I´ll be back.
Climbing pics will follow soon…