“Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says: “ ‘When people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? Jeremiah 8:4
Crack climbing is not comfortable. Scratch that, crack climbing hurts...it's painful. Truth be told, crack climbing can suck. There is no way around it, crack climbing will leave you bruised, bloodied, and battered... Emotionally, it too will bruise and batter ya. It also will frustrate you...piss you off...humble, and crumble your ego...then it will mock and destroy you! Dejection is all too familiar after said crack spits your flailing "gumby" ass off the wall.
"Cracks" are exactly what they sound like...cracks on the wall. Crack climbing is the act of making your way up the wall using the natural crack system...typically by deploying different crack climbing techniques like hand/finger/foot jams, locks, stacks, etc etc. Not going to go into detail of what these techniques are, but for the sake of this topic...one needs to know that most of these techniques are painful. And depending on the climb, they can be really really "effing" painful. Unlike it's more popular counterpart, "face climbing"...when one is crack climbing, they are not using any holds on the wall. They are strictly in the crack (like the pic above)...hoping to find "sweet spots" so they can minimize the discomfort and swearing.
So this leads me to some of these ugly dudes you see here. These are a few of your finest (meaning...not really) gentleman and climbers you'll ever meet. Several months back, most of us committed to climbing "The Creek" despite having an aversion towards crack climbing. The excuses to not climb crack in the past were as long and wide as some of the Indian Creek splitters.
"It hurts, too painful, this sucks, this is stupid,..no ALF, YOUR STUPID!...and on and on..."
I get it, why waste anytime on pain when you can climb on wonderful jug hauls...and actually have fun getting up the wall...you know, actual Rock Climbing. But nonetheless, a trip was planned and interest grew. So training ensued...
...well, not really. As soon as the gloves came on, they came off. This is called Frustration and Doubt. This is what I see most in the aspiring crack climber...only to be followed by the inevitable...Quitting. Honestly, this makes up the majority of climbers who think they want to crack climb. They come face to face with a crack...jam their mitts and booties in the fissure and yell for Mercy!!! This scene repeats itself...and I don't blame them for it.
But the guys you see above, they are a different breed! I don't know if its from being hit in the head by rocks or baking in the sun too long, but you must be missing a few screws to continue to torment thyself...to slowly enter the spectrum of climbing progressive masochistification (its a real word I just made up.)
These men humbled themselves to"sucking" to learn the art of crack. And this is the heart (gratitude and appreciative) of this post....after watching months of pain, struggle, and doubt on cracks from the gym, E-Rock, TN, Ark, and beyond... I just wanted to say thank you...and encourage you the way you inspired me on this trip:
"Failure is not opposite of success, its part of it."
People quit if it's not easy. More people quit if they can't get the hang of it. Majority of people quit if they put their best effort, over time, and see minimal to no result. Law of diminishing return is reason enough to stop any pursuit. Learning to crack climb is the rock climber's definition of diminishing returns. Quitting is the opposite of success. Quitting is falling down, and staying put...
Failure is inevitable. Failure is sucking, over and over again... Failure is falling down. Failure is feeling pain. Failure is feeling doubt...Failure, quite simply is human. We all fail. You and I brother, together.
Going into this, most of you guys were aware and accepted failure as part of the plan...you first humbled yourself, put ego aside and invited pain, struggle, and failure in. But you always came back...you stubbornly pushed past doubts, and continued climbing through pain.
Scripture asks ‘When people fall down, do they not get up?
You guys did! And I can look at these last several months as a lesson, a metaphor if you will...to not stop, even when it really sucks! Because there is a huge reward for those who get up...who fight back...who push out distraction and doubt...and continue to work despite no gain. Endurance and perseverance is the result of always getting back up. This is success. Your character says more about you than anything else...
Fellas, I am proud to call you partners...more proud to call you friends.
What: Indian Creek, Arches National Park, Moab, UT
Who: Kevin McCall, Austin McIntire, Bryan Prater, Clayton Baber, Victor Sanchez, Jeremy Hendrix, Brad Hardin, Alf
When: April 7-10
This is Indian Creek!!!! There are over 1000+ routes in this beautiful sandstone wonderland in SE Utah. Its a few minutes from Canyonlands National Park.
These are our campsite views every morning! Those are the Six Shooters.
Another view of Six Shooters and Bridger Jack Mesa
Alright...some pics of the PAIN!
Alf on Supercrack of the Desert 5.10
Bryan, Victor, Austin, and Kevin on Scarface 5.11
Brad on Generic Crack 5.10
Clayton on No Name Crack 5.10
Alf on Incredible Handcrack 5.10
Victor on Generic Crack 5.10
Approach to Supercrack Buttress
Kevin on another No Name Crack 5.10my ass
Jeremy being swallowed up on GC
Alf on Scarface 5.11
Hands after day at the Creek
Bryan lookin' good
Clayton jammin Scarface 5.11
Victor on Scarface 5.11
Victor and I on GC
Austin on Wavy Gravy 5.10
Belaying victor on Wavy Gravy
Bryan using the toe hook...
Great views from anchors
Warning: Climbing is inherently Dangerous
Brad on Twin Cracks 5.9
Victor on ICH
Thanks Sarah for the ride!
Hike around Arches National Park on "rest day"
Look forward to another roctrip fellas...it was a blast!!