A Desert Life: Climbing in Indian Creek, Utah

Alf Randell gave it all up for his passion. He escaped city life and everything that comes with it for an opportunity to live and climb in Indian Creek, Utah.

Alf Randell is a self-described “dirtbag” who has spent nearly a decade of his life climbing amongst the soaring sandstone cliffs of Indian Creek, Utah. In November, 2011, I spent some time climbing with Alf and documented his life in “The Creek,” his love of tall splitter cracks, and his decision to shun city life in favor of a small camper in the middle of the Utah desert.

Le Reve – 14d/15a in Nevada by Jonathan Siegrist

This is a great video of Jonathan Siegrist climbing a 14d/15a in Nevada. It took 6 weeks and 30 attempts – but he finally made it.

“It was exactly what I was looking for – a route that would demand a new levels of dedication, physical strength, and mental fortitude from me. It was of course frustrating, ego-crushing, and difficult throughout, but in the end it was a dream come true. I named the route ‘Le Reve’, meaning ‘The Dream’ in French.”

What is a First Ascent?

Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Neil Armstrong, Lewis & Clark — what do they all have in common? They’re famous explorers and credited with achieving a “first” in something. First to step on the moon, first to travel around the world, etc.

So when you’re walking to the boulders and you see a route, do you think to yourself — “I wonder if anyone’s climbed that route?” But ultimately you always end with “ahh, it’s probably been done before.”

That’s not always the case. There are thousands (perhaps millions) of routes out there just waiting to be ascended. I’ve never done it before, but I can imagine the excitement that must surround a person after becoming the first to climb a route that no one else could achieve. Sure you get to name the route, but that’s not the point. You’re the first.

At Adayak, we have a t-shirt just for climbers looking to one day make a first ascent.

First Ascent Bouldering T-Shirt

first ascent bouldering shirt

See the problem. Study the problem. Put on your Adayak bouldering t-shirt. And plan your route carefully, because you – my friend – are about to make a first ascent. Your reward? Admiration, and the rights to name the route. Choose wisely.

Priced at just $20, it’s made from 100% organic cotton – guaranteed to be the most comfortable shirt you’ve ever worn.

Why Not To Climb Everest

There’s a fun debate going on over at Summit Post in response to an article titled “Five Reasons Why not To climb Mount Everest.”

The five reasons listed are:
1. Cost
2. Training
3. Danger
4. Disappointment
5. Death

I’ve never climbed Mount Everest so I can’t really comment on all of the reason. Yes it is costly and yes it is very dangerous and could cost you your life. They don’t call it the death zone for nothing. But without the proper training, a climber could be killed on even a moderate mountain. And as long as you keep your perspectives in check, I can’t see how summiting Everest would be a disappointment.

What are your thoughts?