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By William Kramer
From Kemmerer, WY
Feb 18, 2014
Lisa Falls

I have never been to Indian Creek, but I am planning on maybe going in the near future. Taking the family, and the kids are 12 and 14, climb very good, but I still have the nervous papa syndrome, and was curious if anyone had some suggestions on good walls or areas that had several routes going from 5.7 up to 5.11, with a lot under 5.10


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By Dave Alie
From Golden, CO
Feb 18, 2014
Photo Credit: The talented Pete Garceau

Unfortunately, the creek is not really the place that fits your grade objectives. While there are 5.8s, they are very few. Even 5.9 can be a grade that has to be intentionally sought after. Donnelly canyon has one 5.7, one 5.8, and a couple 5.9s, which is an unusually high number of easy climbs for the area, to give some idea. Even at those grades, though, it might be a challenge since what might be a 110ft 5.9 hand crack will be a tall order for a 12 year old with small hands. 5.10 and 5.11, on the other hand, are everywhere.

While it's not the creek, you could also consider climbing for a day at Wall st just outside Moab. Greater range of easy/moderate climbs, still on desert sandstone (though technically navajo, not wingate). Much more group/family friendly.


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By george wilkey
From travelers rest sc
Feb 18, 2014
me

I agree with dave that wall street is probably a better option but if you are defiantly going to IC you can still find some moderates. park in the big main parking area, you will find 3-4 easier climbs at Donnelly canyon and about the same on the supercrack buttress. plenty enough to keep the kids busy for at least a day. buy the latest guide book. also south six shooter has a nice moderate route the family could spend a day on.


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By JeffL
From Salt Lake City
Feb 18, 2014

Do your kids know how to jam? I think Wall St./Potash Road is probably your best bet, but if you're really interested on IC I've got an idea. Figure out what their perfect jamming size is, hopefully it's not off fingers/ringlocks for you. If it's Red Camalots/thin hands for you, look for some shorter thin hands cracks. They'll probably be rated 5.11 or 5.11-, but Indian Creek ratings are very dependent on hand size. I think you also drop two full letter grades by not leading. An 11- for your hands could feel like a 10 or 10- to your kids due to hand size, and since they aren't leading it could potentially drop to a 9.

Last part that I didn't get right away. As Dave was saying, your 12 year old will have to do several more moves and jams than you will, simply because of his reach and height deficit. This is why finding climbs 100 ft and shorter may be advantageous.

Another thing that might be interesting to analyze is your children's motivation for climbing. If you put up a 100+ foot routes, will they be bummed if they don't complete any of them? Or will they take it as a fun learning experience and fight through the pain to get better at jamming. I hated IC when I went there my first time. It hurt, I flailed everywhere, I sucked at jamming, and I couldn't believe that people actually enjoyed crack climbing. Now, however, I love it!


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By Eric Chabot
From Thetford Ctr, VT
Feb 18, 2014

The creek is not a good place for the kids. Take em to City of Rocks


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By slim
Administrator
Feb 18, 2014
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

selfish wall would be your best bet for the creek. cliffs of insanity also has a lot of new routes in the 9 to 10 range that aren't super long and have a range of sizes.


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By William Kramer
From Kemmerer, WY
Feb 18, 2014
Lisa Falls

Yes, both can jam decent, and thank you everybody for the advice. I was looking more for a wall with a lot a variance, because as some have said, a tight hands for me is almost an OW for the daughter. As for length of climb, they usually kick my ass in that department, to be young again .... Anyway, looking for a wall with some good jamming, Wall St. looked good, any others?


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By george wilkey
From travelers rest sc
Feb 18, 2014
me

there is also an area called the ice cream parlor down kane creek road that prob has more easier routes than any other place around moab plus a few harder one. its also not directly beside a busy road, which is good for people with kids. might be worth looking into.


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By Charlie S
From Ogden, UT
Feb 18, 2014
Cams above the arm bar moves on Three Pigs in a Slot, Indian Creek.

If you had your heart set on Indian Creek, you can find variance of all cracks at nearly all the buttresses. Sounds like Donnelly Canyon/Battle of the Bulge buttresses would have the sizes you're looking for.

Indian Creek WILL be a learning experience and may not be the most fun. I couldn't figure it out until my third trip. Since then, I always look forward to my next trip.

The other suggestions, Wall Street and Ice Cream Parlor, will have more climbing variety. They also put you closer to civilization if that's important and give you many options for rest day activities.


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By RNclimber
From Riverside, Ca
Feb 18, 2014
Seconds before onsighting Gun Smoke V3, Joshua Tree bouldering

Like a lot of guys here, I also had a hard time climbing there my first time around. I was climbing easy sport 5.12s and "some" 5.9-5.10 traditional climbs with cracks, but definitely not sustained jamming like the creek. I was failing at everything there my first time. Finally started OS 5.10s my 2nd trip. I'm not sure how a kid would appreciate or understand the learning aspects of crack climbing.

Also, people usually go to the creek with groups of friends with gear to share since majority of the routes there will require 5-8 of the same size pieces or more. I hope you have a very extensive rack to be able to make it up those long routes.


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By William Kramer
From Kemmerer, WY
Feb 19, 2014
Lisa Falls

Everyone is saying close to the same thing about ratings, how crack size is what determines rating, so if someone could fill me in that would be awesome.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Feb 19, 2014
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

Tight hands which is around the red or yellow camalot size (depending on the size of your hands) is generally the easiest to climb. It gives you nice, secure hand jams that require minimal effort to hold, and also allows you a nice solidly cammed foot jam on which to stand. Now, having said that, the closer your hand size is to your kids, the better off all of you will be.

This is because if you have very large hands, your kids will be climbing the routes with cupped hands (if their hands are considerably smaller) which is more strenuous.

If you can climb really tight hands to loose/rattly finger sizes- which will probably be harder for you (.75 camalot to #1 camalot) your kids will most likely be climbing tight hands and will have an easier go of crack climbing.

Hope this helps.


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By gf9318
Feb 19, 2014

hands= 10 1-2 camalot
fingers= 11 .4 camalot This is a rough guide
off sizes= 12 .5 camalot- tight 1s (uber tight hands, rattly fingers)
Also length dependent.

As a grown man, I often cry or vomit after some pitches at the creek. It will be hard for you to be comfortable enough for your kids to be comfortable.

The bummer about wall street is proximity to the road.

I would imagine more fun being had at a sport crag on your long trip from Wyoming.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Feb 19, 2014

Regardless of your hand size, most people find the creek extremely challenging their first several trips. Mostly it's that there are few and far between stances, edges, or anything but crack.

I often hear people talk about the sandbagged routes there only to call it relatively soft a few years and a dozen trips later.

It's not good for a drive by with kids for this reason. You'll be way too on edge yourself from the climbs to be a good papa. Take them somewhere more varied. There are a lot of good suggestions up thread.


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