October 29, 2021 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Carly Valerious, Rainy Adkins | Photo by Gracie Roe

Creek Break returned this year to its full glory. A tried-and-true tradition for climbers and non-climbers alike, Colorado College students flocked to the crack climbing paradise in Indian Creek, Utah. Delve into the conversation between Rainy Adkins ’23 and Carly Valerious ’23 – Creek Break attendees who brought stoke, plenty of climbing tape and the infectious energy to match. 

Adkins: BRINNNNNNNGGGGG BRIIIINGGGGG…For her? You mean the chick that led that chimney section backwards? Yes, yeah, sure… Yeah I can put her on… Carly?

Valerious: RAIIINNN DOGGGGG! After not experiencing a full-fledged Creek Break since 2019, I can confidently say Creek culture is back in full swing. 

Rainy, I know this was your first Indian Creek trip. What did you think?

Adkins: I understand why Creek Break is such a valued tradition. Being outside, camping in the dirt and spending dark hours magnetized by a glowing blue fire is an environment that promotes friendship, bonding and community. I always find that camping is when my true colors shine. I wake up with wild hair, stumble out of a tent hungover, and cook breakfast. Gone with the walls, three lane highways and stressors of the last block in Colorado Springs, societal normalcy is dissolved when you and your friends get out in the desert. 

I’m far from a climber, but still this environment includes those of us that are less equipped technically and physically to scale the red sandstone walls. There’s enough gear to go around, and enough skilled badasses to set up top-ropes. 

This is an environment where everyone can borrow a harness and push themselves with nothing but support from people on the ground. Or if climbing isn’t suiting your fancy, you can do what I did and find a nice rock perch to lay on and read.

Carly, how has your time at Creek gone so far today? 

Valerious: I watched Aubrey Ahmanson ’23 slightly hyperventilate this morning. A group of us watched silently from below as she pushed past her pumped muscles and made it to the top without falling. After absolutely crushing her lead she lowered to the ground with massive cuts all over her arms. 

Yeah, this girl has massive GOBIES, a term crack climbers use to explain the skin rubbed off on the glorious red sandstone in Indian Creek. These gobies are beyond worth it to feel the sensation of resting your weight on a fist shoved between the rock. The cuts honestly go unnoticed among the climbers until they return back for the block.

Adkins: Carly, this is your fourth Creek Break. What makes the whole thing so memorable?

I can’t say there is a more ideal block break for me. Surrounded by the towering sandstone splitter cracks and changing cottonwood colors, we spend our days laying in the sun and throwing our hands into a small gap in the rock, hoping it gets stuck there long enough to pull our bodies a little higher. 

The desert is a magical place. It glows with deep reds and oranges, and a sky that will blow your mind. I wish I could say I am romanticizing what it’s like to be a desert rat, but honestly, it’s too damn magical for words to embellish this experience. The land of Indian Creek is Ute territory, and I am more thankful to have the ability to call this nook of the desert home for a few days.

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