Paddle Climbing

Post 6 of 15


For the past few years, I’ve been participating in a “River” Climbing Trip here in Southern Utah, and this year was not disappointing. The idea is to float down a river lined with miles and miles of untouched sandstone, establish new camps and put up new routes, and of course have lots of fun in the process. While a few routes already exist in the vicinity, few have ever been repeated, quality cracks abound and it’s F.A. galore!!!



The area is Top-Secret and only a few climbers have ventured there and put up climbing routes. So we packed the canoes with supplies for a week and started floating downstream. Pretty soon, untouched splitter cracks, towers, corners and endless chimney systems started to appear. It’s heaven on Earth…





The process goes like this: Find a good zone with lots of quality rock, fight Tamarisk to the death, establish camp, scramble up loose talus, chose your own line, climb it ground-up, deal with choss and loose rock along the way, put a bomber anchor, retreat to camp covered in sand, eat an awesome meal, party with friends and name your new route. Repeat for a week!!!


There are very few places in the US where this type of climbing adventure is still possible and I consider myself very lucky to be able to take part in such low-impact climbing development. I’m already thinking about next year’s Paddle Climbing Trip and can only dream about all the new routes that will be put up and the lasting memories that will be created…


Alex Lemieux

This article was written by Alex Lemieux