The Monkey Tracker

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Desert Monkeys of Utah

After our ridiculous fireworks mission the 3 Monkeys venture onwards to glorious Zion in Utah. We arrived very late at night at our new couch surfing place. Our new host was the radical and awesome Keith. It was very dark when we arrived so when we walked out the front door in the morning we were blown away when we saw the view. Keith's house is planted right in the middle of some sort of desert heaven:

Keith's house was near the town of Springdale. It turns out Keith is the man of this town. Keith brews all the beer in this town which is a  big deal in the Mormon state of Utah. Below we are venturing into Keith's castle:

We were treated with unlimited beer straight from the storage vats. Note the magical cup below complete with curvature conducive to sipping beer.
 Destiny was occurring, there was beer and Donkey Kong barrels:
 Now I know you have all been waiting so here it is. A photo of the infamous Keith:
 Above the beer castle is a museum full of crazy animals. Now thats a moose!!!
This bear had bisceps muscles far supiior to any human. Bears are made with the fur, the bulk muscles for tearing open logs and the claws for digging like a shovel you see..
Next we visited Zion national park with Keith and our friends Erica and Indira from Las Vegas. Now nearly spring the trees and wild flowers were amazing.

We hiked up the trail Angels landing, the steep walk was definitely worth the view.



 We celebrated the hike with dinner and a highly nutritional chocolate brownie..
 Now it was business time! With our mission to climb El Cap in yosemite around the corner, we needed to do some serious preparations. Our plan was to climb the mega classic big wall of the area called Moonlight Butress. This climb is 1000 feet of overhanging 5.12 finger cracks. No walk in the park. Whip out the aiders!! We hadn't done much aiding before and this was going to be extremly necessary for El Cap.  Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which you ascend the cliff facing by placing gear above you. You clip this gear with a ladder style sewn sling and walk up it to place the next piece. Very useful on impossible to climb thin cracks and alot of hard work.

Moonlight buttress was the perfect climb to practice Aid climbing on. The perfect splitter cracks just keep going. In the photo below moonlight butress is the one of the left:

 This is the famous Chris Sharma ledge from the movie King Lines:

 The climb took us two days, involved a treacherous freezing river crossing, and a mad man sprint all the way down Angels Landing hike in order to catch the last bus home.
 These cool chicks are our friends from Saint George. They we finishing up Angels Landing when we got off Moonlight Buttress.

Before leaving Zion we took Keith on a rock climbing mission. He kicked aaaaaaaaaaasss!

 This is Keith getting ready for Earth day:
 Yes that was a fork implement. Ingenious! Below is Keith's Mad Dog, Barley.

 Next step on our Journey was to pick up Nomads dad at some prearranged desert airport in the middle of nowhere. This was all James Bond style and highly suspicious.

We drove on into Moab, Utah, which is some sort of paradise for wackos, with the 4 Wheel driving and the hiking and the mountain bike riding and the rafting and the climbing.

Nomads Dad treated us to a number of resturant dinners and even a hotel room while he was with us. We had showers and real food which was an extreme luxury. Thanks for looking after us John. We enjoyed your company and the car felt empty after you were gone.

On a random note, Polygamy is a common practice in Utah and they have a beer to tribute it.

Nomads Dad brought this insane camera lense to get the shot. In the background is Castlton tower. "Pretty Speccy!!"  This accent of this dessert tower was to be our next El Cap preperation. This tower seems to be some sort of joyous famous place where they like to flim Chevy car adds, Metallica music videos and Red Bull base jumping. This tower features a number of large old school style chimneys which is a climbing style we are not used to at all and would need to master in order to conquer El Cap. A Chimney is literally like a chimney in a fire place. You grunge your way up by squeezing your body and pressing your feet outwards. Can be very awkward and messy.

After loosing his Camera in Peru several months ago, Nomad has finally got his hands on another camera. He is back in the game!!!

Some bad weather came through and turned out desert tower into a pile of mushy, brittle sandstone. We had to wait a day for the tower to dry out before we would dare try to go for the ascent. Time was running out!

Below our some beautiful purple desert flowers. I ( Chris Beric ) found these flowers  in the middle of nowhere at the base of Castlon Tower. Sadly my Nanna just passed away from cancer. Her favourite color was purple and these flowers reminded me of her. Like these special flowers, my Nanna brought colour to the world and her memory will carry on forever in my heart.

Below is of one of the amazing Moab Arches.

The final step in our El Cap prep was to learn how to crack climb. This where there are no face holds on the cliff face and there is just  a crack to negotiate with. You put your hands and feet in the crack and twist them to lock them in place and "create a hold". This can hurt a lot and hand tape is useful. We went to Indian creek for this. This place is word renowned for amazing, tough crack climbing.


 Steve had a confrontation with a cactus, he won using a combination of leatherman multi tool and duct tape.

We resorted back to our old ways of sleeping in the soccer man van given the sub zero weather conditions. Winter in the USA is still hanging around which is highly abnormal. We hope this ends soon as El Cap still has snow all over it.
Despite the cold weather Indian creek was full of all sorts of wacko climbers. The even had their babies and children at base of this loose cliff, stashing em under tarps and behind rocks. This MASSIVE family dog was some sort of super dog that would fetch rocks. Real impressive like.

 In the middle of the night we spontaneously drove back to Moab to climb the classic "Ancient Art". This is on Fisher Tower and features a very unique summit on top of a corkscrew looking thing. A blind man climbed this several years ago so we figured we could do it too.

Now you're probably wondering where all the climbing photos are. Well as per usual we turned them into a video during our last highway drive.  This video is below and you may notice it slightly resembles the Metallica film clip for the song "I disappear".

Note we LOVE METALLICA! Metallica kick ass and here is the link to their video if your interested:


  1. Hello!

    I thought it might be time I posted a comment. I'm so jealous of you all. Put up more pictures because sometimes I'm too lazy to read the words. your videos make me laugh too much.

    Take care!

  2. Boys, Matt here
    Heueheheheheheheheheheehe CLIMB HARD OR GO HOME<

    PS i will have an EPIC CLIMBING WALL IN MY GARAGE FOR USE TO TRAIN ON AT MY BRAND NEW HOUSE IN RIVERSIDE RIDGE< PRESENT FOR U BOYS :p and an epic training wall... ps if use can get in contact wif me best way. gotta talk to ya's bout something. PEACE BOY CLIMB HARD...