Moab Desert Adventures

Splitter Camps 2014

Indian Creek Clinic for Crack Climbing

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Intensive 3 Day Clinic

A proficiency with cracks is the keystone for anyone who wishes to expand his or her climbing beyond indoor gyms and bolted crags. If you see alpinism in your future or even just wanting to travel to different areas to climb, the ability to climb cracks is a must. Of all of the varieties of climbing, developing expertise with cracks is the most dependent on using proper technique. Yet for many climbers, this technique, to quote Churchill, “is a puzzle inside of a riddle inside of an enigma...”

Splitter Camps are clinics designed to demystify crack climbing. Three intensive days with renowned instructors at legendary Indian Creek will greatly improve your technique while giving you a new appreciation for crack climbing. Indian Creek is a climbing wonderland set in the high desert an hour drive south of Moab, Utah.

Cracks of every size and difficulty split the Creek’s stunning cliffs of red Wingate Sandstone. With short approaches to stacked cliffs, ones climbing is limited only by stamina and desire.

The climbs at Indian Creek start at 5.9 and may seem strenuous to the uninitiated. The Splitter Camps are intended for climbers who at a minimum can follow 5.9 trad or 5.10 sport. The course will be trying and exhilarating and guaranteed to improve an attendee’s crack climbing immeasurably.

Our Method

We believe that you learn by doing. Expect a lot of time on the rope. We will break down into small groups based on skill levels and needs. Our instructors will demonstrate appropriate techniques and critique the attendee’s climbing. You will be getting plenty of "mileage" in on the rock.. Repetition and assessment are the keys to our system. Small nuances in body position and jamming techniques make a world of difference when negotiating parallel cracks on holdless vertical walls. With the emphasis on learning through climbing, you will get the most out of the camp if you arrive in good physical condition.

In Addition

It has been said that the climbing in Indian Creek is world class and that the camping is even better. While the cragging will be unforgettable, the rest of your time in Indian Creek will be equally memorable. Pristine desert scenery, Indian Petroglyphs, abundant wildlife, and unmatched night skies are all a part of the Indian Creek experience. Throw in good company with like minded people and lively dialogue around a sparkling campfire and you have the making for a really memorable experience.


Indian Creek is one of the special places in America. Splitter Camps are intended to both improve your ability to climb cracks and to develop a feeling of stewardship for Indian Creek. The high desert of Utah is as fragile as it is beautiful. As more people discover this and other unique areas, the need for preservation grows. Some will say that splitter camps are going in the wrong direction of introducing more people to the area. Our feeling is that we are in the perfect position to foster a trend for stewardship among climbers. Climbers are better than most when it comes to taking care of the places where they play, but we can do a better job, we can create a template for preservation that others can use for the wild places that they enjoy. We will tell you about the Friends of Indian Creek, and be a part of preserving the future on Indian Creek.

The Instructors

The Splitter Camp staff includes some of the most experienced and knowledgeable crack climbers in the country. Our instructors are skilled communicators who convey an irresistible enthusiasm for their craft. Apres climbing sessions around the campfire are likely to be as lively as the day’s cragging. With a 4 to 1 ratio between participant and instructor, actual climbing time will be substantial and individual needs can be addressed. Our staff can include: Jim Donini, Jay Smith, Zack Smith, Nate Sydnor, Emma and Dave Medara and others.

The Sponsors

Ropes are provided by Sterling Ropes and shoes are provided by Evolv. We thank them for their involvement. Bonnie's Balms will be supplying her soothing salve, which will help to heal your gobies in no time at all, and Metolius will keep you from getting gobies in the first place by providing tape.

How to Register

Simply download the registration form and waiver, and send in completed forms with your deposit. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 804 814 3872 or email.

Cost and Dates

We are holding 2 events, 1 in the Spring and 1 in the Fall. The dates are: April 12th, 13th, 14th and October 4th, 5th, 6th. Cost for this year's event is reduced. For 3 full days of instruction it is only $495.00.


To read what others thought about the Splitter Camps click here.


Precision footworkDave climbingmmm... appetizersTaping upSupercrack Buttress

All images are taken by Topher Donahue

To view more images from last year's events, taken by Malcolm Daly of Trango, click on these links: