Moab is the name of a son, born of a young woman who tricked her father into having sex with her. It follows that it would become a wild child, run by a humpbacked flute player..the mythical Hopi symbol of fertility, replenishment, music, dance, and mischief. The place is a gypsy camp akin to “Burning Man”. Complete with the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. Many of the town’s businesses are closed in the winter, when their owners move back to reality. A trip to this bustling recreational sprawl in the spring or fall is a “trip” with Kokopelli, indeed.
Moab is a land of extremes. Such is life in a desert town born of a uranium mine. You can set up your tent in someone’s backyard in the middle of town for $10. Use the next door neighbor’s shower for another $5. And hit the cantina for tacos & beer 3 blocks down. You can check yourself into a “hostel” or “cabin commune” for a few bucks more and get a shower and microwave. Patchouli scent will be thrown in for free…whether you want it or not. $150/night is typical for a hotel room in April…if you book it by February. The same room will be available at a moments notice in July for $40/night. More traditional Forest Service campsites surround the town. Some are reservable…four months in advance. The rest are first come / first serve.
Moab is a place people travel to for fun. The result is a gregarious party atmosphere of shared resources. Beer, campfires, coolers, drums, jeeps, bikes, ropes, boats, giant cams, bloody legs, bikini tops and cut-off jeans…all covered in a reddish-brown tint. Moab is four wheeling, dirt biking, river running, and rock climbing fun! Moab Rock Climbing is the most comprehensive guidebook to climbing on Wall Street, Moab’s most popular crag. But it also covers the most popular crags on Kane Creek Road and River Road with detailed route descriptions and color photo-topos. Over 150 routes are covered so far. All are within 15 miles of town.
Moab is Chinle, Cutler, Entrada, Kayenta, Moenave, Moenkopi, Navajo, Tuft, Vaqueros and Wingate. In the language of scientists and climbers alike. This “type locality” is the way we describe the ever-present sandstones in and around Moab, and that which covers the clothing, skin and hair of every person the moment they exit the vehicle that brought them here. Most cracks are parallel-sided, demanding mastery of jamming techniques. The surface of desert rock is like fine sandpaper. The dry air and porous rock will suck the sweat right out of your hands. If you’ve honed your friction skills on glacier-polished granite slabs you are in for some excitement on Navajo sandstone. Its a whole ‘nutherworld here. You may have heard horror stories about crazy old bolts and teetering loose blocks in the desert. They are all true. Ha! But this Moab Rock Climbing guidebook helps you navigate through the mix of good and bad protection and loose terrain with solid, up-to-date information and historic anecdotes.
Moab! The word makes the back of my hands tingle with the remembrance of pain, fear, and enthusiasm. Don’t worry if that’s not your kink. Its not all hand-jamming and teetering towers of mud here. This guidebook comes with equal parts crack, slab and vertical face. Nearly half the routes are actually sport climbs. And if you’re hankering for a road trip to a town with locals who actually welcome climbers, you might find a slice of heaven here.