Sister Wives: A tale of climbing in Utah



  • Sister wife

    Tyler, Faith and I made a fall road trip to Moab and Indian Creek one time. We left Jackson Hole around noon, and at 10 pm we rolled into the river road area where we planned to camp and climb in the Fisher Towers, only to find that it was Jeep Week, and there was no camping to be found.

    We drove up and down the river road, checking out each campground and finally, at midnight, we found a spot where a group had parked a car in a site they were not occupying. Our neighbors were a group from Snow College, a Mormon college. Their equipment trailer had the name and logo of the school, and their motto emblazoned on the side: "90% of our students practice zero tolerance". WTF? Apparently, the 10% had been excluded, and the group sat about sipping Pepsi and talking around a small fire, We parked in the open site and set up my tent and climbed in; the Silverback and two hot young climber girls.

    All three of us were exhausted from the drive, and only wanted to sleep, but the constant droning of the conversation from the next site made it impossible to sleep. After twenty minutes or so of listening to their endless chatter I formed a plan. Tyler was 25, but she looked like she was about 14 years old, so I suggested that she walk over to their fire and meekly say that " Our husband would like to get some sleep". Faith and I finally convinced her, so she put on a robe, the first robe I had ever seen on a climbing trip, and strolled over to their camp.

    Well most places this would mean nothing, but deep in Mormon Utah it meant a lot: They were disturbing the rest of a fundamentalist Mormon. My child bride Tyler, and Faith her sister wife, had no option but to insure my rest, so Tyler politely asked them to let their husband sleep. Instantly they got quiet as conversation dropped to a whisper. The feared they had offended a "real Mormon".Tyler walked back to the tent, made a show of dropping her robe, and climbed into the tent under their gaze. We slept like babies the rest of the night.

    Birds were chirpping and the murmer of the river greeted us when we woke up. One by one the three of us climbed out of the tent under the gaze of our entitre group of neighbors who respectfully nodded at me as I exited. My wives made coffee, forbidden to mainstream Mormonism, but apparently allowed in fundamentalist sects. We packed up our camp and headed towards the Fisher Towers, leaving them staring wistfully at our dust trail as we drove off into Mormon legend. For the remainder of the trip, I was known as the Deacon. That day we climbed Ancient Art, and then drove south to Indian Creek and for the next ten days we climbed in a party of three.

    Thanksgiving morning we headed off to some obscure wall with a bunch of short pitches, one of which looked modertate from the base, but had a desperate OW finish which I didn't have big enough gear for. After avoiding the issue as long as I could, I launched out into the crux, too big for fist and wrong for stacking. It was deep armbars, and too tight to get a knee in but I eventually reached the anchor and lowered off, completely wasted after 80' of climbing.

    Since it was Thanksgiving we called it a day as Faith had a surprise for us. Back in camp, she started digging through the stuff in Tyler's Subaru and made a half frozen turkey, and a turkey fryer appear like a rabbit from a hat, and then proceeded to make a full Thanksgiving dinner in 36 minutes. It was one of the most delicious dinners I have ever had while camping and pretty soon a party formed as our neighbors caught a whiff of our dinner. We had plenty for everyone and our neighbors appeared carrying bottles and bowls. The entire Super Bowl site congregated around our fire where we shared everything, including the tale of the "Deacon", which Faith embelished heavily. From then on, whenever I walked around camp, people would greet me with "Morning Deacon". Even complete strangers at the various walls we went to for the next week seemed to have heard the story of the Silverback with two wives.

    The pleasures of polygamy quickly became apparent. With three to divide the labor, living was good. We had a nice camp with plenty of good food and drink: Both of my wives were good cooks and good campers. We climbed hard everyday, and returned to camp each day at dark, where we ate and drank like royalty: Being sandwiched between two hard female bodies with a mountain of pads and sleeping bags made the fall nights pass in a pleasant manner. It also made getting out of the tent in the morning difficult without the coffee in bed that my wives were kind enough to provide me.

    I've been on many climbing trips, with many partners, but I can't remember another trip like this one. Good climbing, good partners, and laughter after all, are what climbing is about.



  • Awesom! My 2nd trip to Moab in early 90s it seemed like everything had changed imensly since 1986 shareing red wine with Ed Abby in a free box canyon 10 min from town. the place was mobbed , campsites were all posted and full and everyone in town seemed to drive a jeep. It took a day or so to figuer out that it was jeep week.


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