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beecher

[TR] Hueco Tanks- Boulders 11/11/2006

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Climb: Hueco Tanks-Boulders

 

Date of Climb: 11/11/2006

 

Trip Report:

I know I know, Hueco Tanks is in Texas. Would some kind soul move this post, I couldn't put it where it should be. thx.

 

I've been pretty bummed to log on to cc.com day after day to find mostly discussions of the non-trip-report variety. I found my pent up plastic-pulling rage manifesting itself in verbal backlashing on our glorious interwad. There was only one solution: get the f@#k out of town before I kill someone. Given the forecast, the rain, floods, and washouts, it was clear I would need to search far and wide to find the elusive 'trip' and stave off the SADness that was descending upon me.

As fate would have it, my buddy Rob was being sent on a work run on the south side of the Rio Grande and thought he'd better visit Hueco Tanks before he made the walk over the bridge from El Paso. He managed to score the last two reservations for the North Mountain (only part of the park you can go without a guide). I think they allow 70 climbers in N. Mountain at any given time, and it covers a large enough area that this allows for plenty of solitude. Before you enter the park, you are required to watch an orientation video that explains what makes the park a unique, historic, and delicate part of the landscape. The video did a good job of increasing my appreciation for the place as more than a climbing destination. It served as a good reminder that the park is at least as important to several other "user groups" as it is to climbers. The greater, self-serving message of the video was clear: I gotta go out of my way to show respect to the public and private places we get to climb at, or access restrictions like this could happen here. I can't imagine living 1/2 hour from a place like Hueco, and not getting to climb there, or even walk around freely.

 

We rolled in Friday night after dark and crashed in the lee of the barn at the Rock Ranch. It was blowing like the proverbial Mongolian dust storm was coming and we had no tent. Rob curled up on a crash pad with one of those plaid coleman summer sleeping bags and his 'extra layer' on, which consisted of one long-sleeved cotton tee. Good show old chap.

Saturday morning we woke to the slamming door of the local port-o-let, found an eating implement from the toltec period to scoop our yogurt with, and entertained the locals by backing the rental car over a big firepit. "uh, Rob, we're in a fire pit". That's it, off to the park to get orientated! If you're not interested in easy to moderate bouldering and flatulent humor, stop here.

That morning we groped the rock in our groggy post-sandstorm delirium, warming up on the warm up boulders:

PB120006.JPG

 

Rob enjoyed a classic crack problem on the split boulder, then we struggled with what must surely be a few sandbag V0+ problems on the mushroom boulder. some folks from Denver were troubling over some nearby V6 or another but were kind enough to offer beta, after which... I sent one but not the other. My apologies for my inability to "represent". I think I at least amused.. slightly:

PB120008.JPG

 

After a humbling morning intro to Hueco, we made a grave tactical error. Misreading the map in the guidebook, we hopped in the car to drive the 50' to our next bouldering destination, and proceeded to drive backwards over our cooler. Peering into the innards we witnessed what appeared to be a yogurt & tecate enema gone all wrong. We threw it all in the car and decided to deal later. After more wrestling with sharp and shifty-eyed huecos and ironflakes, we feasted on sandwiches, enjoyed some of the surviving Tecates and lay back on the pavement in the warm sun, ahhh, this is what I have been wanting to read about on the internet...

 

After lunch we found an area on the west side where we could lap V0's and V1's till we were blue in the ____. Here's a picture of a nice problem known as the something "orifice" something, it was the gentle ego stroke my deprived body had been craving:

PB120069a.JPG

 

We topped it off with a somewhat highball problem that maybe had a star or two, and were feeling the stoke. Called it a day on a good note.

Enjoyed a mellow gathering in the barn that evening. Some kid was pounding beers like I couldn't believe. He'd pop 'em open with a big knife, one after another. Something for the Donny Baker files I swear. After a while I began to realize I just could not keep up, and lulled myself to sleep with the tasteful literary antics of John Sherman.

 

Day two: we headed up through a pleasant slot

PB130087a.JPG

to the gymnasium, a slightly overhung wall 15'-20' high strewn with a gracious supply of huecos and a few hours supply of juggy 0's and 1's. Rob had a good time on some scary problems that I avoided. This one traverses up to the large hueco on the upper right, and offers a terrific fall onto a healthy yucca plant:

PB130106.JPG

 

Here is an example of the tasty jug huecos the gymnasium offers. There are many easy classics like this here:

PB130114.JPG

 

And it's complete with a descent tree, cool:

PB130118.JPG

 

Birthing ourselves from the path to the gymnasium, we poked around the potatoe boulders until some kind folks turned us on to an excellent V2 known as 'no one gets out alive'. We worked it with some nice youngsters from New Mexico. It was delicious, and we managed to work all the moves, but alas, the glorious send was not to be. Still, go do this problem sometime:

PB130122.JPG

 

Pretty spent at that point we dabbled on the 'taters and later reconoitered with our new pals from NM to work a new problem Shane and his pal had concocted:

PB130132.JPG

 

We had lunch then wrapped things up with a quick trip to the morgue, a walk down mammary lane, and a cool-down at the warm-up, all fairly unremarkable in our wasted state, stars or no stars.

So Hueco offers more than just the baddest ass new problems. There's lots for your everyday aspirant. Sure had fun and got worked pretty hard on the many many quality easy problems. There were a few people climbing routes, of which there seemed to be no shortage. sport and trad, some multipitch (at least 2 anyway). With the park at its max capacity we rarely encountered other people, even when napping in the middle of the road.

I returned to my desk this morning to find an email from a buddy wondering if I can get out for a ski tour this weekend - looks like we've made it to the other side.

 

Petroglyph notes: cool painted masks abound

PB130127.JPG

 

Food notes:

G & R Mexican (formerly Gonzales, listed in the guidebook) is good.

 

Entertainment:

XXX drive-in appears to have closed

Friday night lights at Eastside High

 

 

Gear Notes:

brought and used: socks, undies, toothbrush

 

brought and used but did not necessarily need: socks, undies, toothbrush

 

shoulda brought: knife, spoon

 

didn't bring but were able to improvise: playing cards, jack daniels, girlfriend

 

 

Approach Notes:

Head east out of El Paso, pass world's largest auto salvage field, 12 dollar stores, and eight gentlemen's clubs (one advertising BYOB), turn left at sign.

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BYOB... bring your own bitch??? Oh and improvised a girlfriend... hmm... 8 gentlemens clubs and no gf... jesus was watching...

i think it's bring your own babyoil

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