Climbing

My Friends Were Violently Assaulted by Illegal Drugs and All I Got Was Free Entry Into a National Park

By January 18, 2019 No Comments

…which helps zero, because A) we already have an annual pass, and B) Hueco Tanks is a Texas State Park.

So here we are, just closing out our first full month here at the border crisis Hueco Tanks. Equally famous for bouldering (the art of movement, the “poetry of mountaineering”) and pictographs (the art of the ancient and less-ancient cultures that passed through this place), Hueco Tanks State Historic Park packs a lifetime’s worth of both into a wee little postage stamp section of map roughly a square mile in size.

Hi ho, hi ho…

The climbing is unforgiving. If the hold isn’t sharp, it’s slick. If you have glaring holes in your climbing, the boulder problems in Hueco Tanks will expose them. I fucking love this place.

Kovner doin’ Kovner. Isaac lookin’ on. These guys also fucking love this place.

More than 6 years have elapsed since our only previous trip here, which was also the very first stop on The RV Project’s Magical Mystery Tour. Virtually everything interesting that’s happened to us since then has stemmed in some way from those three weeks back in Spring 2012. We can trace a lot of our close climbing connections to people we met at the Rock Ranch and in the park. And just like last time, Dan Kovner came for a visit and climbed some famous things with big numbers, only this time the numbers got bigger.

This beastcake about to wriggle his way up a frickin’ V13! Ander Rockstad sending Full Throttle.

Beyond fond memories, our first time in Hueco gave us a few little jumpstarts. We met, for example, a crew of Colorado crack climbing enthusiasts, made a video with them, and shortly thereafter found ourselves in Vedauwoo with Sender Films shooting for the Wide Boyz segment of that year’s Reel Rock. 

That summer, 2012, we spent living in Fort Collins. I remember we changed our voter registrations from California to Colorado, an action which requires no explanation to anyone who’s heard of the Electoral College. I then remember listening to the radio while in Joe’s Valley that fall, going to bed with the impression that Mitt Romney was going to win, and waking up to some much better news. 

Good news! She grabbed that jug way up there. If she hadn’t, there’s no telling what kind of awkward would’ve happened on the dismount. Kim practices the oddly strenuous finish on her (maybe?) project, Ultramega.

Holy shit, do you remember when the President…you know what, nevermind.

I will say, for what it’s worth, that it’s been really hard to know what to write about lately, because I like to write about absurd things like bouldering and Birthday Challenges. And lately, there has been so much absurdity emanating from DC that it’s hard to focus on the tasks in front of us. 

That said, we have been climbing things here and there. We both feel much stronger and better at climbing compared to 2012, and we know many, many more people, which makes the Hueco logistics easier, not to mention the bonus of being able to climb with friends. 

Also, I’ve got a fun challenge going, which is to see how quickly I can do Ghetto Simulator, car-to-car. The rules are simple. You must start from a legal parking spot, touch the ground under GS with your butt, send it, summit the boulder, and return to the car. You are greatly advantaged if you can climb Ghetto Simulator in your approach shoes. My first run was 14:30, but I’m sure it goes a lot faster since the overall distance is less than a mile. There’s also a tradeoff between speed and not breaking your ankles running across the bumpy, jagged rock. Let me know if you try it.

Anyway, we’ll be around here another month and a half or so. We’ve got some momentum going on work things, which feels really good. Hopefully I’ll report back soon with more sendage and less government shutdown, but until then, remember to try something hard every day.