Friday, February 19, 2010

Hueco Tanks: Back for More

Hueco Tanks State Park is named for the numerous "Huecos," the rounded holes in the rock formations. These holes catch the rainwater and can hold it for months after a storm, which makes the park an oasis in the vast and bone-dry desert surrounding it. Animals and people have come to the park to get water for centuries- from Native American tribes to settlers, to the little wild pigs called Javelinas. We saw a little family of Javelinas on our last day in Hueco, hanging out in a sunny meadow. The two adults must have weighed close to 100 pounds each! The babies were too cute- fat, waddling, grunting little things.

Nowadays, the Huecos still attract visitors, but we climbers are more interested in the boulders with Hueco formations that have turned sideways, or sometimes upside down!

Here, Cody works on Speed Bump (V7).

Cody on Best of the Best (v9)

Because of the amazing rock formations, Hueco is a Bouldering Mecca. We ran into people from Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, Australia, Norway, and from all parts of the US. Lots of accents to decipher and friends to be made.

Cody and I both sent our hardest boulder problems ever while in Hueco, and just had a blast.

If you look closely, you can see the engravings in the rock left by people who were here before us, most likely stopping by for some water and the shade. There's also lots of Indian Pictographs, and spray paint around too. I guess everyone wants to leave their mark!

Beth on Ghetto Simulator (V2)

Here is a video (it's kind of long, I know, but you get the idea...) of a climb called Ghetto Simulator. It is fairly iconic of what climbing in Hueco is like- overhanging with big holds. This one is particularly long- probably 25 feet of climbing from start to finish! This was taken on our last day in Hueco, and I just didn't have the juice left to finish. Besides, after 20 or so feet, I was pretty pumped and tired! A fantastic climb, and safe, because the rock behind it follows the route up, so if you ever feel like you might fall, you just step back. Pretty cool!

We are both feeling really strong after our stay in Hueco. We had a great day of trad climbing in Red Rocks with our good friends PJ and Sarah today. We saw several big horn sheep while we were on the route. They were bounding around so gracefully on narrow ledges, nibbling on the scrub oak, and occasionally would stop and just stare at us. It was so cool to be in their world and get to see them on their level. What a treat.

We're certainly livin' the dream! (And so is my little sister Grace- who is competing at the State Gymnastics meet today! GO GRACIE!)

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