Monday, December 20, 2010

Hueco - Day 13/Finale

Day 13 - North Mountain

I had to take off early this morning to head back to Phoenix. I rolled out to North by myself around 8am to finish "Lobster Claw". With only one pad and no spotter, I figured it would be in my own best interest to send this first go. It's by no means a bad fall or sketchy landing but nonetheless I wanted to send this thing with my toe hook beta.

As I had hoped, with fresh muscles and no lactic acid bath going on in my arms, it went easily. Picked up the gear and rolled home with only the Coyotes to say goodbye to.

This was an amazing trip and I owe a huge thanks to new friends and old ones. I started this trip with Gustavo and Sara but they both had to take off early on. Those crazy kids are always a blast and if you've never had a sushi dinner with a Venezuelan in El Paso, I would suggest it.

But I really have to thank the new friends I met at the Ranch and through the trips to the park over these two weeks. Whether it was Melling and the other AZ crew, Nikias, Corbitt, Jordan, Prarie, Johnny Flowers, this was an amazing group of people.

I owe an especially huge thanks though to Mary and Rocco who not only sold me $200 worth of climbing gear for about 40 bucks, but were supportive spotters, climbers, and grillers of Steak. There are "good" people and there are "solid" people, these two have both attributes.

I'm glad I got to make enough Matza Ball Soup to serve 15 people (or 7 climbers in this case) but I'm even more happy that I reached my 50/25 goal while in Hueco. This goal was to send at least 50 problems of which 25 had to be v3 or more. I got many more then 50 problems considering so many 0's, 1's and 2's are accessible and easy to do in one day.

Below is the list of the 25.....

"El Burro" - V3
"Instant Classic" - V3
"Hercules" - V3
"100 Proof Roof" - V3
"Osterizer" - V3
"Trickster" - V3/4
"T-Bone Shuffle" - V4
"Girls of Juarez" - V4 (flash)
"Moonshine Roof" - V4
"The Fin" - V4
"Lithic Technology" - V4
"Warm Up Roof "- V4 (flash)
"Lobster Claw" - V5
"Bloody Flapper" - V5
"Jigsaw Puzzle" - V5
"Walrus in a Blender" - V5
"Bulb of Percussion" - V5
"Hobbit in a Blender" -
V5 (flash)
"Dragon Fly" - V5
"Ides of March" - V6
"Short Order Cook"
- V6
"New Religion" - V7
"Crash Dummy" - V7
"Daily Dick Dose" - V7
"Hector in a Blend
er" - V7

.....Until next time Hueco.....Salud

Hueco Day - 11/12

"Brandon working SnakeCharmer"

Day 11/12 - East Mountain

After a rest day, I spent my last full day on tour with another great crew on East Mountain. Continuing with my goal of getting on only new problems, we found ourselves at "Snakecharmer". This is a cool problem with a little bit of a sketchy fall and some height to it. Jordan, Alex, and Mary all sent it and major kudos to them for sacking up.

Right behind it was the supposed 2star "Instant Classic"....after hiking it, I wasn't so sure the problem did the name justice.

"Sportrock sighting"

We worked our way back to the area that I had started by whole trip here so others could get on "Hobbit" and "Hector". There was another multiple starred problem to the immediate right of "Hector" called "Ides of March".

This one had some cool fluid start moves that went into a strong right hand pinch that required a strong layback into a long static finish with very small feet. On my second to last go I finally stuck the crux move and on my reach for the finish I missed the good part of the hold, came off the problem, and was feeling pumped. Bradon said, "Dude good go...oh shit your finger bro!"

"It's much worse under the skin"

I look down to see a solid purple/red flapper on my left pinky. I couldn't feel this thing because I was so pumped and my hand was kinda numb. I REALLY wanted to send this thing before I left so I told Brandon to just "tape me up" as though I was a prize fighter (I like that analogy because by no means am I as hardcore as a boxer) and he just wrapped up that flapper and I continued to bleed through 5 layers of tape.....I sent it next go. It wasn't that pleasant.

We ended the day working "UltraMega" which was a super cool long roof problem with multiple places to dab. This thing has amazing holds and I would love to project this thing next time with some skin actually left on my finger.

"Mary crankin Ultramega"

- Sends -
"Instant Classic" - V3
"Ides of March" - V6

- Attempts -
"Snakecharmer" - V7
"UltraMega" - V8

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hueco - Day 10

"Brandon in the rest"

Day 10 - North Mountain

The crew headed to North starting with warmups around the "Icarus" area. Did some problem that I thought was a warmup called "Hercules".

I then snuck over towards "Dean's Journey" with some of the guys. This thing is hard but very unique with a full standing rest in a truck sized Hueco you can stem completely across. Right next to this problem was the infamous "Bloody Flapper". We each gave it a bunch of attempts and I finally stuck the jump move. This thing is basically one stupid human trick then a straight forward but tall-ish topout.

"Jordan going big on Bloody Flapper"

This was also my last day to give a try to "Babyface". I wasn't really into working this project again but with a supportive group and a ton of pads, I got a new highpoint and enough confidence to think that after sticking the last right hand move, this thing will go down. Probably the top of my list for projects upon returning to Hueco.

"Nikki-Ass finally sending Babyface"

Before leaving North I wanted to at least try the moves to "See Spot Run". As this is the so called V6 testpiece and a 4star problem. Got through the sharp first moves and came down. I think fresh and with enough pads and some cajones that this is very doable.

"Neil coming off the crux of Dean's Journey"

A fun last full day on North and really sore pads.

- Sends -
"Hercules" - V3
"Bloody Flapper" - V5

- Attempts -
"See Spot Run" - V6
"Babyface" - V7
"Dean's Journey" - V10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hueco Day - 8/9

"Sunset off of the East Spur"

Day 8/9 - East Spur

After a good rest day with John consisting of seeing movies and eating Texas sized steaks. It is seriously hard to eat anything but steak when T-Bone's and Ribeyes are $4.99 a pound.....Amurrrrica is the greatest country ever. Rocco led John and myself out to the spur with the rest of the Climbmax/AZ crew at Hueco that day. I loved the spur. So many cool problems right around my grades of choice.

After a few warm ups we got on "Jigsaw Puzzle". This was a very hard crimp intensive problem that was also a bit long. The patina on this rock was beautiful and wish I had spent more time shooting pictures of this rock. It went after about 4 tries with very little energy to finish.

"Mary destroying Jigsaw Puzzle"

We moved up the mountain to send "Walrus in a Blender". This one move dyno/huck probably doesn't deserve as hard of a grade as it gets. I topped out left and John topped out right.

I then tried "Fight or Flight" and couldn't psyche myself up for the heady top out. Kudos to Brian for sending. Right next door to this was "New Religion". After two goes and some moral support and beta from Rocco, this problem went. Such a cool move but I have to modestly admit that the rating on it is probably an old school rating and would be downgraded by today's dynamic style gym climbers.

After working "Alf in a Blender" which is a great problem but very body and core intensive, we decided to work over to "Uncut Yogi" which gave me a nice flapper on my left hand. A very tight heel hook will be required to finish the crux but this thing will go eventually.

"Rocco's presence is felt everywhere"

Finally we finished on "El Burro" which was described to me as the hardest "3" in the park. A very campus heavy sequence and this went second go after a nice fall on my right knee.

An overall great day with amazing people and a typically awe-inspiring sunset.

- Sends -
"El Burro" - V3
"Jigsaw Puzzle" - V5
"Walrus in a Blender" - V5
"New Religion" - V7

- Attempts -
"Fight or Flight" - V5
"Alf in a Blender" - V6
"Uncut Yogi" - V6

Hueco Day 7

"Daily Dick Dose"

Day 7 - North Mountain

Going out with John to North Mountain on this morning, we had ambitions to do more moderate climbs after falling off of 7's and 8's the previous day and feeling a bit worn down.....

....that theory lasted about ten minutes.

I started on the infamous "Lobster Claw". After blowing the flash attempt at the last couple moves, it was all down hill from there. This thing has cool moves and holds but is super polished from everyone and their mom trying this thing. I gave it a bunch of angry goes then took a nap in the sun for a while. Got back on, but still no dice.

"Staring down Lobster Claw"

We moved onto John's project of "Daily Dick Dose". Rocco and Mary got me a little more excited to try "Babyface" again. I was frustrated cause I couldn't work the crux moves and I felt the skin on my thumb slowly grinding away into numbness. Discouraged but getting a nice tan, John suggested we move onto actual moderates instead of regressing on projects.

I was able to salvage a day of no sends with an almost flash of "T-Bone Shuffle", an excellent problem that went on my 2nd attempt. We then moved onto the Kitchen area before leaving where I sent "Short Order Cook" with little issue. Just a low and small crimpy start to a weird/hard scoop then finish out.

Major thanks to John for keeping me positive and helping me send on an otherwise rough day.

"Johnny Flowers evil eye stare"

- Sends -
"T-Bone Shuffle" - V4
"Short Order Cook" - V6

- Attempts -
"Lobster Claw" - V5
"Babyface" - V7

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hueco - Day 6

"Crankin on No Quarter"

Day 6 - West Mountain

We went with Gustavo to work on some projects of his out on West M
ountain. The crew included Jordan, Dave, Prairie, and John. After quite a treacherous hike up hill, we fooled around on "Best of the Best". A really cool climb that seems about a mile long worth of moves.

"Dave on Best of the Best"

Next we moved down the hill to work "Crash Dummy". It became maybe my favorite climb of the trip. This thing has all kinds of moves on it starting with a juggy roof flowing into a drop knee and long reaches followed by a dyno/huck move and ending on 10 foot face climb of crimps and a gaston. After getting shut down for about 9 tries, I gave it an angry last burn and hit the long huck without the drop knee by just sagging tight into the roof. Pumped out the finish and sent. AMAZING climb.

Next we hiked up to "No Quarter" which was dark and beautiful. Gustavo will send this shit when fresh and looked really good going through the sequence.

"Prairie on the ending sequence of Best of the Best"

Lastly we finished on "Trickster". In the name of time Prairie showed me the trick beta but it was still hard as shit to finish. I feel like this problem is a right of passage for Hueco. Such goofy, tasty, fun.

"John trying to find Trickster but watching the sunset"

- Sends -
"Trickster" - V3/4
"Crash Dummy" - V7

- Attempts -
"Best of the Best" - V8
"No Quarter" - V8

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hueco - Day 4/5

"Double Vision"

Day 4/5 - North Mountain

Since day 4 was a rest day I expected day 5 to be a decent day on North. Gustavo and I went out to meet up with a few friends but the warm weather turned us into lazy climbers. We sat underneath the Fern Roof baking in the sun. I worked Mexican Chicken again and instead sent the V3 that it linked into called 100 Proof Roof. Long top out and a bit scary as it turns into a slab.

"A proper 3ball Siesta"

While Gustavo continued with his siesta I hiked over to Daily Dick Dose and tried the toe instead of the heel or drop knee beta. After only 3 tries with the toe beta and the left hand intermediate the problem went easily. Felt like a problem for short people and I now understand how taller climbers might have issues scrunching up at the beginning.

"Jen cranking on Fern Roof"

Went over with some of the New Mexico kids to try "Double Vision". It's a beautiful problem that requires a few pads and even better spotters. Made the first couple moves before the 2 finger pockets worried my finger enough to bail on it.

Finished the day off climbing with my Canadian transient of a friend Joleen on "Girls of Juarez". A very cool roof problem which was just my style.

- Sends -
100 Proof Roof - V3
Girls of Juarez - V4 (flash)
Daily Dick Dose - V7

- Attempts -
Mexican Chicken - V6
Double Vision - V7

"Do your feet cut on Double Vision?"

Hueco - Day 3

"Ryan on Bulb of Percussion"

Day 3 - East Mountain

As this was my third day on in a row I didn't expect much in terms of strength. Went out with a great crew including 3 guides and the Boston crew. Today was a day to "star chase" since we had climbers of all different strengths. I was really excited to get on a bunch of the classics on East Mountain.

Started with "Moonshine Roof" worked our way to "The Fin" then onto "Lithic Technology" and "Bulb of Percussion".

"Dustin on Bulb of Percussion"

"Ryan on The Fin"

"Narissa on Moonshine Roof"

- Sends -
Moonshine Roof - V4
The Fin - V4
Lithic Technology - V4
Bulb of Percussion - V5

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hueco - Day 2

"Nobody Here Gets Out Alive"

Day 2 - North Mountain

This was a rough day in which after warming up on the classically awesome "Nobody Here Gets Out Alive" I was taken to some gnarly problems on North. I was introduced to "Mexican Chicken" "Daily Dick Dose" and "BabyFace". After a few goes on each I made some progress through the starts but moved onto something else quickly. Followed Gus to "Assisted Living" and "McBain". Didn't do shit on either of these stout problemasses but it was valuable to know what they felt like as I would return to them in the next few days.

Finished the day just wanting to do some fun movement so we hiked "MelonPatch" and "Orifice Affair". Both amazingly fun problems to end a beautiful day on.

"Prarie hiking Mexican Chicken"
- Sends -
MelonPatch - V0 (flash)
Orifice Affair - V1 (flash)
Nobody Here Gets Out Alive - V2 (flash)

- Attempted -
Mexican Chicken - V6
Daily Dick Dose - V7
BabyFace - V7
"Assisted Living" - V8
"McBain" - V8

"Gus demonstrating a drop knee on Fern Roof"

"Top out of Mexican Chicken"