On Friday the 14th I left a snowy NYC, bound for 2 weeks in Hueco Tanks. Ethan Pringle picked me up from the airport in his new Hotelement: a Honda Element with a camper van pop top. We arrived at Hueco Tanks too late to check in for camping and spent the night at the gate.
We started off our climbing adventure with a day on North Mt. I was psyched to hop on Free Willy (V10) after falling off the last move the year prior. I was able to send after a few goes and Ethan and I spent the rest of the day cruising the classics.
The next day our wonderful tour guide Jen Atkin took us around West Mountain. I started out trying the Scream (V11) to no avail, though Ethan was able to send the rarely repeated low start, Ice Cream (V12). Ethan was then able to flash the epically long problem, The Bathtub (V9). My endurance wasn’t up to snuff and after two goes of extreme pumpage I decided it wasn’t for me. We moved up the hill to the crazy cavernous corridors of West Mountain and both did the Wellsite Dyno, a 3 move V10 with and exciting last move.
After a few more days of climbing we picked up Jeremy Bini, who arrived a few days later than intended due to some untimely bronchitis. Psyche was high nonetheless, and we continued to siege to boulders day after day, devouring all problems in our path, like a swarm of locusts descending upon the countryside.
The next few days were spent between North Mt and the East Spur. Jeremy quickly dispatched Shower Cap (V8/9) after ripping a giant undercling off the chossy topout. We quickly learned a helpful rule for topping out in Hueco: Pull Down, Not Out! One of the highlights of the trip was See Spot Run, a classic highball V6, that we were able to send quickly. This is one of the best climbs in the park; a must do if your nerves and fingers can handle it.
Our next day on North, we climbed on Power of Silence, a classic sandbagged V10. Ethan worked on the improbable/impossible sit start, More Silence, a incredible hard “V12” that has only seen two ascents to date. I was able to send Power of Silence on my third try this year, a problem I super excited to be able to climb. Check out the video below of the sendage.
A few days later my friends from San Franciscoarrived: Josh Horesly and Bay Area renowned cinematographer Owen Bissell. The five of us raged around North Mt, for Owen and Josh’s first day ever in Hueco. Josh was able to dispatch Fern Roof (V9), Babyface (V7), Daily Dick Dose (V7), and See Spot Run (V6) for an awesome start to his trip. Owen was also able to pull off a send of Babyface, however he spent a lot of time putting his cinematic prowess to use filming Ethan’s send of Sol Adunamentum (V12), the sit start to Fern Roof.
After an incredible rest day featuring beer, burritos, pepper bacon, and lounging in the sun, we were amped to get out climbing again. The next few days were filled with so much climbing that my forearms still hurt, a week later. Jeremy was able to bust out Mr. Serious (V8) and Josh took down The Egg, Trogolodyte, and McBain (all V8s). I finished off my trip with Loaded Direct (V12) and Ethan nabbed the fourth ascent (first with topout) of The Machinist (V13). Owen flashed New Religion (V7), had an exciting send of See Spot Run, and filmed tons of climbing. Stay tuned for an epic video of our trip; here are a few stills to get you psyched.