The French Tickler is one of the best lines in the Tanks. It is a bit intimidating and when I went there to support some friends I opted not to repeat this great problem. Here are a couple pictures of the Tickler
Antonio wishing he had a little more foam. It's hard to see but the landing is slanted and sky-hooks are used to keep the pads from sliding.
Anyone who follows the blog knows I like to develop. The excitement of exploration and creating something from nothing is a major draw for me and even when I'm in well established areas I find myself scrabbling around looking for something new. Fortunately Hueco Tanks has any number of nooks and crannies and some of the climbs waiting to be found are high quality.
Last season I brushed up and worked a cool roof climb on West Mountain and this year I made a point of going back to finish it off. After a couple days of effort Wobbly Pop was born. Of the 20 or so problems I've established at Hueco I think this one is the best. It involves all you'd expect from a cryptic Hueco problem, toe/heel-hooks, a knee-bar and some power endurance to finish it off.
Here are a couple pictures.
Keith Allen sticks the first move of Wobbly Pop
The crux sequence revolves around a small crimp/pinch. We discovered a knee-bar that helps you easily get the crimp but you then have to make a long pull off it to the lip. Here Byron reaches for the crimp.
Keith Allen gearing up for the big move to the lip
It's not over when you hit the lip as you still have to core up and pull a toe-hook.
It's normal to make new friends on climbing trips as there are plenty of good folks in the climbing community but sometimes I meet a special climber that endures themselves to me. It wasn't Bryan "Hand-job" Smith's climbing skills that sets him apart but rather his blatant disregard for proper etiquette and his lack of shame. When I saw him back-up dancing for a friend singing karaoke I new I make a new friend for life (you hear that Bryan, for life....). Thanks Cal for introducing us.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures documenting Bryan's dancing skills but here are a couple of him climbing.
I've been down in the Tanks for a couple weeks now and things are pretty good. There are the constants that make this place special to me (friends, weather, rocks) but I never know season to season how psyched I'm going to be on the climbing. Last year was pretty productive for me as I was in good shape and a fair number of projects went down. This year I assumed it would be slim pickings as I'm not in the best shape but I've been scraping my way up some new problems and even ticked a couple old projects. I've got roughly a week left and if my elbow doesn't flair up I might even manage a few more.
There is also a Swedish invasion in the Tanks this year. My girls arrived recently and I've ran into several other Scandinavian comrades and there are more on the way. Looks like I'm not the only one wise enough to leave the darkness.
Here are a few pictures from a West Mountain tour with a couple friends.
Andrew cruising Disposable Heroes. This is a classic Hueco highball that doesn't get that many ascents. The lack of traffic is partly due to it being in the back country but has more to do with the height and the terrifying rock in your back.
Bryan on the Well-site Dyno. According to the two spectators in the photo this is an easy tick if you know how to dyno. I unfortunately do not.
Andrew on the Bathtub. The giant "bathtub" feature is pretty cool and makes this a traverse that is actually worth climbing.
Andrew sticking the first sloper on Scream. This short power problem is no gimme and was the only problem of the day that bouted Andrew.
I'm currently in Hueco Tanks but in all honesty I wish I was somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, Hueco is great but if the weather was better I'd be heading North to sample more of Northern New Mexico's mostly unknown sandstone boulders.
Ryan contemplates the possibilities at World Wide Wall
The blog has been neglected as of late due to a number of factors ranging from reaching a photo limit to just being lazy. Essentially I've been climbing myself ragged and just haven't gotten it together. That will all change pretty soon as I'll start uploading photos/video and giving updates in the very near future. I'n the mean time here is a sample of some of the awesome quinine I've been consuming on a fairly regular basis. God bless America!
Double meat, green chili, bacon and cheese. I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about it