Larry Earley and Don Taylor
Climbing Scenes, and
Don and I went to Hueco Tanks for a
two day climbing escape. Things have changed again at Hueco. The
rangers are nice and friendly. There were two campground hosts who
were retired and helpful. The place was very clean including
restrooms and shower. The campground had about three other parties
each night. We got a reservation only two days before for Saturday.
You now get email confirmation for your reservation. Sunday was
full. We managed to get a walk in reservation Sunday morning. Only
ten people available for walk ins. The place was a ghost town all
weekend. Don and I were the only roped climbers. I estimate there
were about 20 bouldering people each day. Sunday had several hikers.
Most of the bouldering people took tours from
Hueco Rock Ranch for
$20 a day and they went far into the east side mostly. The ranch now
has single rooms for rent $40 a night and bunk beds in dorm style
for $20 or less. The bouldering people are young. Not any road
warriors but college kids. There were cars from PA, AZ, NM, CA, NV,
Alberta, BC, Illinios, and Idaho.
We did the usual great sporty
climbs. These have bolts but are not sport climbs. Runouts are
mandatory. Don lead Divine Wind (5.7) and then we toproped pitch one
of All the Nasties (9+). Both are still excellent. We climbed Alice
in Banana Land (10a) which was hard for me due to cold rock and fear
on sharp end. Don lead the first pitch of Uriahs Heap (7+) and I
lead the second pitch. Pitch two is great, runout and just plain
fun. We finished on Window Pain (10b/c). I managed to lead it in
poor style with hanging on several bolts. It is 150 feet with 11
bolts. I got two cams in to help the fear. Window Pain is the best.
Don did it without a rest.
The climbing trails at the base of
all the North Mountain climbs are overgrown due to the lack of roped
climbers. Also the chains on all the anchors are heavily rusted. It
looked like hardly anyone this past year lowered off the chains. The
rust was thick on all areas. No lines for Hueco great roped
This is a big change from 1998 when
I climbed with Jan Studebaker. It was spring 1998 and there were
almost 200 climbers in action. Jan got me started at Hueco and it is
still a great climbing destination. This was probably my 15th trip
to Hueco. It is cold in December but the daily high temperatures
were 61 degrees. Lots of shade. We did several leads in shade and
temperatures near 45 degrees.