I was feeling pretty apathetic about my spring break trip to Hueco. I figured it would be hot and boring with most people gone already, and a heinous spring break college hell crowd. But, as usually happens when I come out here, I pulled up to the Mastodon, saw the stars, felt the dusty breeze, and big surprise I’m still in love. A lot of my favorite seasonal folks are gone now, but I had forgotten that my very very favorite month here is November, before anyone arrives and when it’s quiet in the hood. The vibe is similar to that again, and I’m feeling quite comfortable and at home. Joey and Lisa from Boone are still here at the Shindaggar, Gustavo and some other Mallorca boys are around, and even Jordan Shackleford, a cool dude I met in Bishop who doesn’t know what Prana is (in the yogic or tank tops sense of the word) is out for the break! Everyone who’s still here seems happy to be, and the park is full of new climbs and old projects in cool, shady caves.
Yesterday I tagged along on West with Allen and Andy and Ashley for some projects new and old. We found a possibly new but perfectly valid warm up area at ground level, tucked in with the grass. This short dome had 3 nice juggy lines and not far away there was a fun sneaker slab. We went to a fun hard project of Allen’s, and I figured out some beta for a slightly lower start, which felt like, ya know, a contribution. He sent it too, which was glorious. I was telling Allen that, since we’ve both been on the road and kind of out of our minds for most of the year, I think of us as being on parallel journeys. He was not amused, but the fact that he’s looking so strong, physically and in the mental/emotional sense after a tough year, is inspiring to me.
After that we went to Shroom, which I had tried earlier in the year and loved, but for this one hard move I couldn’t do. Well yesterday I still couldn’t pull it off, but the rest of the problem is fun and chill, so I don’t mind having to go back a few more times. The move I can’t get yet feels like McKinney. Same angle, close to the ground, sharp, just like the first move on Power Sludt. Heinous.
Today I was going to rest but instead went rogue with Gustavo. I had a tragic fall at the top of the Long Haul, which I was very psyched to have figured out with no beta and nailed almost ALMOST ALMOST all the way through in a couple hours. (video featuring some difficult to remember beta coming soon)
Next time. Then we went to a new problem he put up last week, and I got a nice little v3 ffa, “Beautiful Weirdo”.
I’m hoping to make it back to Austin by Wednesday or Thursday, to catch some friends who are in town and do some sxsw-ing with Rebecca and the neighborhood kids. But I’m having so much fun, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make myself go before I absolutely have to. OH, also, I did another totally valid v8 the other day, which makes, like, 5 or 6 of them! I think it’s my new 5.12. Ok that’s all. Andy’s about to boot me from the bathhouse!