Last time I went to Hueco I went on that super fun 2 person tour with Gustavo, and we beta’d out the Long Haul. He sent it as soon as we had it figured. I had this one really close go, then I started melting down a little, then a lot. I had the moves, but honestly I was never very precise on it. To have sent would have been desperate, and it’s a little too hard for me to thrutch through. I did figure out an easier way to do the last move later. Dag. I think the only way I can do problems that are at my trickery limit is perfectly. I can’t have any little feet-off things or misses that waste my strength and headspace. So that’s good to know.
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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!
You know when you arrive somewhere, and it’s so obvious that you have dropped into the middle of a well-bonded group of people on a trip together? It’s a thing.
I left Rodellar on Wednesday and drove with the Christensen’s and Australian Carl to Barcelona. Carl headed to Seville for the next leg of his round-the-world adventure, a Flamenco festival followed by a hitch hiking expedition to Morocco. I think Australia’s primary export is dudes.
The Christensen’s gave me a ride to Porto Colom, where Gustavo, Matt Tscholl and some thentofore unknown dudes were staying. Andy hooked me up with them before I left, thanks Andy! Turned out I know some of the other boys from Hueco, Mogli and Antonio. The guys have this huge apartment on the water. They’re deep into a month-long trip and are in that hilarious social zone where everyone has a nickname and there is constant singing and it is total boy world. After climbing yesterday we invited the Christensen’s to stay with us for their 3-day trip, and having Susie around has evened things out in the sense that there is slightly less farting and talk of ‘cougars’ who obviously ‘want [them]’ ‘so bad’.
It’s rainy here right now, and yesterday was cold and cloudy with very soggy holds and chilly wind. But we went out anyway and I was psyched to send a couple of hardish lines first go, including several 11e’s. I tried a harder route called Stranger in Paradise, but even the approach was hard. I fell twice on the first big move. Here are some pictures of that.
So far Mallorca is pretty awesome but like I said, conditions are a little rough. It rained all night, but the sun is out now so we’re hoping to go climb under the Lighthouse in Porto Colom. I think the whole approach setup is the toughest to deal with. It’s a lot of “jump in with a dry bag swim to that wet ledge and hang out then start the climb really awkwardly” and “downclimb a warm up and hang out on jugs then traverse over and do a route” stuff. I think we have the approach beta nailed back home with bow starts and cadillacs. Here are some more pictures of yesterday, taken by Jeremy, who is loaning me his computer after mine died its final death in Rodellar the other night, rendering my last two weeks a bit more stressy, work-wise. Thanks J!
So I’m thrilled to be at the beach, with people who are very “home” feeling, and without a rope or draws. My brain is in a totally different mode too, and the things I’ve been mulling over for the last couple weeks have faded to the background a little. I think so hard about stuff, like money and relationships and the future and what to do next season, and I wish the whole time that I could just get over it and stop worrying, then suddenly I’m kinda over it and it’s like, dang, I feel a little lost without that anchoring duress. Oh well, to the lighthouse!!