Behind the Scenes: Hueco Report

Behind the Scenes: Hueco Report

Getting to Hueco

It’s 6pm on Sunday, March 11. I’m gnawing on a cube of beef jerky in the back of Brad’s truck. He’s riding shotgun and just passed the food back, saying “stay strong, Spaz.” I feel like a dog he’s feeding to toughen up. Adam Papailion’s at the wheel. We’re headed to Hueco Tanks, Texas, to climb roof cracks. Plan is we’ll roll in about sunrise.

The 12 hour drive goes by as I sleep in various scrunched positions in my couch/seat made of sleeping pads, pillows and blankets draped over bucket seats. I doze off in one state and wake up in another. I’ve been on the move constantly this week — moved up to Fort Collins from Loveland yesterday — before that was climbing, working and training. I overextended myself and here I am doing it again. I took the midnight driving shift.

This trip is something we’ve discussed doing for weeks and up until a few hours ago I didn’t even think I’d be able to make it because of work piling up. But, like it is with Brad, once he invites you on a trip you go. I’ll just work on a laptop from here.

Evolv_Ringer_Crash_Pad1:30pm. I woke up a few hours ago. Rest day today. This was one of the most comfortable nights I’ve ever had spent outside. I used an Evolv Ringer Crash Pad ($39) and the Metolius Bouldering Shield (price not available at this time) with a thin pad foam pad draped over both. These mini pads are half the dimensions of regular sized pads and easily fit in the tent. The Metolius pad has shoulder-width handles on one one side so the spotter can deflect the falling climber. Up to this point I’ve only used them in a few times at Horesetooth. They’ve been useful for padding low starts and flatting out landings. Looking forward to using them here in Hueco.

Today I’ll just eat, take in the sun and get ready for tomorrow. A guy just left the guest house where I’m typing saying: “Be sure to close the door when you leave. You don’t want the snakes to get in.”