4.23.2008

In short, I still suck at climbing

If you’re wondering, the drive from Dallas down to Hueco Tanks is LONG. 9 hours, give or take an extra 30 minutes here and there for a speeding ticket and an almost-border-crossing (TF’s car does not, unfortunately, have a compass in it, and sometimes? When you lose your only map and neither one of you has any sense of direction? You head to the border without realizing it). Accidentally going to Mexico would have been fine, I told TF, as long as he understood that it would absolutely require pounding tequila shots and a Mexican standoff before we headed back. He had more of a problem with the idea of slamming tequila at 10am.

The hikes to the climbing routes were alternatively interesting, exhilarating, and brutal. Some of them involved crossing ravines or shimmying up and down a rock face, either lugging the crash pads on our backs or throwing them down/up ahead of us, and no ropes.   And I have the tiny pictures to prove it:

We camped at a deserted site and slept blissfully through two nights, interrupted a few times by 1) fierce winds that threatened to turn our tents into kites, 2) a roving pack of coyotes passing through with all the bluster and howling of a motorcycle gang, 3) finding a significant pool of water in the middle of his tent, exactly where he’d set his cell phone (Classic Desert Prank* Number One! Mysterious water in your tent! Joke’s on you, ha ha!) and 4) pulling prickly pear cactus needles out of my ass in the middle of the night (Classic Desert Prank Number Two! Needles in your sleeping bag!).


TF conquered about twice as many routes as I did, but I learned how to execute a double foot cam start which was pretty bad ass, if I do say so myself. It involves shoving your feet into the rock above your head, then pulling yourself up by your legs so your hands can latch onto the holds, then, you know, climbing around.



The trip was a much-needed escape, and I came back to town exhausted and content, and kind of missing the desert life. If Monk and the dogs had been there, I think I would’ve been happy to stay out there even longer.


Next on the list: Climbing in Oklahoma, possibly next month. I know, who would’ve thought Oklahoma had more than surrey with a fringe on top? Whatever the hell that means.



*We discovered 5 Classic Desert Pranks on this trip:  #3 is a variation on #2, with cactus needles in your chalk bag- the bloody fingers certainly up the hilarity of this one; #4 involves stealing a tire off your friend's truck in the middle of the desert, after it's been overloaded with garbage for a trip to the dump (this is what we figured must have happened, after discovering an abandoned pickup truck being used as a dumpster at our campsite); #5 would be making someone hike a mile down the mountain with a crash pad on their back, all so you can get a photo of their Sponge Bob-esque appearance, only to tell them that's not actually the way we're headed, so, come on back, ha ha ha!  Oh, the silliness!

2 comment:

Anonymous skyhawk said...

After seeing these pics, there's only one conclusion that comes to mind.

You're nuts. Seriously.

Signed,

The idiot who loves landing 1,300-lb planes in 20-knot crosswinds.

P.S. "Cross-fed water-cooled four-stroke engine."

5:49 PM  
Anonymous quinn said...

Skyhawk- I have (tons) more pics, but after seeing Monk's glazed-over expression halfway through the stack I've come to the conclusion that there are only so many snapshots of, well, rocks and more rocks a person can take.

And you're right, it takes one to know one...

p.s. ooooh, baby.

10:19 PM  

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