Saturday, January 22, 2011


We left Wednesday afternoon from Littleton and stayed the night in an Albertsons parking lot in Santa Fe, NM.  After what seemed like an eternity of driving we got to the Rock Ranch at Hueco Tanks on Thursday night.  The rig drove super well besides the amount of gas it seemed to guzzle.  Juno seems happy being out in the desert although she is at the bottom of the pecking order with the other camp dogs.  The alpha female is a pit bull who lives a few sites down.  Luckily for Juno she stays away from our site much more than the other dogs.

The Rock Ranch is the camp ground that caters to the climbers in Hueco and is where Mike and I are planning on staying for at least the first week.  We are paying $6 a night which includes a shower, a barn with ping-pong and wi-fi and a good place to hang out, as well as easier access into the park.  We got a reservation for Friday and had an awesome day of climbing on North Mountain (the only unguided mountain).  Last year I spent several days working a problem called Babyface and had to leave without sending it.  After some warm-up's we went to Babyface and I finally got a send on our first day back!  Mike also made a ton of progress on the problem and will probably head back to work it again this coming week!  Today he sent "Sign of the Cross" which is a super highball classic in Hueco, and is a problem he wasn't able to send last year.  It feels great starting off the climbing portion of the trip on such a high note.  Unfortunately with how tall these boulders are, spotting each other is more important than shooting photos so the pictures are sparse, but with more people we will be able to get some shots.

Drive towards North Mountain

"Babyface" up the arete

West Mountain from "Babyface"

Mike working "Babyface"

From our bus we are able to watch a beautiful sunset every night around 6 and wake up at sunrise.  Luckily the Kayla's mom hooked us up with some great food which we have been living off of the last few days instead of the massive amounts of canned tuna and hot-sauce we would be eating otherwise.

We were lucky enough to get some reservations for the other mountains which neither of us have been to.  Our first day with a guide is Tuesday and we are hoping to get out to the East Spur which is the most condensed.  Until then we will keep going to North Mountain and taking days off.  Generally we are hoping to spend one day climbing super hard, 1 day climbing moderates, and one day off.  It seems like we have been spending a ton of money on initial costs and we are trying to stay away from anything that requires money for the next week.

The Rock Ranch provides wi-fi (it only works occasionally) so we should be able to update the blog fairly often!