Day One: North Mountain
Limitations: 70 passes per day for hikers/climbers to use the park. Those without a day use pass can pay for a guided climbing tour or sign up for a volunteer climbing tour set up by the Texas State Parks service. The crew only had two day use passes (one for Kennith D. Murphy, the other for Nyle T. Baker). We had to wait momentarily at the entrance gate until the park rangers verified that not all of the reserved day use passes had been spoken for.
Finally by 9:30 am we were granted access to the infamous North Mountain. The only mountain in the park permitting climbers to roam free without guided tours. Psych level was high, depite the strong winds which lasted all day and the abnormally cold conditions.
On the hike into the "warm up" area, it didn't take long for me to touch the first piece of rock that I encountered to initiate the sensory overload that I was about to experience. Massive boulders on top of massive boulders, steep overhangs, caves, and roofs everywhere. I was finally there, I was finally going to boulder at Hueco Tanks.
Boulder Problems done on Day One:
Potato Chip Man- V1
Cast Iron- V2
Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive- V2
Baby Face- V7
Guns of Navaron- V6
See Spot Run- V6
Lobster Claw- V5
Hueco "Rock Ranch", my home away from home for the week
The view from the front door of the Rock Ranch...my first visual cue of what was to come
Kennith D Murphy sporting that million dollar smile
Nyle Baker on a nice warm up roof known as "Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive"
Rocco's wife Mary on "Guns of Navaron"...note the safety line holding Nyle in place
A landscape similar in appearance to Mars
More Sick features around every corner
The proud arete known as "Baby Face"
Rocco at the base of "See Spot Run"...I was pumped that it was shorter than I had envisioned
The approach to some areas on North Mountain