Thursday morning we were up early and everyone rendevoued at "The Hueco Hacienda" where Nyle and Cohn had been staying. "The Hueco Hacienda" is a really nice climber's retreat run by an old friend of our's Rocco Bocchicchio and his wife Mary. Murph and I first met Rocco back in 2005 when we traveled to HP40 on our first ever bouldering trip. Rocco took us under his wing back then when we were "the noobs" to the bouldering game and we ended up having a great time climbing with him on the Alabama sandstone.
It is an understatement to say that it was a pleasant surprise to run into him again this year at Hueco. Rocco and Mary were extremely accommodating at their beautiful facility called "The Hueco Hacienda", they took us on guided tours to all of the mountains that were restricted and needed commercial tour guides, they joined us for breakfast and dinner, they caught us when we fell, and most importantly, cheered us on as we struggled through personal bouldering struggles on the trip. I think I speak for everyone in the crew when I say thank you Rocco and Mary! We will definitely be back again next year!!! Here is a link to their website: http://www.huecohacienda.com/index.html
Thursday was back to the unfinished boulder problems we had tried earlier in the week. I had every intention of cleaning up a beautiful V5 called "Jingus Bells" on my first attempt of the day after warming up. Unfortunately, I did not send first go and what I thought would be a quick "clean up" of an excellent boulder problem turned into an epic personal battle. Mike Cohn sent the boulder problem on his second attempt of the day...I was the only one left in the crew who hadn't done the problem...how much longer would it take?
I fell maybe 12 times on the last dyno move on "Jingus Bells" that morning...I threw my beanie, I cursed, I threw my chalk bag at least twice...I guess you could say that I had a mini melt down from the frustration of failing over and over again. My mind started to play games with me...was I jumping too hard, was I not focused enough, did I need more rest, was I using the right footholds, could I do this problem on this trip? After about an hour of failing over and over again, I finally stuck the last dyno move and was successfully topping out one of the best boulder problems I had ever been on. Instantly I was filled with happiness...I had stuck a move that had shut me down all morning as well as two days prior.
I felt bad about how much valuable time I had taken from my friends who waited patiently for me to work out my personal flaws and finally send the boulder problem. Looking back at the videos from that day and hearing the excitement in their voices as I finally stuck the last move, I realized yet again how great the bouldering game is and how great the people are that we play this game with. Thanks guys, it meant the world to me!
After the "Jingus Bells" dibacle at The East Spur Maze", Rocco gave us a quick tour over to West Mountain to show us one of his faverite V7's, "Crash Test Dummies". The line was distinct...a series of pinches and huecos out of a short overhang and up a nice featured arete. Murph, Rocco, and Nyle all sent, Cohn, Jobi and I worked out some pretty good beta but had to leave this one undone for now.
After West Mountain and "Crash Test Dummies", we were on the move again over to East Mountain and some dramatic overhanging pieces of rock. I was completely taken back when I first saw the "Moonshine Roof" and the "Meddle Detector" boulder. Hueco has some incredible pieces of stone, you never know what to expect when you turn another corner. Cohn and I flashed "Moonshine Roof"- V4 and Rocco and Murph showed us all how to get it done on "Meddle Detector"- V6/7....one of the hardest and longest boulder problems I have ever seen at the grade.
Rocco and Nyle underneath "Crash Test Dummies"
Pocketed Face near the "Starry-Eyed Man" Painting
"Starry-Eyed Man" painted by natives circa 1000 AD
The guys hanging out
Nyle underneath the impressive "Moonshine Roof"
Another view of the "Moonshine Roof"
The gigantic overhang of "Meddle Detector"- V6/7
Murph on the lower portion of "Meddle Detector"