Imagine a place with perfect bouldering. Think world class. Think huge holds, perfect rock, and highly concentrated. Now think of Hueco Tanks. That’s the spot.
Jeremy Ho, a route setter at Touchstone Climbing, and Alison Bagby, manager of the vegan San Francisco restaurant Millenium, headed down to the Texas state park outside of El Paso.
Ho left from Berkeley for Hueco Tanks shortly after Christmas. Before going all the way to Texas, he met Bagby in Bishop. Ho injured his shoulder just before he left the bay and spent his time in Bishop nursing it. Bodywork specialist and climber Mike Papciak worked on his shoulder right before Ho left town and he was able to make a quick recovery. The pair drove down after a 5-day pit stop at the Buttermilks and Tableland boulders on the east side of the Sierra.
Hueco Tanks is known for its great climbing. There are some restrictions to the climbing though and climbers must deal with some bureaucracy. “The park restrictions weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be. To be honest I think it’s a really good thing the restrictions are in place. Hueco would be a mad house without them (more than it already is),” said Ho. “If you’ve been scared off by the rules you should just go, it’s worth it.
“I thought the climbing was really fun,” said Ho. “Lots of good holds, big moves and the occasional dicey top out.” Ho had a highly successful trip climbing sending classics like Barefoot on Sacred Ground (V12), Fern Roof (V10), and Sign of the Cross (the world’s hardest V3). Bagby climbed Sign of the Choss, the extremely steep Nobody Gets out of Here Alive, and worked on the classic highball Babyface. “Sign of the Choss was the first tall top out that Allison has done and it was a bit of an epic but she pulled it off,” said Ho. Ho stayed in Hueco for a month and Bagby was there for two weeks before heading back to the bay.
“I’d have to say the best part of the trip was being able to spend 2 straight weeks with Alison,” said Ho. “Climbing in a new area was great too.” Ho plans on climbing more in Sonora in the new future and taking another trip to Bishop.