HUECO TANKS, TEXAS

Climbing - - FROZEN IN TIME -

Per­haps no other area in the world has as many prob­lems per square yard as Hueco Tanks State Park out­side El Paso, Texas. While ac­cess­ing these three jum­bled moun­tains of por­phyritic syen­ite might seem daunt­ing—with manda­tory reser­va­tions and tours (for two of the moun­tains), and a lim­ited num­ber of vis­i­tors per day—if you can get through the red tape, this is boul­der­ing heaven.

SEE SPOT RUN (V6)

“A des­per­ate start to a mor­ti­fy­ing topout,” writes John Sher­man in the Hueco Tanks Climb­ing and Boul­der­ing Guide. This high­ball ex­pe­ri­ence (20-plus feet) fol­lows iron­rock crimps up the Big Show Boul­der’s choco­late stone to a long punch to the lip—or a long drop to the pads. Sher­man climbed it in the late 1980s sans pads, writ­ing of his ex­pe­ri­ence, “I de­scend with the best case of adren­a­line shakes I’ve ever had. The [spot­ters] haven’t budged—they’re in shock” (“Texas Tall Tales,” Climb­ing No. 116, Oct/Nov 1989).

Nearby clas­sics: No­body Here Gets Out Alive (V2), Hun­dred Proof Roof (V3), Baby Face (V7)

THE MELON PATCH (V0)

This ver­ti­cal wall with deep, juggy hue­cos be­low the loom­ing In­de­cent Ex­po­sure But­tress takes you way off the deck to to a creaky fin­ish at 25ft. This pho­to­genic prob­lem may whet your ap­petite for the Wanker 101, a com­pi­la­tion of 101 “easy” prob­lems around Hueco Tanks’ North Moun­tain that will thrash you by day’s end (see climb­ing .com/wanker101).

Nearby clas­sics: Epi­lady (V1), Shaved Pits (V2), T-Bone shuf­fle (V4)

DI­APHANOUS SEA (V11)

This climb ex­em­pli­fies the iron- rock- crimp­ing style so preva­lent at Hueco. A sit­start on a low flake leads to a lunge to a good flake, and then the exit on an iron­rock face. If you’ve been putting your time in on the MoonBoard, Di­aphanous Sea could go down quickly. It’s one of a num­ber of dou­bledigit clas­sics put up in Hueco by the boul­der­ing leg­end Fred Ni­cole.

Nearby clas­sics: Sign of the Cross (V3), Choir Boys (V7), Power of Si­lence (V10)

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