When November in Colorado rolls around, the leaves have fallen and the rockies are permanently white. It also means that the single greatest holiday is right around the corner: Thanksgiving. What could be better than a day devoted solely to the mass consumption of turkey and pumpkin pie? Well, actually, a day devoted solely to the mass consumption of turkey and pumpkin pie spent in Hueco Tanks, Texas!
For the second year in a row, I headed down to Hueco with my team, Team ABC, for 10 days of nonstop bouldering over Thanksgiving break. On Friday, November 16th at 8:00 am we began the 700 mile trek from Boulder to El Paso. Twelve hours later, after an authentic tex-mex dinner, we arrived at the Hueco Rock Ranch. That night, i could hardly sleep. The combination of the restlessness induced by a 12 hour car ride and the excitement of climbing on world class boulders made shutting off my brain nearly impossible. Thoughts of old projects flooded my mind as i slowly drifted off to sleep.
The next morning I woke up and jumped out of bed, feeling like a 6 year old on Christmas morning. After a hearty breakfast, we jumped in the vans and headed to the park. following a quick warm up at the top of the chains, I immediately set my sights on an old nemesis of mine, Dark Age. I had gotten close the year before, but hadn't been able to seal the deal. Dark Age climbs through about 7 hard moves then finishes on the classic John Sherman highball See Spot Run. It took some time to re-figure out my beta again, but eventually, to my delight, I found myself on top of the boulder, pumped but psyched! Nothing beats the feeling of standing on top of your project after a long, hard fight. It reminds us why we put ourselves through so much pain, suffering, and failure just to stand on top of a large rock. I spent the rest of the day climbing some of the classics and sharing some good laughs with my friends.
Overall, I had a great trip. I sent some old projects and some new ones, but there will still many failures. I learned the value of trying harder, and that it can be the difference between failure and success. There were countless laughs and practical jokes, I finally watched the Batman series (the third one is definitely the best), and Coach/Chef Garrett cooked an incredible Thanksgiving dinner. All together Team ABC racked up more than thirty V10s and ten V11's, plus a handful of V12s. Great job everyone! Keep your eyes peeled for a video of the trip from Michael O’Rourke sometime in the near future.