Saturday, January 12, 2008

more... finally

Last week I made my first trip of the season down to hueco tanks. with most of my friends either already there, or traveling else where, i headed down alone. The weather was great, and my modest goals for re-gaining some real rock fitness and just being outside with my friends came to fruition.
i was able to witness paul destroy a few very difficult boulder problems; including a rare, proud ascent of evangalion. i also witnessed kevin jorgeson make a first ascent of a very cool and intimidating roof with big holds and big moves. he cleaned an even more intimidating iron rock face earlier the same day. he went back a couple days later and sent the boulder now named the duel. I am sure we will see some of charles' footage and andy's photos of this impressive rock climb. My camera stayed in my pack these days.
One evening, a meeting was held in the barn with several officials from the park service. The discussion revolved around the closure of the mushroom boulder, and the question of future closures. The barn was packed full of climbers, and for the most part, i think as a group we represented well. Unfortunately, the mushroom boulder will remain closed. apparently, ground erosion resulted from foot traffic breaking the protective crust top layer. concerns to protect artifacts near, under or around the boulder will keep it closed. Also, an archeologist from the park expressed the value of rock shelters (i.e. roofs) for artifact preservation. They informed us that more monitoring would take place, but no further closures were expected at this time.
A few pics below may or may not entertain you. I only have the fish-eye lens right now. so that explains the set back perspective. I am heading back this week, so i should have more fresh images when i return.