08 January 2007

Hueco Tanks

Since not all climbing is overhung, here's a photo of a slab route called Slim Pickens.

All of the holds (both hands and feet) are literally so small, flat and/or featurless that the buttons on an office telephone would be considered a godsend. Actually, the buttons on a cellphone would have been really nice as well. Just for grins, take out a piece of scap paper and crumple it up into a ball. Now flatten it on your desk and do your best to smooth out the folds with your bare hands. Run your fingers across the paper and feel what's left. That's pretty much what we were working with on this problem. The angle is not completely vertical but instead leans away from you slightly (a few degrees) and that helps, but not much. Several holds were the size of a pen tip (the ball, not the whole plastic tip) and were described as "huge" and "really good" by the people with whom we were climbing. I contend that these people need to seriously reevaluate their judgement and use of adjectives.

The gal in this shot is about to shift her weight (oh so slowly) onto her left foot and stand, while reaching for a chalky hold in the upper left quadrant of the photo. This is about as far as I got before slipping off time and again, and its only three or so moves into a problem that consists of well more than 20 movements of this type!