Hueco, February 10, 2008

Sunday February 10, 2008 

Today was my last day in Hueco Tanks and I didn't
even get to climb. After a month back in Hueco, I
had high expectations. December was as strong
showing and I thought I would be breaking ground
here after that. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
The day we arrived back in Hueco, I came down with
the flu. 2 weeks later, I was finally out trying to
climb, but it was

taking
about a week to feel strong. This was just in time
to leave for my cousins wedding in Indiana where I
promptly caught another strain of the flu. Now, out
from climbing for nearly the entire time here in
Hueco, I had little time to try anything of note. I
got out when I could and have been trying to get
strong ever since. I had some strong moments, but I
didn't get my two projects: McBain or Baby Martini.
Today was to be another attempt, but after not
getting into the park with the heat wave we are
experiencing, I just 'woke up' and decided I was
done. Hueco with its restrictions was not making it
easy for me to get out when I wanted and get strong
the way I want. I need to climb so I suggested it
was time to leave Hueco and head elsewhere. To
start, we are targeting Bishop. I may be able to get
in some route climbing in Red Rocks or VRG but
mostly, I want to feel like I have gotten some
climbing in before returning to work this spring.

Under normal circumstances, the Hueco rules would
not have bothered me so much. However, after a bit
of working with the system, I felt sorry for all of
the non-climbers and first time visitors arriving
for a day of hiking only to be waitlisted and
burdened by rules. Just witnessing the frustration
was enough to encourage my sentiment that I was done
with my time here. Hopefully next year, I'll have
another visit and another chance to send some cool
things.


Meanwhile,
as a rest day activity, a group of us from Hueco
went out to visit Carlsbad Cavarns in New Mexico.
This hole in the ground is more than 700ft deep and
hours of walking trails. The cave has fascinating
limestone structures that have been formed over
millions of years. During the summer, it is home to
thousands of Mexican bats. We were off season so we
didn't catch the spectacle of their dusk departure
to feed. We did catch the smell of guana in the bat
cave but did not find any other signs of animals
anywhere else in the cave. Although it is a 2 hour
drive out there, the cave is a wonderous site and
well worth the visit if you are in the area.

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional enjoys baking, cooking and fine wine.
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