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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Las Vegas and Hueco Beginning

As always on road trips, it’s hard to update the website every week. I’ve been having so much fun here in the US but I’ve finally managed to sit down and write about it. I was in Las Vegas for a couple of weeks before coming down here to Hueco Tanks. During my couple of weeks in Vegas I met up with the people I talked about in my previous post. Climbing with them was pretty easy as we all get along from the world cup season. From the climbs I did in Vegas, these were the most notable:
  • Meadowlark Lemon Sit 8B+, V14
  • Meadowlark Lemon 8B, V13
  • Abaddon 8A+, V12
  • Wet Dream 8A+, V12
  • A Clockwork Orange 8A+, V12
  • Lethal Design 8A+, V12 Flash
  • Burnt 8A+, V12
  • The Book of Nightmares 8A, V11
  • Stand and Deliver 8A, V11
  • Nirvana Alternative 8a, 5.13b Onsight
  • Fall of Man 8a, 5.13b Onsight
  • Don’t Call Me Dude 8a+, 5.13c
A full list of my sends can be found on my Sendage account HERE. The hardest line I did in Vegas was hands down “Meadowlark Lemon” Boulder. The stand goes at V13 but has a funny start. The real line is definitely from the two big hole underclings at the bottom of the boulder (8B+, V14). [singlepic id=634 height= width=600 float=centre] On the last day, I went to Black Velvet Canyon did another few really cool lines. “Abaddon”, pictured above went down in a few tries with some good beta from Katha Saurwein and Jorg Verhoeven (my professional spotters). [singlepic id=639 w=350 h= float=right] The line pictured above is the classic “Wet Dream”, maybe the best line of the canyon. It has some big moves with a scary topout. It also has a funny little fingerlock and some very low toe hooks. I fell there on the flash and it took me a couple of tries to sort out my footwork so I could swing my feet. After I figured it out, it went first try from the bottom! The climb below was one that I couldn’t redpoint on this trip. It’s called “Clogging the Feed” and goes at 8A+, V12 I’m told. It has a very committing move and the start isn’t easy either! [singlepic id=635 height= width=600 float=centre] After those weeks in Vegas, I drove down to Vegas with a quick stop at the grand canyon. We had a half day of climbing and the drove to the Canyon. I didn’t get to go to the best place but just the south rim at sunrise was a sight to see. [singlepic id=640 h= w=650 float=centre] The next day we drove the rest of the way to Hueco Tanks. We’ve been here since the 10th and I’ve managed to have 3 days of climbing. The first day was worthless and the drive really seemed to destroy my body, fingers and mind. My second day was much better and I did a low roof start into Sarah Low on North Mountain. Sam Davis did the FA and called it “Sarah Jessica Parker” grading it 8B, V13. I took a rest day and them went to East Mountain on a volunteer tour. I had a great day in the back country doing “Liane” 8A, V11 first go! I can’t call it a flash because I think I tried it a few years ago when I was here warming up. I also had my eyes set on “Li” 8B, V13 because it has such a funny move. You climb a couple easy moves, then grab a high undercling. From there, there aren’t very many feet and you do a huge move into a semi jug. From there, you climb a few hard moves and it’s done. Once you stick the jug, it’s supposed to be over, but that one move in itself gives it the V13 grade! [singlepic id=637 h=400 w= float=right] This first picture is as high as I can pull up before doing the move and the right foot is terrible! The picture below is my arms at full extension before trying the move. It took the better part of an hour and at least 10 tries, but I finally stuck the move and sent the problem! [singlepic id=636 h=400 w= float=right] After that I was pretty tired but Katha wanted to try an 8A, V11 a few boulders away. I forget the name but it was very sharp. Katha sent it in a few goes and watching her send it gave me the courage and motivation to put on my shoes and try it myself. Everything went as planned and I flashed the boulder 🙂 [singlepic id=638 h= w=600 float=centre] We eventually made it down to Full Service area and I gave “Full Throttle” a few good tries. Unfortunately I was just too tired from my day to send the line. I made it past the “crux” a couple of times, but the real crux for me is sticking the first hold on “Dry Dock”. I did the upper moves enough times that I think if I stick the hole, I’ll be able to send the problem! Today, I took a rest day leading up into the Rodeo tomorrow and I walked around North being a professional spotter. Mathilde Becerra had tried Chblanke a few days ago and went back there to try it today. In under an hour, she had done all the moves except the crux move and started giving goes from the bottom. She shares my mentality that the first time you stick the crux move, it might as well be from the beginning if the start isn’t too hard! It worked and quite unexpectedly she sent the boulder! [singlepic id=641 h= w=600 float=centre] Tomorrow is the Rock Rodeo and I’m hosting a clinic on the Sunday. Lots of stuff happening and so many boulders to try. I still have about 10 days here so hopefully I’ll be able to send some more lines!

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    jgrant

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    The climb on the left side of the Try Hard boulder that was dubbed “Escape Velocity” by Daniel Woods is actually “El Condor Pasa” FA by Chris Schulte. Great job out there.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      Thanks for this. I’ll pass it onto who told me it was Escape Velocity!

      Reply

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