VIDEO: BD athlete Chris Schulte reports from Hueco Tanks, Texas
Black Diamond athlete Chris Schulte recently returned from Hueco Tanks, Texas where he battled to pull off a host of quality repeats and even a first ascent or two. Below is Chris’s email report and video he made that highlight the action from V2 mega-classics to V12 power-fests.
I’ve been to Hueco Tanks maybe three or four times already, but the short trip we made this year was likely the most pleasant though it was a very mixed bag of events. The winter weather here is usually perfect for climbing, the food is great, and the living is cheap. We had planned on just a brief stop here en route to a family visit, but stayed on as we got more and more attuned to the style and the setting. I had a lot of fun here this year; the climbing appealed to me more than ever and I’m looking forward to getting back next winter, for a bit longer maybe, and getting fully immersed.
Though it’s been a great trip, it hasn’t been without setbacks…
About a week into our trip, the unthinkable happened: a snowstorm hit El Paso and everywhere within 200 miles. On the sunniest days, driving in El Paso reminds me of growing up in Central Texas with bigger-than-golf-ball-sized hailstones ravaging the countryside. My nephew and I would dare a run to the backyard fence in the melee, suffering a thumpin’ and a stingin’, but sometimes, somehow, we’d get through unscathed. This is what I think of every time we make a grocery run... Now dump a few inches of snow on such a town.
The snow and the cold wind sat for a few days; it stayed a bit wet though you could find dry rock without too much difficulty. The weather eventually cleared out, just in time for me to split a tip, cut a wrist real good, and catch a mean cold; I had a head full of cement for days, killing my balance even on flat ground. I got though that, and on my first day back on stone, took a fall that dislocated my collarbone and slightly separated my shoulder. X-rays made the sad truth obvious: stuff was not where it should be. Doc said two weeks, no climbing… all the time I had left.
This could not be. I’d been falling off the last move of Flamingnon, a climb I’ve really wanted to do, through all of these setbacks over the course of about three weeks. It looked like it wasn’t gonna happen…
With the careful applications of The Force, some Chi, chiropractic work, e-stim, ultra sound, massage, crystals, painkillers, liquor, and luck, things turned out okay and I finished the line and a few others as well, feeling very fortunate for my quick recovery. Things are still a little odd in the shoulder, but the holiday season is resting that up nicely. Next up: Europe!
— Chris Schulte