I'm happy to report that the second half of the Hueco season was just as awesome as the first. Chris and I were meant to go to the glorious forest of Fontainebleau, but stuff changed at the last minute so we drove out to Bishop as a consolation prize. Though I grew up a few hours from Bishop, there are still many climbs I'd like to do there, so I am always excited to try and climb 'em.
We got there in the middle of the night and woke up to snow. Luckily it'd more or less melted off the boulder problems by noon, and we had fun climbing on the beautiful crisp granite. We had a few more days of beautiful weather, and I was extremely happy to finish off two problems I thought I'd never do and a third that I'd always wanted to do but had only tried a couple of times almost 10 years ago. Yeah, I've been climbing for over 10 years. 12 actually. It's weird to think about sometimes. Anyways, so we were happily climbing away in Bishop, when this happened:
Major bummer. It was supposed to last 'til the end of the month (15 days?!) which was too long for us to sit out. We debated what to do. We were bummed about not going to Font, and having to leave Bishop was just adding disappointment to disappointment. On my insistence we waited until it actually came down from the mountains, and then I admitted the obvious, we packed up in the snow, and we drove through a semi-flooded Southern California and back to Hueco.
It turned out to be a good call. Despite the occasional rain/snow, there were many good climbing days to be had. Several of our friends were still there, and another friend let us stay in her trailer since she wasn't around. The combination of a hard-walled roof over our heads and many days of cold temps and sunshine made for a largely wonderful time.
It was especially nice for me to climb with Vanessa, who is one of my best girlfriends and also one of my best climbing partners since we're similar in size and somehow inspire one another. Even though she injured her finger early in the trip, she managed to figure out how to climb many hard problems, like The Long Haul, without injuring herself further. In the time I was gone between HuecO9 and Huec1O Vanessa's left arm got super strong (from overcompensating for her injured right) and she was literally crushing left lock-offs like most tall girls can only dream of doing. Here are some javelina that Vanessa and I saw one day when we were climbing at the top of the chains:
Complimenting my climbing days with Vanessa, on this second half of my trip there were many other good friends (and a few new ones) that also happen to be inspiring female climbers, including Thomasina Pidgeon, Val Skii, Melissa Strong, Heather Johnson, Abbey Smith, Jill Church, Prairie Kearney, Ann Raber, Mary Anter-Bocchicchio, and visiting Slovenian Katja Vidmar. Oh yeah, and Alex Johnson came for a few days while I was still there, and Puccio shortly after we left. Combined with the pre-Christmas female sends (including Black Mamba by Kasia Pietras and Chablanke by young Isabelle Faus), stuff got DONE.
Thomasina's daughter Cedar was also a joy to hang out with. We had some good times on my rest days, and Cedar even climbed a few things of her own in her little Sportiva Sharks. She's got pretty good footwork, for a 3 year old.
So that's all for now, I'm including a link to a mid-season sending wrap-up of Hueco from Deadpoint Magazine, and another for a video of me in Hueco that my boyfriend made. Hope everyone gets out and has some fun!
Alex Johnson sends Diaphanous Sea! | Dead Point Magazine (Hueco Mid-Season Girl Wrap-up)