Welcome to my blog. Feel free to search around the archives for some great pictures and what led up to now.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fort Bliss Climbing Wall - El Paso, TX

So, I figured since I left El Paso, it was about time to review what was once my home wall.  The Fort Bliss Climbing wall in the Robert Loeza Soldier Activity Center is the only gym in El Paso.  The wall was only built in August 2012 so it is very new.  Similarly, the staff is also very new and very few (at this point none) of them have any setting experience.  Sometimes that turns out very awkward and silly, but other times it ends up with some really cool moves.

The gym wall is only about 25 feet high, which makes it a little difficult to really train any amount of endurance but we work with what we have.  One of the best parts of the wall, though is the people.  Strangely enough, there is only a limited amount of soldiers.  The wall is rich in locals from the El Paso area, very hyped on climbing.  Up until June 15th, the gym was free to all patron over 18 (the facility does not allow children) but now the fee is 5 dollars a day and something around 150 for 6 months.  The facility is a nice, clean place and the atmosphere is pretty good.  I would recommend stopping by this place if you're in town just to check it out.

Size of Facility:          Poor
Route Asthetics:         Good
Route Climbability:    Good
Route Maitenence:    Good
Training Equipment:  Poor
Staff Friendliness:       Great
Staff Knowledge:       Fair

Grade Trueness  V1-V4: - 0-1  V5-V7: True V8+: True


Dyno Rock - Arlington, TX

The Gym closest to Fort Worth is Arlington's own DynoRock Climbing Gym.  It is near the stadium and is pretty easily found.  The cost for a day bouldering pass with gear was 12 dollars and if you were to get on rope I think it was 16 bucks.  One unfortunate thing, however, is that on my wonderful send day at Hueco, I managed to strain my A2 pulley in my right hand pretty badly.  I can only put maybe 10% weight on it, so I may have some real issues for a while.  However, I will give you my review on the gym.

The Gym itself has been open for a long time.  Ever since I can remember, it has been there.  Therefore, it does show a little bit.  The gym uses shredded tire rubber, which some may not be fond of.  I typically don't mind it except that changing shoes in it is miserable.  Other than that, it's fine.  One thing I thought was odd was the lack of a water fountain.  I didn't bring a water bottle with me, so it would have been nice to get a drink.  Another thing that was odd was that the difficulty of the problems was set to about V7 and there were only two of them.  However, unlike Madison's gym, these were more like actual V7s.  There was one V8 and V9 but my finger prevented me from really trying them.  Lastly, I asked to go to their "members only" section.  In my head I thought it was going to be a place where their "sick projects" would be.  In reality, it was a bunch of V2s and V3s.  No problem with that, but it was a lot of space with not a whole lot of diversity.

Size of Facility:         Fair
Route Asthetics:         Good
Route Climbability:    Good
Route Maitenence:    Good
Training Equipment:  Fair
Staff Friendliness:       Good
Staff Knowledge:       Fair

Grade Trueness  V1-V4: True- -1  V5-V7: True V8+: Seemed True

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Today was, by far, the greatest day at Hueco ever.  First off, I finally got up before the park was super hot, and went and climbed.  The first problem I went to was Une Bleau de Dans un Hueco, V11.  The problem was super short but really scrunchy.  I didn't think it was going to go, but then I tried some silly beta that actually worked.  I almost fell off the topout though.  Then I headed to the Theatre of the Absurd.

I got on Theatre of the Absurd, but got all the moves and fell on the last move three times, so I quit because the last time I was there, I almost sent Martini Roof, V10, so I left and went to martini cave.  I didn't spend much time there because the problem went on the first go!  I laid out my three pads, one at the start, one kind of in the middle and one at the end.

From Martini, I headed up the chains and looked at Loaded With Power, a V10 that I would much rather attempt with at least one spotter.  I continued up the chains to look at Dark Age and Barfoot, but decided they were too much for now and rounded the corner to Dope Fiend Low, V9.  I wasn't sure how to do it, but the hold definitely looked good enough to hang on so I went left hand back and figure-4'd up to the start of the V3.  I thought I was going to fall off the V3 because I have actually never done it and didn't even look at the topout but everything ended up going well.  Right next door to that, I got on Fern Roof, V10.  It actually went pretty fast, about 7 or so goes.  I actually liked it, but I would have liked to have had a spotter for the swing.

From there, I headed down the hill to the Terminator wall.  The first climb I got on was Mcbain, a V8 that my friend Ben recommended to me last time.  I flashed it, but barely.  It was over pretty quickly as it finishes on a jug, so I started working on the V10 to the right, Predator.  This was honestly the hardest feeling problem of the day.  It was really crimpy and powerful.  I worked on it for about an hour.  It was not the prettiest send, but it went.

One climb I wanted to look at was Anal Intruder #10, V11 so on my way out, I went by the New Meadow.  After working Predator, I could barely even hold the undercling so I decided it was about time to go.  It was a great day and I am excited to have done such great climbs today.