This Thursday is a big day and I want to help you and the American Alpine Club celebrate. When I heard the news initially, I didn’t care. I wasn’t focused on bouldering destinations. Yet, Hueco Tanks has taken my imagination.
As someone that has emphasized ice climbing and dreamed of first ascents in Alaska, climbing outside El Paso and staying at the Hueco Rock Ranch didn’t interest me. But living in the Mid-Atlantic for work — and enduring my first real Category-level hurricane — I’ve had to adapt to other kinds of climbing. And strangely, the appeal of rock destinations — including Hueco Tanks — has taken on a whole new realm of bright thoughts of opportunity, fun and exploration.
However, I wouldn’t have had my attention drawn to it so much these last few months if it hadn’t been for the AAC’s purchase of the Hueco Rock Ranch and all of the publicity around it. I’ve been lured in and I have learned more about Hueco Tanks’ natural features and how the destination got its name, about the preservation of the native art on the stone and the ranch’s founder and builder, Todd Skinner.
Here’s the part to celebrate: This Thursday, November 1st, the Hueco Rock Ranch reopens for business under the management of the AAC. It will remain an inexpensive shelter for climbers for a long time to come. It will keep you off the ground , access to a shower and a place to share some beers and talk about the day’s work. I spoke with Trish Boomhower of the AAC staff and she says there has been a “TON” of work done on the house and additional work on the barn will be done soon too.
Now, here is the contest: It’s a raffle. Earlier this year, the AAC held a membership drive to celebrate the acquisition of the ranch. Everyone that joined that day received a commemorative tee shirt. If you already have your tee, great, but I am raffling off one “Hueco Rock Ranch / It Lives” (your size, courtesy of the AAC) to one of my followers on Facebook or Twitter. Followers on Facebook get two entries and Twitter followers get one — follow The Suburban Mountaineer on both and you’ll get three entries. Contest ends Monday, November 5th so enter now!