Fourteen athletes and
two three coaches of Team ABC spent a long week around Thanksgiving pulling down in Hueco Tanks, Texas. With the whole Rock Ranch house to themselves, the kids had a blast hanging out and climbing on North and on tours to East and East Spur with Rock Ranch Guides Nikias Kiehnle, Mogli Rios, Jackie Hueftle, and athlete, coach, and longtime Hueco climber Brian Antheunisse. Here is a short wrap-up with some highlight sends from the trip:
The trip started off well with quick sends of Un Pointe De Bleau Dans Hueco (V11) by Margo Hayes, Brooke Raboutou, Shawn Raboutou, and Megan Mascarenas (who flashed the problem).
Megan, who is 14 years old and just began entering and winning adult pro events like the Yank n’ Yard and The Spot Gun Show and The Spot Psychedelia, also sent Purple Flowers (V11), Fern Roof (V10) and Bush League (V10). She did her first V11 this summer at Mount Evans, Colorado, when she sent the compression line Mirror Mask (low start).
Shawn, who is now 13, sent his first V11 last year in Hueco and has done a couple since then. This trip to Hueco was his best bouldering trip yet, with a send of Chablanke (V11/V12), a quick send of Sunshine (V11), a flash of Fern Roof (V10), and a two day ascent of The Butterpumper (guidebook V12, now considered soft due to kneebar beta, though Shawn’s method was certainly unconventional and seemed quite difficult. To compare, Sunshine took him a handful of tries, but Butterpumper took two sessions before he sent, so for him it was certainly more difficult. Also, Shawn used some serious non-holds for his right hand low on the problem when he was unable to reach through to the high rt hand edge that without doing a few bump moves. He said that for him Chablanke and Butterpumper felt of similar difficulty).
For Brooke, age 10, Un Pointe De Bleau was her first V11. She also sent the V10 Dead Serious after reclimbing the top (Mr. Serious, V8, that she’d sent previously), quickly working the bottom out, and, after a short rest, sticking the campusy bottom moves and sending. Brooke had a little more trouble with Sunshine, and ended up falling near the end of the problem on her second day after a difficult first day of finding a way through the reachy bottom section.
Margo Hayes, 13, has also been to Hueco before, and this trip she managed to flash Fern Roof (V10) on top of her send of Un Point De Bleau (V11). She also put in some good efforts on Sunshine, but was unable to send before dark on the last day of the trip. (On a previous trip to Hueco she made an impressive flash of Mangum (V9) among other sends.)
Fifteen-year-old Stefan Lavender did the V11 Flower Power, the V10 variation Purple Flowers, and Fern Roof, as well as several classic moderates like New Religion Sit (V8).
Matt Lubar, 16, was on his first Team ABC trip to Hueco and he had a blast, sending Fern Roof as well as many of the classics like New Religion (V7), New Religion Sit, and Better Eat Your Wheaties (V8/9). He was also quite close to both his first V11, falling near the end of both Flower Power and Dark Age.
Austin Lankford, 14, had a great trip, with his first guidebook V12, Dirty Martini On The Rocks (the grade is in dispute due to new beta and the problem is widely considered to be somewhere between V9 and V11) as well as Fern Roof. Austin also got painfully close to sending Un Pointe De Bleau and Sunshine, falling from the final move of Sunshine after his first day’s effort on it. Just six months ago Austin did his first outdoors V8 at Joe’s Valley, so this trip certainly represented great progress for him.
Isabelle Goodacre, 13, did Beer Can Traverse (V9) and, like Austin, came quite close to sending Sunshine. She was also close to sending Fern Roof but was bouted by rain.
Laurel Todd, also 15, climbed Fern Roof and Better Eat Your Wheaties. Her sister Ivy, 12, did Your Brain on Drugs (V9).
Kiana Ellis, 12, came close to Your Brain on Drugs and hopes to send next trip.
Timmy Dolan, 11, did Wheaties (V8/9), and Malcolm Oliver, 13, did the difficult classic Lobster Claw (V5). Fourteen-year-old Jaime Cantarovici, on his first trip to Hueco, climbed many easier classics including some cool variations on the Kid’s Stuff wall.
Coach Garrett Gregor had an amazing trip, with sends of Crown of Aragon (V13), Shaken not Stirred (V12), Butterpumper (V11/12), Un Pointe De Bleau, Sunshine, Flower Power, and Bush League. Garrett has climbed many V12s and V13s and said that he felt Butterpumper was quite hard.
Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou was not far behind, with sends of Un Pointe De Bleau, Sunshine (one session), Fern Roof, Bush League, and the last problem she hadn’t done on the right side of the Serious wall, Serious Legends (V9).
Update! - We regret that we previously forgot to mention that Coach Didier also came along on the trip. Besides providing much-needed entertainment and driving the big white van, he spent 4 days coaching on North Mountain helping kids up climbs with his combination of super spotting, sage advice, and a healthy sense of humor. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without him–thanks Coach Didier!
The team then headed home to prepare for The Spot’s Highline Highball Comp in Boulder on December 3rd and the ABS Regional Championships at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness in Fort Collins on December 10th. For more check out these links:
Info and results from ABS Regionals coming soon, so stay tuned!