Rock Climbing and Bouldering

Hueco Tanks is a world-renowned destination for rock climbing.  People come from all over the world to climb here.  The photo here shows the ‘Gymnasium’ formation which is accessed via the chain trail.  This is definitely for advanced climbers.  

The mountains at Hueco Tanks have so many, varied shapes and configurations of rocks that they offer a wide range of challenge for people who like to climb on them, or use a technique called bouldering.  You know that you are looking at boulderers when you see climbers walking around with crash pads on their backs.

North mountain, which is open to the public, with a maximum of 70 people on the mountain at one time, has a wide variety of choices for climbing, from simple to difficult.  The most difficult climbing is on West Mountain, which is accessible only by signing up for a guided tour.  Rock climbing and bouldering tour groups are limited to ten people, with a maximum of 16 groups in the park at any given time.

For those who are not confident about climbing on rocks, it is good to know that in most places they provide great traction.  The patina on the rocks has a somewhat rough surface that gives your good hiking boots something to cling to.  You definitely need good hiking shoes for clambering around on the rocks.  You also want to observe some simple rules:  lean into the rocks; in places where you feel unstable, make sure you have at least three contact points at all times; there is no shame in sitting down to move between levels; and finally, go slowly and always test your footing before letting go of one of your other points of contact.  Even older or non-athletic people can learn to clamber around on these rocks.  So if they are calling to you, try climbing on them.

© Susan L. Stone 2015