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2012 Hueco Rock Rodeo Round Up

Posted on: March 13th, 2012 by Abbey Smith

On March 2-4, 2012 The American Alpine Club proudly sponsored the 19th Annual Hueco Rock Rodeo. Hosted by the Hueco Valley Foundation, the Rodeo is an annual outdoor bouldering competition where the park closes the backcountry and climbers charge all over the mountains of golden syenite porphyry with well-trained guides attempting to complete six problems in their category by 5 PM. (Read about the Rodeo history on Melissa Strong’s blog.) 

This year, 165 beginner-to-elite climbers from all over the world filled the park to capacity and scored perhaps the best conditions of the season. Blessed with crisp 60-degree temps, a cool breeze, and the help of 33 experienced guides from Wagon Wheel Co-opt, the Hueco Rock Ranch, and the Austin Rock Gym, climbers rose to the challenge and made an impressive performance. Daniel Woods had one of the best climbing days of his life and won the Men’s Open category by sending two V14s, one V13, two V12s and one V11.

“This is by far the best outdoor bouldering festival I have participated in,” says Woods, who has competed in the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, Phoenix Bouldering Contest, and Melloblocco. “The Hueco Rock Rodeo offers the best rock, perfect organization, and a good climbing community. It continues to exceed my expectations and I’m looking forward to returning next year.”

Austria’s Katharina Saurwein entered last minute, ticked off six demanding problems including Rumble in the Jungle (V11) and took first place in Women’s Open. Canadian Sean McColl flashed Nagual (V13) and second place winner Angela Payne claimed the first female ascent of Sub Zero (V11).

“Hueco has this way of hiding these fun little gems so that every time I come back, I end up climbing on yet another amazingly fun boulder that I never knew existed,” says Payne from Boulder, Colorado.

Back at the Hueco Rock Ranch, local photographer Sam Davis and artist Vanessa Compton showcased their Hueco-inspired artwork. Matt Segal, Emily Harrington, and Dave Graham shared inspiring slideshows of their international climbing adventures. The Rodeo was complete with a mechanical bull, dyno comp, bonfire, beer, taco truck, vendor village and an enormous raffle with Adidas sneakers, Marmot jackets, La Sportiva climbing shoes, and much more.

On Sunday, kids aged 16 and under competed in the youth competition, Merrick Ales hosted a photography workshop, and several locals learned about climbing history, technique and strength building at climbing clinics lead by pro-athletes Natasha Barnes, Flannery Shay-Nemirow and Nick Duttle.

At the end of this successful weekend, the owner/operator of Wagon Wheel Co-opt and Vice President of the Hueco Valley Foundation Melissa Strong said, “We were able to give $9000 back to Hueco Tanks State Historic Park via the Lone Star Legacy Foundation—that is what this is all about, giving back to the place we love so much.”

Thanks very much to Merrick Ales for the use of these photos.

2012 Hueco Rock Rodeo – Highlights from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

Some relevant links from friends, partners, and others:

Read Melissa Strong’s post-Rodeo round-up in Rock & Ice Magazine.

ABC Channel 7 News clip.


2012 Hueco Rock Rodeo Top 3 Results: 

Open Men:

Daniel Woods     : 7880

Jorg Verhoeven: 7405

Sean McColl: 7365

Open Women:

Katharina Saurwein: 6240

Angie Payne: 6065

Nina Williams: 3685

Advanced Men:

Allen Peters: 5270

Daniel Kovner: 5050

Spenser Tang-Smith: 4785

Intermediate Men:

Pat MacLane: 3565

Kinchen Packer: 3395

Caleb Kortje: 3365

Intermediate Women:

Wendy Bradley: 2775

Ana Junker: 1245

Amber Schedlbaur

Beginner Men:

Eric Lee:  1955

Levi Kallio: 1875

Samuel Sydney: 1795

Peter Longno: 1795

Merrit Campbell: 1795

Beginner Women:

Kelly Harkins: 1665

Chloe Jackson: 1605

Casey Harn: 1045

Masters Men:

Ty Foose: 3573

Masters Women:

Bobbi Bensman: 2340

Youth Competition:

Jack Niland

Judge Niland


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