Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bouldering in Las Vegas, New Mexico: Climb On Your Way to Hueco Tanks

I live up in the Boulder area, along the Front Range of Colorado, and every winter mass numbers of human apes make the annual pilgrimage from "The Centennial State" down to the "Lone Star State" to test their strength (and finger tips) at Hueco Tanks State Park. Perhaps one of the finest bouldering areas in the world, and one of the top 5 in the US, Hueco is the place to go - and be seen - during the winter months.
Bouldering in Las Vegas New Mexico
Most people from the Front Range just bomb it straight down, missing the excellent bouldering to be found along the way, such as the stuff in Deer Creek Canyon or up on Glorieta Mesa - both out of Santa Fe. Another spot that will get you ready for Hueco's steep overhangs can be found just outside of Las Vegas. Sitting on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Las Vegas resides on the outer edge of a massive granite playground. But before one reaches the granite, as is often the case along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, one crosses over another layer of stone. In this case, it is some limestone-type riverbed sandstone overhanging mud stone.
Las Vegas New Mexico bouldering and climbing
Facing southeast, this little bouldering cave gets sun all winter long, making it the perfect stop along the way for stretching the limbs, pulling on some roof problems, doing some long link-ups, or establishing some new problems on the boulders found in the vicinity. Once you have had a nice long session, drop by the hot springs and soak those bones before you get back in the car and make the rest of the drive to Hueco.
Climbing and Bouldering in Las Vegas New Mexico
It's like a much wider version of the CATs cave, with problems going left, right, straight out, and everything in between. So next fall or winter, when the Colorado Front Range is wet or under snow, head on down. This place will be dry and warm, and not a soul will be around.

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