Jan 31, 2012

Sourland Mountain Preserve

Yusuke on The Wave V7**
 Yusuke, Tim & I went to boulder to a re-opened area, Sourland Mountain Preserve which is in Somerset NJ.  Surprisingly, it was Tim's first time to boulder outside!  As he is a trad climber, it was interesting to hear how a trad climber would feel about the regulations of using the rock beside or the line to climb.

Tim on The Dwarf V5/6**
I only hopped on The Wave V2**, but I was satisfied enough since I sent it in a few tries.  Forgive my ugly mantel...
The Wave V2**

Jan 7, 2012

Hueco Tanks, TX -Climbing-

About our climbing trip to Hueco Tanks.  Details about restaurants are updated in a separate article; Hueco Tanks, TX -Food- and see Yusuke's blog for his extremely fruitful climbing!

   The day before, I heard that it was snowing in Texas, and due to that, our flight to El Paso delayed taking a stopover at Albuquerque to refuel.  As soon as we got to El Paso, we went to check out Hueco Tanks, but unfortunately we saw tons of snow....  Hoping that it would melt during the night, we went to Jaxon's Restaurant & Brewing to have dinner and went to the airport again to pick up Yoichi, a friend joining us from Japan!  Since it was late, we had beer at our hotel room, talked a little and went to bed.

   When we woke up, it was snowing again.... so we canceled our tour and decided to head to Hueco Tanks, just to get the state park pass.  We stopped by at Pepe's Tamale for lunch, which was amazingly delicious!!  However, this happened to make jet-lagged Yoichi's delicate Japanese stomach out of order, so we stayed at our room after we came back from the park, and after taking a good rest, he got better so we had a drink at Jaxon's again.

Dec-25 (Also our Wedding Anniversary)
Scary icy approach!
Warm Up Roof V4***
   The tour to the East Mountain that we canceled the day before, was rescheduled to this day.  We first headed to Warm Up Boulder, but the approach was icy and soooo scary!!   After I warmed up with Hug-A-Jug Wall V0**, I tried Warm Up Roof V4***.  Wasn't able to reach the roof, but I was excited how far I went!! 
Yoichi started well by sending Hobbit in a Blender V5***!  Good send!  I tried Ostracizer V2*** but it seemed too reachy for me...  Anyway, I sent two V1s, Satan, Satan, Satan V1** and Sweet Loaf V1*** this day.
Ostracizer V2***
Yoichi on Hobbit in a Blender V5***
This night we had steak at Cattleman's Steakhouse, that was surprisingly open on Christmas!!  We ordered two of a 2 pound T-Bone steak called "Cowboy" and shared it, but three little hobbits couldn't "send it"...

   This day we had a tour to East Spur.  We all warmed up with Bildo V0** and I also climbed Clumsy Plumber V0*.  I had a hard time on Black and Blue V1***, but Yoichi showed me a perfect move that I could do and was able to send it at last.  And after that, I finally sent my first V2 in Hueco luckily with 3 stars!
The Vulgarian V2***

For this trip, I did a lot of research of foods and restaurants.  One of which I wanted to "must-have" was BBQ, so we had dinner at Rudy's BBQ this night.  This was rather a takeout place, but we enjoyed beer and different kinds of BBQ and even took home a sandwich for next day's lunch!

Ghetto Simulator V2****
   Even that it was our 3rd climbing day in a row, we decided to go to North Mountain.  The first thing I thought was to climb The Dud V1* as a warm up and as revenge from 4 years ago; my first trip to Hueco.  Glad that it felt soooo easy!!  Next I tried, Nobody Here Gets Out Alive V2****, but couldn't even be in the start position due to my height and weak abs.... So disappointed cause this was one of the problems I wanted to send on this trip...  Well, at least now I know that I have to work on my abs!!  However, I was surprised when I got on Ghetto Simulator V2****!  I went to the crux as soon as I started from the second move.  Didn't even think I could get that far, but I think it was because I sometimes train by doing some top rope and sport climbing in the gym.  I'm surely gonna send this on my next trip!!
  After so much climbing, we needed margarita so we went to Andale, a Mexican restaurant that we went on our last trip.  See my "food" article how big the margarita was!!

   Rest day at last.  We woke up late in the morning, had lunch at Peter Piper Pizza and headed to White Sands National Monument.  Didn't know that this place was the most largest gypsum dunefield.  We were lucky to be just in time for the sunset stroll and enjoyed the significant view, not only the white sand but the dune covered with snow!
After the long walk and drive back to the city, we went to have burger at Toro Burger, another restaurant that was on my "must-have" list!  This place was so great for both our favorite burger and beer, that we promised to come back on the last day of our trip!

   Another day to East Spur.  I should have had a rest day because there were not so much problems that I can get on... just repeated Clumsy Plumber V0* and tried Burning Spear V2**
For Dinner, we went to another BBQ restaurant called Famous Dave's.  I think I saw this place on the food channel, but we all agreed that Rudy's was better.
Melon Patch V0****
   Since I did not climb much the day before, Yusuke and Yoichi kindly gave me this day as my climbing day. We first went to the Warm Up area of North Mountain where there are tons of easy problems, but after I warmed up with Bitch Magnet V0**, I got on Thunderbird V1*** and sent it in 2 tries!!  So happy to easily send a problem that I dreamed of!
I also made a revenge on Orifice Affair V1***, a problem I couldn't even start, 4 years ago and Melon Patch V0****, a problem that I didn't even think of getting on.
  Heading back to the hotel, we decided to go to Jaxon's for dinner and had buffalo wings and rib-eye steak which we thought was an American taste we can suggest to Yoichi.
Thunderbird V1***

   This day was a send chain for me!  We went to North Mountain and I sent four V1s, one V2 and my first V3 in Hueco at last!!!
Pseudo Right V3*

Veeeeery short problem, my kind of type!
   In Japan, we usually have Soba for New Year's eve but I didn't think we could have it this year, especially in El Paso.  However, thanks to Yoichi, he brought an instant Soba cup for us!!! How thoughtful!!  So, we took home BBQ from Rudy's and had BBQ + Soba for dinner.  What a combination!

Dragonfly V5****
   Last day of our trip was to East Mountain.  Again, I didn't have anything in mind to get on, but got on to Dragonfly V5**** to feel how it's like.  With a few tries, I was able to get to the first crux!  Maybe I can finish it one day...  On the other hand, Yusuke sent his first V8 in Hueco, Ultramega V8**** and
Something Different V8*** in a row!!!  I can imagine that he would be able to send more difficult problems if this trip was longer!
  As promised, we went to Toro Burger for our last dinner and enjoyed the juicy gigantic burger and tons of beer!
Yusuke on Ultramega V8***

[Day 1] East Mountain
Hug-A-Jug Wall V0**
x Warm Up Roof V4***
x Ostracizer V2***
Satan, Satan, Satan V1**
Sweet Loaf V1***

[Day 2] East Spur
Bildo V0**
Clumsy Plumber V0*
Black and Blue V1***
x Beast of Burden V4*
The Vulgarian V2***

[Day 3] North Mountain
The Dud V1*
x Nobody Here Gets Out Alive V2****
x Ghetto Simulator V2****
Aftershave V0***

[Day 4] East Spur
Clumsy Plumber V0*
x Burning Spear V2**

[Day 5] North Mountain
Bitch Magnet V0**
Thunderbird V1***
x The Backscratcher V1***
x Southern Hospitality V2**
Orifice Affair V1***
Melon Patch V0****
x T-Bone Shuffle V2 ver.

[Day 6] North Mountain
Chive Sucker V0*
Mrs. Potatohead V1*
Women of Leisure V1*
Spud Boy V1*
Pseudo Right V3*
Fast Break V1*
El Marko V2*

[Day 7] East Mountain
Satan, Satan, Satan V1**
Sweet Loaf V1***
x Rembrandt Pussyhorse V4*
x Dragonfly V5****
Red Sox V0*

Hueco Tanks, TX -Food-

About food we had during our climbing trip to Hueco Tanks.  Details about climbing are updated in a separate article; Hueco Tanks, TX -Climbing- and see Yusuke's blog for his extremely fruitful climbing!


Jaxon's Restaurant & Brewing Co.
Liked the Cactus Jax wings, that are buffalo wings and the rib eye steak was very tender.  Beer of course are all good, but they do not serve all 8 types at once; only 3-4 types on both days that we went.
New Orleans Shrimp
Rib eye steak

Cattleman's Steakhouse Indian Cliffs Ranch
Worth driving an hour from the city!  Also great that they are open 365 days.  We shared the 2 pound T-Bone Steak "The Cowboy" which came with delicious ranch beans and coleslaw!  Too bad that they don't have beer on tap.

Pepe's Tamales
Best Tamale ever!!  They sell 3 types, Red Chile Pork, Green Chile Chicken, Green Chile Cheese by the dozen, half dozen, and individual, but unfortunately they only had pork this day.   Loved it so much that I ate half dozen in two days!!

Rudy's BBQ
We had Briskets, Pork Ribs, Baby Back Ribs and 2 types of sausages.  On another day, we also tried Prime Rib that was only sold on weekends, and this was soooo yummy!!   The sandwiches were also awesome.  I loved the Pulled pork sandwich so much that I even suggested the other two guys to have it!

9201 Gateway Blvd W El Paso, TX 79925
 Might not be the best Mexican in El Paso, but we love the entertainment, especially the huge margarita!!
ランキングに入っていたメキシカンもあったが、前回行ったココのマルガリータを飲みたくて再訪w 今回はジャイアントサイズをオーダー。もちろんビール一杯、テキーラショットの後に飲み干しましたが、翌日はお昼までアルコールが抜けなかったw

Toro Burger
The first time, we had Toro Burger that has avocado in it, and added different kinds of onions.  The second time, I had S.O.B. Burger; swiss cheese + onion + maplewood smoked bacon with BBQ sauce.  Both burgers were delicous!  What was best was how much beer they have on tap!!  This day, they had 23!
Toro Burger w/wine glazed onions
Toro Burger w/crispy onions
S.O.B. Burger
Blue Burger w/maple smoked bacon
Famous Dave's
Didn't forget to have the award winning St. Louis Rib-N-Meat BBQ Combo!  This place was good to have beer and sit around with good BBQ, but we all agreed that Rudy's was the best.
Peter Piper Pizza
Just thought to drop by to get a piece of pizza on our way to the White Sands National Monument, but found out that this place was not just a fast food pizza place, they serve freshly baked pizza!!  They even have a game corner that a family can spend all day.