The Hueco Rock Rodeo is celebrating its 20th year in 2013, making it one of the longest-running outdoor climbing competitions!
In 1989 the El Paso Climbers Club (EPCC) started the Rock Rodeo before any restrictions came into place at Hueco Tanks. In the early days the event was small and the after party was held at Pete’s—an aged sun and sand blasted Quonset hut on the road to Hueco Tanks. Pete and his wife Keta made food and a home for climbers in their front yard, which was typically lined with tents during the Texas climbing season. The Rodeo proceeds went to things like bolt replacement and the festivities. Dave Head remembers fondly some of the early Rodeos: “We would get Croakies and give them out—then the next few weeks you would see all of the people at Hueco wearing their Croakies. It was simple back then. There were trophies, velvet Elvis posters and the most injured climber got a bottle of tequila.”
Over the years, the bottle of tequila and the velvet Elvis posters eventually gave way to cash prizes and along with the difficult problems established in Hueco, the attraction for the world’s best climbers grew. This year Daniel Woods is returning to see if he can win the Rodeo for what would be his fourth consecutive year and top his performance from last year—one of the best climbing days of his life where he sent: one V11, two V12s, one V13 and two V14s! Paul Robinson is also returning for the first time since he won the Rodeo in 2009 and hopefully we will see some friends form overseas come back, like Jorg Verhoeven and Katharina Saurwein who took second and first in 2012.
Attracting big name athletes means more than just cash prizes awarded and hard problems going down. The athletes are helping the event grow with their presence, slideshows and climbing clinics. The long weekend this year will include the legendary Fred Nicole, who is going to be cooking pancakes to fuel everyone up Saturday morning. Paige Claassen and Abbey Smith are presenting the Inca Odyssey slideshow and Paul Robinson is premiering his movie Chasing Winter. After the comp Angie Payne will be presenting her sideshow titled, Discovering and Establishing Boulders in Greenland. The festivities Saturday will also include our 2nd Annual Art Show featuring local photographer Sam Davis and artist Vanessa Compton, our 2nd Annual Dyno Comp, and the mechanical bull, which is returning by popular demand!
For the first time we are proud to also include some of the cultural aspects of Hueco Tanks into the Rodeo, with the Rock Art Tour set up by the staff at Hueco Tanks. The Rock Art Tour is Friday February 15th at 2:00 pm
The 2nd Annual Youth Comp is Sunday February 17th. Sunday evening the competitors and the clinic participants are all welcome back to the Ranch for the first ever Rock Rodeo Round Up BBQ. The 20th Hueco Rock Rodeo is being presented by 5.10 and hosted by the American Alpine Club at the Hueco Rock Ranch. Registration also includes dinner three nights, breakfast two mornings and beer. Sign up at huecorodeo.com.
Rodeo Rock Climbing Clinics are being offered throughout the climbing season! These clinics are helping folks advance their climbing skills and get ready for the Rodeo with professional climbers like Jason Kehl, Alex Johnson, Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson, Paige Claassen, Nick Duttle, Nina Williams and climbing coach Kris Peters. More information is available at huecorodeo.com!