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Hueco Rock Rodeo 2018

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Photos, text and captions by Levi Harrell

The 2018 Hueco Rock Rodeo was anything but usual. Marred by rain and
wind, the competition was delayed two days to let the fragile rock dry. Wind ripped through vendor tents and freak desert rainstorms drove everyone inside “The Barn,” the American Alpine Club’s communal climber area.

The night before the main event, climbers drank themselves merry as they watched their friends compete in the dyno comp, get tattooed, and try to pick up as many vendor stickers as possible.

When the competitors finally got the go ahead to climb, the event was a smashing success, per usual. Competitors loaded up their crashpads onto flatbed trailers and jumped in shuttle busses en route to their respective zones for competing, before shredding their skin away on razor sharp crimps.

I spent the day at East Mountain/East Spur photographing the Open Division competitors—including the overall winner Kenan Takahashi, the second place finisher Toshi Takeuchi, and the third place finisher Ben Hanna. Spirits were high after two wet days.

When the climbing ended, everyone returned to the campfires of the night before and swapped stories of their climbs and falls, the anticipation for next year’s event already starting to grow.

For a full report on the event, read Recap: 2018 Hueco Rock Rodeo.

See more of Levi Harrell’s photography on Instagram.

Also check out Photo Gallery: Forgotten Star Lines of Fountainebleau