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El Murray Hardman

As I studied the razor sharp crimps of the partially chalked, slightly overhanging wall, home to the classic Right El Murray (v8), my friend Justin said, “Hey, are you going to try that climb? Good luck dude, because if you fail to tick it you’ll only go home half a hardman.”

I was like, “Uh, whatever macho saying you just told me doesn’t sound good. Where did you come up with that rule? I mean, I’ve basically written this crimp nightmare off of my tick list but for some reason I’m going to try it again today. I guess by the sounds of it, I have to do this climb to really get credit for completing the three El Murrays. Right?”

Justin said, “Check out the guidebook man, I’m not lying.”

“The steepest section of the wall is home to the Left, Center, and Right El Murrays. The Center El Murray has been justly dubbed Hueco’s Greatest Problem. Many a tough guy has had fits at the El Murrays, knowing that if he doesn’t tick all three he’ll leave Hueco only half a hardman.”

John Sherman, “Texas Tall Tales”
Climbing Magazine No. 116.

It was funny because after hearing Justin tell me that goofy phrase something in my brain clicked. I thought to myself, “I can’t leave this problem undone. I have to do it. I have to do it even if my fingers snap off. I can’t leave here today knowing that I’m half a hardman. I am a FULL HARDMAN!” Yes. Psyched. The moment of psychedness overcame my body and I yelled to April, “Hey, quit working Mushroom Roof, gimme the pads now! I’m psyched.” She was like, “Alright fine, but hurry up. My feet are getting cold watching you flail on your attempts.”

Oh well, it didn’t quite register what she said. I grabbed the pads, threw them down, chalked up and pulled on.

Thought process:
– Ouch, left hand fingers crimp side-pull, thumb digs deep into a sharp spike
– Right hand crimps something but first move is to a hold that doesn’t really exist and isn’t chalked that much but I pretend it’s there and crimp HARD. Ouch again.
– Ok, left foot up, the jarring movement of my foot grinds my left thumb and right crimp deeper, ouch. Oh well, go.
– One more left foot smack. Ouch.
– Cross over to another no-chalk imaginary crimp. OUCH! Oh man I stuck it!
– Don’t fall now! Or you will have to repeat those moves again
– Right hand to a sharp, fairly good, side-pull…breath baby
– Set feet and move left hand from very painful crimp to less painful crimp. Mini ouch.
– Now, setup, look, spot the final jug hueco with birds nest inside, leap and do not damage bird’s nest…STICK! Yeah. Let out loud yell for good measure and to unleash all the pent up pain. Whoooo hoooooo.
– Top out and say, “Damn, I’m never doing that climb ever again!”

Ahhhhhhh. Damn it feels good to be a HARDMAN!

posted by pjv

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 at 11:27 pm and is filed under Bouldering, Hueco Tanks-Texas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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