Thursday, March 29, 2012

España bound...

Squeezing in a short blog entry tonight after feverishly packing for our departure for Catalonia, Spain tomorrow. Once we arrive in Spain, Allison and I will be tourists for a few days in Barcelona before renting a car and driving around the Catalonia region of northern Spain mostly rock climbing in the world famous limestone crags of the area. Moderate climbers in the hard sport climbing mecca of the world. Needless to say we won't be hopping on Catxasa but it'll be amazing to see the areas and routes that are making the headlines these days. We bust out tomorrow, March 30, and return on April 13th. A quick trip for sure but we've found a couple of weeks at a time on holiday is generally more than enough for us. We're psyched!

From Hueco Tanks, Texas. 2012-03-23

Last weekend we had a super good time with ten fun friends bouldering and climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park, TX for a few days. It was our second visit there but the first time we really sampled the bouldering and tried hard. I didn't send anything harder than a V3 (hey, I admitted in the first paragraph that we're moderate climbers!) but sure had a blast on every problem we got on. My favorite problem of the trip was the last one we did before going home. Not sure what it was rated or even what it was called--we just passed by it while walking between areas and it looked intriguing. It had some tough body-tension crux that felt even more difficult given my tall, lanky stature. So I spent a couple times on it before figuring out some great "tall guy beta" allowing me to work past that crux with a big reach and send the problem. Fun stuff! The day before that, Allison and I climbed an very engaging classic roped route, Sea of Holes. 300 feet of heady, steep hueco pulling resulting in a very satisfying climb.

From Hueco Tanks, Texas. 2012-03-23

But, on a much more somber note, today was a tough day for a number of us at work. A great person and co-worker of ours, Cheri, passed away after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. Cheri was a good friend and mentor to me. I owe her a great deal for where I am in my career at LANL and learned copious amounts of knowledge from her spanning from how to write code to how to deal with irate customers or difficult co-workers. She encouraged me to take the position I now I have at work even when I felt extremely under-qualified for it. Beyond work, Cheri was an honest, open-minded and caring person. I miss her. Cancer is bullshit. It's nasty and indiscriminating.

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