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The Wanker 101

Skippy, Kyle, Merrick, and Tom
The "before" picture (actually after the first few)
picture of wanker atttempters
a delirious wanker - Merrick
picture of wanker Merrick
I attempted the Wanker 101 with 3 others yesterday in Hueco Tanks. This is a circuit of 101 boulder problems, mostly easy, many classic, spread out over North Mountain culminating with the Ghetto Simulator.

Everyone else planned this adventure the night before so they were quite psyched for it. I met them that morning and decided to keep up as long as I could, expecting to be utterly hurting by 50, and probably useless by 80.  They were also threatening to run between the areas, but luckily that idea fell by the wayside in about 1.5 minutes.  We started about 9:30 by the end of the road on the frontside. By the time we got through the sandbagged problems on the mushroom boulder I was a bit worried, but the next few boulders had heaps of easy problems, and it wasn't long before I was in the mid 40's and feeling pretty good. Then there were a few harder ones, and 15 in a row near the warmup boulder left us all in need of a bit of a break, except maybe for Skippy, who was our motivator and team captain for the day. By now we were all keeping track with tick marks on our arms, passing the pens around after each area. Our feet were also starting to hurt. I taped an incipient blister on a toe knuckle and continued on. We visited many areas during the day as we completed a sort of twisted "M" around and over North Mountain.
Kyle on laughing sutra
picture of kyle on laughing sutra
Skippy usually led the way in searching out areas none of had ever been to before. We sampled many many problems in the v0- (and below) to v2 range. Some were excellent gems that none of ushad been aware of. Others just passed by in a blur of sore skin and tiring arms. Around about 80 we were all feeling it, and a number of problems in the potatoes area felt far harder than they had any right to. Luckily we had done a fair number of alternate problems early, so we could coast and only do a few or even one problem
Tom Straining on Ghetto Simulator
picture of Tom Straining on Ghetto Simulator
at the last few areas. Finally we came to Ghetto simulator, the sight of everyone's triumph and my ignominious defeat. This is the only "mandatory" climb of the circuit, and the final test.  It is about 30 feet tall, 45 degrees overhanging with mostly huge handholds, with a crux at the top. I fell at the end of the crux, inches from sticking a hold that would have been good enough. luckily it is paralleled by a slab, so I didn't fall far.
I tried 2 more times, and on the last I couldn't even pull myself up on jugs. I was completely spent. Still, I did much better than I thought on the previous 100 boulder problems. (actually I had an extra in there). Other than my failure to get Ghetto Simulator the first time (if I had known the feet I might have gotten it), I am quite pleased with my efforts. Then we ran back to get to the cars before the park closed at 6 on another wonderful day on the rocks.  Hopefully this excercise will help get my body back into climbing and bouldering shape.

All photographs courtesy of Merrick Schaefer

Wanker score-arms
picture of forearms