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Hueco Tanks Has Become Sacred for Climbers, Too


The Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, an 860-acre span of wild and rocky land northeast of El Paso, Texas, is a sacred place for American Indians. In perhaps a more shallow sense, Hueco Tanks is also sacred to rock climbers such as 27-year-old Matt Tschohl from Colorado, who has traveled there every winter since 1996.

“For bouldering, the concentration is better than almost anywhere in the world,” he tells The New York Times, which notes that for elite boulderers, the site compares with Fontainebleau forest near Paris and the Cederberg Wilderness Area in South Africa.

In the 1990s, the site welcomed tens of thousands of visitors, leading to a graffiti problem and damage to archaeological treasures. That, in turn, spawned restrictions that have upset both climbers and the local Indian tribe.

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