Matty Hong sends Esperanza (V14)
posted by dpm on 01/17/2011
19-year-old Matty Hong of Boulder, Colorado, mostly known for his Junior National Champion title and 5.14c sport climbing ability, has just sent his first V14 – the famous Esperanza in Hueco Tanks, Texas. DPM caught up with him for a few quick questions.
Matty Hong in Bishop, where he climbed his first V13 during Spring Break 2010. Photo: Adam Markert
DPM: Nice send Matty! So what was your previous hardest boulder problem?
MH: Buttermilker sit, which I did last year during my spring break. It is an amazing problem but this was a bigger step for me, hopefully more to come!
Matty in a proud 3rd place at 2010 SCS Open Nationals. Photo: Bruce Mitchell
DPM: V14 is a huge step—a milestone that counts you among the bouldering elite. How long did it take you to climb Esperanza, and why did you decide to try it?
MH: I went to Hueco with Ian Dory for the last week of my break [Matty is a freshman at Colorado State University in Fort Collins] before going back to school. I tried Esperanza on my first day not expecting anything but was able to do all the moves fairly quickly. We only had 7 days of climbing and I spent most of that time on the problem, trying 3-4 times each day, but I did not send until my very last day, which was a bit stressful. Many of our days included waiting at the gate until 2 o’clock or later so there was only enough time for me to try it a few times at the end of the day.
[DPM: Hueco Tanks is only open to a certain number of visitors each day, and if you do not have reservations it is often necessary to sit outside the gate and wait until people leave so you can go in.]
Matty tying for first (and getting 2nd after count-backs) at Psychedelia 2010. Photo: Adam Bove
DPM: Is there anything else you have your eye on in Hueco?
MH: Yes! Everything! There is a long list of things I need to do. This was my first trip this year, so I’ll need to go back for more.
DPM: And what are your plans for the rest of the spring?
MH: I am starting my second semester very soon but I am working on plans with my girlfriend Olivia for climbing in the spring. After school gets out, maybe something international? Sport climbing?!
DPM: Thanks Matty!