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Asylum Frontside Aerial View Asylum Front aerial detail view
Asylum Front Ground View

Some history of the Asylum, from an interview with Fred Nakovic. Fred is one of the original gang of Hueco First (recorded) Ascensionists and is responsible for many of Hueco's classic trad and "sport" routes, such as Huecool on the West Mountain.

"Not sure where the name 'Asylum' came from - you'll have to ask Mike Head. After Burn was the first Asylum route, done by Mike Head and John McCall, some time in the early 1980's. I climbed it shortly after he put it up, with Mike observing; the drill dust was still on the rock. Sometime after that, I met Don Hardin and Rich Lund for the first time, one Saturday while climbing After Burn with  Les Harmon. They popped up, initially thinking we were other mutual acquaintances. We convinced them to try the route and they had great fun falling all over it! We became good friends; that was a great period in our lives...

Les and I put up Zumi and Zombi shortly thereafter, from the ground up with hooks as I've done on all my routes at Hueco. The bolts were hand-drilled, don't think cordless hammer drills had been invented yet! I had just completed a tour of duty with the Coast Guard, and we referrred to the Air Force as the 'Zoomies'. One of the locals I hung out with at the time had been in the Air Force - I forget his name, but that, combined with Neil Young's music led to the name 'Zumi'. 'Zombie' just sounded cool to Les and me and seemed to fit with 'Zumi' right next to it.

Not sure who did Battle Scar (maybe Donny?) but do believe the big guy Greg Burns put up Battle Star, using the cordless drill he still owns -  maybe late 80's? You'll have to ask him.

Whimper Roof and Short Crack were Mike Head creations, also in the early 80's (he on-sight soloed the crack). The So Cal route was put up by guess who - some guys from Southern California! Don't remember their names but I do somewhat remember their faces (of course very cool dudes). I don't think it's 5.12, more like 5.11+ (yeah, splitting hairs). It was put up right before the first R.R. so maybe 1988?"
Fred Nakovic, May 3, 2006