Recently, Touchstone route setter Jeff Hansen headed to Arkansas for the infamous 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. He wrote a bit about his trip for the Touchstone blog.The last weekend of September, I traveled to the sandstone cliffs of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas to participate in 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. For those who havenâ€™t heard of 24HHH, teams of 2 attempt to climb as many routes as possible in a 24 hour period.
Each climb in the ranch is assigned a point total based on difficulty. Some climbs are awarded a slightly higher point value if they protect traditionally or are exceptionally longer to climb or approach. You are only allowed to climb a route for points twice. The route must be lead and redpointed each time. My personal goal for 24HHH was to climb 100 routes to score this sweet t-shirt!
I finished with 130. The format of 24HHH makes it a friendly competition for climbers of all abilities to come out to the ranch and have a rewarding weekend. Climbers were registered in four categories based on their max redpoint ability: Recreational (5.4-5.9), Intermediate (5.9-5.10d), Advanced (5.11a-5.12a) and Elite (5.12b and up).
Whether you were a beginner with the goal of climbing at least 1 route every hour to receive the horseshoe pictured above, or a professional climber such as Hayden Kennedy out to best Alex Honnoldâ€™s 2010 point record, 24HHH presents a challenge for all climbers.
24HHH was a great display of the camaraderie amongst the climbing community. Competition aside, it was heart warming to see professionals and beginners sharing cliffs and encouraging one another to accomplish their goals. Even during the famous 2 am to 4 am low, when climbers have been at it for 16-18 hours and starting to feel the sleep deprivation, spirits remained high and everyone was still capable of sharing routes in a respectful manner.
Climbers flocking from all corners of the US to mingle on the small Arkansas ranch and stay up all night with silly costumes and haircuts because it sounds fun says a lot about the adventurous spirit and wonderful personalities of climbers.
It also didnâ€™t hurt there was plenty of beer and a slip-n-slide! I hope to make it back next year! Ben Polanco, you in?
Tags: 24 HHH, Jeff Hansen
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/