24 HHH with Jeff Hansen

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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 haven’t heard of 24HHH, teams of 2 attempt to climb as many routes as possible in a 24 hour period.

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Up all night at the North Forty crag (Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Freeman)

 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!

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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).

My fearless partner Cat Suen and I after finishing. She also survived 24 Hours of Jeff Hansen Hell….very impressive.

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 Honnold’s 2010 point record, 24HHH presents a challenge for all climbers.

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Free haircuts! (Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Freeman)

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.

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2am encounter with a Kansas spectator repping Mission Cliffs! He did a summer internship in SF.24 HHH 3
Jeremy Collins giving the climbers creed before the 10 am shotgun start. “Partner, thou must not freaking drop me!” “Partner, we are more than climbers, we are warriors! We are lions in a field of lions!”24 HHH 5
Goats, horses and pigs grazed amongst the climbers. Sending 5.10 is still challenging with goat poop on your shoes! (Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Freeman)

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.

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As if climbing for 24 hours straight wasn’t uncomfortable enough. These rock babes did it in body paint. Respect! (Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Freeman)


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Dinosaur spotting at the crag! (Photo Credit: Lydia Ruth Freeman)

It also didn’t hurt there was plenty of beer and a slip-n-slide! I hope to make it back next year! Ben Polanco, you in?