Saturday, October 3, 2009

Horseshoe Hell

The Ranch is a wonderful place. Take that back, everywhere in Northwest Arkansas becomes a special place as summer eases into fall and fall gives way to the perfection of winter. I will always have a fondness for this area of the country. It is a land where almost none of the climbing has been discovered, but almost all of it is locked up by private owners. Illicit walls and boulders that exist only in the imagination and your hopes.

Friday night Jason, Rob, Greg, and I slept on the porch of a cabin at the Ranch. Cool crisp night air and more stars than could be counted gave us much needed rest. The comp began sharply at 10am the next morning. Pledges were made between partners on not killing one another and the shotgun was fired. A mad scramble for respective routes left the lodge deserted. Jason and I retired to the Idahos to get the bouldering started for the day. Unfortunately, it was warm and there were surprisingly over 20 people at both of the warm up areas. We tried and tried, but neither of us could get motivated. Still feeling the accomplishment from the previous day we decided to watch a bit of the comp in the North Forty and perhaps try climbing again in the late afternoon. Everything came together around 5 and Jason put away Orbital Mechanics v8 in several minutes, while I found myself falling repeatedly on the last move of Kneeling before Power. After 5 tries, I was exhausted and chose to sit out the last one of the day. Jason, Ben Putman, and Sarah Orens joined forces in an effort to send Orb Weaverv8, but everyone was found lacking.
Dinner was had and we returned to the North Forty to watch some night climbing. Friends showed arrived and a good time was shared under head lamps. As we turned in for the night, the comp was barely half over for those competing.

Orbital Mechanics

Sarah on Orb Weaver

Lauren and Christine still excited about climbing after 14hrs of the comp.

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