two four hell arkansas

Two Four Hell

Note: this text was originally published by Adam S. on an earlier version of Climbing House.

Another year of 24 is in the books. Here’s the thing about an event like this. For the competitors, terms like fatigue, soreness, sleep deprivation, etc don’t seem to have any meaning. You are forced to make up new works to describe how you feel after this “comp” and I will do so now… scrumtrulescent. You see the great thing about 24 is that terms like fun, challenging, and rewarding also don’t apply.
Among the climbing community, and any other community for that matter, this is a one of a kind event. You know, something we can all use to bond around the campfire years down the road. It really is something that you have to experience for yourself to fully appreciate. I think, specifically, of moments trying to describe my weekend intentions to my co-workers.

Random co-worker – “Hey Chris, how’s it going?”
CR – “Not bad. You?”
Random co-worker – “Alright. What’s your plans for the weekend?”
CR – “I’m in a 24 hour climbing competition. Should be a good time.”
Random co-worker – “Wait, what?”
CR – Proceed to explain the premise of the comp…
Random co-worker – Puzzled look and unsure of how to respond…

Two months ago I had absolutely no intention of participating. A few encouraging words from friends and my soon-to-be partner (and who also happened to be my girlfriend) begrudgingly swayed my opinion. For this I am thankful. Because for all the suffering that accompanies twenty-four straight hours of climbing, there is such an amount of pride and comradery to gain that the abuse, it is completely worth it.

This year we were fortunate enough to get down there in good time and do a little recon a couple days before. This allowed copious relaxed climbing and socialization to prepare for the weekend’s events. Notable moments in those days included wiring a former project to do during the comp and meeting Time Child (who decidedly is one of the nicest guys I’ve met). The pre-comp days inevitably coalesced into a sleepless night prior to the morning of business, but such is process of comp climbing for me. Fortunately it didn’t seem to have any effect on performance come comp time.

At the sound of the shotgun blast, it was all business. Nicole and I were off to the Titanic Boulder to run the gauntlet of routes there. Then it was off to the Prophecy Wall to tackle the last of our hard routes before hunkering down in the North 40 for the night. Surprisingly, the entire time at the 40 was “head down, keep at the grind.” We both felt like we carried our momentum through the night and those crucial few hours before dawn. Daylight saw the usual energizing, as if the sunlight somehow pumped Red Bull intravenously into our viens. Nicole sent her second hardest route in the budding daylight and I managed to pull off five more routes over 5.12 in the remaining hours.

Results from the comp can be found here.

A special congratulations goes out to my partner Nicole Liberty who placed second in women’s intermediate and fifth in women’s overall (behind Brittany Griffith and Kate Rutherford!). In 24 hours, she dominated on nearly 60 routes up to 5.10c. I’m thrilled to call her my partner and can’t seem to find words to describe how proud I am of her. Be sure to search her down on Facebook and extend your congratulations.

Also congrats goes out to Shane Cherney and Ben Wisinski, of Omaha, who placed second in the recreation team division. These gents have been serious climbers for not quite a year, but definitely put in their time at the wall training for this event. They threw up 50 routes each and walked away with the swag to prove it! Props also goes to the rest of the Omaha crew who represented solidly for Nebraska.
So here I am two days later. Still satiated with climbing for a few days and in the middle of gorging on food, drink, relaxation, and sleep. What’s next? Yosemite! I know some of you are contemplating joining us Omaha-ans in the Valley (Oct 16th-25th). Those who are just hearing of the trip are more than welcome to join. Stop in for climbs and who knows what else, maybe a repeat of last year’s impromptu sushi party!

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