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    2012 Recap from Hell – The 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

    by Sonnie Trotter, with photos by Lucas Marshall


    I couldn’t help but laugh. Seeing Tommy Caldwell in a mohawk, a pair of bright green short shorts, and a hot pink sleeveless t-shirt was too much to take. In a way, he reminded me of Kelly Cordes, but I can’t put my finger on why. Anyhow, that’s another story, and this one is all about the shortest day of my life – the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.

    Now, one might think by climbing for 24 hours straight that it would feel like the longest day, but that’s the paradox. It’s so much fun that it goes by really fast, and in the end, you wish you had more time.

    [Above: Sonnie Trotter and Tommy Caldwell, team Bonzo s Montreux, in full effect. Photo: Lydia Zamorano]

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    Quality AND Quanitity at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell [Updated with video]

    by Jasmin Caton

    When she's not busy making us jealous about climbing in places like Greenland and France, Patagonia Climbing Ambassador Jasmin Caton guides folks to some of British Columbia's choicest rock climbs and snow-covered lines with Valhalla Mountain Touring, a business she owns and runs together with her husband. Jasmin teamed up with fellow ambassador Brittany Griffith for this year's 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. We're pleased to share the report from Jasmin's personal blog.  And hit that 2-4 Hell link (rrrright over there, previous sentence) for a cool video recap of the past 6 years of madness. - Ed

    Imagine how you feel at the end of a full day of climbing; the pleasant forearm and back ache, the tenderness of the skin on your fingers and toes, the craving for a cold beer and some tasty food. That's pretty much how I felt 8 hours after the starting gun went off at the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell in Arkansas. But instead of giving in to fatigue I chugged some canned coffee beverage, scarfed down one of the turkey-hummus-veggie wraps I had pre-prepped to avoid energy-bar burnout and dragged the rope over to our next pitch.

    [A few light snacks for a day of climbing. All photos: Jasmin Caton]

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    Twenty Four - and so much more . . . [Updated with video]

    Mug Today's post comes from Patagonia's Athlete Liaison and Grassroots Event Coordinator, Kristo Torgerson. Kristo's the brains and sweat behind Patagonia's involvement in what has become one of the rock climbing community's coolest events, the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. We announced this year's event back in July. For a complete recount of last year's event from the eyes of competitor and Patagonia Rock Climbing Ambassador Sonnie Trotter, click here.

    This year, Kristo joined story-telling forces with Patagonia Climbing Ambassadors Kate Rutherford, Brittany Griffith, Mikey Shafer, and Colin Haley in a mad-lib-style trip report tour-de-force. Enjoy . . .

    "24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell." To mention it by name elicits one of two responses, depending on your familiarity with this one-of-a-kind climbing event – head scratching and furrowed brows or big grins and stuttering excitement. If you didn’t make it to the event a couple weeks ago, then you’re likely still scratching your head, so let me ask you this: You’re a climber, yea? You’ve done some hard pitches in your time and spent some long days out, right? Good for you. Seriously though, how many hard pitches ...

    [Drink up and rack up, it's go time at 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell. All photos: Lucas Marshall Photography, captions courtesy Kristo Torgersen.] 

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    Twenty-four Hours of Horseshoe Hell Comes Again

    The Cleanest Line is pleased to share this announcement from our friend Andy Chasteen, organizer of a now-famous (and soon-to-be infamous) crusher of a climbing comp held down in a little corner of Arkansas:

    Expman26 September 25-27, 2009 marks the 4th-annual 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell endurance climbing event held on the steep sandstone of northwest Arkansas. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch marks the spot where teams of two partner up and take to the steep, gritty sandstone to endure what can only be explained as severe fatigue, dehydration, bloody fingertips and an unforgettable climbing experience. These teams will have 24 continuous hours to put in as many clean climbs as humanly possible on the hundreds of sport and traditional routes on the Ranch. There is a point system for the various grades and all climbs must be put up on lead in clean style. Night climbing is key, and strategy is as important as fitness.

    Expman12 Hell began as a new concept to the world of climbing comps where the preference is typically power, strength and technique. 24HHH tests endurance, pain tolerance and mental stamina as you log continuous routes in a 24 Hour timeframe.

    The growth that 24HHH has experienced over the first three years has been exponential. It was born as an idea amongst some rag tag buddies from Oklahoma, started as a pipe dream and grew into 130 climbers, some cool swag and a write up in Rock and Ice. In 2007, registration numbers were forced to close at 194 for fear of overcrowding and in 2008 Patagonia signed on as title sponsor, bringing energy and hundreds of climbers and spectators from all over the country. Even a guy named Trotter from Canada came to test his game in this remote Arkansas canyon, and left having to meat hook his duffle bags to get home. Eh? 

    2009 is on the table. New routes at the ranch. New ideas. New faces and competitors. New year. New energy. 

    Luke Laeser at said “it’s the best comp in the US for sure, the word is getting out.”

    Visit the 24HHH website to register for this year's event, and don't forget to check out Sonnie Trotter's write up of last year's experience before you go. Hit the jump for more great photos of Horseshoe Hell courtesy of climbing photographer Lucas Marshall.

    And lastly, a NOTE OF CAUTION from our Grassroots Events Organizer, Kristo Torgersen, to all those thinking of competing in this year's event: If you're thinking of competing in this year's event, make sure to plan on a designated driver to get you to the airport or have accommodations set up for the night after the event. The long drive to the airport is not something to be taken lightly after 24 hours of non-stop climbing with no sleep.

    [Top, a sign of the times. Lower right, if you wanna go the distance you gotta prepare your mitts for battle. Photos: Lucas Marshall photography, captions courtesy Kristo Torgersen.]

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    24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

    The_bag_in_paradise_2 "24 hours of what?" I cried into my cell phone.

    "24 hours of HELL," Kristo repeated.

    "Well, okay then, sign me up." He had answered my question and we left it at that.

    Two months later, I still didn't fully comprehend the meaning or significance of the event's name. I thought it might have something to do with an early Halloween themed party and I could not have been further from the truth. I simply shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my day to day. About once a week, I'd get some informative e-mails from the event organizer Andy Chasteen, followed by a few witty replies from some of our team members at Patagonia. Kristo Torgersen was our ring leader, and besides being a climber/surfer, his job was to make sure we all had tickets to the place they call the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in central Arkansas. It was his decision to sponsor the event and it was with great pleasure that the rest of us arrived to see what all this "HELL" talk was all about. I mean, for Pete's sake, how bad could it be?

    [Brittany Griffith on bullet Arky sandstone at the Land of the Lost crag, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Arkansas. Photo: Jonathan Thesenga / Sonnie Trotter]

    At the airport, I heard my name from across the terminal, long time friend and Patagonia ambassador Brittany Griffith was waving at me to catch my attention and welcome me with a warm hug. Towering behind her was Kristo, still dressed in his Southern California get up, surf shorts, surf sandals, surf shirt and surf hair. We all laughed and piled into the rental car, a shinny red Volvo waiting outside.

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