Okay, not really ‘pitting’ myself directly, that’s just overdramatic bs. But I will be there, I will be competing, and my score will likely be compared to some much harder climbers than I. It’s a little daunting, not gonna lie.
On the plus side, I’m gonna get to climb at three of the Southeast’s finest bouldering destinations (outside climbing rules!) First destination is Hound Ears, in North Carolina. Apparently it’s only open to climbing during the comp. This is something that appeals to me, as one of the biggest (whiny) complaints I’ve heard about the Triple Crown is that “locals have a big advantage because they get to climb there.” That’s probably very true – but it also makes a victory that much sweeter when you’re topping out the locals.
Second spot, HP40 (that’s Horse Pens 40) in Alabama. Known for being slopey as hell and graded way hard, it’s supposed to blur that fine line between ‘fun’ and ‘painful’. I’m looking forward to it in one of those finger-shredding, joint-locking ways. Shaunna and I were supposed to hit up HP40 during our last trip, but opted instead to remain in the Chattanooga area (a decision which I have zero regrets over). Looks like I’ll get my chance to leave skin at HP40 after all. Nice.
Finally, the third jewel in the “triple” crown (hence the name): Stone Fort (a.k.a. Little Rock City, a.k.a. LRC). Located just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, this is actually a fairly small and out of the way locale for bouldering. While we were tromping ’round Foster Falls and spending lots of time in Chattanooga, we didn’t actually realize that LRC was right down the street until the last day. We didn’t make it there during that trip, and so I’m happy that we’ll have an opportunity to get there now. I think we’d have eventually made it there anyway, but the proximity to Foster Falls means there’s always that temptation to skip LRC completely and go hop on some seriously badassed climbing at the Falls.
I don’t have any expectations of ‘winning’ anything at this comp. I’m going in as an intermediate even though I’m definitely on the lower end of that scale (hardest boulder problem I’ve ever completed is a V4/5 at Rocktown), and I’ve no illusions. But it’ll be great fun, and I know Shaunna will compete at the higher levels (and potentially do very well!) so it’s exciting. I’ll take lots of pictures, don’t worry. Not that you are.