24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell - 2008 Event Recap

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On Saturday, September 27th, 2008, 200 climbers set off on a unique quest to lead as many routes as possible within a 24 hour time period on the bullet sandstone of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Arkansas. For the third year, this one-of-a-kind climbing event tested endurance, pain tolerance, and mental stamina as each team pushed it to the maximum in Recreational, Intermediate and Advanced classes.

This year's advanced category was packed with the most competitive field yet. Canadian superstar Sonnie Trotter secured the individual win by climbing 120 routes — that's 5 pitches an hour for 24 hours straight! Trotter, who is based out of Squamish, BC arrived at the Ranch on Wednesday, the 24th hoping to send the crags testpiece Chris Sharma route, The Prophet (5.14a), but was unfortunately shut down due to scrunchy lip move and lack of time.

Trotter, a Patagonia Ambassador, wrote the following in a blog at TheCleanestLine.com: "The crux of the event thundered in around 4am hitting me like a tidal wave. My speech began to slow, my reflexes dulled and my skin showed signs of first-degree burns. When my pace was noticeably slower, Jonathan [Thesenga] would yell at me and I would snap back to reality, for a while at least. We knew this was a critical point in the event, so we chose to climb a lot instead of hard: 5.9 after 5.9, 5.10 then back down to 5.8. After three or four recovery climbs, I had enough juice to pump through a couple 5.11's and 5.12's and then I would slump back in cruiser mode, my brain fuzzy and my wits dulled." CLICK HERE to read more about Sonnie's experience at The 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.

Locals Cole Fennel and Stark Ligon III (Team Manwich) secured the overall team win with a solid strategy to climb quality over quantity, climbing (mostly) pitches of 5.11 and harder.

"Having Sonnie Totter and his posse from Patagonia and Black Diamond there really fired us up. He really persevered despite the laxatives I dropped in his gatorade," said Jeremy Collins, a three year veteran of the competition who lives in Kansas City, MO.

Collins continued, "It was such a tight event this year! We skipped a route we didn't want to wait in line for and we were bumped to third. What's great is that everyone is so supportive of each-other. Once you're there, it's silly to use the word 'competition' since we're all just shooting for our personal bests, and there's a roaring collective psyche. Luckily I didn't do any 'murky brown pant-loading' this year. I was stoked to see locals Cole and Stark finally bring it home to Arkansas. Those guys have some serious good karma coming their way with all the support they gave to other climbers, via beta and rigging fixed draws for the masses. They were there to perform and really understand the spirit of this event."

24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell - RESULTS:

Advanced Class Team

  1. Cole Fennel and Stark Ligon III —Team Manwich

  2. Sonnie Trotter and Jonathan Thesenga — Crusty Demons of Crank

  3. Jeremy Collins and Josh Carrck (The Murky Brown Pantloaders)

  4. Todd Johson(last years individual winner) and Justin Feola — Renaissance Builders

Advanced Class Individual

  1. Sonnie Trotter — Crusty Demons of Crank

  2. Todd Johnson — Renaissance Builders

  3. Stark Ligon III — Team Manwich Cole Fennel — Team Manwich

Individual Female

  1. Brittany Griffith — B.A.G. and The Bear

  2. Natalie Neal — Leather and Lace

  3. Sarah Nieves — Funk Mantle

Visit twofourhell.com for full results.

The basic premise for 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell is to lead a route clean for points, and do it in succession for 24 hours straight. Team members do not have to climb the same routes, but they only get points for lines that they climb. A route can climbed twice for points.

Although winners are awarded, this event is really about overcoming personal goals, climbing with friends, making new ones, surviving throughout the night and having a blast.

Special thanks go to Barry Johnson (climbhcr.com) for hosting this big party on his ranch, Andy Chasteen (andrewchasteen.com) for organizing this circus of a show, all the volunteers who stayed awake as long as the climbing teams, and all of the support from the sponsors who made the prizes at this years award ceremony plentiful.

For more information visit: www.twofourhell.com

See a photo gallery of the 2008 event HERE.Click HERE for photos from the 2007 event. Click HERE to read a recap from the 2007 event.