10/3/2014 - At 10 a.m. on Friday, September 26, 267 climbers anxiously await the sound of shotgun-fire at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas—toting harnesses, headlamps, all shapes and sizes of pro, and unbridled psyche. This is the scene just before the start of the 9th annual 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell competition, a unique event which tests the limits of climbers' endurance and efficiency. The concept is simple: climb as many routes as possible in 24 hours.
When the gun fires, the crowd disperses into the Ozarks, knocking down pitch after pitch in teams of two, with names like "I Swear This is the Last Year I'm Doing This," "We'll Show You Our Rack if You Show us Your Nuts," and "If 24HHH Were Easy it'd be Called Your Mom."
Each year, climbers push the limits further, as veterans of the competition master the strange logistics required to climb 100+ routes in the allotted time. Each route has points attached to it based on difficulty, allowing event organizers to dole out awards for top scorers, in addition to the climbers that bag the most routes. Some routes receive heavier traffic than others. E-Kat (5.7), for instance, saw 356 ascents, the most of any route over the course of the event.
This time around, Everett Pauls took down a whopping 246 routes, breaking the previous record for pure volume set last year. In the elite category, Alex Honnold placed first in individual points, climbing 151 routes up to 5.13a. Nik Berry and Mason Earle took home the prize for most team points, sending just under 200 pitches each, while Nate Moore and Jeremy Collins took the trad trophy with an absurd 160 pitches each.
As is the case each year, while climbing is the main course, the event also offers four full days of camping, food, music, games, and above-all community. Check out a sampling of photos below.
Top Individual Score - Men Alex Honnold 151 routes, up to 5.13a. 43,490 points
Top Individual Score - Women Bobbi Bensman 125 routes, up to 5.12a 20,090 points
Top Overall Team Score Team: Stable Pop (Mason Earle and Nik Berry) 391 routes, up to 5.12c 77,310 points
Most Individual Routes Everett Pauls 246 routes, up to 5.12a
Most Team Routes Team: Does it Count as Free-soloing if We Clip the Anchors? (Wayne Hartierode and Mark Vabulas) 470 total routes, up to 5.10c
Total Trad Routes Team: We Just Sharted and We Haven't Even Started (Nate Moore and Jeremy Collins) 320 routes
There was no shortage of competitors ready to put their bodies to the test for 24 hours of straight climbing this year.
Alex Honnold attended, achieving the highest individual score.
It's not just bodies that suffer at 24HHH. Here, Nik Berry shows off one of several core shots sustained during the event. Nik and photographer Mason Earle won the elite team division with 400 pitches up to 5.12c.
No finger leaves Horseshoe Hell unscathed.
Headlamps are a necessity as much of the climbing takes place at night.
The Rogue Barber was on hand to provide free haircuts of questionable desirability.
The coveted trophies for victors in various divisions.
Two things are a given at any mass climber gathering: rafter climbing and a spiderman suit.
Shred All Fear were present to supervise the air guitar contest.
See 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell for a full list of results.