Archive for March, 2014

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch March 2014

I just got back from my trip last night and am super tired. Here is my TR:

My climbing group decided that we would go to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas for this trip. We had a large (9 members) and very diverse group of climbers and I didn’t really know what to expect. We left Omaha late and got into Arkansas around 11 pm. We stopped at L.C.’s BBQ in KC, which was pretty delicious.

This was my third time in Arkansas and I really wanted to push myself. That being said, it was more my girlfriend who decided to start us off on the harder routes. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (HCR) is known for big holds, big moves, and overhung problems. It’s pretty much just an outdoor climbing gym, one that I personally enjoy.

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We started with an easy warm up and then did Crimp Scampi, a 5.10d classic. My girlfriend really wanted to lead it so I let her do so and top roped it afterwards. It was an alright problem; mostly technical crimps with two cruxes (a large bump off a bad crimp and the second a large gaston off a crimp).

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We moved on to another really fun climb (and maybe my favorite climb of the weekend)- ‘Big Top’ (5.11c). The moves were all super fun and the route was just a big, pumpy, overhung route. We all took turns leading it and I had a blast.

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We did one more easy route, an unusual pocket route that is overhung and hard to read. I didn’t have a chance to climb it because it unfortunately started to rain hard at this point (3:00 pm). We all called it a day and went into this shelter while it poured.

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We ate dinner, drank beer, sat around this grill for a fire, and hung out. The next two days were really fantastic weather wise. It was about 65 and sunny during the day, with not a cloud in the sky.

We climbed a few warm ups and decided to move to this wall we were at last trip called ‘The Land Beyond’. We did a 5.11c called ‘Something For Sophia’, which was a very short problem (40 feet >) but massively overhung and powerful. Overall, I didn’t really enjoy this route much. While throwing to big holds and doing pull ups is something I generally enjoy; this problem was fairly reachy and the moves were not very fun.

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We finished the day with a few easier climbs. I did this other problem (5.10c) that featured a bunch of small pockets that were later used as an under cling to move upwards. Overall, an okay climb but nothing I would do again.

That night consisted of beer, food, campfire, s’mores, and good times.

Our last day was PERFECT climbing weather. 73, sunny, and no clouds at all.

We decided to do another classic: Love Slave (5.11c). We watched some people doing this line the day before and it looked really interesting. They struggled heavily on this climb and had a tough time getting the beginning crux.

Love Slave might have been my favorite climb of the trip (that one or Big Top). It was a bouldery start with the first crux being a throw to a three finger pinch. The rest of the route is characterized by big heel hooks, a leg jam, and very over hung.

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Here was the second clip, after the first crux. Once you get the pinch, you work your way up to a leg jam and rest. This rest was awesome and you could sit there for hours.

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You continue to move up fairly decent holds.

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I thought there was another crux in the route, where you had to bump into a very small crack on top of a sloper. The crack provides just enough for you to move upwards, where the rest of the holds are fairly solid. My favorite move of the entire route was the near the fourth clip, where you had to do a bad heel hook and the bolt was somewhat far from the last one (though not really super run out). Here is a picture of that move:

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All in all, a fantastic climb. Here are some pictures of my girlfriend doing the same problem:

Leg rest:

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Big heel hook:

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We finished on a super lame 5.10a 1 star route that had some dumb moves and was overall forgettable. We met up with the rest of the group, stopped at a local cafe, ate a late lunch (I ate a 1 lb burger like a fatty), and then drove the 8 hours back home.

I had a really enjoyable climbing trip. I’m really excited to try some of those problems again and, now that I know the beta, will hopefully get them clean. My friends all climbed really hard and I felt like we fed off of each other and pushed ourselves farther this trip than on past trips. I still need to better mentally in terms of taking big falls and I’m hoping I will start doing that instead of being a nancy and just getting a take.

I’m really excited to get back into the climbing gym and will probably start training to get better and stronger. Now that I’m not injured, I’m really hoping to get in at least 4-5x a week and break into the 5.12 range (outdoors) by next year. There is an upcoming competition next week in Lincoln that I’ll be competing it. While I don’t expect to win the Advanced category (there are some sickos there), I’ll climb my hardest and try to climb the best to my ability.

Thanks for reading.

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Going Climbing this Weekend!


I’m going to be taking my climbing trip this weekend to Jasper, Arkansas at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.  I’m really excited and we have a big group going this time, so that should be great to have a bunch of ropes up. I’ll definitely have a trip report up shortly after I get back. My finger is kind of healed (I can still feel the injury but I think there is just a bunch of scar tissue inside now) and, although I’m not in the best climbing shape now, I am still going to go all out and make the most of the trip. The weather looks to be kind of shitty (low 60s during the day but slightly raining) and cold at night (like 40). I’ll make the most of it.

Here is a cool video of Sharma and Ondra doing La Dura Dura, one of the hardest rock climbs in the world:


I decided which events I am going to play in the circuit next month. I posted a package on 2+2:

I’m always confused as to what markup I should charge for these things. I guess if I just keep having success, I’ll bump it a percentage each time or something. I could just let the market dictate it as well (obviously if it’s too high, no one will buy any pieces). But yeah, I plan on playing about 5 events. It’s going to be a big grind playing these things (as they always are), but let’s just hope I run well. I think my edge is definitely in the 6-max tournament. I lost KK vs. AA last year and I don’t really know if I should have lost that much (it was for like 100bbs).

Staking has been going excellent. I am happy to see a lot of my players do well and grow. Although I may not stake for the rest of my life, I do envision myself working in the gaming industry in some capacity.

I’ll update this blog when I’m back from my trip!

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Update 3/7/14

Staking and Poker– I’ve hit a slight downswing lately, which kind of sucks. I know that this will happen and it just comes with the territory. I suppose I should not really say downswing since I’m still making money each month, but the results are not as profitable as they could have been had some of my horses ran at EV (stupid PLO). Oh well, not a big deal. Sometimes I wish I could go into more detail but I don’t think that will happen. Perhaps when I leave the staking game I will print a ‘guide to staking’ type of thing.

I’m really happy that everyone received their FTP money and I’m still waiting on mine. I did not have a ton on FTP (luckily enough) at the time Black Friday hit, so I’m thankful for that. I hope that I will be in the second round of the remissions. If you have not filed for your FTP balance yet, check out this site:

As I said in previous posts, I’ll be doing my annual WSOP circuit escapade in Council Bluffs, IA. Here is the schedule:

I think I’ll probably make a 2+2 package and do maybe 3-5 events. I’m always a huge nit when it comes to tournament buy ins, so I doubt I’ll risk that much.

All in all, I’m still happy that I work in the poker industry. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy the convenience of it. I do have some doubts with the longevity of the industry (and overall stability), but I will take a wait and see approach. I really believe the gaming industry as a whole is what I would like to work in as a profession; be it in sports betting, fantasy sports, or poker- but we’ll see what the future holds. If China or the USA get into the world wide poker scene again, it could prove could lucrative for everyone.

Other Stuff– My thumb injury is kind of healed (but I feel it may be hurt for the rest of my life). I’ve been climbing fairly hard this past week and I am prepping hard for my Arkansas trip in 3 weeks.

In other news, I have been watching two new shows, both of which I recommend. The first is Hannibal (NBC), which is a show based on Hannibal Lectar from the Silence of the Lambs movies. It’s dark, graphic, and violent. Mads Mikkelson is awesome as Hannibal as well.

The second show that I have been watching is True Detective on HBO. It’s a miniseries starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey that is based in Louisiana. Two detectives investigate ritualistic killings of women and are trying to track down a cult. The acting, plot, and writing is all superb.

I also am stoked for the new Godzilla movie coming out. The trailer is pretty cool. Anyways, I’ll post a TR on my rock climbing trip at the end of the month. GL until then.

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