Archive for October, 2014

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch October 2014

Hey guys, long time no update. Life has been good all around and I’ve fallen into a normal routine of climbing 3x a week, yoga 2x a week, run 2x a week, and usually a random workout as well. Work/staking has been great (though a tad slow) and we are excited to launch a new program in the coming weeks.

Anyways, here is my HCR climbing trip report.

This trip was a bit different from previous trips in that there were only 3 of us that went. We had an agenda to climb a few specific routes in the North 40, the primary area at HCR. We started with a warm up (5.9) and the climb wasn’t too memorable.

Mine, Mine, Mine:

Our first hard climb of the day was ‘Mine, Mine, Mine’, a 5.11d. It shared the first 3 clips with a 5.11b roof that went to the right (while MMM went to the left).

The start of the route was pretty easy to read. It was crimpy and then moved to the right, where there was a large ledge that slanted (you couldn’t stand on it, unfortunately).

The next part was pretty hard- there were numerous awful holds (really bad crimps or awful slopers) and it was difficult to read. I eventually got the beta after falling a few times- you had to move up to a decent under-cling and then traverse the left.

There was a solid lay-back where you clipped.

The next section was arguably the crux and it really sucks for shorter people. You had a bad pinch (that I couldn’t use much since I was too short) or a really bad sloper to fully pull off of and make a huge move to a good crimp. This move took me a few tries as I tried to use the bad pinch to move up (but was too short). My tall friend blew right past this move and didn’t need to move his feet at all, asshole.

Earlier part:

Crux move:

The rest was a juggy crack and the route was pretty much over after the crux. All in all, a fun, interesting route with a wide variety of moves and holds. This route felt much more beta intensive than most routes at HCR but the overall holds were not awful.

Love Slave:

After this climb, we did an old favorite of ours, Love Slave (5.11c). Love Slave is a super daunting looking climb and is massively overhung. It features solid holds, big heel hooks, and fun moves.

The first clip is the crux for most everyone. It’s a throw to a bad pinch, followed by a great rest (you jam your leg into the rock). I don’t usually have much problem with the pinch (there’s a project in the gym that features a super throw to an awful pinch with the same hand, so I’m thinking that helped me), but more so with the overall endurance factor.

Overall, a really fun climb. I didn’t get it clean this time (only my second try on it) but I feel that I could within 5-10 climbs.

Rest of Day 1:

We moved down the North 40 and we did our first 5.12 at HCR, a route called ‘Fat Hand’. It had a really bouldery start, with some bad crimps and throws to more bad crimps. Unfortunately my friend forgot to take pictures of this climb, so none here. Once you got to the second clip, the rest was fairly overhung and was sequenced by ‘bad hold/good hold/bad hold/good hold’. The route was somewhat forgettable after the hard start and not tremendously interesting.

We finished day 1 with a few easy 10s. We idiotically forgot camp fire stuff and, after eating some mountain houses, went to bed early.

Day 2:

We went over to the East Side, which is a longer approach than the North 40 (still not bad, maybe like 20 minutes). There were a lot of sections that we had not climbed and wanted to check out. We started at Magoo Rock, which featured some of the best 5.10s in the park. We started on a few 5.10s:

All in all, they were good climbs. Unfortunately, we decided to move onward and check out the other sections of the East side- this was a mistake. All in all, most of the areas were unkempt and not well maintained. Lots of shrubs/bushes were overgrown and the trails were hard to find. We came to an interesting section/climb that was a 5.10c and featured some big laybacks off a good flake. I led the first climb and, after gripping a hold near the top, the rock snapped off the wall and I took a whipper. I’m glad my belay partner was clear from the area and wasn’t near the rock that fell.

We finished the day after a few more climbs and then drove back home the same day (getting there pretty late, like 1 or 2 a.m.). This horseshoe trip was very fun, as always. We realized that we didn’t care to go to the East Side for future trips and will just be staying on the primary side. On the topic of rock climbing trips, I’m really thinking about taking a big trip out to Red River Gorge in Kentucky. I’ve never been and the place looks really fun. The downside is that it’s about 12 hours away. I’ll likely decide to do this in the spring if I do end up going.

Thanks for reading.

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