Hound Ears 09

This past weekend I headed north with some friends for the beginning of the 2009 Triple Crown Bouldering competition, with some climbing at Hound Ears near Boone, NC. Ben and I were climbing but we were joined by Katy, Ajay and Christa who explored the cultural and natural beauty of Boone while we were wrestlin’ pebbles. We arrived late on Friday night with some rain freshly fallen, but things cleared up on Saturday and provided PERFECT weather all day.

The competition went pretty well for me. My only goal for the event was show some improvement over last year when I tallied 1893 points and
finished 10th in the novice/recreational category. Most people assume that there are specific problems that are attempted and then you are judged and given scores on your climbs. In actuality, all the problems in the crag are given a point value and you do what you can and total your ten highest problems. Each successful climb is verified by two witnesses with signatures. All the climbers are given a guide with a map and lists of all the problems. The recreational category is for competitors completing problems rated V0-V2, with scores ranging up to around 230 points.

This year I finished 14 problems including a V3, a V4 and a V5. This meant that I had to bump up a category into the intermediate. Consequently, I did not finish so well within my group but I was proud to improve over last year (and by a whole category). My score this year was 2497. The V3 I sent was a classic problem called the Heretic (shown in the picture). It is a great problem because it has good holds that are far apart (so big moves), and it’s high (so you have an intense mental component to it). It was incredibly fun and the rock looks really cool. Ironically, the ‘hardest’ problem I sent, the V5, was one that I did on the first attempt.

After the comp, we met up with the rest of our friends, had some great food, great drink and a great time. You can read more about it here. We took the Blueridge Parkway from Boone to Mount Mitchel, the highest point in the US east of the Mississippi. Then we went to Asheville. Everytime I go to North Carolina I leave with a little more appreciation for the place.

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