This Memorial day weekend I was convinced to compete in the 24 hour climbing competition at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado. My friend Jesse and I were going to try our best to climb as many routes and boulders as we could in 24 long hours.
Neither of us had ever climbed at the granite area and we thought that it would be fun to get out and thrash ourselves and get a taste of the local climbs.
The competition included bouldering and route climbing. We could put in gear, clip bolts or throw down crash pads to rack up points.
Since we had never done anything like this before, we climbed routes until we got tired and then bouldered and then went back to routes and then bouldered some more.
The day began at 10 in the morning and ended 24 hours later. There was a strong wind that blew all day long. At times it was so strong that it blew me off a delicate move or two! I had to re lead those climbs in order to get any points for those routes that I fell on.
At times the routes were pretty straight forward, while other climbs were very complicated and sequential.
Jesse wanted to make it to 24 climbs during the competition because he was still recovering from a separated shoulder. He sucked it up and was able to do it. It was totally inspiring.
It was a weird comp because everyone was so split up at Hartman Rocks.
The area is so big that we had to drive to and from the boulders and the routes.
We were lucky to have some support from my wife Jane and her brother Matt. They hung out and climbed a little with us and just tried not to blow away in the strong winds.
One of the toughest parts of the comp was keeping the skin on my fingers. The granite that we climbed on was sharp and could destroy your skin in just a matter of a few climbs. I learned to climb delicately as the hours passed. Even though, I still was bleeding by the last routes of the comp.
During the night, the comp provided us with great music to listen to and even fed us burgers and burritos. The wind died down just a little so we took shelter on the walls opposite the wind. We choose to climb easier routes with our headlamps during the darkest hours.
It was near the end of the comp that I had a bad session of stomach pains and spent some time in a porto-let. I was damaged goods after that and my pace slowed down significantly.
Even still Jesse and I were able to climb a lot of routes and boulders.
Thanks so much for hosting the 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory. To all the volunteers and sponsors. It was a great comp and a great time.
Thanks to my sponsors too! CAMP draws kicked butt! My Arcteryx harness and clothes kept me warm all day and night, My SCARPA Instincts were the perfect slipper for the granite and of course my STERLING rope kept on cooking throughout the comp! My new found favorite piece is my WIND -XTREME neck gator. It was perfect for blocking the wind and sun from my neck and kept the my body heat in during the wee hours of the night.
Get out and climb!!!!
piz : )