If you’re reading this, you’re about to read the insane words of a rambling man who has wasted at least 192 Hours of his life mid-competition in 24HHH. I’ve done 24HHH 7 years now, and the past two I’ve done both the 12- and 24-hour competitions. I have a ton of experience with the community, the logistics, the experience, the pain, and the love. I am not special, and I’ll refrain from talking about my own accomplishments because they’re not germane to the discussion at hand. Also, because this is a competition for adults, I’m not going to be politically correct and worry about your feelings. You just signed up for 12/24/36 hours of pain and suffering where no one will give you quarter, so suck it up and realize that I’m being staunch and harsh for effect and that I don’t intend any of my words lightly. If you disregard my advice, especially for first- or second-timers, do so at your own risk of discomfort and retarded levels of slowness.
What does need to be said is that this is an event of the community, by the community, for the community. It doesn’t matter if you climb 5.8 or 5.15. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been climbing your entire life or a few weeks. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done this competition before or never even been to the ranch. Read this, know it was crafted with love, and take the advice you feel comfortable with. The goal of this guide is just to bring those who aren’t in the know up to speed with those who are. If I can get you to climb faster, it actually has a mutual benefit of speeding EVERYONE up. This seemingly-altruistic guide is truly crafted to get you to go immensely faster so you get the fuck out of my way.
Before getting into the things everyone wants to know that THEY can do, it’s worth talking about what it really is. If you’re familiar and just want advice, skip this.
Twenty-Four Hours of Horseshoe Hell has gone on for 11 years now, originally starting very small and growing by a noticeable percentage each year. Professionals come and stomp it, locals come and fill it, and each year people have the gamut of types of fun possible. The weather plays a huge role in what can happen, but so do the people. If you go into this thinking it’s a guided tour and you’ll be catered to in any appreciable fashion, you’re going to hate it. Think of this as the Burning Man of the climbing community. You get out of it what you put into it.
Also, let’s remove any misconception that Reel Rock might have given you about this competition. It’s not about some dude named Alex or locals trying to beat him up. It’s not about rivalries and professionals and tight competition. This THING is actually about the community and love of climbing and masochism and personal achievement. No one actually cares how anyone else really does. If you ask ANY competitor if they give a shit who actually wins, they’ll tell you they don’t really. If they say they do, they’re lying. Yeah it’s nice to win, but no one does it for that. The prizes don’t even cover the entry, really. Go out, do your best, party your ass off afterward celebrating being one of the few to actually leave hell. You’ll receive just as many congratulations and adulations as the professionals or the people who are stupid enough to do a shitload of routes for no apparent reason. It all comes down to doing it for yourself. Do it and crush it and make it a better place for all and push people to go harder and congratulate them for being badasses just like you.
I’m going to tell you what works. I’m going to tell you what doesn’t seem to work. I’m deadly serious about all of what I say in here, from a safety AND a conviction standpoint. I will tell you how you can get yourself killed and how you can go really, really fast with transitions between belays and climbs in the order of seconds.
For more in depth history, seek other sources, because frankly I’m a moron and that’s not why you’re here.
But I can’t stop there without mentioning how you need to give fellatio and cunnilingus to each and every staff member and volunteer after the event is over. Anything less is an affront to what they deserve as some of the best human beings to ever walk the planet.
Follow this guide at your own risk. I approach 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell each year with the knowledge and certainty that I will die at the Ranch. I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean it literally. The techniques and information in this guide is liable and likely to actually kill you. Follow any advice or reasoning here within at your own risk and I am not responsible for your behavior or actions as a result of doing this. Accidents happen, rocks break, ropes tear, quickdraws fail, worn carabiners snap. If anything in here seems unsafe to you, then do whatever you need to in order to be safe. Your margin of safety is entirely different than mine. This guide is designed for moving as fast as literally possible while maintaining the basic-needs of rule-following and avoiding unnecessary risk. Some things we do are extremely risky, but we have thought through all angles to maximize safety outside objective risks. For your own safety, don’t try this at home, and please don’t actually climb like we do, unless you’re willing to actually die for the sake of 5 minutes saved. I accept no liability and this advice is entirely theoretical. Any nonconstructive arguments you want to make about this document will be kindly and thoroughly ignored.
Table of Contents
- Logistics and Equipment
- The Circles of Hell
- Before Arrival (Week before Hell)
- Night Before the 12 (Wednesday Night)
- Morning of the 12 (Thursday Morning)
- Climbing the 12 (Thursday)
- Night of the 12 and before the 24 (Thursday Night)
- Morning of the 24 (Friday Morning)
- Climbing the 24 (Friday Morning to Saturday Morning)
- Immediately after the 24 (Saturday Morning)
- Dinner/Awards/Party (Saturday Night)
- Last Breakfast (Sunday Morning)
- Videos and Stories about Hell