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Before you arrive to the ranch to submit yourself to torture, you need to have prepared in a variety of ways. Prepare mentally, physically, and logistically. I’ll tell you what I, and other, successful competitors have done in the past. Adopt what you like.

If you don’t want to listen to this part, you’ll waste a large part of your competition on needless stuff:

1/8th of the competition spent clipping
1/8th of the competition with your shoes
1/8th of the competition with your knots
1/8th of the competition feeling for holds

Skip advice I give for those and good luck spending your remaining HALF of the competition doing the same stuff we’re doing in 7/8th of the comp!


Read These:

Read the rules. Read them again. Read them yet again. Think about the ramifications. I’m going to tell you things in this guide which you think will massively violate the rules. But trust me, I’ve read them, I’ve asked questions where the answers became codified into the ruleset, and I’ve certainly argued every year with lesser-read staff, climbers, and volunteers about the contents of said rules. Follow them, they matter. Violate them, and I’ll be the first to call you out on your bullshit. If you ever think you witness anyone else violating them, including me, call their ass out and make sure everyone is safe and smart and legit.

For real, go read them right now.

Like, right now.

No I’m not kidding, if you’ve gotten to this line without reading them, then why-the-fuck are you even reading this guide? This guide will be here once you’ve read it. If you haven’t read it before continuing through the guide, a lot of what I say is pointless.

Online Resources

The official event webpage is Learn and love it.

The signup/scoring app webpage is Learn it, use it, and love it.

Also, go sign up to the “24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell Community” Facebook group and follow the “24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell” Facebook page. This is how you find out about everything, including signup webpages, rules, questions, beta, etc. It’s invaluable in the days leading up to the competition, especially. But join both long before that, there are always interesting things.

Lastly, you should be tagging your photos on Instagram and Twitter. The hashtag #24HHH is used every year, and each year has its own tag, such as #24HHH2016 this year. There is no Reddit page, it doesn’t warrant that much attention. I don’t have a Facebook fan page, I’m not that special. (Frankly, I think all of the other veterans hate me anyway.)

Preparation Checklist

On the website somewhere there’s a minor checklist for what you should bring. This guide doesn’t supplant that. Read it now as well so you’re familiar with what I’m not mentioning. I’m not going to teach you how to hike or what the layout of the canyon is or whether there are bugs which will eat you alive (they will).