The Circles of Hell
- 1 Before Arrival (Week before Hell)
- 2 =Pee
- 3 Night Before the 12 (Wednesday Night)
- 4 Morning of the 12 (Thursday Morning)
- 5 Climbing the 12 (Thursday)
- 6 Night of the 12 and before the 24 (Thursday Night)
- 7 Morning of the 24 (Friday Morning)
- 8 Climbing the 24 (Friday Morning to Saturday Morning)
- 9 Immediately after the 24 (Saturday Morning)
- 10 Dinner/Awards/Party (Saturday Night)
- 11 Last Breakfast (Sunday Morning)
Before Arrival (Week before Hell)
Show Up Early
Best beta ever, especially for first-timers: take the entire week off and show up as early as possible. Every year after my first one I’ve arrived on the Saturday or Sunday before the competition starts. You can acclimate and get used to the lifestyle. You can help the vendors set up their tents. You can climb routes and talk strategy with your partner. You can give Barry a massage. Work with the community!
It’s worth mentioning that science says that by avoiding orgasm for 5-7 days causes a doubling of testosterone. This will maximize endurance, aggression, and athletic ability. Just saying. It’s worked wonders for the last few years, despite the annoyance. (It works for ladies, too…)
But really, walk through the different walls and explore the different areas. Check out some of your favorite climbs and test out some of the harder ones you think you might get on. Don’t go for endurance training, but it’s nice to stretch out each day and get used to the rock beforehand. Decide here where you’re going to place your stash. Learn where the sun will be at different times of day and get used to the altitude. Basically, acclimate.
Go climb/test some of the traditional routes and decide what you want to get on. Decide on what protection to bring during this period, and only bring that during the comp. You don’t need a full rack, and you can always learn what to take beforehand!
Go visit the Ozark Café in Jasper, because it’s a local landmark and tastes damn good. Get the Chicken Crispers and don’t laugh until you try them; get the curly fries. You’ll understand. Oh, and if you can eat a double-patty Excalaburger, you’ll earn eternal respect from me.
Also, go ask the staff for the carabiners for the competition. They look like this:
The point is that every climb 5.10 and under gets a pair of non-locking carabiners at the top. Someone has to go place them, so what the staff and volunteers and climbers do is pre-place pairs of them on the first bolt of each route. If you want to be a huge help to the staff and volunteers, go up with them when they place them and help them out. I do this during every year and this year we helped place roughly of them 150 up at the North Forty. Be that guy. Isn’t it nice to get to the top of a route and find that you don’t have to clean it? Yeah, that happens because of THIS.
Start organizing your gear and purchase your required food supplies. Ensure you have everything. Lay it on the ground and take sexy photos of it all for your Instagram/snapchat/masturbation/Facebook later. No you don’t need to be in those photos, but photos of you being sexy surrounded by 24HHH preparation gear is pretty awesome. You’re going to want to ensure you have all of your climbing gear, food, liquids, and other essentials ready before Wednesday night (for 12 or 36) or Thursday night (for the 24). You don’t want to be up late organizing gear and losing sleep because you’re packing your bag and killing yourself.
Lastly, DRINK FUCKING LIQUIDS. If you aren’t peeing every 30 minutes and it’s not coming out clear each time, you’re not drinking enough liquids. We were averaging up to 2 gallons each, each day leading up to the competition.