Sunday, September 30, 2007

Horsetooth Hang 2007 Report

Weeks before the Horsetooth Hang this year, the buzz began to build. This year it was going to be a formal competition. Paul Robinson the #1 ranked boulderer in the world would be giving the slideshow. 150 dollars would go to anyone who could repeat Jim Holloway's Meathook, which hasn't been done in the original style since the 1970s. Rumors were circulating that Jamie Emerson who has climbed Circadiam Rhythm V13, and thinks Crown of Aragorn is soft, had tried Meathook and had plans to send it. Would these visitors win, or would one of the strong locals like Ian Dory or Andre DiFelice who have more experience on Horsetooth's problems take the title.

On the female side there wasn't as much excitement. When Ashley managed to add the V10 Kelley Traverse into her already impressive Hang circuit last year, the chance of another girl showing up and taking the title became quite slim. Ashley had been the female winner of the Hang for the last five years in a row. Sean Drolet had her going for a second when he told her that he had heard "Josune Bereziartu might be coming out from Spain this year." Good one Sean.

I was busy competing, but during the competition I heard and saw a lot things. Ian Dory was crushing. He had done Moon Arete V11, Cheathook V8-10, the Kelley Traverse V10, Powerglide V7/8, and Talent Scout without the undercling Vcrimpyashell.
Andre DiFelice was working till the afternoon and wouldn't be competing. Rumor had it that the pro's from out of town were sending too. Paul Robinson did the Kelley Traverse V10. Jamie had done Mammen Traverse V9. Tyler Landman who had done the second ascent of Jade V15 this summer had entered the competition.

Meanwhile, my time was occupied trying to score well against Ashley. Two years ago in perfect conditions I had managed to climb Powerglide V7/8 and beat her by a few points. I hoped to do it again since I had added Pinch Overhang V6 to my circuit this year. If Ashley didn't send the Kelley Traverse or the Silver Dollar Traverse it would be possible for me to outscore her. She sent the Kelley Traverse second try, early in the morning, and with that she had me beat.

We went to the after Hang party at Hodi's Half-Note. The pizza and beer were good. The sound system not quite loud enough. Then the winners were announced. Cameron announced that the winners of the Mens' and Womens' open category were married to each other. My first thought was WTF! "David and Ashley Lloyd are the winners." I was very confused, and Ashley grabbed the hundred dollar bill, before I even recognized what it was. We also won one membership to the Spot comp series.

How did I win the first Horsetooth Hang formal competition since Jim Karn didn't show up to the awards ceremony many years ago? This is what I've learned, and what I speculate. Ian Dory climbed what is probably the most impressive Horstooth Hang circuit ever done yesterday and had the most points in the comp, but he was entered in the Junior division, so he couldn't win the Open division, and as I said before Andre wasn't competing.

How did I beat the other strong climbers? I observed many of the top climbers falling off the Kelley Traverse, and they weren't happy about it. I speculate, that after spending countless sessions bouldering on perfect alpine rock in perfect conditions, they couldn't handle the Horsetooth Hang/Kelley Traverse experience. The long, low ball, not dabbing is the crux, finger wrecking, sharp as hell, nightmare problem they had already seen a girl do, the crowds with screaming kids, the warm conditions, and waiting in line to try problems wasn't fun after a summer of bouldering Eden in alpine environments, and they decided to leave. They left early to climb up Poudre canyon, and I don't think they turned in their scorecards.

A perfect storm of circumstances lead to me being the Men's Open winner. I like to imagine that an observant climber noticed these factors coming together, and placed a lot of money on David Lloyd #488 in the bouldering world rankings to win the Horsetooth Hang Open division this year. The odds were placed at greater than 100 to one against it. Today that climber is flying out to a destination like Virgin Gorda or Thailand with a suitcase full of cash made through betting on me. They will live the rest of their life off the funds, just spending their days putting up new climbs. Maybe that climber is Craig Luebben who organized the Hang years ago knowing he could someday gamble on it and make a fortune. If you are a climber who bet on my win, and you feel guilty, feel free to send some of that money my way.

Thanks to Cameron Cross and all the other great volunteers and sponsors who made the Hang happen this year. We had a great time. It was tons of fun for the vast majority of the people involved.

Steve Woods finishing the corner after climbing Cat Eye.

Andi Rose strikes a pose.


James Hickey said...

great article dave!

sock hands said...

post card:


crushing beachside granite, properly made margaritas, and beach-combing stray poodles !

long shot bets = island-bound jets


kellymcbride said...

i really enjoyed your recap of the day! good writing dave.