24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell Field Report

Petzl is a proud sponsor of 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell, an Arkansas-based climbing event in which competitors climb sandstone routes, trad and sport, for 24 hours straight. Petzl America Team Manager and Events Coordinator Chuck Odette manned the Petzl booth. Here’s his last report from the field before disappearing into the Arkansas woods for a week of sandstone sport madness with his partner in climb, Maggie Smith:

“There were around 250 participants comprising 125 teams. There were at least another 250-300 spectators as well.

The main venue area pre-event. Photo: Maggie Smith

Team Petzl, comprised of Brent Perkins and Nate Drolete, arrived a couple of weeks prior to train specifically to break the team record and win this event. They did both, finishing well in front of the 2nd place team. [Click here for full results.]

Perkins and Drolete strategically stashed gear, water and food at specific crags. They carried ANGE S quickdraws and climbed only sport routes. Both had HIRUNDOS harnesses and belayed with a GRIGRI 2 and FRIENO biner. Climbing on FUSE ropes, they tackled a combined 205 routes from 5.9 to 5.12d, for a total point score of 56,370. During the night-climbing hours (8pm–7am, basically), they lit the way with Petlz's ULTRA WIDE 300-lumen headlamps. They each carried two spare ULTRA batteries and a TIKKA XP2 CORE. Lighting was critical!

Team Petzl... Nate Drolete and Brent Perkins during the rules review pre-event. Photo: Maggie Smith

The comp started a 10pm on Friday. We moved the tent to the North Forty area for the night climbing portion, where we offered spare headlamps for demo and spare batteries for all brands of headlamps when needed for replacement. 

Saturday night ended with an award ceremony, prize giveaway, arm wrestling, partying, etc. On Sunday morning there was a huge pancake breakfast. It’s now Sunday at 4pm, the ranch is overcast and empty... except for Maggie and me... and a bunch of goats... NO s&*#... we're talking hundreds of freakin' goats everywhere.  Horses, too, are plentiful.  Pigs were in a pen, luckily.

Partner pledge 15 minutes before the GUN* sounded to start the event... Photo: Maggie Smith

This event was incredibly fun for participants and spectators. Very grassroots in nature. A lot like the New River Rendezvous in feel. Arkansas people are friendly and welcoming. The locals here at Horseshoe Ranch love climbers and do a good job of catering to them. Most of the participants were from AR, TN, MO, OK, TX and KY, but did meet folks from as far away as MT, UT, KY, FL and AZ as well.” 

* This is rural AR and they used a real six shooter to start the event. One of the Horseshoe Ranch hands carries this with him around the ranch. He fired all 6 rounds into the air from the porch area above the venue. To my knowledge, NO goats were killed or harmed from errant bullets...


–Chuck Odette










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