Triple Crown Series: Horse Pens 40

posted by dpm on 11/03/2008

            Inclement warm temperatures continued this weekend in Alabama, as nearly 400 climbers converged on the unique rock formations of the southeast bouldering mecca HP40, for the second stop on the Triple Crown Bouldering Series.

            Cell phone alarms began beeping at 7am, as climbers rose from the dirt to stretch and take in the morning air. The smell of coffee and breakfast quickly faded and climbers began collecting scorecards and t-shirts with anxious anticipation of the day's event.


             By 9am, temperatures were already approaching 60 F, and the forecast of temperatures rising to the upper 70s had some climbers worried. The slopers of Horse Pens are notorious, and the day's heat index would only add to the arduous intensity required to grapple with the sculpted sandstone undulations of the area.

"Imagine you are an ant who can smell food located on a fat woman's bottom lip. Unfortunately, you are sitting under a roll of body cheese below her ankle" 

              The description of the climbing at Horse Pens causes laughter amongst a group of climbers already loosing skin on the bulbous monstrosity before them. 

         Thirty minutes into the comp, God Module (V11) is already seeing attempts. A circle of photographers fire burst as one climber after another dynamically flog themselves at the area's most notorious test piece. At the end of the day, only a couple of climbers manage to pencil God Module onto their scorecards.

            Around the corner from God Module, a group of climbers tests their crash pads on problems ranging from V4 to V11. Cuts Like a Knife (V4) is a popular problem requiring a commitment of skin on crimps formed by a ribbon of iron oxide. It is situated directly next to Slider (V9) and its harder sit start variation, which has drawn the attention of some of climbing's elite. They take the time to spot and shuffle pads while cheering on climbers attempting Cuts Like a Knife. The camaraderie found at these events is just one of the many reasons the Triple Crown Bouldering Series is so popular. This series is one of the few events in the world that truly bring our community together to share in the love and passion for the sport of bouldering.

            By the end of the day, climbers returned to the judge's pavilion with bloody tips, sore muscles, empty stomachs, and full scorecards. During the award ceremony, judges blanketed competitors with prizes donated by sponsors while awards were handed out to the top placed finishers in each category. Proceeds from the Horse Pens Competition were donated to the SCC. The money raised will be used in a pending land acquisition to secure more climbing in the southeast. Click HERE to find out more about the SCC.




1 Calvin Wagner 3,079

2 David Eisenstadt 2,812

3 Tyler Copeland 2,078

Beginner Women

1 Chandler Wells 2,104

2 Abi Wright 2,067

3 Sarah Ballard 2,056

Beginner Men

1 Frank Cavender 2,135

2 Josh Goldsmith 2,127

3 Rob Bruce 2,121

Intermediate Women

1 Natalie Hawley 3,066

2 Nicole Hansen 3,044

3 Christine Kornylak 2,592

Intermediate Men

1 Bowie Adams 4,228

2 Danny Aleksovski 4,125

2 Joseph Gifford 4,125

4 Brian Jones 3,752

Advanced Women

1 Francesca Metcalf 4,783

2 Amanda Berezowski 4,458

3 Marah Bragdon 3,700

Advanced Men

1 Chris Adkins 7,671

2 Sean Hribal 6,951

3 Shane Messer 6,828

Ancient Hardperson

1 Jason Young 6,787

2 Mike Bacon 6,262

3 Howie Feinsilber 5,892

Stone Master

1 Hilary Cohen 3,230

2 Tim Wise 2,417

3 Rick Hansen 2,183

Star Chaser

1 Matt Twyman 145

2 Matt Mendonza 117

3 Nathan Fedor 109

Open Women

1 Kate McGinnis 8,891

2 Alex Puccio 8,761

3 Alex Johnson 7,525

Open Men

1 Jimmy Webb 11,389

2 Joshua Reyes 10,305

3 Brian Antheunisse 9,915





Sidebar: Unfortunately, some of our parents feel that even events like the Triple Crown should be more about competition than pure climbing enjoyment and camaraderie. Aside from their presence at the event, the competition was hugely successful. We respectfully ask that parents please remember the Triple Crown is not a USAC sanctioned competition, and to please save their competitiveness and lofty goals for their children to those venues. Thank You.