It’s put the South on the map as a destination for world-class bouldering. Over the past decade, the events in the Triple Crown Bouldering Series have ascended from local favorites to high-profile events that host some of the world’s best climbers. The Triple Crown field has included climbers from 35 states and as far away as Great Britain, France, and Japan. “We have a pool of high-level sponsored athletes who keep coming back every year with the goal to win the series,” says series organizer Chad Wykle.
On the women’s side, Atlanta-based rock goddess Kate Reese-McGuiness will be looking for her fourth straight win in the open category. But New Jersey’s Paul Robinson, who has dominated the last three open men’s fields, will not be returning, leaving the door open for big names like El Cap free climber Tommy Caldwell and Daniel Woods.
The fall series kicks off October 4 in Boone, N.C., before moving to Alabama, and finally concluding in Tennessee.
“The rock and type of climbing varies dramatically from each event,” Wykle says. “To win this series you have to be a well-rounded climber.”
October 4 – Boone, N.C.
Located just outside of Boone in the High Country of North Carolina, Hound Ears takes place in a private gated community that is only open to climbers one day a year for this competition. Selling out in advance every year at 400 climbers, the competition features a huge boulder field with technical crimpers and tough overhang holds.
HORSE PENS 40
November 1 – Steele, Ala.
Horse Pens is unlike any other bouldering field in Dixie. It features unique sandstone bouldering with core-intensive holds that are often compared to Fontainebleau in France. Owned by a climber-friendly couple, the park is able to hold the biggest comp in the series with an estimated 800 coming out to the crag every year.
THE STONE FORT
December 6 – Chattanooga, Tenn.
Known to long-time climbers as Little Rock City, this boulder field located in a golf community on Mobry Mountain, just outside of Chattanooga, wasn’t legally open to climbers until series organizers proposed this competition six years ago. It is now open to 35 climbers each day. It features the most varied terrain of the three comps with a wide array of problems—everything from steep slabs to thuggy overhangs. Stone Fort also sells out in advance with a capped field of 400 climbers. Rumor on the street: Free-climbing superman Chris Sharma is set to make his first official Triple Crown appearance at Stone Fort.
Keep It Clean
The Southeastern Climbers Coalition goes to great lengths to keep the peace with landowners and agencies in order to preserve Dixie crags. Their biggest effort is maintaining a regular schedule of trail workdays to keep popular climbing areas clean and well maintained. Whether it’s fixing anchors, digging trails, or picking up trash, it’s been proven that a little sweat equity goes a long way in a sport that’s constantly fighting for access. For more information on any of these upcoming events visit www.seclimbers.org.
<div style=”border:1px solid #0066CC; padding:10px;”>GRIFFIN FALLS ADOPT-A-CRAG TRAIL DAY
Griffin Falls, Ala. – October 11
SUNSET ROCK TRAIL DAY
Lookout Mountain, Tenn. – November 8
CASTLE ROCK ADOPT-A-CRAG TRAIL DAY
Jasper, Tenn. – November 15
LITTLE ROCK CITY TRAIL DAY
Monte Lake Golf Course, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. – Nov. 21
BOAT ROCK TREE PLANTING DAY
Atlanta, Ga. – November 22</div>