Weekend Pick: Horse Pens 40 Bouldering Competition in Steele, Alabama, Nov. 22

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Horse Pens 40
Image courtesy of Triple Crown Bouldering Series

Chase the sun during this cold snap and head down South to Steele, Alabama for the Horse Pens 40 Bouldering Competition, the third installment in the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. Saturday, November 22, will feature one of the most popular bouldering competitions nationwide at Horse Pens 40, the area’s top bouldering field and a favorite of Southeastern climbers.

The annual Triple Crown Bouldering Series typically occurs in three parts – first at Hound Ears in Boone, North Carolina; and second at Little Rock City, or Stone Fort, in Chattanooga, Tennessee; before hitting Steele for the final leg of the competition. This year, the event has tacked on a fourth segment at Rumbling Bald in North Carolina to finish out the series.

Horse Pens 40, now the penultimate piece of the Triple (Quadruple) Crown, begins at 9 AM Saturday morning with pre-registration and last-minute sign ups available on both the evening before and the morning of. Registered participants and spectators will meet at the Horse Pens 40 Campsite, just seconds from the boulders! Climbers have until 4 PM to climb and document their ten best problems, each assigned a particular point value based on difficulty. Finally, end the day surrounded by your fellow climbers with warm food, free beer, and tons of swag at the evening Awards Ceremony.

Horse Pens 40
Image courtesy of Triple Crown Bouldering Series

All boulder problems in the area are graded on the V scale, which on a worldwide scale currently ranges from V0 to V16. Climbers fall into categories based on gender and climbing grade: “Novice” includes men and women climbing V0 to V2, “Intermediate” looks to men from V3 to V5 and women from V3 to V4, “Advanced” holds men from V6 to V8 and women from V5 to V6, and the elite “Open” category applies to men on V9 or higher and women on V7 or higher. The top three climbers in each category win some seriously cool prizes, and all other competitors can walk away with plenty of equally solid door prizes, raffle items, and giveaways.

Climbers can compete at Horse Pens 40 for $50, and spectators can attend for $20. Registration remains open until the event is full, up to the very morning of the competition! Each leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series serves to bring top-notch climbing opportunities and a healthy competitive atmosphere to boulderers of all levels, pure beginners and hard experts alike. The day may leave your muscles tired, your fingertips raw, and your stomach growling… but all these things will make your time on the rock even more fulfilling! Get psyched on climbing, for the first time or the millionth, at the Horse Pens 40 Bouldering Competition.

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