Triple Crown Bouldering Series 2012 Wrap-up.
Written by Seth Bentley
Photos by Michael Rosato
First Leg–Hound Ears
It was a cool morning when competitors for the Hound Ears leg of the 2012 Triple Crown rustled out of their tents brimming with excitement, anticipation, and the occasional case of van envy. Gathering in the field, crashpads were quickly loaded as everyone is fully aware that this is their only day of the year to take advantage of the amazing Hound Ears boulders.
Meanwhile, two of the newest members of the Southeast SCARPA Grassroots Team, Mike Rosato and Seth Bentley, began frantically cramming demo gear into Mike’s already packed up Tahoe. Mike being in the midst of a week long bouldering excursion had, in true car camping style, forgotten none of the comforts of home and left little room for demo shoes. Nevertheless they set off to the Hound Ears boulders proudly bearing a nice run of SCARPA demo shoes up to the boulder field. On a slight detour, the two proudly wore the shoes all around the Hound Ears neighborhood, because it turns out Mike’s three previous seasons of competing in Hound Ears where not enough to instill the directions in his memory. At least he’s a strong climber.
The competition day went well with plenty of energy and good crisp fall air. The weather even waited on everyone to finish before typical Boone mists arrived. The evening festivities commenced and encountered only 5 power outages. Many came to the SCARPA tent to have a look at “those crazy colored SCARPAs I saw somebody wearing.” (Those “crazy colored SCARPAs” are the Boostics).
Second Leg–Stone Fort
Stone Fort has always been a unique bouldering area due to its concentration on high quality problems, amazing stone quality, and proximity to downtown Chattanooga. However, there has always been the unique situation of it being located on a golf course. Fortunately, many local Chattanooga climbers have worked with the more than gracious golf course owner and have worked out not only access to the boulders for the public, but a full on concert and movie night on the 18th hole!
The day was a balmy 75 degrees, and many competitors must have realized they were going to need to pull out all the stops because the Boostic demos were swooped up quickly. The heat didn’t deter many from checking out stellar problems like Cloud Nine and the 45 boulder which are normally closed due to their location on the fairway. As the day turned to afternoon, the competitors had the hard hitting twangy music of local Chattanooga band, Strung Like a Horse, to rally their last sends before turning in the scorecards. And when the sun went down everyone settled down to drool over Sharma’s abs, cringe at Ondra’s screams, and shake heads at just about everything Alex Honnold always does as the Reel Rock film tour was served up.