Fall Temps, Stiff Drinks and Andrew Kornylak’s “The Tribe”

The season, thankfully, is quickly approaching. The Weather Channel predicts a high of 70 degrees in Chattanooga by the end of the week, which after a summer of 90 degree heat is a miracle. While in the spring 70 degrees was the sign of the end, in the fall it’s the sign of a beginning. Excitement stirs in the air and any hint of cooler breezes sends Southern climbers spinning. But one thing that seems to say fall more than temps in the building excitement for the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. The series started by partnering with the Hound Ears comp that allowed climbers to access a bouldering field one day a year on private property. The series, which added two additional events — one at Stone Fort or Little Rock City and the other at Horsepens 40 — as a way to raise a little money but has evolved into a large, three-part bouldering series that celebrates the quality climbing on killer sandstone in the southeast while simultaneously raising large funds for the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and The Carolina Climbers’ Coalition, two organizations that are both dedicated to the delicate access issues we have here. It is one of the country’s best events, and arguably the best outdoor bouldering event. I have written about the event before for Rock and Ice, but this year is particularly special as the 10th annual anniversary.

To highlight the event, earlier in the week Atlanta-based photographer Andrew Kornylak release a video about the event called “The Tribe.” It follows Utah’s Carrie Cooper as she returns to her roots in North Carolina, where the first of the three Triple Crown events will take place the first weekend in October. Cooper, along with Chattanooga’s climbing strongman Jimmy Webb, and North Carolina climbing fixtures Paul and Kim Fuelling, take to the boulders to climb some hyper classics and also some first ascents. The video is done in Kornylak’s stylistic manner with the emphasis of the story through words and images — as always, a very pleasing cut to watch — but the video also gives a little history of the event: how it started, where it’s been, and where it’s going. The founders, two people who have been the backbone of the event — Chad Wykle and Jim Horton —  get a chance to talk about Triple Crown and give a candid look at its history. They largely go unnoticed for how much time and effort they put into the series each year. As the event gets ready to kick off in a month, it’s a good time to reflect and congratulate those that made it possible, those that keep it going and those that move it forward every year.

So, get yourself a stiff, tall whiskey drink and check out the video below or click here to check out more in the Triple Crown Bouldering Series.

Trail day at LRC and other event

As the weather gets warmer and hits record temps in the Southeast for March (mid-80s, yikes!), climbers get ready for upcoming events starting this weekend at the Stone Fort (known to some of you as Little Rock City) Trail Day. This year is especially exciting because the Southeastern Climbers Coalition was awarded $2,000 by Wild Trails/Triple Crown and Rock/Creek to go towards tree installation at Stone Fort. This addition will not only enclose some areas, but help with erosion.We planted roughly 45 trees around the entrance, the front area and near Crack of Doom, added some stairs and did other trail maintenance. Go check out the results! The trail day was sponsored by Wild Trails/Triple Cown, SCC, REI, Access Fund & Access Fund Jeep Conservation Team, Rock/Creek, The Crash Pad as well as Five Ten, and Horton.

The last weekend in March, March 31-April 1, is a big weekend. The Red Rock Rendezvous in Las Vegas, Nevada will bring in lots of people from all over the country. It’s a great way to meet lots of people and have a blast with hordes of fellow climbers. I will be attending this event and teaching an intermediate sport climbing clinic on Saturday, March 31. If you’re attending the event, check out clinic details here, and get more info on the event here. In the Southeast, there are two other events going on: the Red River Reunion, which will benefit the  Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, will take place March 31 at Miguel’s Pizza. Here in Chattanooga, the SCC and Access Fund Jeep Conservation Team team up for the Tennessee Wall Adopt-A-Crag Trail Day. You can get more details on the T-Wall Trail Day here.