An Insider’s Guide to the Hound Ears Leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series

Top out skills are a must.
Top out skills are a must. Triple Crown 2014
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Fall is fast approaching, and we sincerely hope you've stayed on top of your climbing training this summer. Whether you’re ready or not, the bouldering season is finally here.

For starters, climbers will soon flock to the Southeast to test their sandstone skills at the Triple Crown. The first bouldering competition, in this series of three, will take place at the Hound Ears boulder field in Boone, NC on November 7. The other two legs are scheduled to take place at Stone Fort, TN on October 17 and Horse Pens 40, AL on November 21.

In last year's Triple Crown Series, climbers had the opportunity to compete in a fourth event at Rumbling Bald, NC. However, this year the comp is assuming its original format of three individual and/or cumulative competitions.

Here’s a look at what to expect at the Hound Ears competition.

Chilly temps are common at the Hound Ears leg of the comp.
Chilly temps are common at the Hound Ears leg of the comp. Triple Crown 2014

Comp beta:

The Hound Ears comp is unique in the sense that climbing is only permitted here once per year exclusively for the Triple Crown. The boulder field is located inside the gated community at the Hound Ears Club outside of Boone, NC. On the morning of the comp, climbers will be shuttled here by bus from the Grandfather Mountain Campground where most climbers choose to stay. Sponsor and vendor tents are set up with everything from demos to free swag to entertainment for climbers while waiting for the signal to mark the start of a long day at the boulders.

Most climbers opt to stay at the Grandfather Campground.
Most climbers opt to stay at the Grandfather Campground. Triple Crown 2014

Boulder beta:

The problems at Hound Ears are versatile and range from thuggy to technical to lowball roofs and highball scare fests. Most of the boulders are in a fairly concentrated area, but be sure to check out the less-traveled boulders as well to add to your score card. The following not-to-miss classics are just a few of the many stellar problems at Hound Ears:  The Blade (V6), The Anchor (V4), Thunder Prow (V6) and The Crescent (V5) .

The Triple Crown is the perfect place to demo some shoes.
The Triple Crown is the perfect place to demo some shoes. Triple Crown 2014

How to get there:

Arriving in Boone a day ahead is recommended, especially if you are coming from out of town. The campground or other lodging arrangements in nearby Boone are both good options. The closest major airports are Douglas Airport in Charlotte, NC Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, GA or Asheville, NC. Renting a car is the easiest way to get around and crash pad rentals will also be available by event sponsor Anvil Crash Pad Rentals if you want to avoid extra airline baggage fees. Spectators are also welcome at this event but due to limited space, will have to register and pay the same fee as competitors.

Note: In case of rain the event will be delayed until the following day.

Some spot is better than no spot.
Some spot is better than no spot. Triple Crown 2014

The Triple Crown is put on to highlight Southeastern climbing as well as being used as a platform to raise funds and awareness in preserving and minimizing the impact climbing has in these areas. Proceeds from the Hound Ears comp will benefit the Carolina Climbers' Coalition as well as other non-profit organizations. The organizers have worked extremely hard through the years to create relationships and mutual respect with the Hound Ears Club. Let’s show our appreciation to the Club for once again letting climbers take over their beautiful setting by treating them, the land, and everyone involved with the respect and care they deserve. Climb on.

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