Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 , , 0 Comments

Finally I was able to get down to Horseshoe Canyon in Arkansas for some rock climbing and hiking. This has been on the bucket list for months but the trips just kept falling apart or I was busy, but finally my sister and I, along with three friends were able to make the trip this past week. We climbed for three days and despite a day of rain, we were able to make the best of it and get in some quality climbs in each day, and when that wasn't possible hiked the entire canyon and were able to get a real sense of the grandeur of this very special place. 

Located 15 min west of Jasper, Arkansas, Horseshoe Canyon is perhaps one the the most well known climbing locations in the region. Opportunities exist for both trad and sport routes with grades ranging from 5.6-5.14. Bolts were well placed and maintained. The rock was sandstone and truly enjoyable to climb on. 

Day 1

The first day was mostly spent on the drive to Horseshoe, about a 5 1/2 hour drive from my home in Lawrence, Kansas. Upon arrival we hiked to the crag, were given final advice from Bret on lead climbing, lead belaying and cleaning routes, and then had a few hours for each of us to climb a few routes in the 5.7-5.8 range. 

And so our Adventure begins. 

Bret with some last minute advice. 

Therese on top rope. 

Spotting Bret as he begins a lead route. 

This is the view from the top, after I had successfully lead climbed my first route. 

My sister Sara, gears up for one last route before we lost all light
 and had to head back to the campsite. 

Day 2

The second day we woke up to much different weather conditions. Far from the 70* and sun we had arrived to: day two was cold and rainy all day. We started the day off with a little climbing before the rain completely canceled our plans. Trying to make the best out of the day we decided to hike the entire canyon. It may have not been ideal, but the landscape was breathtaking, and almost everyone had a great time. 

Our Campsite.

Bret climbed the frist route, then went on rappel so he could take a few pictures of Therese's first lead climb.

Therese on her first lead route. Cotton Candy- 5.6

Soon however, the rain became to much for us to climb so making the best out of the day we decided to hike the canyon.

Day 3 

With the rain gone, the third day was all about climbing. We started out climbing some 5.6's on the North 40 before heading over to the roman wall where we remained as long as the light allowed.

Walking from our campsite to the crags. 

Belaying my sister on a nice warm up route to start the morning. 

Therese crushing a 5.10a

Brian lead climbing a 5.8 on the Roman Wall.

 Bret making a 5.9 look as easy as walking down the street. 

Brian's first lead climb. 

 Sara learning how to belay. 

Me on a 5.9

Bret with Okie, one of the several dogs served with protecting area. 

Sara on Cotton Candy, 5.6

Therese 5.9

 You know it's an easy route when you can stop for a photo op. 

 Till next time Horseshoe Canyon.