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. 


Table Rock

Saturday, March 23, 2013 , , 2 Comments

On wednesday I headed out with a guide on Table Rock near Branson for some bass fishing with my father. We fished from 3 to 7 and despite the cold strong winds ended up catching 15+ bass. The bass we caught were a combination of Spotted and Largemouth Bass, which was fun due to the fact that I had never caught a Spotted Bass before and allowed me to add to the life list. 

Most of the fish were suspended in 20 ft of water. Bass are between the winter pattern and pre-spawn staging. My father used a crawdad patterned Wiggle Wart and I used an Alabama Rig with white swimbaits. The trip was enjoyable despite the weather and for me it was particularly memorable as the last fish of the trip was a 5 lb Largemouth, tying my personal best.

First Spotted Bass of my life. Easiest way to differentiate them from Largemouth's despite a similar appearance is the presence of a tooth patch on their tongue, much like White Bass. 

I assure you my father typically doesn't wear hats that make him look like a Conehead. Spotted Bass. 

Little football Spotted. 

An arm of Tablerock. Water clarity was a couple of feet. 

He kinda looks surprised to have caught this one. 

Tied for personal best, 5 lb Largemouth. Earlier I lost a fish that may have beaten this one in size. 



Friday, March 22, 2013 , , 2 Comments

Fished Taneycomo the other day. First time to the fishery and had a good time fishing with my father. I caught five rainbows in a couple of hours, four of which were on a red zebra midge. Water was running zero units. As I pride myself on generally taking good photos of my adventures I must apologize upfront--I didn't have my underwater camera with me on this trip and ended up dropping my camera in the water, so I didn't get many shots off and the singular shot of a trout is far from sexy. We will see how the camera fares, for the moment it is covered in rice. 

Anyhow, I had planned on returning the next day to float a stretch in my kayak but the weather turned on us and dropped snow and freezing rain, not conditions my father thought were particularly favorable. All things considered I wouldn't mind returning, particularly as I hear the night bite for Browns is stellar. 

My father attempting to lure some trout. 

 Rainbow on red zebra midge. I warned you, not exactly a quality shot. Dropped the camera a few seconds after this was taken. 


Trappers Camp

Wednesday, March 06, 2013 , 1 Comments

Took a day trip to Trappers Camp in Missouri, on the banks of Truman Lake. With temperatures in the mid 30's and winds gusting to 27 mph it seemed like a great day to go rock climbing. Actually it was terribly cold, and being exposed on a rock face in clothing loose enough to climb made it a borderline miserable. We only had time for two routes. The first was a 5.9 + but I didn't attempt it due to it being a trad route and I would like to get more sport climbing experience first. The second route was a 5.10c which I lead but was only able to get halfway up. Somewhat disappointed in my performance but was glad to get out and be on a wall. One final note on climbing at Trappers camp, there is a lot of loose rock and the wall itself is somewhat choss. I would recommend wearing a helmet there. Something I didn't do, I got hit with one small rock and narrowly missed another of much greater size. Will be down in Arkansas in a few weeks climbing at Horseshoe Canyon. Greatly looking forward to it. Here are the pictures of the day: 

Seth climbing the 5.9+

And he sends it! 

Rob rappelling. 

Truman Lake

Kasi on belay. 

Seth on belay for me. 

Yours Truly. 

The path down to the routes. 

Truman Lake at Sunset.