To prepare for the event, Caitlin trained with Touchstone trainer Justin Alarcon. "Training with Justin was AWESOME! I sort of feel that, when you're dealing with fear and the mental games you play with yourself, it's important to have all of your other ducks in a row. Spending a month and a half training with Justin helped me get really strong, which made me feel more confident. And I learned a lot of stuff that I'm still using - definitely improved my strength for the longterm."
Caitlin talked a bit about here experience in a trip report. The 24 hours were really genuinely a blur, with key moments as snapshots. It went so fast, and I had no time to think about it - I just had to do it, because we had to get in a climb an hour if we were to get our horseshoes. That actually turns out to be kind of hard just strategically!! Waiting for a route, trying to figure out which crag to go to first, factoring in walk time, etc. If you were at a route and you sat there waiting for it, you were sort of committing to it.
A very tired Caitlin
We start the day at Memoirs of a Deisha, a 5.7 overhang. GREAT IDEA, RIGHT? I totally fall twice, one is a pretty good lead fall just below the second bolt. Lauren totally catches me and it's actually good because it gets the jitters out. The morning is a blur, we go to the tallest crags at the whole ranch and do those twice... that's where I left my camera. And my rain jacket... :(
Everything is going smoothly until about 5 PM - that's when it starts to rain. There's a HUGE downpour for about 45 minutes, and we spend that time huddled under an overhang called the "power roof," super overhanging bouldering, with a bunch of other climbers, talking and eating; it's a nice break. :) After that we crawl out and keep climbing despite the wet and cold.
By 3 AM Lauren is losing her mind! We make our way to some really easy 5.5 trad and sling our way up as a break hour... by 5 AM I am cranky and exhausted, but Lauren has started to feel much better. I idly consider quitting, but Lauren convinces me to stem up this really easy route called "Emma's Got a Mullet." That gets me over the hump!!
Dawn breaks at roughly 6:30 AM as we are climbing a route called "Action Hotdog." It's misty and the light slowly breaks and it's beautiful, but most importantly we get a huge burst of energy - like, crazy awesome energy. We're so close!!!
9 AM: We go to the Titanic Boulder and do our last route. I hate it, lol. There's this weird move where you wrap your leg around a massive flake and it just isn't my style at all. But I do it (TWICE), and that's how we end the competition! 26 climbs each in 24 hours.
The lack of relief was honestly surprising - both of us felt that we could climb some more, or we could not, whatever. The tiredness had been replaced with a sort of auto-pilot feeling. We turned in our scorecards and promptly crashed into our tents for several hours, dead to the world.