In preparation for Hound Ears this weekend, here's a really nicely-produced video showing a few classic lines from the perspective of a strong local. Also, check out my list of tips for the comp after the video.
For anyone coming to the comp, hope you've been sanding your fingers and eating your Wheaties. Hound Ear is tons of fun but it'll kick yer butt at the same time. Every year I've competed I've been totally wasted by around 2 in the afternoon, well before the comp's officially over.
On that same note, here are a few tips I've learned the hard way:
1. Don't rush! The psyche is so high and there's so much good rock to climb, it's hard not to go crazy. But warm up well and pace yourself. A lot people are slowing down early in the afternoon so there's plenty of time then to get on the good stuff.
2. Don't get hung up on one problem. I've done this in the past and totally wasted myself for a single send. There's tons of good rock to climb and we can only get in once a year. Sample the goods!
3. Eat lunch. This goes along with number one. I never took the time to chill and eat a solid lunch, so I always bonked out from low energy earlier than I should have. Its hard to make yourself sit down for 45 minutes, but you'll be better off if you do.
4. Don't work the sharp stuff too much. All the rock is pretty sharp/rough, but some problems are worse than others. Know when to walk away and save your skin!
5. Bring good brushes. Hundreds of sweaty climbers all vying for many of the same lines. 'Nuff said.
6. Bring a good jacket for the morning! I always get caught off guard by how durn cold it is when you're waiting for the shuttles in the morning. It usually warms up nicely later in the day, but it takes longer to get warmed up for climbing if you've been too cold in the AM.
7. Head for the woods. There are tons of cool problems off the beaten path at Hound Ears. You'll get away from the main area crowds and find some cool stuff. Also, from my experience, it seemed like newly-developed areas had softer grades, which meant more points for less work.
8. Don't be a wanker and sandbag yerself! Some folks may be tempted to climb below their ability level all day to place high in the category below them. If you like winning on these terms, well, that's just crappy. So there. Plus, you're screwing yourself out of killer problems at your level. So don't be lame.
9. Get to the parking lot early to get a t-shirt that fits! The triple crown shirts are shweet; it sucks getting there and having to take a pink extra-large (unless that's your bag). I've got like three shirts that don't fit me 'cuz I'm not an early riser.
Well, those are my tips / advice from past years. Anybody else got tips to share? My first HE was comp #3 or #4; can't remember exactly. Hard to believe it's now #17 or something. Good luck and have fun!