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Horseshoe Canyon for New Years?
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By michaelp
Dec 4, 2013

One of my climbing partners just learned that she will have off work between Christmas and New Years and proposed a trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

For anyone who has climbed at Horseshoe in the winter, would you recommend it?

I've looked at average temperatures in nearby Jasper for that time of year, and it says 46F is typical. Climbing at our closest crags (in Southern Illinois) in 46 degree weather would be miserable. But I've heard from other people that at certain sufficiently sunny crags (e.g., T-Wall in Chattanooga) it's comfy to climb even down in the 30s.

Alternatively, does anybody have some suggestions for single pitch sport that might be good at that time of year? (The closer to St. Louis, the better.)


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By austin luper
From Fayetteville
Dec 4, 2013
shes a beaut

I climb a lot around Arkansas in the winter. Hcr gets good sun so you'll be good. You could always take a pad incase a nasty front comes in. It's about to get deadly cold this week so I'd keep an eye on the weather. It's different every year


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By michaelp
Dec 5, 2013

Thanks, Austin!


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By pete cutler
From Des Moines, IA
Dec 5, 2013

If the suns out you'll be good. Winter is the best time there anyways in my opinion. Fewer crowds and great friction. Nights get cold though


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By Donald Kerabatsos
Dec 7, 2013

There's no poison ivy, too. The sun can be tricky to chase at horseshoe. It's a further drive but you check out the Wichita mountains. I think it's better winter climbing because the rock is much more exposed. Be warned though, the wind can be a bitch.


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By michaeltarne
Dec 7, 2013

It can be hit or miss temperature wise, but if you're willing to boulder when it really gets cold, it's almost always climbable. I also disagree with Donald, chasing sun is easy. North 40 or bust!


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By SmithVentures
From Coeburn, Virginia
Dec 12, 2013
Bouldering at Flag Rock, Norton, VA

I climbed at HCR last year over New Year's. One day, we had amazing weather, mid-forties and felt amazing in the sun. The next day was colder, but we climbed at least five pitches at Sam's Throne. I remember there being ice in a crack that I was leading, but it still protected well. The third day it was sleeting, however, we got a couple of pitches in at a nearby crag.

It all depends at what you can handle. and yes, bouldering will be warmer because you're touching the rock for shorter periods.

Mid-forties in Arkansas is amazing weather for climbing because the friction will be better and your projects might actually send! In the sun, you will be toasty.


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By Jeremy Kasmann
From Denver, CO
Dec 12, 2013

Roman Wall and a lot of the nearby areas are nice once they go into the sun (11am maybe?). Then again to me, mid-40s is fine at Jackson Falls if it isn't soaked.


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By JasonCrum
From Lynchburg, Virginia
Dec 21, 2013

Hey Michael,
You guys still planning on heading to HCR? I'm considering making a solo trip over that way around the same time. Let me know if you guys might be interested in a random climbing partner! :)
-Jason


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By michaelp
Dec 23, 2013

Just wanted to say thank you to everybody for the information. :)

And Jason: I'm optimistic, but we'll see. Based on the forecast, it sounds like the 27th and 28th currently look most likely for good weather.

Current plan is to just watch the forecast as the days in question get closer...


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