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A Weekend in Arkansas - Kyle Francis

A Weekend in Arkansas - Kyle Francis
October 20, 2012 - 

Earlier this month I took a trip to Arkansas with some of my buddies. Not big, just a small weekend trip.

The first day we went to Fred’s cave, where I fell on the last move of one inch pinch, and made a lot of progress on chunk up the deuce (both v12). Both are classic climbs. That entire cave is just a slew of incredible routes. That night it started raining and was freezing, so we ended up going to a subway to make dinner…

The next day we went to Off the rails (v10) one of the best climbs in Cowell.  I repeated the climb first try, then the other climbers I was with made quick work of it. The day kinda went downhill from there. Unfortunately there was a plane crash and a family from Southlake died, who was very close with one of the girls on the trip. We then went to HCR where another guy on the trip dropped onto a pad off his warm-up, and landed on a root, spraining his ankle. After that (those of us still standing) went to try Glass bowl, an iconic climb from that area (v10). I tend to struggle with monos, and hip flexibility which made this climb extra difficult for me. I ended up having to jump off the low foot to the sloper rail off the mono, cutting my feet, then going to the jug. It starts getting dark, but we wanted to go try Bloody knuckles (V11, a climb featured in dosage by Jason khel.) so we gave up on glass bowl, and went into the darkness searching for this boulder..

Bloody Knuckles is on private property, so after looking for it, we ended up getting spooked by a light in the woods and ditching the idea. On the way back to the car, in pitch black, I kinda jokingly asked if they wanted to go back to glass bowl. They were like “if your psyched we’ll do it” so I decided to give it one last try, why not right? I then sent it that try. I was so psyched to do a climb that I felt so opposite of me, by cell phone light and a head lamp!

That night was pretty spooky. For those of you who have stayed in fountain red, it’s free camping, in the middle of nowhere, in the woods. So on the drive back, we’re all exchanging stories that were pretty depressing, so once we get back to dark, cold, rainy, scary depressed camp, I didn’t want to get out of the car. So everyone except me and Ryan Sewell get out, and then I and Ryan start sharing happier stories to make each other cheer up. Slowly but surely everyone gets back in the car and we finish telling every funny story all of us had. So around 2:30 we end up going to bed. After like ten minutes I could have sworn I heard footsteps outside our tent. To add to that it was raining. So I was terrified. I was awake for another couple hours. I finally fell asleep thinking that if it was something, I wouldn’t wake up and it’d probably be painless, or id wake up and it’d be fine. It was fine. However, the next morning I woke up and asked if anyone else heard them, turns out they all did.

That morning I gave some feeble attempts at chunk up the deuce and one inch pinch, but I was just too tired. Overall though, it was one of the most fun trips of my life, and I can’t wait for more.

I unfortunately won’t be able to make it to the Pan American Championships, but I will be spending nine days at the red in November, time to start training rope!!


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