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Beers, Cheers, and 10 Great Years: How the Triple Crown is Still Going Strong
Posted on Wednesday, November 28
by michael_wurzel

Whitney Boland

The Triple Crown Bouldering Series has been going on for as long as I’ve been climbing in the South. Founded in the desire of a passionate group of people trying to raise money for access, the Triple Crown has gained legendary national status. Among the country’s proudest outdoor comps and most successful events, the Triple Crown has done well to keep its authenticity and original feel-good vibes, despite its ever-growing popularity. And despite the impression that every event in the South is all about the booze, it’s much more. It’s the people, the passion and the amazing rock of this place.
The founders of the events – Chad Wykle and Jim Horton – are always on the list to be thanked. They had done an amazing job of putting on the event each year, seeing that it runs smoothly and growing its success. But while the founders are the brains behind the Triple Crown, the event couldn’t be what it is – what it has grown to be over the past 10 years – without the support and participation of climbers looking to be a part of a good cause and have a good time on the country’s densest, stickiest sandstone. The event series has served to move the southeastern climbing scene forwards and band together the local and regional and even national climbing community.
Much of the proceeds from these event series go to support the Carolina Climber’s Coalition (CCC) and the SCC. This year, the Triple Crown raised $1,000 in raffles at Hound Ears for the CCC and raised over $1,000 in raffles for the SCC at Stone Fort. The Triple Crown will also donate $1,000 to the Red Cross in the next week. Final results of the money raised and postings of HP40 comp results are still out, so check back at www.triplecrownbouldering.com for updates.
While raising money for access is the Triple Crown’s raison d’etre, it’s grown to be more than just an event to raise money. It’s part of our heritage as Southern climbers. An ideal we must pass down for years to come. The past decade of event success has been many things, but above all it has been part of our history in the making, our culture and our roots as climbers in the southeast.
Thanks to everyone who helped put on a great event series. Here are some closing thoughts about this year’s Triple Crown event, what’s up next and things of which to be proud from one of Triple Crown’s founding fathers, Chad Wykle:

How was this year’s event different that the others?
CW: This was year 10 for Triple Crown and, year 19 for Hound Ears. So it was very special for our volunteers and participants. We had great weather at all three events (just a bit warm at HP-40).
Being on the 18th Fairway of Stone Fort again (bouldering and sponsors) was a great treat! So was having special band appearance from 'Strung Like a Horse' and of course the Reel Rock Tour on Saturday night (right on the fairway too) was pretty surreal. As always great to see so many familiar faces and, many, many new ones!!

Can we expect some surprises in next years comp line-up?
CW: Always expect surprises! We have excellent relationships with all of our sponsors who always have great ideas about how to take the event to the next level. Next year will be no different. It will be another milestone for us too: the 20th anniversary for Hound Ears!

In regards to the mission of supporting climbing access, the newest addition to the list of SCC-owned climbing areas is Hospital Boulders. Is the TC behind the recent Hospital Boulders purchase? How do we see that support?
CW: TC is in full support of the Hospital Boulder acquisition. For starters we're funding the video that will launch/promote the fund raising effort! Stay tuned, more to come!!

Any closing thoughts on a decade of event success?
CW: We're very proud and excited about the last decade and what we (with the support of our volunteers, sponsors and the climbing community) have been able to accomplish for climbing access. Boat Rock, Laurel Knob, Asheboro Boulders, Steele, Stone Fort (LRC), Deep Creek and now Hospital Boulders to name a few of our climbing communities access successes that Triple Crown has supported over the last 10 years.
Triple Crown is also extremely proud to have received the Bebie Leadership Award from the Access Fund last year, a very special award that was presented to Jim, me and all of our volunteers. We're very thankful for that recognition!!
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