Friday, 19 February 2010

Climb On!!!

"Don't be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams." -Unknown

It would seem to be that every Friday morning that I wake up, after a Thursday climbing night, I wake up giddy. Make that giddy, exhilirated, happy and high on life.

I have a new love - indoor climbing.

Hmm, maybe I need to change the title of my blog? Indoor climbing isn't an outdoor adventure. Of course it could lead to that. My friend Lisa mentioned she could take me climbing outdoors when I get back to BC. The thought of that made me quiver in me boots when she mentioned it at Christmas. But now that I'm getting a bit more confidence in the gym - I think I just might be open to trying a very very low wall outside...

Back to being inside though. I was back at the Crux last night with the usual merry band of climbers, plus one. My friend Dave joined us as well and showed why it is a good thing to be 6'2" tall when climbing! Once again, it was a brilliant night - despite the dizzying heights, dripping sweat, swiftly beating heart, and slight nausea. Who am I kidding - that was all part of the fun!

Last night as I waited for my turn to climb I chatted with another fellow that was there. He suggested I climb the corner, because I had mentioned climbing on the side, last week, where it was open was a bit too scary for me. Turns out he climbed that side, slipped and was swinging into the stairway! Yikes. I'm sure I would have a heart attack if that were me.

I love the corner climb because I can wedge myself in nicely as I propel myself up. The corner route happens to be the neon green route. Really, one day I will have to record what the name of it is, because the names are hysterical. Anyways, I've tried this route a few times, but only manage a short way up before I just start grabbing onto whatever hold is there.

With the boost of knowing I climbed a route last week though, I decided I would not be beat by some little neon green tape! I should note here that this climb would be much easier if I had another foot of height on me. Heck, even a couple inches of height would be better. Whoever designs the routes must be a 6 footer!!

I will spare all the gory details of the climb, suffice it to say that with the exception of one hold, I made the climb following only the neon green path. To do so was a bit tricky - at one point I heard Jim yell up to me 'Well that's an interesting pose!' I had one leg bent and on a hold in front of me, the other was bent back and upwards on another hold behind me and my arms where twisted and above and behind me. You know, a photo would be worth a thousand words right now rather than trying to describe this!

I was quite happy with my climb and wanted to try the route I did last week with Stephan. Here is one thing I noticed though...when you aren't just climbing willy nilly, it's actually harder! After one climb I was already sweating and my arms could feel it. I really must work on that!

I waited my turn then Jim belayed as I started my climb on the blue route. It was ever so slightly better than last week, but I still struggled at the same point near the ledge. I managed to get onto the ledge and proceeded to do my usual of just standing there looking at the wall, rather than down at the floor to where I could plunge. I could only imagine what I must look like up a kid who's gotten in trouble at school and has to stand in the corner.

As I was just about to get back to climbing, I heard Stephan yell from the other side of the gym 'Do not lower her down till she's done!!' to Jim. It was hilarious. Makes it hard to climb when you are giggling.

I was almost at the top - and stuck. Again. I had tried the move to get to the last hold, but slipped. So now I was just hanging in my harness thinking of what to try. It was then that I heard a voice from behind me asking 'Would you like a hint?' It was one of the guys I had gotten to know since I started coming here with Jim - unfortunately I don't know his name! He was taking a break from his route and literally hanging around watching my progress. He also knows I'm new at this and trying to deal with the height thing.

I said I wanted to try one more time, and then yes, I would like his help. On the next try I heaved myself upward and managed to take hold. It was a far from graceful move however! As I hung on I asked what I should have done. That's when he pointed out where my feet were and how if I had stayed more to the right I'd have better leverage and balance. I am always so grateful for the help I get here!

When we were both on terra firma, I mentioned something about my standing on the ledge staring at the wall. He said he was going to chat with me at that point, but wasn't sure if it was a good idea just in case I was freaking out! Too funny. And here I thought I looked normal?? I explained my inability to look down when I'm climbing and said next time he was welcome to talk to me - but don't expect me to turn around and look for where he is! Once again, I have reinforced the notion that I am a spazz.

I tried one more climb after that, but didn't make it very far. I have come to realize that I have to have an empty stomach when doing this. Completely the opposite to when I was training for triathlon. Funny how that works. I ate a little too late I think so during the last climb, and the one before, I felt sick to my stomach. It kind of ticked me off because I wanted to climb another route, but such is the way of life. Dave was teasing me about being all about the routes now. Oh no, they are creating a mini monster!

So for the last bit of the evening I had fun watching the dudes do their thing and being belay, then it was off to the pub for some more social time.

I have only been with this group for less than two months...but already I know how much I'm going to miss them when I move. It's a wonderful feeling to be in such a fun, encouraging environment again. Something I have missed for a while now. Hmm, maybe I can convince them all to come out to Squamish this summer for a climbing trip!! Not that I will be climbing out there, I don't think, but I would make one heck of a cheerleader!

Peace out, and climb on, my friends!


  1. I want to see pics!!!!What a great bunch of guys you have there, helping you out and pushing you!! :) :) :)

  2. Chieftian would be a great climb for you..Petons from previous climbers abound so you could just scamper up. Moeder.

  3. Yes, next time, pictures pleeeze! Hangin on the wall like some bat.

  4. Congratulations on facing your fears and pushing through at the climbing wall. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying it so much. It sounds like a blast! And you never know... you just might be climbing out in Squamish too!

  5. Squamish! I stayed there when I went to Whistler a while back. It was the cutest, friendliest town I have been to. You are going to be so happy back there.

    Love the climbing stories.

    "Once again, I have reinforced the notion that I am a spazz."

    LOL. You are not a spazz, you are passionate :).