Rockclimbing

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    Mar 07, 2007 4:29 AM GMT
    There is no individual topic for rockclimbing, but I am looking to see how many other climbers there are out there. I would like to get a group of friends who are gay who climb, just because it always seems like we are so poorly represented here. From looking around it seems there are a few people are who into it. If you are in the NYC area hit me up.


    Aaron
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    May 16, 2007 10:27 AM GMT
    Hey Aaron, well I'm about 4,000 miles from NYC, but its good to know there are a few other climbers out there. That's actually the reason I'm on this site. A search for "climbing" brings up a reasonable number of guys around the world, and I reckon it'd be good to have a heading in the sports forum. I mean come on, ice skating and rodeo?? ;-)
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 16, 2007 5:10 PM GMT
    Yep, I'm mostly a boulderer, since I'm totally petrified of heights. (I should really work on that.)

    I let my climbing slack while I was cycling a lot, just climbing once for an hour or two every week, but now that I'm done with my big rides, I'm back to bouldering 3x a week, and in just one week of going 3 times, I went from struggling with V2s to solidly working V3s again. It feels good. I've never climbed better than V5 before, but I'm determined to really work at it this summer!
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    May 17, 2007 8:33 AM GMT
    Ah, I don't reckon you should get too caught up in the grades, mate! I just look for lines that really catch my eye, one's that I'm really inspired to do, whether I flash them or spend the next year getting thrashed by 'em. I used to focus more on grades, but when I didn't measure up, it'd really get me down. Right now I'm just really stoked to finally be at the point where I have a good shot at pretty much any line that really look inspiring to me--it feels so good!
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    May 17, 2007 9:37 AM GMT
    I've done some indoor walls and those were pretty fun. I recognized that the different colors represented different paths, but V2s and V3s? Grades? What's all that stuff about? I was excited to do it some more and didn't realize it had scales of those sorts . .
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 17, 2007 3:50 PM GMT
    Boulder: You're right, and I don't chase the grades in the sense that I get down on myself or mad or frustrated. I just use the tape color at the gym (or, on the rare occasion when I have someone else to climb with and go outside, the route ratings) as a guide to what to expect. I still climb the particularly cool V2s every time I climb, and I still work on the harder ones even when sending them is well beyond my reach.

    I just use the grades as a way to see growth, because I find it a good motivator. Like, now that I'm climbing again more regularly, I can hang much more easily off holds half the size of what I could do a couple weeks ago, and I just notice certain moves that felt like holding on for dear life now feel sturdy and I can gracefully hang off them as I swing on by.

    On the topic of injury prevention, I've been really trying lately not to "crimp", i.e. not to flex the fingertips backwards so the weight doesn't rest on the fingertip joints themselves. Instead, I'm trying to do the open-handed thing, monkey-style, where all my finger joints are curved in their natural direction and I just hang off the holds with my fingertips and an open-palm grip.

    It's a lot harder than crimping. Man, the strength in my very finger tips is so much lower than my strength if you go up a joint to the middle phalanges.

    But then I see most climbers, even very experienced ones, still crimping, often with the thumb-lock. That just seems like it would be terrible for the joints in your fingers -- isn't it? Maybe I'm just being paranoid.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 17, 2007 4:04 PM GMT
    Skotlake: Well, like Boulder says, don't worry about grades so much. Some routes are more challenging than others, that's all. The rating system is just there to give you an idea of what to expect.

    For bouldering, it's rated like V0 = easiest, with increasing numbers getting increasingly hard. It's also rather rough, because it's not like the meter, where there's a metal bar somewhere in Europe that is, officially, a meter long. Bouldering ratings are regional and kind of folkloric in a way, so a V2 in San Francisco may not be the same difficulty as a V2 in Austin (in fact, they are not. They're not wildly far off, though.) And of course two climbs with the same rating might be challenging for different reasons, and one might be easier for tall people, the other might be easier for shorter people.

    So yeah, it's a very inexact science. If you're starting out, it's not really worth worrying about -- when you get on a climb it's usually pretty obvious whether it's feasible for you to try or not. There are plenty of climbs I can't even start, like, I can't even hold onto the starting holds and get my ass off the ground. Just shrug, try something else -- maybe someday! :)

    Oh yeah, and Boulder, one other point about the grades: I also use grades as a sanity check; if I'm climbing V3 and a move just seems insanely, outrageously hard, I know I'm probably doing it wrong or missing some useful bit of technique and I work on it; if I'm climbing a V6 and there's an insanely hard move, I just smile and keep working on it, because it's probably just really hard. :)
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    May 19, 2007 7:33 AM GMT
    Good on you for training open-hand! In the long run, that'll probably save you from chronic pulley and/or tendon injuries. Most of the better climber I know all train open-hand these days, tryin to get it to match their crimp strength. I'd be misleading you if I didn't say they can all still crimp really strong, though...

    And yeah, intuitively I though that all the crimping I do would be pretty bad for me in the long run, but at least as far as osteoarthritis is concerned, the latest study indicates that it makes no difference:

    [cite]
    Am J Orthop 1998 Nov;27(11):734-8

    Radiographic osteoarthritis in the hands of rock climbers.

    Rohrbough JT, Mudge MK, Schilling RC, Jansen C.

    Orthopedic Surgery, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tuscon, Arizona, USA.

    Sixty-five rock climbers were radiographically evaluated for osteoarthritis
    of the finger joints. Only long-time climbers were chosen for this study.
    The average years of climbing experience of these subjects was 19.8 (range,
    8 to 39). The majority of the subjects had climbed at an elite level for
    many years. Plain radiographs of the hands were scored using the
    Kellgren-Lawrence scale and were compared with scores of an age-matched
    control group. An increased rate of osteoarthritis for several joints was
    found in the climber group; however, no significant difference in the
    overall prevalence of osteoarthritis was found between the two groups.
    [/cite]

    In other words, climbers aren't more likely to get osteoarthritis, but if
    they do they get it worse.
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    May 19, 2007 7:40 AM GMT
    ATX, you're dead on about grades being relative to the region or crag. It's particularly poignant in New Zealand! Three of the major bouldering areas here require radically different and utterly untranslatable styles. Castle Hill requires Jedi skills on slopers and mantles, climbing at Turakirae requires supernatural clamping and squeezing skills on roofs, and Waitomo requires infinitesimally subtle foot placements on highball slabs. So, the solitary mantle at Waitomo is a solid V6, while it would only get a V2 among the thousands at Castle Hill, and vice versa. Good for the ego! ;-D
  • DavidnVA

    Posts: 21

    May 24, 2007 3:55 PM GMT
    I'm not a current climber, but as I was roaming the site, I ran across this post. As someone who's interested in beginning climbing, I'm curious as to how some of you got started and where I can go to get more seriously involved. I've done some pretty simple stuff related to some caving "expeditions" but really want to pursue climbing more seriously. Being pretty close to the Blue Ridge Mts, do any of you have any experience there?
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    May 25, 2007 12:51 AM GMT
    Rockclimbing is something I've always been interested in and wanted to try. I live about 45 min. from Red River Gorge in Eastern Kentucky and was wondering if there were any members who go there regularly. If so, hit me up! I need someone with experience to go with for the first time. Thanks!
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    May 25, 2007 2:03 AM GMT
    Your best bet might be to find a mate that's just as keen to try it out as you and head to Peak Experiences in Midlothian. You could sign up for one of their basics classes, and as you get more fit and make some friends there, get somedody competent to teach you to lead outdoors. By starting at a gym, you can try it out before having to buy your own gear and get some (hopefully) decent hands-on instruction. You'll improve really, really quickly in those first few months, which feels pretty damn satisfying!

    www.peakexperiences.com/03_programs/index.htm

  • DavidnVA

    Posts: 21

    May 25, 2007 3:06 AM GMT
    Boulder, thx for the advice and posting the web address to peak experiences... if it were any closer to my back door, the place would'a bit me in the ass. Thx again.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    May 25, 2007 6:06 AM GMT
    Yeah, climbing gyms are great places to start because the pretty discrete nature of climbs makes learning technique easier, I think. Outside it might not be as clear exactly where to put your hands and feet to make a particular kind of move, but inside, hey, there are colored holds bolted to a relatively flat wall, so there's less confusion.

    Another great thing about climbing that is helpful when you're getting started is that everywhere I've ever climbed, the community is almost entirely made up of friendly, helpful people. Climbers tend not to be as self-conscious as people working out in more typical gyms, in my experience, because the focus is on improving climbing skill, not explicitly on sculpting the body. And by and large, they are all happy to offer tips (known as "beta" -- like, you might ask, "Anyone have any good beta for that tricky mantle move halfway up?") and help out.

    I primarily boulder; bouldering is climbing low to the ground -- shorter, more technical routes, but you don't need as much safety equipment, harness & rope and whatnot. But if you find you like climbing longer distances, you need the harness and rope and whatnot, which they'll have for you at gyms, but if you are climbing outside, it becomes a bit of an investment, potentially.

    On the upside, you *can't* do roped climbing without a partner, since you need someone on the other end of the rope, so it makes for a great social activity and if you schedule it regularly with another friend who wants to climb, you really can't bail on each other like you could at the gym. If one of you doesn't go, you know you're spoiling the day for the other guy too. Cuts both ways, though; that difficulty of scheduling is a big reason I don't climb outside more often.

    In any case, I highly, highly recommend it as a sport. Bouldering is naturally like HIIT (high-intensity interval training) since you work on a route and get pumped for a minute or two, then take 3-5 minutes to rest between the next one. So it's great for weight loss, I've found, and builds really nice upper body strength. Well, okay, your forearms will get somewhat disproportionately large, but not to Popeye dimensions, and on the upside, you'll be forever able to assist & amaze your friends and family by opening even the most tightly-sealed screw-top jars.
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    May 26, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    Gidday Aaron, I'm even further affield than Boulderbum from ya, in the South Island of NZ.

    Love rockclimbing...especially trad. You guys have some great climing over there which I'v visited a few times now...Red Rocks out of vegas, Moab, some cool stuff out of Boulder,CO in thew gorge or on the flat irons. There's some great stuff in Aussie too, Mt Arapilise (think I've spelt it right). It's all trad stuff ranging from 10m climbs to 7-8 pitch 200m routes with good range of grades to get yr ring piece working overtime!haha

    Rob

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    Aug 03, 2007 9:32 PM GMT
    Has anybody checked out the new limestone canyon crags north of Las Vegas? The spread in this month's Rock and Ice looks incredible! Any clue as to whether or not the temps in the canyon might be cool enough to allow for climbing mid-summer?
  • ajlclimber

    Posts: 337

    Aug 15, 2007 11:10 PM GMT
    how about down in San Diego???

    I know of one gym.. but I haven't heard any views on it..(don't remember the name). I also don't know anyone else that climbs down here.
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    Aug 15, 2007 11:39 PM GMT
    Just found this post - I've so far met cool climber types on here like Rob and Ryan. Atxclimber is right the climbing community is full of friendly, helpful people.

    I picked up technical rock climbing a few years ago after many years of hiking and scrambling. It's given me more confidence in the outdoors, taught me to be more resourceful, forced me to perform physically at a higher level, and as a result I have been able to conquer more challenging goals. I've also made many new friends.

    Rock climbing can be committing if you go to the outdoors, and stressful because a lot of things could go wrong. I remember one early fall night at 3 am I was tethered to the near-vertical wall of Yosemite Valley, descending 11 rappells from the end of our climb (1600 feet high) to the valley bottom. At each rappell anchor there is a tiny, sometimes down-sloping "ledge" with barely room to stand on. We had to clip in our harness to the anchor correctly, find the next rappell anchor in the dark, must not drop the rappell device, the rope, or the guidebook that tells us where how many feet away the next rappell anchor is. If we missed any of these things we would be in deep trouble if not dead. Fortunately the night was warm so that we were not punished for taking too long to complete the climb. Looking back, however, each of these epic events was an important growth experience. "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger" as they say.

    Rock climbing is really good stress-endurance training, and it taught me who I really am and what I'm capable of. I highly recommend it, but it does take a certain kind of mindset to really enjoy it.
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    Oct 12, 2007 4:28 AM GMT
    Hey guys, been a while since I even looked at this thread...looks like some pretty intense conversations happening which is awesome.

    I agree with boudlerbum about some of the things he said in an earlier post about just chasing the lines. Grades are a good mark of where you are, but never let it limit you. I was just outside at the Shawangunks in upstate New York and had a blast doing some trad and bouldering.

    ATX, great to read your posts. I am a fellow Texas.I grew up in El Paso, right near hueco, so I used to be all about bouldering as well.

    I am so glad there are other climbers out there and on this sight. I actually run an indoor facility at the moment in NYC, so if any of you are in the area, I strongly encouage you to stop by and say hello.

    While I have a group of friends I climb outdoors with, I would still like to meet other climbers who are also gay and also like to get outdoors. Since I posted this I still have not managed to find any for some fun camping/climbing outtings.

    If you are looking to get into climbing I would definitely say the best way is to hit up a local gym, get acquainted with climbing and the basic gear. Put on the tight shoes and a harness and see how it feels. I think all of you can agree that gear is an investment, so don't invest unless you are sure this is a sport for you. Then take the steps to learn belay, get your own shoes, harness, and belay devices, maybe a crash pad for outdoor bouldering. I hope that advice helps any novices out there.
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    Oct 12, 2007 4:31 AM GMT
    I meant I am a fellow Texan...and also check out BigUp!'s new film (of course about Chris Sharma) called King Lines. I saw it at a the Reel Rock film festival in New Paltz, New York....great film. Also check out the film Committed. It features a bunch of really nasty trad falls where the people actually get hurt. It's pretty bomber so check it out!
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    Nov 15, 2007 11:55 PM GMT
    I am so happy this post is up. Does anyone know of some good places to go around the SF area? Be nice, I am a little out of practice.

    Are there any others out there in SF who would go out?
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    Nov 18, 2007 8:09 PM GMT
    I'm really eager to give indoor climbing a bash but can't get anyone to come with me - all the of the taster/inductions I've seen so far specify a minimum of two people. If anyone in the Mids/Birm (Uk) area is interested then please give me a shout.

    Cheersicon_wink.gif
  • cowboyupnorth

    Posts: 264

    Nov 20, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    boulderingBum
    Don’t pick on the ice skating and rodeo guys. We exist. I just do not talk much about horses or bulls on here. I guess when I start talking bare back and riding people take it out of context on this site lol.

    I guess I have to go to the Rodeo sites or I get way too many web cam request icon_redface.gif
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    Nov 20, 2007 3:31 PM GMT
    icon_cool.gif A man who likes playing with saddle leather and rope can't be all bad icon_twisted.gif

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    Mar 19, 2008 9:08 PM GMT
    Anyone know of some good natural places in SF or the Bay Area?