Sunday, January 6, 2008


I went to the climbing gym again yesterday. I think I'm getting addicted. I've started looking at everything higher than myself and thinking...I can climb that.

The first time I went, I did not really know what I was doing in regards to following routes. I thought I cleared a 5.10b, but now that I've read up a bit and returned to the gym I've realized that I cheated my way up the 5.10b by not following the colored route, which is fine because I am a beginner...so far :-). I basically combined about 3 routes to get to the top of the wall. Yesterday, I concentrated much more on following the actual route designated to each (most) of the routes I climbed up. I say most because I would find myself in a pickle and use a hand hold from another route to continue on. I did successfully clear a 5.8, which made me very happy.

I've realized that climbing is not a pure physical strength sport, but has a lot to do with your mind. Being someone that has always enjoyed puzzles and problem solving, this is really the part of climbing that I enjoy. Climbing up (and following the route) definitely requires strength, but you really have to plan out your moves and how you are going to get to the next hand hold within your route. I found myself stuck many times and learned that it might be as easy as switching your left hand for your right, using the outside of your foot vs. the inside or it could be as difficult as moving back down two moves just to go back up a slightly different way.

I found this online game called Cyberclimber. Click on that and climb a few routes to see just what I mean about it being a mental challenge. I'm also finding myself addicted to this game now. It is very puzzling because the game will only give you a few mistakes before you fall to the floor. You have to be sure that your character's body is in a position to shift weight when moving left and right. Here's a picture of the level I was being puzzled by just before taking a break to write up this blog post:

Wish me luck!

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