Monday, November 9, 2015

"Falling!"

The Monster
 Today was a monumental day for me in my climbing world. I’ve been taking lessons with a local climbing instructor here in the 509 and he’s taught me so much already. Our lesson today: Falling.

Climbing, just like every sport, is a mental game. My hands are sweating right now just thinking about climbing holds and falling off. You really have to experience a fall or accept that it’s going to happen if you ever want to be a climber. And especially if you want to lead climb.

The Tri-City Court Club here has a pretty nice space with a monster 30ft wall. That doesn’t sound very tall but believe me when you’re up there, its pretty darn high. Take a look at the photo to the right. Where Mike is in the yellow is where a tough inclined/overhang spot starts. 

Falling right off that overhang is exactly what went down today - and where I learned that falling is an okay thing to happen in climbing. I'd made it about where Mike was, and Dean was helping me navigate from below. My forearms were exhausted and I just could not muster out the energy to reach over to my next hold. There comes a point when you just know you’re going to fall and you have to accept it and completely trust yourself, your gear, and your belayer. I was like a spider on the wall but gripping for my life. My last quickdraw was about 5ft below me which was even worse because I had to accept I would fall about 10 feet. Oh man, so scary.. But I knew I had not other options, so I just let go. 

The "Yosemite Finish"
And it was such a rush! I yelled falling and then right away Dean caught me. It was actually quite comfy. My harness is pretty nice I guess. I slammed into the wall a little but I didn’t have any negative reactions after. (Some folks climbing next to us said it looked really awesome haha). I was exhilarated by that fall and now I think it's incredibly fun. It’s so cool to me to know that humans have built the gear to stay safe while climbing and have the drive and skill to climb up the tallest and hardest rocks out there.

Shout out to my instructor, Dean Olin, who got me to fall when I was so high off the ground. He’s climbed all over and finished the famous El Capitan face at Yosemite. Can’t wait to learn more and eventually translate this to the ice.

 

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