The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

Jun 02, 2007 - 18:06

Friends, Life, Play

Climbing Gym

Today, my new friend, Alex, invited me to go climbing at Planet Granite in Sunnyvale. I’d gone to a climbing gym once before in Madison, Wisconsin, when I was visiting my friend, Amber. I figured that, if I could handle a climbing gym in a state whose highest point is only 901 feet higher than its lowest point, I should be able to do the same thing a few miles from my house in California.

We zipped buy my house so I could dress appropriately and headed over. The gym let me in as a guest of a member and I harnessed up, put on the ballet slippers climbing shoes, and strained to remember my belay terminology.

I handled a 5.3 route to start out, carefully picking out my route, primarily to remember not to go apeshit with my upper body. I fell off my workout routine at the beginning of the year, so my arms, shoulder, and chest are not in peak physical condition. Using too much upper body would leave me exhausted at the end of two climbs.

Alex decided that I should attempt a 5.6 next. While it was precarious, I got up to the top fairly quickly, although the miniscule size of some of the holds left me taking longer than I probably could have made the ascent. I tried another 5.6 next, this one with big holds that were an orange that matched my shirt. He graciously agreed to shoot me on the way up (very carefully). I tried a long, twisting 5.7 route with an overhang as my fourth climb, but I was losing my grip quickly and could not maintain strong enough fingers to continue past the overhang. So, I got 3½ routes done today. Not bad for a newbie, right?

He showed me who was boss by picking out a 5.11 route. Despite huge gaps that almost had him jumping from one hold to the next, he made it to the top. It was exciting to watch. The climbing gym was really fun!

Thanks for the invite, Alex.

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Jun 05, 2007 - 15:06

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