Tag Archives: rock climbing

2016 It’s A Wrap

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So 2016 was a year of accomplishing new goals and finding myself. Going into 2016 this time last year I was depressed, and unhappy with myself. The person I used to be seemed to be lost. I quickly overcame that by doing things I love such as, rock climbing, hiking running in 5k’s and so on. I began to eat better and I lost almost 20 pounds. I had a spiritual connection with nature in my own back yard and even backpacked the White Mountains. Within the first few months of 2016 I was feeling like myself again and for the first time in a year I was finally happy. I made new friends that became positive influences in my life and helped me accomplish goals. I did things I never thought I would be able to do and I did all on my own. Rock climbing became a big part of my life. It was something that I was actually good at and enjoyed. I came a long way with the sport, I became an influence to others, and was even able to get a sponsorship. All I ever wanted was to influence others. I just want people to know that anything can be accomplished with the right mind set and that is something I was able to do just by sharing my journey with others over the internet. By the end of the year I was able to quit my one night a week bar tending job and get a full time graphic design job that has made it possible for me to drive home a new 2017 Hyundai Elantra. Being in a full time office job is hard since I am used to being so active but with the proper willpower I have been able to manage my active time around my job.

My life has changed a lot in 2016 and it all hasn’t been that great. I gained a lot but I also lost a lot. At the beginning of the year I had to say goodbye to my Aunt and my Grandfather. That was hard and had a big impact on my family life. My mother was hurt more because she lost her sister so I have tried to be there for her as much as  can be. However, that kind of hurt is a hurt that only time can heal. Just a few weeks ago I had to make another hard decision. I had to put down my childhood dog Reilly. Reilly was a boxer and boxers are very prone to tumors which ultimately did him in. Reilly would have turned 11 years old this month and towards his final days he was showing his age. He still had a lot of personality and wanted to jump around but he was getting skinny. He hardly wanted to eat and when he did he couldn’t keep it down. Just seeing him become skin and bones was the hardest thing to see. My family took him to the vet where we found out his stomach was covered in tumors causing him to not be able to digest his food. The vet said he only had days to a week to live. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do. He was my best friend and seeing that last look in his eyes killed me inside. After that I don’t think I ever want a dog again.

Hopefully 2017 will be a little easier. I plan to continue climbing and to kick my ass even more in shape. I would like to apply for a few more sponsorships in the fall but we’ll cross that bridge later. I do have a list of climbs planned and some winter sport activities planed so hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish a lot. My main goal is to save up enough money to plan a climbing trip out to Yosemite so lets do it!

 

rilley

May he be happy in doggy heaven 

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Rumney Rocks, NH

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If you are a climber living in, or planning a trip to, New England then you’re probably going to be looking for a place to climb somewhere close by. There are many places to climb in New England but one of the most popular is a place called Rumney. Rumney is a state park located in the White Mountain National Forest in NH. The place is pretty big so make sure you plan on making it a day trip and bring plenty of food and water. There is nothing better than a Jet Boil (or some other type of outdoor cooker) to bring with you because you will need a meal with plenty of carbs to stay energized. And when you’re out climbing in the early Spring or Fall and it’s 45-50 degrees outside you will be thanking yourself later for a nice hot meal or even a hot cup of tea.

There are plenty of sport routes for anyone to climb ranging from 5.3-5.15 and you can check them all out on Mountain Project when you get a chance.  This makes it great for any kind of climber with little to a lot of experience. If you’re on your way to becoming a pro, or are more advanced, then there is a lot for you to do there and some cool places for you to check out. I wasn’t surprised when I saw photo’s on Nina William’s Instagram of her crushing some routes in Waiema (one of the harder crags found in Rumney). There are also a lot of easy sport routes making it the perfect place for beginners, or anyone new to lead/sport climbing, to practice. However, with it’s diversity I guess I wouldn’t be shocking anyone when I tell you that the place is almost always packed. The two parking lot are always full by 12pm on the weekends so I suggest getting there as early as possible. Even if it means taking one or two of those nasty energy gel things to keep you awake and ready to hike to whatever crag you choose to climb. There is also this great little place called the Common Cafe in town with some great breakfast and coffee. I’m more of a chai tea person and on a cold morning at 6:30am there was nothing more delightful to me than that hot vanilla chai and a warm, fresh, breakfast sandwich. I found that Rumney is a small town with a big climbing community. I’m pretty sure the Common Cafe  serves dinner so if you get the chance swing by and make some new local friends. You might learn a thing or two. I only get the chance to go there in the mornings since my friends and I are the people who will spend all day climbing from 8am until dusk. Leaving us with little time to rush to the camp ground, set up the tent, and go to bed at a decent time. I will have to make it a point to check it out for dinner one night.

People will tell you that the best time to visit Rumney is in the Spring or Fall but that’s all just personal opinion. There’s no better time to climb than the present. That is unless you have something holding you back or super important to do of course. The Spring and Fall is a good time to visit since the days are still cool. To me the best climbing temperature is around 70 degrees, however, the last time I went was in late September and it was freezing. The days were around 45 degrees and the nights were in the 30’s. Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure that’s below average for September. Most of the walls are in the shade at the bottom so if you were belaying you were probably freezing. The rocks were so cold that within the first few minutes on the wall your hands were going numb. The only thing that I could do to warm them up was to move some chalk around in my chalk bag. When you got to the top of the walls they were mostly all exposed to the sun so the warmth felt so good. I remember a few times I got to the top of a climb and just sat there not telling my partner to lower me. It was just so warm and I knew that when I got down I would be overcome by the cold. My belayer, Alex Fyfe, had no idea why I was taking so long to come down but eventually I had to since I didn’t want to be a wall hog. The Summer’s aren’t too bad in NH, they’re generally not too hot, and the average temperature is somewhere between 75-85 degrees. So if it’s sometime in the Spring, Summer or Fall it’s usually a good time to visit Rumney. There’s so much to do in Rumney with it’s versatility, the amount of climbs and the good people to meet and share information with. If you’re looking for a place to stay there are plenty of camp grounds near by, just make sure you call and make a reservation a head of time because, like I said earlier, it does get busy there. And if youre headed there in the winter feel free to check out some of the ice climbing the White Mountains has to offer as well. You can never go wrong if you’re headed to climb in Rumney.

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Quincy Quarries

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Quincy Quarries is a unique crag full of awesome graffiti art, big walls and persistent routes.  It is located south of Boston and isn’t a far dive from Providence. The first time I went was on a hot summer day with my friend Alex. The temperature was reaching the mid 90’s and the the crag was pretty much open with hardly and trees. The sun shines right over the crag and trying to find shade wasn’t that easy. With that being said it was still a great day. When you look up photo’s of the crag online it doesn’t seem as big as it is in person. When I first arrived I was pretty over whelmed with how big the walls were and how great the graffiti art was. The graffiti covered every wall in the crag which made it very eye catching and made for some awesome photos. However, the graffiti made it harder to climb since it was all so slippery making it impossible to smear and place your feet. Most of the graffiti was towards the bottom so once you climbed past it and go higher the wall became easier to climb. Most of the routes there are on top rope but there are a few trad and sport routes. We started out on a basic 5.8 route and ended on a 5.10 route. Alex even practiced some trad on the way up one wall. Over all the I thought the crag was pretty awesome. The walls were great, the routs were great and it wasn’t that far of a drive. I would love to go back when the weather is cooler. I feel like that was the only thing holding me back from climbing harder. If you’re new to climbing in RI/MA/CT or just looking for a crag to climb in thats not a far drive I would suggest Quincy. There’s a lot of fun routes there and you can be there all day. The one thing that I didn’t like about it was all of the litter and broken glass making it impossible to walk barefoot. I wore sandals and woke up the next morning with a big chunk of glass coming out of my foot! I almost considered getting a tetanus shot. A lot of young people go there at night to party and just leave all their trash there. I know the Rock Spot gym I belong to has certain days where they go clean the crag and climb but I feel like people should take responsibly and clean up after themselves. Leaving trash behind isn’t cool and it disgusted me. Other than that I can’t wait to go back and climb.

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Advice On Lead Climbing

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So one of the many things I did this summer was learn how to lead climb properly. My good friend Alex and I decided that since we both do a lot of out door climbing it would be a good idea to become officially lead certified. That means that we had to take three classes at the gym and then finally a test. The class was very informative and the test was pretty easy to pass as long as you stay cool and take it slow. The problem that I ran into while just starting to lead was that you can no longer climb the grades you once were able to on top rope. On top rope you only have to worry about going up, if you fall, your belayer will catch you. While leading you have to worry about finding a good position, holding it, clipping in and taking big falls. You don’t realized how tiring it is until your hanging in an uncomfortable position trying to clip in with one hand. Then if your arms or legs give out and you don’t get the rope in the clip your taking a possible 15 foot fall. If you do get the clip and you fall you will only fall half of that. It can get pretty scary and when you first start out pump comes on quick while trying to hold your position to clip. That’s why when you first start you might get set back a few grades. On top rope, or auto belay in the gym I can climb usually anything between 5.10 and 5.12 right off the couch. When I first started lead climbing I struggled with 5.7’s and 5.8’s. I  think now I’m comfortable leading at 5.9 but thinking about doing a 5.10 or higher scares me. It will take some more practice until I can get to where I am on top rope. But I know as long as I keep practicing and pushing myself it will happen. I may even attempt to lead a 5.11 in the gym next time I go with Alex to belay me. I probably won’t make it but you never know unless you try, you’ll never get better or learn to climb higher grades unless you attempt them. When I first started leading I never once thought that it was going to set me back a few grades. I thought that because I could climb a 5.11 on top rope then I could on lead. I didn’t realize I was wrong until the first lead class.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 2.08.38 PMBelaying is  a bit different too since it pretty much backwards. Instead of taking slack you’re feeding the rope through giving the slack to the climber. It took a few classes to actually get used to it. It was pretty weird to me and it does feel uncomfortable and first. There is a lot to keep in mind as the belayer like how much slack to give, when to take it, where to stand and when to take a soft or a hard catch. But practice makes perfect and even after I passed the test I still feel like I am always learning something new about it. There is just so much beta to go around that no matter what type of climbing you are doing you are always learning something new about the sport. I guess you can say it always keeps you on your toes. I would recommend learning how to lead if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor climbing and if you take climbing seriously. If you are only going to climb in the gym for fun and maybe set up a top rope a few times a year then it’s not something you need to learn how to do right away. Learning does take time and I have spent more times in the gym during the week then I ever have in the past while learning how to lead so it does become time consuming. My advice would be if you’re going to do it take your time, study and don’t get frustrated. It will come as long as you keep going.

The Reason I Climb

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All through out my climbing career people have asked me what made me start climbing and why do I do it. I’m sure you’re reading this now thinking the same thing. The half assed answer I normally give people is “well I came to the gym once and really feel in love with the sport”. Well that answer isn’t wrong but it’s also not true. The real reason is a bit longer of a story that I haven’t really told until now. The reason I never shared with people was so dark and I didn’t want to re-live the past. I wasn’t okay with the past because of how harsh it was. I was scared by it. It wasn’t until recently that I have come to terms with the past and am somewhat okay with sharing it with others. Maybe some people will learn from my story.

It all started about three years ago. I was dating a guy named Jeff and we had nothing to do on a Friday night. A friend of mine invited us to go to the local rock gym with her and her boyfriend and we agreed to go. It was our first time being there and we had a blast. Since that day I continued to go either with friends or alone. One night I was there with a friend and I had just came off a wall. Tired, I threw myself on the ground and I thought to myself “wow, I really love this place and everything about climbing”. That’s when it became more than a hobby to me, it became a passion.

About a year later Jeff had bought a house for us and I moved in. I continued to climb at the gym and he even came with me every now and again. We even got belay certified. However, there was a slight problem, climbing with him wasn’t a lot of fun. Since I moved in with him he became a completely different person. He became controlling, possessive, emotionally and physically abusive. He picked and chose when I could go to bed, come home and even eat (which only made me binge eat when I wasn’t with him). He was insecure and in the gym he was a sore loser. If he or I wasn’t climbing harder than the person next to us he would throw a hissy fit and drag me out of the gym with him. I would then get screamed at because I wasn’t climbing like them and I was weak. I’m a very laid back, down to earth person and to me that wasn’t cool. You don’t do that in the gym, it’s not a competition with other people, it’s all about conquering yourself, not others and people took notice of his poor behavior. He was 29 years old and the time but acted like he was 12.

I told Jeff that if he was going to continue to act like that than I didn’t want him to climb with me anymore. He had a chance to fix his attitude and he chose not to. The emotional and physical abuse didn’t end and I still don’t want to go too much into detail with it. I was a vegetarian for 12 years at the time and he had gone as far as telling me that if I didn’t start eating meat he would leave me. So like an idiot I started eating meat even though I didn’t want to. At first eating meat made me sick but I had to deal with it. I guess that shows how dedicated I could be. It was only a matter of time until I feel into a deep depression and started to lose myself and every thing that I was. I was in a dark place I didn’t think I could ever get out of. I wasn’t aloud to hang out with other people and have fun. There were a few friends I could see but not too many. The only place I could go without being accused of cheating was the rock gym because he somewhat understood my passion.

Going to the rock gym was the only place I could go that he was okay with. Climbing at the gym pulled me from the dark place and made me happy. It was the happiest I had been in a while when I was there. I would forget all about the negativity in my life and it was just me, the wall and some of the great people who were there. I was accused of cheating a few times but I just ignored it. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a cheater. I would never hurt someone the way I was hurt in the past and I wouldn’t wish that emotional torture on anyone. Apparently he was too insecure to get that. I lived with Jeff for about 7 months until July of 2015. We had got into a heated argument because he wouldn’t come out to dinner with some of our friends (he was invited and said he would go a week before). He told me he didn’t want me to go either and his reason was that he wanted to stay in and play video games. I told him I was going regardless. As I was walking out the door he called me a “fat fucking bitch”. I will never forget that. Never in my life has anyone said anything so rude to me and it was coming from the person I “loved”.  I cried all that night when I was out because I just couldn’t believe it. If you care about someone you don’t say that. He obviously didn’t care he was just obsessive and that’s when I knew I had to leave. My mother and I had talked about it for months before but that was the last straw.

I moved back home but when I moved back home I realized that I was broken. I had been abused, belittled and made to feel as if I didn’t matter for over a year and it took it’s toll on me. I wasn’t me anymore, I was an empty shell of myself with low self esteem. I weighed around 120 pounds before I moved in with Jeff and I had weighed close to 140 when I left him. That wasn’t okay.  Climbing was all I had left and I knew it was going to take time and a lot of work to feel like myself again. That summer after we broke up was when I started taking climbing seriously and getting into a lot of outdoor climbing and bouldering. I started eating healthy again and realized how depression made me binge eat when Jeff wasn’t around to tell me not too. It was a abad idea but depression makes you do crazy things. I lost the 20 pounds that I gained ( I have to thank Herablife for that one) and spent more time in the gym. Even with a broken thumb I watched my climbing grades grow. Climbing helped me find myself when I didn’t think I ever would and made me happy again. I regained my self esteem and am finally very happy with myself. I even recently earned a sponsorship with Onsight Gear which made me ecstatic. Climbing was there for me when no one else and saved me from the darkest place. I have grown extremely fond of the sport and what it has done for me and that is why I climb and will continue to climb. A year ago I would never have thought that I would accomplish what I have. I climb because I want to show people that anything is possible as long as you are happy and will powered. I have had zero training from anybody and am completely self dependent.  You just need to trust in yourself.

Since last July I haven’t dated anyone since. I really wanted to focus on bettering myself and making myself happy again. I literally took me almost a year but I think I have succeeded. You can’t make someone happy unless you are totally happy with yourself first. I would say I’m ready to date again but it’s tough finding someone I click with. Since everything I have been through I also want to take things slow and keep my guard up but I am willing to take it down. I’m really shy and usually don’t approach guys, I wait for them to approach me so it may be while but I’m also not going to search. When the time is ready then I guess I’ll know but in the mean time, climb on!

 

What I Look For In Climbing Shoes

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What I Look For In Climbing Shoes

So in my last post I talked about a new pair of Five Ten’s that I recently bought and I promised that I would would write a post about what I look for in climbing shoes. When I started climbing, my first pair of shoes were La Sportiva Miura Vs’s. For a beginner I spoiled myself because when people start out climbing they normally go for a cheaper, more relaxed shoe, until they get better. I couldn’t resist buying these shoes because I actually got them for a good price. I scored  my Miura’s at an REI Garage Sale  for only $50. For those of you who aren’t familiar with and REI Garage Sale it is basically a big sale for all REI Co-Op members who can buy items that have been returned to the store for a lesser price. On each item there is a tag that states why the item has been returned. The Miura’s were returned because they were too small for the last person. They were in brand new condition and fit me perfect so I scored. At the time I was still new to climbing and didn’t really know how to properly fit a shoe but the salesman at REI reassured me that they fit. I actually still wear the shoes to this day.

So because I spoiled myself with a shoe as aggressive as the Miura’s I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me to switch shoes. For my birthday I decided to treat myself to a new pair of climbing shoes to help save the life of my Miura’s. Now that I am a very experienced climber I know more about what to look for in shoes and what I was after. I originally bought a pair of  Five Ten Rogue’s because I loved the way they felt on my feet and I loved how they were relaxed. I wanted to go with a relaxed shoe because I wanted a shoe that would be good at smearing on the wall since that is hard to do that with an aggressive shoe. My friend advised me not to buy the shoes because I wasn’t going to like the way they felt.

Well I will admit he was right and I was wrong. I wore the shoes to the gym the next day and I had such a hard time climbing in them. My feet were slipping on chips, my foot was moving around way too much in the shoe and I hated the gap it left between my foot and the wall. One of the men setting a wall over heard me and came down to look at my new shoes. I told him about my other shoes and what I was looking for and he told me that I needed more of an aggressive shoe. I should have listened in the first place! He also noticed that the shoe was at least a half size too big and that’s why I kept slipping. He gave me some really good advice I only wish I had known before hand.

I went back to REI the next day to return my shoes and look at other pairs. The salesman and I talked forever about climbing shoes. It was pretty awesome and the fact that I think that’s awesome is one of many reasons why I’m single. The salesman redirected me to a pair of Five Ten Anasazi’s  . The pair is very similar but the shoe is a lot tighter around the heel which is better for control, the top part of the shoe is padded for added comfort and there is a slight arch in the shoe making it more moderate. The shoe also fits super super tight which is good. I know that they’ll stretch over time so the way they fit now is perfect. If the shoes is very uncomfortable it fits right. I also love the fact that the shoe has straps instead of laces.  That is the one thing I look for when buying shoes. I just really hate laces. Some people prefer them but it’s really all about preference. When I took the shoes to the gym I really loved everything about them even more. I almost love them as much as my Miura’s and I can honestly almost compare the two. The most important part of shoes is to love almost everything about them. They are what’s going to help you climb better and will go with you on many adventures and journeys so be good to them.

 

GoPro!

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I’m so sorry that I haven’t been on recently! I Friday was my birthday and I had a lot of celebrating to do over the week. I started out the week by treating myself to a new pair of climbing shoes. I got the Anasazi by Five Ten and I absolutely love them. I do want to explain why I love them and what I look for in climbing shoes but I’m going to save that for my next post so make sure to stay tuned! Anyways the following day my parents surprised me with an early birthday gift. My very first GoPro Session. I love it! Wednesday I went out and shot and the over the past few days I have spent editing the clip (that was in between celebrating on the weekend lol). So here it is! I decided to post it to my Youtube account  for sharing reasons butI will also add it to my Vimeo later on. Let me know what you guys think! This is my first time making a climbing video so feedback would be amazing!

 

 

Making A Route

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So last week my friend and I went hiking on the trails in Snake Den near my house. We came across this giant crag that we have never scene before and that’s when we knew I had to climb it. I went home that night and did some research on it and there was absolutely no record of it being climbed at all. I couldn’t believe it because it was a decent 40ft wall. After hours of researching it I came to nothing but dead ends.  Who knows, maybe it had been climbed and named before but I found nothing. I decided to take the initiative to send and and name it myself.

Over the weekend we set up top rope over the crag and invited a few other local climbing friends in the area. Since it was my idea I was the first one to get to climb it. I went through a bit of trouble because I wanted to stay left to the left of the route but the top rope just wasn’t hearing it. I knew I had to stay under the rope which actually was the most difficult way to go. That’s when I realized the route was going to be a little difficult. I got to an over hang and got stuck for a few minutes but I found a little foot hold all the way to the right that I used to push off on. I decided that the route had to be about a 5.10. The first half was easy but once you got to the over hang it became very difficult and needed a bit of technique to push through that section. When rating a rout you can sort of feel what the grade is just because you have climbed so much. It’s almost like driving a car, you don’t need to look at the speedometer to know you’re going 35mph. You are so used to driving that you can feel how fast our going. It’s sort of the same way when it comes to climbing.

When I got to the very top of the rout there were two ways to get up. You could stay right and top out there or you could  stay left and there was about another 5ft to climb that had a giant crack going through it. If you stay left you have to climb the crack and then top out. You basically do whatever you think you can do. After the climb I decided to give it a rating of 5.10+ because if you stay left up the crack it makes it a bit harder. If you stay right and top out the easy way its a solid 5.10. Since I was the first to send it I had the honors of naming it. We had the 80’s pop station playing on Pandora when the song “The Land Down Under” came on. It was sort of fitting, at the bottom of the crag it feels like you’re in a land down under since the cliff is so giant, especially with the over hang. That was the moment when I decided that it was only necessary to name the route The Land Down Under 5.10+. I made a page for it on the Mountain Project website.  Feel free to check it out. I didn’t  realize that creating a route was so much fun and actually makes you feel proud of yourself. I encourage all of you adventurers to go out and find a new route, send it, grade it, and name it!

 

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Climbing Tips

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So I decided to put together my own personal list of climbing tips to maybe help some of you guys. Other people’s list may be different but you can always learn something from what people have to say. I don’t expect anyone to follow every one of my tips but maybe they can help some of you out.

  1. Stay Positive – Staying positive is personally the most important one for me. Not being positive can lead to unwanted frustration and give others a bad vibe. It may even cause you to lose your passion for climbing. Don’t worry, you will reach your goal in time. It just takes a lot of practice and patients and before you know it your goal will just fall right into your hands.
  2. Wear The Right Shoes-  Wearing the right type of shoe for the type of climb you are going for may help you out. When I’m climbing flat walls in the gym I will wear my Evolv Nikita’s  which are a moderate type shoe. (You can view types of climbing shoes by clicking here) This allows me to have a better foot placement and climb cracks when needed to. When I am bouldering or climbing anything with an over hang I will wear my La Sportiva  Miura Vs’s . Since they are an aggressive shoe my feet can dig in nicely to over hanging rock and hep me stay on the wall longer. If I was using my Evolv shoes on an over hanging rock my feet wouldn’t get as good as a grip and I may fall off or struggle a bit. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can sometimes make a climb harder.
  3. Triple Check Everything-  Whether your in the gym or outside in the crag make sure you check everything as many times as you can. Check your belay knot multiple times, make sure your partner is properly on belay and all of the locking carabiners are locked. If you are setting up top rope check the anchor also give everything a good tug to make sure everything is tightening correctly. Safety is big and it never hurts to keep checking. When out doors I’ll sometimes climb up to a safe distance and test “fall” off the wall just to make sure that everything is working properly.
  4. Learn/Practice Technique- Technique is key to climbing. Once you reach around 5.10, climbing 5.11+ is almost impossible without technique. Once I was at 5.10 it felt like there was a huge hump to get to 5.11. Once I brushed up on my technique I was able to break the barrier. Endurance is also key. Climbing anything 5.11 or higher requires you to have more endurance and better technique because you will be doing a lot of moves such as heal hooking, flagging ect. Here is a link with some good climbing technique articles.
  5. Train Hard– Like I said in the last paragraph. Endurance and technique are key to climbing. Practice better endurance by running or jogging long distances. I will sign myself and a friend up for a 5k that way I have something to look forward to and train for. Knowing that I will have a 5k coming up will get me to run/jog more outside. Also, practice core exercises, pull ups and push ups at home. I even have a pair of rock rings   hanging from my pull up bar to practice on. If your local climbing gym has a training area I highly suggest utilizing it. Even if you’re not that great at it still attempt to do it because eventually your body will becoming stronger and you will be able to use it without a problem.
  6. Carry Tape & Climb On- Always carry tape on your harness. And if you are bouldering take it with you. Eventually there will come a time where you are going to rip your finger open and it will bleed and it will hurt. It happened to me tonight while bouldering at the gym. I ripped a huge piece of skin off my pinky and it bleed a lot. If I had not had tape to cover it up I would have had to stop climbing. Don’t use it if you rip your skin open a little because you want it callus over to become stronger. I use Metoulius Climbing Tape and I keep it on the side of my harness with a carabiner. Also invest in Climb On or a related product. I swear by the stuff. Every time my skin rips open the stuff does wonders to repair the wound. I’ll use it anywhere any time. I’ll even carry it out with me if the tears on my skin are bad and I know I will be out a while.
  7. Boulder More-Now I know that climbing and bouldering go hand in hand. However, I found that when I started bouldering more and getting better at it I started to climb higher grades on the big walls. This might have something to do with the fact that bouldering naturally helps teach you technique. Before I started bouldering I was maxed out at 5.9 and couldn’t climb any higher. Once I started bouldering I noticed that when I would go back to the wall I started climbing 5,10, 5.11, 5.12 and so on.

Now you may or may not have learned anything by reading this post but the most important tip that I could give anyone about climbing is to just have fun. Don’t take it too seriously and have a good time. The best climbs are sent when your laid back and just enjoying yourself and the company of others. Making a fun day out of it will make all the difference, I promise. Climb On!

Back To Snake Den

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Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.40.05 PMSo earlier in the week I decided to take another trip back to Snake Den. This time I was top roping instead of bouldering. I wanted to climb a route called the Rattle Snake a 5.12+.  The Rattle Snake is the hardest rout in RI and having it less then five minutes away from my house in a blessing. The route was crimpy all the way up and required a bit of technique. All though it was a tough route it wasn’t that bad since it was over quick. The wall has to be around 20 -25ft high so it really wasn’t that tall.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.40.19 PMWhen I was done climbing that route I was determined to keep climbing. However, it was hot, I was exhausted, and my fingers hurt. I knew with a few minuted of rest I would be good to keep climbing but I really didn’t feel like taking down the anchor and ropes and moving to reset up. I looked around for another route that would still be a challenge for me when I came across a crack. I looked up the route on climbri.org  and I found that it was an un-named route that was rated a 5.8. Normally I wouldn’t climb a grade that low unless I really had no other option but I still saw it as a challenge. I have climbed a lot of different types of climbs but I actually have only crack climbed once at the gym. So I took this opportunity to change that.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 12.40.12 PMI was a little iffy on climbing the crack because there were a lot of instances where my entire arm was inside the crack and I had no idea what little creatures were lurking around in there. I was also searching around in there for something to grab onto but sometimes I couldn’t see into the crack at all so it started to get really sketchy. But that didn’t stop me. As usual I quickly found my way up the crack successfully and unharmed by any  small creatures. Off to the side of the crack I even found this really cool feature on the rock that allowed me to do perfect pull-ups. I had to take the opportunity in the middle of the climb to stop what I was doing and do a few. Show off? Maybe, but I most certainly had a lot of fun.  And Don’t worry, once I finished my pull-ups I got back to the crack and finished the climb. I even went back and climbed it a second time just for fun.