Sunday, December 9, 2012

**** 5.10 ****

Almost!!!  Just a tad shy!!!  Just 3 more holds!!!

More climbing with Ofelia.  It's such a good feeling to face a physical challenge and beat it!!!  I've never climbed the hard routes before, being rather intimidated by Ofelia's feats.  It's easy to just say "no, that's too hard, let me down".  I watched her climb the 5.10c wall with some trouble, but she did it.  That motivated me to try harder.  The good news is that the more you climb, the stronger you get (at a pretty fast pace) so the harder you can climb!!!  I did only 5.9 walls this time and finally decided to tackle a 5.10a.  The hand and foot holds are smaller and farther apart, plus they are in more awkward positions.  On the second try I got to the last overhang and I couldn't quite hang on with one hand and reach far enough with the other.  My forearms felt like they would explode!!  Next time for sure!!!!

Taking a break, we decided to play with the balance strap.  This picture looks like I am standing on the carpet, but I'm perched on a one inch wide strap 4 feet above the floor ... hence the ropes I'm hanging on to for dear life!!!  It's a tightrope walk and really good for balance training.  If you fall, it's ok ... that carpet is actually a cushy 12" thick mattress and spring setup so you won't get hurt.
The other part of the gym is for bouldering.  These walls are extreme overhangs about 25 feet tall.  You free climb ... meaning you are not attached by a rope.  As extra precaution, there are additional mattresses that you position beneath the climb you are doing.  These range from V0 to V15 ... easy to oh-my-gosh-there-is-no-way!!!!  I'm on V0!!!!!!
Same premise ... you follow the color coded holds, starting on the floor in very weird awkward positions!  The difference here is that once you get to the top, you have to climb back down ... which means LOOKING down to see where your holds are.  EEEEKKKKK!!  One more move to the top here!!
You can see a bag hanging at the back of my waist in these pictures.  That is a chalk bag.  In order to be able to hold on to the "rocks", you dust your hands liberally with chalk (you've probably seen the Olympic athletes "dust" their hands) which not only dries your hands, but helps them stick to the holds.  As you climb, you reach behind and get more powder.    In this picture, you can see how the bag is hanging ... which means I'm climbing up a wall at a 45 degree angle.  Crazy hard to do .... no, I didn't make it!!
We also wear special rock climbing shoes ... extremely tight with a rubber-like sole that wraps around the foot and up the sides.  Makes for good "sticking" power!!

It was a great time with nice people ... most are really strong skinny minnies ... I'm neither, but at least I get credit for trying!!!  Maybe I'll see you at the climbing gym .................

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