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Discovering Rock Climbing

[youtube http://youtu.be/CIjGaDUp6FY]

It’s been about three weeks since I joined Planet Granite for about $110 ($70 for monthly membership) in the hopes of learning how to rock climb. One of my friends just started too and we’re pretty much on the same level. It’s better that I have someone to meet at the rock gym instead of going alone and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been going pretty often, 2-3 times a week.

Last week, I bought my own gear for about $120…shoes, harness, and chalk bag.

I have no idea what a beginner should look like or what are the proper techniques..so my friend and I are feeling our way around. I took a belay class so we can do some top-roping instead of just bouldering. Over the weekend, my boyfriend (who’s been rock climbing for over a year) taught me how to flag and I still need a lot of practice since it doesn’t come naturally.

The grading scale for rock climbing routes go from 5.0 – 5.15, with 5.10 – 5.15 routes subdivided into a,b,c,d. Right now, I can do 5.9 and 5.10a as feasible and attainable challenges. I managed to complete one 5.10b route but that was quite tricky and I had to take a rest in the middle. Several people have mentioned that I’m doing well for a beginner, but I have a lot to learn. Bouldering helps to build competence for certain techniques and even though I’m on the lowest level V0, I’m pretty happy since it helps me figure out what are my strengths and weaknesses. I’m hoping to make it to a 5.11 by the end of the year and attempt an outdoor climb.

I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment every time I make it to the top. I think it’s something I will continue to do in the future. Since I tend to enjoy more social physical activities instead of solo ones, it keeps me more accountable. So as long as I have a belay partner, I’m sticking with it.

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