In a few weeks, we are going to Red Rocks outside Las Vegas to climb. Not much for gambling, we will be subsidized by all the people do: cheap flights, cheap places to stay, easy food.
I have to admit something too–I am not a great climber. Nor particularly good. Aaaaand I don’t really climb very often. (There is a sincere dearth of elevation near Savannah).
For the past week or so we’ve been practicing for my benefit. I have my own rope length to practice my knots, and while I watch TV or listen to podcasts, I tie and untie my handful of knots.
I keep all of my practice lengths handy so I can go through what I’ve learned a few times a day. My goal is to make those knots second nature so I can tie them while suspended 1000 feet in the air. When I think I have mastered one, Andy makes me tie it while my hands are in a paper bag.
We took a walk around the neighborhood so I could practice placing and taking out cams and stoppers.
We even set up a faux-system on our stairs at home to get used to cleaning a route as I climb.
I know it isn’t perfect, but it helps.
The route we are looking at is an easy route: Romanian Rib. At only a 5.6, 5.7, I should have no problems with the climb, but it is multi-pitched, which I have never done.
The most exciting news out of all of this is that I got my first ever, personal, belongs-to-me climbing helmet.
My first ever, actual correct-size climbing shoes. Terrible, right? I’ve always used Andy’s hand-me-downs, which are typically worn out and a little too big. The last pair was cambered and worn enough that the rubber on the bottom of the shoe had cracked into two. But now I have my very own! After trying on nearly every pair, I settled on these as the most comfortable for a full day of climbing. They are the same style as the very first of Andy’s hand-me-downs (big enough I had to wear socks while climbing). I like the lacing because even if my feet get swollen after a day of hiking, I can adjust the fit accordingly.
The countdown is ticking away. I am trying to get all of my writing projects done so I can go without the weight of work remaining unfinished.
Of course, during all of this, Carl remains unimpressed.