Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Climb like a girl!

In other news, climbing season is officially in full swing. We haven't been to the rock gym since April, and Jim and I are both proudly sporting the battle scars of climbing on real rock. I look a bit like a kid who's just started to run - my knees and shins are all bruised and scabbed from my recent ascents/attempts of several climbs featuring burly roof problems.

Historically, roof climbs were the source of much angst for me. Jim loves them, and being that when he has a reach of close to 8 feet, rarely finds himself unable to reach a hold. I, on the other hand, can reach about 6 1/2 feet, which often leaves me "short" [pun intended]. As such, I have to figure out another way to get through the crux, often making several more energy burning moves along the way. On hard climbs [5.10+ and up for me] I find that I pretty much get one shot to pull the move and if I hesitate or get the sequence wrong, I'm done - subsequent attempts, even after hang dogging and resting my arms are completely futile.

But I have been successful lately on some pretty spicy routes, and that seems to be feeding a new passion for the once dreaded roof climb. I am especially a fan of routes that require at least as much finesse and technique as they do brawn to get through. Sometimes my small stature proves to be an advantage as I can walk my feet way up so that I'm pretty much crouching under the roof, rest, then lean out or over and stand up to reach the next hold. This is far less strenuous than just trying to grab the next hand hold and pull myself over with just my arms, not to mention the fact that I often cannot reach the "next" hold. The best part is that occasionally it will get me through something that will shut down climbers much taller and stronger than myself. Those moments, combined with the huge confidence boost in my climbing ability combine to form the candy that keeps me coming back for more.

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