Okay so in October I stated to climb.. and what can I say? It's weirdly addictive and I can't stop. (Major shoutout to Kalli and my two bosses (Josh and Leland) for introducing me to climbing at Earth Treks)
So what is climbing like? Well, it's a great mixture of mental strength and endurance. Then when you're climbing it is a beautiful moment of clarity where it is just you and the wall and you don't have to worry about the stresses of reality. It is an escape.
Now I am no expert when it comes to climbing but I have learned few things here and there.
- There are 3 types of Gym climbing: Top Roping, Bouldering and Lead Climbing.
- Top Roping: when the climber is secured to an anchor at the top of a climb and down to a belayer at the bottom of a climb
- Bouldering: performed without ropes or harnesses (shorter wall or rock, where you will either have padded ground or a crash pad for when you inevitably fall haha)
- Lead: when there are pre-placed anchors along the route where the climber must clip in on their way up (there is still a belayer at the bottom)
- There are several types of outdoor climbing: Deep-Water Soloing, Free Soloing (aka ridiculousness), Multi-Pitch Climbing, Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing.
- Deep-Water Soloing: Pretty self explanatory you're climbing over water that is deep enough so when you fall you wont die hahaha
- Free Soloing: A form of Free Climbing where the climber forgoes ropes, harnesses and other protective gear (look up Alex Honnold if you want to see what this is like)
- Multi-Pitch Climbing: When a route is longer then the fixed length of rope, the leader of the first climb sets up an anchor and then belays the second climber to the anchor, and while they climb they remove the anchors placed by the first climber (cleans up) (I am definitely oversimplifying this but if you really want to know more details then google it)
- Sport Climbing: involves bolting a climb with power drills and creating permanent anchors where clips are place for lead climbing
- Traditional Climbing: (Trad Climbing) where protection from falling is placed by the climber while they are ascending the climb ( if there are bolts placed they are usually more spaced out than Sport Climbing)
Now there are definitely more types of climbing but I am not an expert and this is just what I know so far, and it is a pretty good overview (hopefully). If not just look up climbing on google you will find a plethora of information.
Anyhoo I got to do a little outdoor climbing and it was pretty rad, however it did show me that I have a loonggggg way to go. Climbing is hard and you need to get a lot better before you can start climbing outdoors. I guess we all must start somewhere? (Shoutouts to Evan, Ross and Adam for taking me outdoors for the first time and being patient with my shit climbing skillz hahah). Below are photos of us climbing at Great Falls in Virginia, so please enjoy and I'll be back soon with adventures from Europe!