Sunday, March 3, 2013

First Post

I'm starting this blog because I've never made a blog before and I wanted to keep a journal of my rock climbing experience so I can look back and see how I've grown. My first rock climbing experience was in Davis when I was going to school at UC Davis. They had this simple wall set up for an event and I remember how fun it was but never really thought too much of it. A few years after that I went to Rocknasium in Davis with some friends and we learned how to belay but we had no idea what we were doing. I never even noticed that there were colors on the holds that we could follow and just climbed blindly.  However, being the poor college student, I thought climbing was too expensive and didn't want to spend the money on it. Apparently, Rocknasium is one of the oldest rock climbing gyms in America and they recently moved to a new location a few doors down from their old one and redesigned the gym. I've been meaning to go check it out but it's a bit far away.

Years later I got a job in Fremont and moved there and my roommate in college just happen to get a job in Fremont also. I found out there was a climbing gym right in Fremont and asked him if he wanted to join it with me, now that I could afford it ($40/month) and I needed a hobby. So we joined City Beach on September 19, 2011; I remember the date because payments are always on the 20th and we joined one day before. We've been climbing there 2-3 times a week ever since. We started out pretty well, moving up to 5.9 in the first week and started 5.10s within two months. But then we plateaued and have been inching up the difficulties slowly for the past year. We're now at around 5.11a/b level with the highest we've done at 5.11d but not without rest. We don't really boulder much, maybe because I like the safety of having a rope and bouldering just seems so hard for me. We're at about V3 right now which isn't very good. Bouldering seems to take a lot of strength, which I'm lacking in, but which also means I should boulder more. I've read in books that bouldering is fastest way to get better but I just like top rope and lead more.

Lately I've been wanting to start climbing outdoors. We did one guided outdoor rock climb at Castle Rock and I'm not even sure where we were, but outdoor climbing is so different than indoor climbing. I ripped off a chunk of the skin on my right ring finger which left a scar but I guess it's a souvenir to remember my first time climbing outdoors. I'm not sure if it's an outdoor climbing mentality but our guide seemed to look down on all gym climbers which kind of irked me. But regardless, it was fun and I want to find some more outdoor climbs to do. I signed up for an anchoring class ($110) with Outback Adventures in Fremont on March 9th in Cragmont Park in Berkeley, which is about a week from now. I'm pretty excited about learning how to anchor so I can set up my own outdoor top ropes and I even bought a Kindle book on anchors, Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide by Craig Luebben, to give myself some background before I go. Hopefully, I'll know enough after the class to start going out on my own.

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