WOW. Bouldering was amazing. I had so much fun. And my toes hurt so much.
We drove out and hiked in. At first we found many rock formations that weren’t tall enough or were just too boring. But eventually we found this boulder that looked pretty good. Unfortunately, the rock wasn’t very great on the one side and the other was very damp (it was a pretty moist day). But we’d found the right area. So we hiked around a bit looking for the perfect face. We didn’t ever find the perfect one but we did eventually settle on a wall. It needed cleaning and neither of us brought a brush (you use a metal brush like you would use on a BBQ to clean dirt, moss and other slippery substances from the visage) but we decided that that would just have to be part of the challenge today.
So we tied up our shoes and positioned the drop mat. This is my only complaint about the shoes I chose. Lace-up shoes take a significant amount of time to tie-up and untie if you ever want to give your poor feet a break. If I had chosen slip-on type shoes, I could have taken them off while I was spotting.
There were two routes up. The easy one was more than doable by me on my first time out but it did take me a couple of tries. Falling off the face is not nearly as bad as I expected. Your partner watches you as you climb and if you fall he’ll break your descent by catching you. This isn’t a falling-damsel-Superman-type save but rather you let the person’s legs land on the mat and get your hands under their arms. By catching their upper body you make sure that they don’t hit their head on any nearby rocks.
The second route was far more challenging. Although my partner made it up a few times, I could never get past a certain point. I tried and tried but I think it was just a touch too challenging. Luckily, the guy I was climbing with is very patient and a great teacher. I’m determined to make it to the top next time we go out there.
I was in pretty good shape after the climb (sore toes and feet and one bloody knee) so we continued to explore the area. It turns out that there are a couple of other pretty good looking climbs nearby and one amazing looking overhang.
I’m excited to get back out there and my climbing partner has promised to show me some of the other spots in the city’s immediate vicinity.
PS Apparently climber culture is filled with lingo and jargon.