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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Rock climbing in the rockies!

Well it's summer and it's slow in here... Time to toot my own horn to start the discussions! The missus and I took a beginner outdoor rock climbing course this weekend. It was a blast!

We learned top rope style climbing. How to belay, communicate, check your gear, etc. and then we moved on to some basic skills to get up tougher stuff. I think the last slab we were on was considered a 5.7 or so? This was Slab 'D' in the Wasootch creek area.

Had a blast and looking forward to possibly getting more into it! Here's some obligatory pics...





After making it up something that seemed almost impossible my first three tries!




Our classmates at the end of a great day...
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 09:49 PM
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Very cool! Looks like a great place to learn to climb!!

I used to do some top roping, bouldering, and some rappeling when I lived in CA. Used to love getting on the rock and scraping all the skin off my finger tips!

Here in S.E. MI. all we've got are the indoor rock gyms. They're fun for what they are, but after all the great places in CA. I sort of object to paying to climb!

Let us see some more pics when u get them!

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 06:34 AM
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Looks like a great spot to learn, not too steep. Sore muscles today? Can you hold a cup without tremble?

Loved to do rock climbing. One of the great sports for couples where girls easily can compensate the lack of muscle power by proper technique. Had to give up due to my neck injury. Looking straight up a wall is simply no longer possible

"Yeah... no, that's not clumsiness, that's just being topographically challenged" ~ Noreaster
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 06:42 AM
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Rockclimbing was one of my favorite past times. It has been a solid three years since I've really gotten on the rock though. I have not had the time to put into it that I need to enjoy doing it at the level I like. Therefore I have been mtn biking the last couple of years.

One of the nice things about climbing is that is relatively cheap compared to most other sports. And damn if it isn't a ton of fun. Just be really careful and make sure you do it right. Very little room for error. I have known people that have died. I have also been around some brutal accidents. All of which were easily avoided.

It really is a safe sport though. So have fun with it.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 08:18 AM
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Just be really careful and make sure you do it right. Very little room for error.
... choose your (safety? saving? the guy holding the other end of the rope) partner carefully The moment you have an insecure hold and shout "hold tight, I'll fall...!" you don't want to hear "wait a moment!" cause he's sorting the rope or chatting with someone

"Yeah... no, that's not clumsiness, that's just being topographically challenged" ~ Noreaster
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words! Yeah we were talking about it last night, and she's willing to get more into it too. I think she likes that we're both at the same level (I think I still intimidate her w/snowboarding). I was looking at gear last night, both new and used. It seems very reasonable, and then your only consumables for the first bit is fuel and food.

My only question is, how do we enjoy outdoor climbing without taking a lead course first? The rock we climbed on had a nice scramble path for the instructor to setup the top ropes, but I'm not sure if it's against some sort of climbers etiquette for a newb to go setup the ropes themselves?
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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... choose your (safety? saving? the guy holding the other end of the rope) partner carefully The moment you have an insecure hold and shout "hold tight, I'll fall...!" you don't want to hear "wait a moment!" cause he's sorting the rope or chatting with someone
That is something you should never have to question. If you do, that person would not be my belayer again, ever. If I survived.

I will say right now, that falling is always a part of the game. Lead or top rope. I can't tell you how many falls I have taken in the 15-20 ft zone, but it is literally hundreds. I have quite a few that hit over 30 ft. You can't be worried about your belayer not being able to perform a catch.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for the kind words! Yeah we were talking about it last night, and she's willing to get more into it too. I think she likes that we're both at the same level (I think I still intimidate her w/snowboarding). I was looking at gear last night, both new and used. It seems very reasonable, and then your only consumables for the first bit is fuel and food.

My only question is, how do we enjoy outdoor climbing without taking a lead course first? The rock we climbed on had a nice scramble path for the instructor to setup the top ropes, but I'm not sure if it's against some sort of climbers etiquette for a newb to go setup the ropes themselves?
Yes you can set up top ropes yourself. It is just fine. A lot of sport crags, and one pitch spots have easy access to the cliff tops. I would shy away from spots where you have to build your anchors. Use areas that have fixed anchors where they are simple to set up. Something where two quick draws with gates opposed or using a locking biner is enough to drop your rope into. The second you are placing trad gear for your top rope, you should probably be hanging with experienced climbers who can help you with the process.

Also, don't use manky bolts. If you have any questions about the anchors move to another route with better anchors.

The nice thing is that climbing is pretty easy. You can learn what you need to know quickly and get safely out there with minimal experience. As I said, just play smart. Little mistakes can have huge consequences. So double and triple check every point of failure to make sure you got it right. That sort of thing should become second nature and it will save you a ton of heart ache.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yes you can set up top ropes yourself. It is just fine.
Awesome thanks! We're just not into the idea of climbing indoors when we've got great outdoor venues near us, and the weather is so good!

I'll have to ask around next time we're there. The area we went into is called the Wasootch creek or wasootch slabs. They're labelled from A-G or so, and the slabs we were on were the learning slabs. I think on a weekend they reserve those for courses and kids camps.

What I'd really like to do is meet another couple or small group in the Calgary area to go climb with. It would be nice to help share the cost of ropes, etc.

Here's some more pics, taken by one of the other people in the course!



Most important lesson from day 1 (other than all safety stuff): TRUST YOUR FEET!










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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2013, 09:54 AM
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Looks like completely fun slabbing. The South Platte near me has some amazing slab routes. Some are very heady. For leading though, the more vertical to over hanging stuff is sometimes a lot better. When you fall, you just drop. On slab you have to be good at running backwards and if you go far enough it is easy to get flipped upside down. That is all stuff you'll learn about it soon enough if you continue climbing.
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