This weekend I tried something new for St. Patrick’s Day – instead of green beer I climbed a very green wall! My friend Holly has been encouraging me to come out to Brooklyn and climb at her gym – Brooklyn Boulders Gowanus – for over a year now and I am so pleased we finally picked a day and did it. The only rock climbing experience I had previously was a childhood birthday party and on a few cruise ships so I was excited to get up on the wall but knew the hard paths were not going to be my jam. After signing a wavier and renting equipment (shoes and a harness) it was go time!
After stretching and warming up my friends easily scaled a number of different paths up the walls. As one person always has to be on the ground as the belayer there was always someone to talk to and they were super patient with all of my questions – like why all of the routes started with 5. (The answer is that is the include, 0 being flat and 5 being a straight vertical). After the five there is the degree of difficulty of the climb starting with a 5.5 and then getting fancy with things like 5.13 C being a very difficult climb. Take a look at them killing it:
And then it was my turn! I’d like to think I am pretty sporty / athletic so I started out on the same route as my friends – a 5.9 – but quickly found out that was a bit too tough for me. Thus, I scaled it back and went up the reds on the giant green wall once cautiously and then fast for a second time in a row. Over the course of the two hours we spent climbing I tried a number of different routes and ended up with a few dozen photos of my backside in sometimes not so flattering positions. Here are three photos of me scaling various walls:
After we all had a number of climbs under our belt I really truly enjoyed watching my friend Holly climb without a rope. It is called lead climbing and instead of clipping into the rope at the top she clipped in to the wall at various carabiners. Her adorable boyfriend was her support and it was so cool checking out their Brooklyn Boulders certifications of these skills and watching them in action.
It was such a great day and again, Holly, thank you for taking me and encouraging me to try something a bit outside of my comfort zone and introducing me to Brooklyn Boulders. In fact, I liked it so much I actually looked up the classes they have there but the hour plus commute each way from my house makes that a little bit of a no-go.
Have you ever been rock climbing?