July 13, 2007

Did an upgrade course at GCC tonight for lead climbing! So now I can belay for someone while they clip in the rope on their way up – which is fine. I would like to think I am overly safety concious and I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t feel I knew what I was doing and was capable of stopping the climber from encountering the ground in the wrong way.

Of course I can also now do the climbing bit while clipping in on the way up. That at least is the theory, however it is not so much the new things to concentrate on with dealing with a rope and things to clip into, for me the challenge it still just the climbing. I need more practice and strength and technique and practice, and hey I’m away next week so can’t do anything much :-(

Highlight of the evening was “TG” <*> taking her last climb on a big overhang wall for the first time right at the end of the evening. This meant that most of the people at the climbing center were winding down, chatting and clearing up. So, the further up she got further this ‘challenging’ route for someone new to lead climbing, the louder the instructor had to shout encouragement and instructions … soon more people started to join in shouting ‘go on’, ‘go for it’, and other forms of ‘encouragement’ till the whole room seemed to be watching. This added attention didn’t help TG’s confidence much, but it was very funny and there was a big cheer when she finally (safely) fell off the wall :-)

By that point I chose not to have another go!
Not just because of the attention, but also there was no way I could have climbed that far.

<*> – names have been changed because I try not to name non-bloggers. I assume that I shouldn’t name someone if I haven’t asked them unless the have a public online persona, such as a blog. So bloggers = fair game, non-bloggers = why should I put any details about them online.



June 20, 2007

So, back in real-life it’s been a bit hectic.  Our department (at work – I don’t normally talk about work here) had our annual away-day thing on Monday.  Leading up to this I decided it would be a good to have several things ready in time for the away day, so I set a bunch of deadlines.  In reality it wouldn’t have really mattered if things weren’t ready for the day, but it’s good to have a deadline sometimes.   Anyway, we managed to get everything done and it got a good reception, so was worth the effort.  On the other hand, seeing a few of these things gave people ideas, which in turn has generated more work… oh well.

Non-work ‘work’ has also been a little overloaded because I’m trying to get ahead of some video work in order to have some time off from it later in the summer.  But, as in the previous post I’ve ran out of inspiration on a couple of projects so that isn’t going to quickly.  I did manage to get the three things I had to have for last Sunday ready, but hoped to have more.  Oh and Sunday was Deeper, and there isn’t one next month because we are all (OK well most of ‘us’ whoever ‘us’ are) away at CLANkidz.

Otherwise, life is fun. Not only will I manage to go climbing again this week, but I could have gone yesterday as well (sorry I couldn’t make it BTW, and if you’re reading this I didn’t have your mobile or I would have let you know)  On that, I also bumped into someone at Biblocafe (the best coffee shop in the world!) who spotted me at the climbing centre and said I could join them sometime, so that’s all good.

Climging exercises

June 14, 2007

So I managed to get to the climbing centre again the other day.  Still trying to find regular climbing partners to get into the swing of this, but that aside.

Climbing buddy who I’ll just call her The Scary One – ‘encouraged’ me to try this exercise to improve technique and trust in the climbing shoes (or just to laugh at my lack of the above technique and trust).  We were at what I think is called a ‘slab’ – i.e. wall which slopes slightly away from you as you climb and the idea was to climb  as far as possible without using hands at all.  So only leaning in towards the wall with your hands flat on the wall and using the shoes only to get as far as possible.

I found it really hard not to hold on to anything and I do tend not to be too comfortable when I only have half a toe on a tiny bump in the wall to hold me, so this was certainly good for my confidence.   So, thanks to ‘The Scary One’ for bullying me :-)

OK, I don’t know if this is a really obvious or well known exercise to do but I thought I would ask if anyone knows any other tips for beginners like this one?