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Climb On

Posted Apr 02 2013 10:53am

A few weeks ago I went indoor rock climbing for the first time with Heather . I’d been climbing outside before, even took an introductory course with Apex Ex last year, but unless you count a few college team building experiences I’ve never climbed inside. I was a little nervous. For whatever reason climbing around outside seemed a lot less stressful than doing so in a building with a padded floor.

Turns out I really like it. Its definitely different than climbing outside and I’ll take scampering up legit rocks over odd shaped hand holds screwed into a wall but I had enough fun to want to go back! Since the moment I left the parking lot and called Chris to tell him about it I’ve been on his case to give it a try.

We finally got to head back to the climbing gym yesterday. Simply because I was more comfortable with it we headed back to Rock’n and Jam’n in Thornton. Its not exactly close to home but at least I knew my way around the place…and it was a half mile from the only Culver’s in Denver!

2013-04-01 15.34.01
…all ready to climb…and trust me not to drop him, stressful moment…

Chris spent a little time playing around on the bouldering walls while I took the belay test {last time I passed “for the day” and had to retake it}. This time the guy testing me out gave me a few pointers that really helped out. You’re not supposed to remove your “brake hand” from the rope, just to be safe, and I spent so much time thinking about that I’d get all flustered. He gave me some tips and told me to practice…with Chris. Ha!

Before long we were climbing. Well, Chris was. It took a few tries and fake falls to get him to actually trust the rope…or maybe me and my belay skills…but he got the hang of it. He started out on a 5.5 and worked his way up to a 5.8. I’m not too fluent with climbing terms but I think that’s pretty good!

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…Chris climbing a 5.8 with the auto-belay…

After a while his arms got tired and I wanted to get some climbing in, rather than just belaying. They have these handy “auto-belay” machines that are attached to the ceiling and act as a belay allowing you to climb on your own. They are pretty nifty and almost help pull you up the wall – there is a lot of pull!

Until yesterday I’ve never used one. I clipped in and headed up, not thinking about the ride down until I was to to the top. I was told you just fall back into the auto-belay and it will catch. Okay, not big deal. Unless you are a bajillion feet off the ground. Note to self – fake fall into an auto-belay before you get to the top! I chickened out and climbed half way down the wall before I actually fell back and let it take me down! In the end the fall back was truly no big deal, you just have to trust your equipment!

2013-04-01 16.01.23 2013-04-01 16.04.03 2013-04-01 16.33.21
…trying out the auto-belay, its really handy, if you’re not too afraid to fall into it…

Chris also did some auto-belaying. He said he trusted the machine more than me. Psht. Unfortunately there were only 3 auto-belays in the gym and the one near routes we hadn’t tried yet was being hogged by an annoying child who kept rolling around on the ground after pushing off from the wall to fall.

We had gotten there before 3pm and by the time we left at 5pm the atmosphere of the gym had changed – a lot of kids showed up and while some where extremely skilled quite a few of them were just annoying. Luckily it all timed out perfectly…our arms got tired, the kids showed up, we headed home.

Of course we stopped at Culver’s on our way home but we also took a short detour to REI to scope out climbing gear. And this was totally Chris’s idea! I think someone likes climbing! We aren’t committed to adding more gear to our stash but we know how much money we’ll have to sink into this potential new hobby of ours!

We’re also looking at taking an introductory climbing course to figure out true technique and legit terms.  We will definitely be getting more experience and guidance before doing any climbing outdoors. There is a lot of responsibility that goes into tying your own top rope and securing everything! I refuse to take that lightly!

Any recommendations on Denver climbing gyms? Or courses to take for climbing?

The post Climb On appeared first on run.around.aroo .

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