Tell me about rock climbing, climbing walls, lessons, gear, etc., especially in NYC

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I want to learn. Good places to go? Lessons necessary? Most economical way to do it? Amount of practice I'll need before trying a real climb?

surfer blood for oil (Hurting 2), Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:09 (eleven years ago) link

Lessons necessary? Good grief, yes! One can "rock scramble" without any technical knowlege or aids, but the moment you move to a wall, you need instructions. And good medical insurance. Rock climbing can be exhilirating, but it is never going to be low risk.

Probably the most economical way to do it is to glom onto a buddy who already has the requisite knowlege and equipment and beg to be taught. Suck all the instruction you can out of him (or her), then decide where you want to go from there.

If you don't have a buddy who climbs, figure out where the local hot spot is (maybe ask at a climbing gym) then go hang out there as a groupie / wannabe and try to chum up to someone who needs a partner.

Ask questions until you thoroughly understand the answers. Practise what you learn until you have mastered it. Good luck, have fun!

Aimless, Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:20 (eleven years ago) link

gbx is going to weigh in here at some point with better advice than mine.

Aimless, Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:20 (eleven years ago) link

First of all, who's your A&R?

PappaWheelie V, Saturday, 17 July 2010 19:21 (eleven years ago) link

ten months pass...

ha, well then

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 19:54 (ten years ago) link

Bookmarked, fwiw.

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:10 (ten years ago) link

I want to learn. Good places to go? Lessons necessary? Most economical way to do it? Amount of practice I'll need before trying a real climb?

― surfer blood for oil (Hurting 2), Saturday, July 17, 2010 2:09 PM (10 months ago) Bookmark

places to go: The Gunks. for real. while there are some great gyms in NYC, no doubt, you are just a short-ish drive from one of the nation's rock climbing treasures. if you really want a taste of what makes climbers so nutty, just skip everything below and go sign up for a top-roping course up in the Gunks. dollars to donuts there's one offered every weekend.

lessons necessary: for anything more than bouldering, absolutely. ideally you have a (trustworthy) friend, but it wouldn't hurt to take a class imo. a lot of climbers have unrecognized bad habits, and when it comes to safety, habit is everything. i was fortunate in that i had a dad who climbed (when he was younger), and who also signed me up for a class at a local gym since a lot of what he knew was out of date. when the time comes to start building anchors (top rope or on lead), you and your partners will benefit greatly (by not dying) from education. if you can't afford a course, get a stack of books. i'm happy to make some recommendations.

economy: start with bouldering. all you need is a pair of shoes and a chalkbag to get started at a gym. crashpad if (and when, hopefully) you venture outside. after that, accumulating gear happens in fits and starts, as you need it. the weightiest purchase will be a rack (that is: the protective stuff you carry up on a lead climb), since it's kind of an all or nothing sorta deal. that is, you can accumulate it by piecemeal, if you like, but you can't safely climb without the complete set. as to what constitutes a complete set, well...

as for practice before "real climbing": if you mean "outdoor climbing," then the answer is zero. climbing outside is no more difficult than climbing inside (often easier!), if we're talking physical exertion. it can definitely be ~scarier~ (exposure is real), but some of the most classic climbs in the world are baby day parades compared to what an AVERAGE gym climber can pull off. no joke. getting up this:
http://c0278592.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/original/178408.jpg
is heaps easier than this
http://cbsatlanta.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/atlanta_rocks.jpg?w=300&h=225

it just takes longer and has more objective hazards. but an active adult person likely has the fitness base to be capable of doing it with little to no training (our very own the tune is space has topped it, iirc).

anyway go climbing, it's awesome

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:19 (ten years ago) link

check out my rack
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5184/5809081119_0beacf11f3.jpg

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:21 (ten years ago) link

o_0

I am nowhere NEAR as serious as you. I would like to be someday.

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:26 (ten years ago) link

bear in mind that that took a ~long~ time to accumulate. and much of it after a left-field, windfall gear inheritance from a friend.

could probably make due without the cams (the costliest stuff items, obv), but boy that would be just a little too retro for this guy

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:30 (ten years ago) link

if you're just getting into sport climbing, all you need is
-harness
-belay device (grigris are a nice luxury, but hardly worth it for the beginner. also they teach bad habits, imo)
-rope (60m, 10.5mm for longevity)
-8 to 10 quickdraws (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2quickdraws.saa.jpeg
-some way to clip into the anchors/chains at the top of an outdoor sport climb*
-shoes (not ~strictly~ necessary in the way that everything else is, but your life will suck w/o)
-chalk (not necessary at all, according to some grumpuses in northern minnesota)

*a word about this: what to do at the top of a sport climb is, after proper belay technique, the most important set of safety skills/routines that a new sport climber must learn. it's where i've observed the scariest bad habits**, and it's how my friend's gf died in an accident. none of it is difficult to learn or perform correctly, but it's absolutely vital.

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:42 (ten years ago) link

**it's actually because of this that i'd recommend a class over trusting a buddy. eg it's common for people to use a daisy chain as their means of attachment to the top anchors. i was gonna write a whole thing about why that's stupid and scary, but black diamond made a video for me instead http://vimeo.com/14679471

thing is: LOTS AND LOTS of people do the wrong thing without thinking.

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 20:52 (ten years ago) link

-chalk (not necessary at all, according to some grumpuses in northern minnesota)

Hah, I don't use chalk at all. I may change my tune outside under the sun.

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 21:03 (ten years ago) link

def need to check out the bouldering up north, methinks

http://vimeo.com/24519413

http://vimeo.com/10886536

xp i'm sort of addicted to it, but i think that it might not ~really~ be that necessary.

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 21:07 (ten years ago) link

i saw the rack as i scrolled and knew it must be gbx.

if anyone wears 44s i got a really minty pair of la sportivas from 1996 i will part with. i don't know how i ever got my feets in them.

http://i.imgur.com/IASvk.jpg

this is my old pal on flyin hawaiian (11a), a rumney classic. starts as a kinda grunty overhanging thing that i hate and then unfolds into the beautiful dihedral you see before you. <3 it

(nb i did not take this photo)

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 22:13 (ten years ago) link

Eric/tabes: what kind of shoes are you guys using these days? I've got a pair of old moccasyms that need replacing and am vaguely overwhelmed by the choices out there

La Sportivas are too narrow for me :(

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 22:37 (ten years ago) link

have also discovered the existence of Crane Lake in n Minnesota and would like to go there v much

def need to get out to the needles in sd and do some easy scary trad too. get my head back in the game.

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 22:39 (ten years ago) link

gbx, i have a pair of 5.10's that i use when i do outdoor, which will finally happen again in a few weeks...
but for indoor sport climbing, i just use a cheapo pair of evolv Defy VTRs.

the ones that i want are the new super-expensive, Sharma-designed Shamans from evolv.

whenever the vein was to throb (the table is the table), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 23:03 (ten years ago) link

i've heard good things about evolv! and that defy vtr looks a lot like my old 5.10 UFOs which were the friggin best. price is outstanding, too

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 23:12 (ten years ago) link

I am currently using 5.10s too. I got a pair of Red Chilis once and the leather started pulling away from the rubber in a matter of months. No good.

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Wednesday, 8 June 2011 02:56 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Haven't been climbing in 4 days. I'm going crazy.

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 02:58 (ten years ago) link

plans were to go to the tower this weekend but my partner is thinking otherwise

rebel yelp (gbx), Thursday, 23 June 2011 03:00 (ten years ago) link

i haven't been in weeks :-/

rebel yelp (gbx), Thursday, 23 June 2011 03:00 (ten years ago) link

I should just climb some walls at work. I've given it thought. Some of them have slats.

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 03:13 (ten years ago) link

do it. buildering is fun!

rebel yelp (gbx), Thursday, 23 June 2011 03:15 (ten years ago) link

Haha, I've gotten about halfway up my building's chimney before I realized it would be bad to fall. Or tear out a brick.

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 03:21 (ten years ago) link

four months pass...

BUMP FOR NEW CLIMBING GYM YAYYYYYYYY

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:02 (nine years ago) link

I know! Posted in WDYLL in celebration.

It's pretty fantastic AND (best of all) they have an area they have specifically set aside for the kids involved in birthday parties to all climb together. Away from the rest of us.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 04:24 (nine years ago) link

man i am so excited. i went again today (after going yesterday and friday), and i'm getting worried that i'm going to climb right into an injury

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 05:57 (nine years ago) link

Perhaps now/soon is the time to have a climb date. Before you hurt yourself, I mean.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 13:51 (nine years ago) link

baller!

also: membership sale on saturday, $359/yr

\m/

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 11 November 2011 14:19 (nine years ago) link

***drudge sirens here***

Name of Product: Joss rock climbing cam

Units: About 1,280

Importer: Sierra Trading Post, of Cheyenne, Wy.

Manufacturer: Cassin Sri, of Italy

Hazard: The recalled cams can fail unexpectedly after being set, posing a fall hazard.

Incidents: One incident reported in Europe. No deaths or injuries reported in the U.S.

Description: The Joss Cam is a mechanical device placed in the crack of a rock to support a climber's weight. The Cam is operated by a trigger that retracts the aluminum lobes, allowing the device to be placed and secured in the crack of a rock. A cable is attached to the device with a heavy duty nylon sling attached to the end of the cable. Joss Cams come in eight sizes and each Cam is marked with the size (.5 to 4). The sling on the end features solid horizontal blocks of color (yellow, orange, purple, red, green and blue) indicating size. The "Cassin" logo is also printed on a tag attached to the sling. The Sierra Trading Post item numbers associated with this recall are #69277 and #69278. These numbers can be found on the original packaging label or order invoice.

Sold at: Sierra Trading Post nationwide from August 2003 through March 2006 for $3 to $32.

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Friday, 11 November 2011 14:43 (nine years ago) link

Asked someone from N1cr0s about the route-setting when I was on the story shoot and he told me that it pays somewhere between $5 and $50 per route, depending on difficulty and other factors.

Was mostly curious to see if one could earn a living off it. Answer: no (at VE at least).

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 11 November 2011 14:49 (nine years ago) link

I wonder what ponytail dude at the st Paul VE makes. Seems like a no frills kinda guy

Also: do you get the impression that the grades are kinda soft at the mpls location? At least in the bouldering areas? Cuz I've climbed two V5s this week which is nonsensical since i haven't been to the gym in months and have been mountain biking all summer. Like, I'm usually good for 5.10 off the couch, but V5 is sorta nutty. /no brag

nb I haven't tied into anything yet, I've either been solo or with knuckle draggers

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 11 November 2011 19:41 (nine years ago) link

I wonder what ponytail dude at the st Paul VE makes

He does so much and is there so often, I presume he's making more than just his milk money.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 11 November 2011 19:45 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, not sure what to make of the grades at Mpls. yet. The top rope courses struck me as much harder due to length and the callus-tearing newness of the holds. But the bouldering routes were a little light, yeah.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 11 November 2011 19:46 (nine years ago) link

thx for the update btw Laurel! I would be hella concerned except that I'm pretty sure no one in America uses those? (euro gear isn't that popular ime---most ppl use BD or metolius or those weirdo link cams (which are totally awesome btw))

xp oh I wouldn't doubt that it's a major source of income! Just that the dude seems like an older version of my college bud bobby h4rding (and a contemporary of the inimitable j0hn j0line), who actually lived in the school's climbing gym when it was too cold to live in his van anymore

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 11 November 2011 19:49 (nine years ago) link

see the nice thing about coming into this with no callouses means that the new holds are just Velcro. also, less sliding around on top of callouses means less chance of ~flappers~

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 11 November 2011 19:50 (nine years ago) link

I get the CPSC safety alert emails about that stuff for work, just putting it out there!

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Friday, 11 November 2011 20:00 (nine years ago) link

Guy in charge of overseeing route-setting told me they call that guy "troll," because he comes out of that cave at the St. Paul location and scares little kids.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 11 November 2011 20:16 (nine years ago) link

~flappers~

*shudder*

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 11 November 2011 20:16 (nine years ago) link

Guy in charge of overseeing route-setting told me they call that guy "troll," because he comes out of that cave at the St. Paul location and scares little kids.

― dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, November 11, 2011 2:16 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

LOL

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 11 November 2011 20:18 (nine years ago) link

i have basically exhausted all the bouldering at at the mpls location (or at least everything i can manage). slightly worried about my elbow (had a pang of the tendonitis last night), should prolly do some roped stuff soon if i'm going to make this membership worth it

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Thursday, 17 November 2011 01:25 (nine years ago) link

I'd say text me and let's pick a time, but I'm infuriatingly busy up through Thxgiving. Soon, tho.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Thursday, 17 November 2011 03:44 (nine years ago) link

going now-ish iirc

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 18 November 2011 01:22 (nine years ago) link

Shoot. I had a screening tonight at the Lagoon. I probably could've managed to swing up Nicollet and catch you.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Friday, 18 November 2011 04:02 (nine years ago) link

ah well.

btw just discovered UDDER BALM for chapped hands.

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Friday, 18 November 2011 05:08 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

ayo eric h were you at the gym yesterday? i was on the way to the restroom and saw what looked like you in the Bathroom Cave (or w/e you want to call it) but after that nada

was it an ~illusion~

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Sunday, 15 January 2012 19:10 (nine years ago) link

I was there yesterday. No illusions -- that's my real Manuary beard coming in! (LOL at the bathroom cave.)

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Sunday, 15 January 2012 19:31 (nine years ago) link

there's a p fun v6 in there right now btw.

I think I've been bouldering too much though. I used to clown knuckle dragging boulderers who could slay v8+ and whimper on 5.8, and now I'm a guy who gets winded on 5.9 walk ups. VE is tall!

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Sunday, 15 January 2012 20:36 (nine years ago) link

also what are your thoughts on the upper area? straw poll of my dudes says that it is hell of dangerous, and that the gym is poorly laid out in general (safety wise).

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Sunday, 15 January 2012 20:38 (nine years ago) link

Still mostly top out at V5 on bouldering. Steering clear of 5.12s at the Mpls location for the time being, at least until I buy some shoes that aren't worn out in the big toe areas. (I wish I was joking.)

Yeah, I'm a little leery of that area. It's incredibly compact with way too many ropes jammed in. And then they're going to add some more autobelays? Uh-uh.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Sunday, 15 January 2012 20:39 (nine years ago) link

Oh, and I think we exchanged cell #s at some point, right? I'd love to top rope with you so I can get some advice from someone who's been at it for awhile.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Sunday, 15 January 2012 20:43 (nine years ago) link

For sho. I'm in Duluth for the next three weeks (fyi the VE there blows), was just down here for a bday weekend.

I generally max at V5 too---there seems to be a hard break between 5 and 6 at the gym for some reason.

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Sunday, 15 January 2012 20:56 (nine years ago) link

Also, some of Mpls' 5.10s are insanely difficult.

Cool. February it is.

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:10 (nine years ago) link

Word

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Sunday, 15 January 2012 21:13 (nine years ago) link

yaay climbing! i'm still a total newb, but i love it so much! right now i'm at challenging 5.8 overhangs and not falling off every time - getting balance figured out, engaging muscles that are like "oh hello again!!" (i think i used ALL of my stomach muscles doing something the other day), shoulders getting stronger, etc etc. good times.

also, in the spring/summer, my climbing gym is opening another space - including a silo! - 111 feet of climbing!
video: http://vimeo.com/32456243 (new space and silo stuff starts at 2:20)

so yeah, i'm working hard this winter :)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Monday, 16 January 2012 14:34 (nine years ago) link

and my friends head outdoors all the time in late spring and throughout summer, so i'm super excited about that whole world too!

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Monday, 16 January 2012 14:36 (nine years ago) link

To wish gbx a happy birthday on this thread?

dor Dumbeddownball (Eric H.), Monday, 16 January 2012 18:19 (nine years ago) link

why not!
happy birthday, gbx! climb high and strong and not just on the rocks <3 :)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Monday, 16 January 2012 18:36 (nine years ago) link

aw thx dudes

i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Monday, 16 January 2012 18:48 (nine years ago) link

i think i really fell in love with climbing last night at the gym, like this sublime awesome feeling
it's funny because i always start each climbing session feeling a little rough and wondering why i do this in the first place because it's damn challenging and kind of harsh sometimes (to ego and to body). but after warming up on a couple of climbs, all is well and i'm happy and invigorated! i guess i've felt that with other sports/activities, but this is different. in a weird way, it's kind of like writing... or at least the way i write, process-wise.

anyway, yesterday i conquered a new climb and one i'd tried before a couple of weeks ago and couldn't get past 3/4 of the way - a 5.8 but a tough one, for me anyway, because it was much more technical and balance-y than other 5.8s i had less problem with. i've been learning more technique stuff and playing with balance so what was awesome was that i only fell once, didn't take other than coming back from the fall, and actually climbed rather quickly. yaay! also i just have to say, it was also awesome to be climbing that route right after a guy taller and much stronger than me had a super rough time making it even halfway up. brains over brawn y'all! ;)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 20 January 2012 18:25 (nine years ago) link

i don't think my upper body has ever been this strong? it's like i can't believe that going climbing once a week has such an effect! but climbing is intense. my legs were already strong but getting stronger too. and my balance is getting better. it's an interesting thing to notice, these changes.
tried a 5.9 today, totally fell off in the first couple of metres. lol. one step at a time. (my friend said it wasn't the easiest of 5.9s, but hey.)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:37 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

Holy Moses a live feed of Tommy Caldwell and Ken Jorgeson attempting to do El Capitan's Dawn Wall in a single push, all free:

http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/watch-the-final-push-of-the-dawn-wall-live[

never have i been a blue calm sea (collardio gelatinous), Wednesday, 14 January 2015 22:00 (six years ago) link

four years pass...

hello thread. I just started bouldering. I love it! I'm a bit crap at it though but I want to get better. already fed up of renting shoes though so I'm thinking of buying some and it's all a bit daunting. they can be expensive, but I don't want to buy cheap and pay twice, you know what I mean?

frame casual (dog latin), Thursday, 23 May 2019 21:58 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Is this our catch-all/only climbing and bouldering thread?

I stated bouldering a couple of months ago (indoors) and am absolutely loving it. Going once a week with a wee group of friends for a couple of hours. It's so challenging (both physically and also in terms of fear/confidence on a tough climb), but so satisfying as well.

Watching loads of climbing videos while working and am itching to try some outdoors stuff. Probably should try to hook up with some more experienced folks to do so a few times without having to invest in expensive bouldering mats.

Anyone else here on ilx into their bouldering?

brain (krakow), Sunday, 10 October 2021 17:47 (two weeks ago) link

I tried this a few years ago, mostly cause I had a crush on a guy who was really into bouldering. Not for me :)

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 10 October 2021 19:45 (two weeks ago) link

gbx to thread if he ever sees this!

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Sunday, 10 October 2021 19:54 (two weeks ago) link

PS I'm a long way from NYC.

ilx Glasgow climbing crew representing.

brain (krakow), Monday, 11 October 2021 09:28 (two weeks ago) link

bouldering is great! i haven't done much climbing in the last couple years, for reasons, but bouldering is a great way to get into it

would imagine there'd be loads around glasgow?

gbx, Monday, 11 October 2021 14:58 (two weeks ago) link

I go bouldering about 2-3 times per week in the gym, and occasionally outdoors. I am still working on a system to allow me to use a harness again— I have a permanent colostomy as of a few years ago, which makes climbing harnesses a wee bit intense/scary— but I continue to boulder v6-v7 indoors and about v4+ outdoors. I love it and the months away from it during the pandemic made me realize how integral it's been to feeling in touch with my body over the years.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Monday, 11 October 2021 22:07 (two weeks ago) link

I guess there must be quite a few good spots around Glasgow, yeah, but I've not been out into the outdoor climbing world yet, so not sure exactly where's best. I only know a couple of possible places - The Whangie (https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/the_whangie-193) and Auchinstarry Quarry (https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/auchinstarry_quarry-226) though not sure how much at each is decent for bouldering and how much is more for roped climbing.

We do have this purpose built outdoor bouldering area close to me, which I really need to try if I ever get a free daytime with decent weather. Should be a perfect place for a first try at outdoor stuff. https://www.climbscotland.net/where-to-go/get-outdoors/cuningar-loop-boulders

brain (krakow), Wednesday, 13 October 2021 12:34 (one week ago) link


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