Old(ish) dogs, New tricks and surprises

Posted by: skcreidc

Old(ish) dogs, New tricks and surprises - 12/10/13 02:02 PM

Climbing. It's always been one of those things that I've had an interest in but never followed through with....until now. Maybe I needed to wait till over 50 to get it right. The cool part is that my wife and (formerly known as couch potato) daughter are gladly doing it with me. Granted, much of their experience so far has been at the local indoor gym. But they are starting to venture outside (all top roping) with me now and the results couldn't have been more positive. My daughter has even told me more than once that she would eventually like to lead climb (I think she means sport climbing and not placing gear). You could have knocked me over with a feather with that one. And just to let you all know, my #1 goal each time I go out is to come back in one piece; doubly so for my wife and daughter. To be honest, they both have surprised me in taking to it so positively. They are also very supportive of me going climbing in the Winds. Maybe this summer if all comes together.
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Old(ish) dogs, New tricks and surprises - 12/10/13 08:11 PM

As a die-hard traditional climber, I was really surprised at how much I liked gym climbing once I started doing it in my 50's. I do not do it anymore because my husband quit and the cost of single membership is pretty steep. Most gyms have good family rates. It is just plain fun! And it really does improve your traditional climbing as long as you continue to get in a lot of outdoor climbing too. It was the answer to keeping in climbing shape during rainy winters. Just be sure if you get your daughter into lead climbing that she gets some GOOD training. I am a stickler about wearing a helmet outdoors, even if just top roping. It is easy to strain tendons in gym climbing, so know when to call it a day.
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Old(ish) dogs, New tricks and surprises - 12/11/13 12:42 PM

We have been climbing as a family for almost a year now and have had a family membership for the past six months at our gym of choice (the college kid dominated gym). Our daughter is in the local UCSD for college so we get to see her 2 to 3 times a week for climbing and yoga. This ends up working out pretty nice.... smile

When I learned what little I learned about climbing using rope and protection 30 some years ago, I was using a swami belt and either a body or hip belay. I had no rope, but I owned 3 hexes, 5 stoppers, and a bunch of 'biners and slings (everything I had was marked Chouinard). People would invite me along in part to help fill out their rack. Friends were just starting to get mainstream and a couple of close calls leading with those cams and not knowing how to use them safely led me to not get into leading. Plus I was more into surfing anyways. Then, I disappeared for 30 years giving most of what little I had away. So, I've been taking classes whenever I can starting from the very basics as well as studying books (the Mountaineers series mostly)prior so I can get the most out of each class. I'm signing my wife and daughter up for classes as we can afford them. Oh, and before we started climbing outside together we got helmets and we use them. I want to keep all our experiences positive if possible. We can always not climb on a given day if things don't look right.

I'm a strong believer in plan for the worst and hope for the best. That in mind, my current at home project in rope knowhow is rescue techniques. When I have enough cash I'll take a class in it from probably Bob Gaines. Again, this way I'll sort of know what I'm doing when I take the class and the instructor can help correct or refine what I'm doing.

I appreciate all the advice you continue to give me btw. So thanks again WD.