Sunday, February 7, 2010

Maybe Slower Than A Sloth

I am in awe of the human body.

Yesterday was my first time making it not only over the arête but up the dang And You're Ready Now?, the 5.8b route that I have been trying to ascend for what seems like forever.

I wondered if my muscles would remember. They did. Unbelievable. There were so many aborted attempts to get over the arête. At one point, I felt like a 12-month old trying to stand up but I couldn't stand up in order to reach a crucial hold -- even though I knew the power was in my legs and that climbing is best done relying on one's legs.

And You're Ready Now? is still a challenge but getting over the arête doesn't seem nearly as onerous a task as it did before.

As I was waiting for the route to open, this guy climbed And You're Ready Now? I was captivated by his ascent. He moved up the route like a sloth -- maybe slower than a sloth.

Patti was telling me that's how great climbers ascend a route. When Patti and Jessica took their six week introduction to rock climbing course, one exercise included wearing bells on their shoes with the goal being to make as little noise as possible while ascending a route.

Right now, I'm bullish about my ascents -- not intentionally; that's just the way it is right now. The sloth has been climbing for four years. The whippersnapper started the sport when he was 18.

I climbed eight routes:

5.7, Sol (Warm-Up Route)
5.6, Truxton or Bust
5.7, Gymnopaeda
5.7, Unnamed
5.8, Bright Idea
5.8, Face Plant
5.8b, And You're Ready Now?
5.6, Sunshine (Warm-Down Route)

Climb X Media has a series of videos featuring accomplished climbers. Lynn Hill's main advice? Patience. In this video, she scales a rock that looks totally unscalable.


  1. Ack! you keep reminding me that I need to try this. There's a club over at the next town. What am I waiting for? I gotta quit procrastinating and live life.

  2. someday my body will be small enough that combined with my upper body strength this will be something I can try.

  3. @Yum Yucky,

    Well, until you get to the club, keep working on getting up that pole in the park -- when all of that snow has cleared of course.


    Whenever I go climbing, it crosses my mind that I would not have been able to participate two years ago. I would have also been way too self-conscious even if I could have made it up the wall.

    May we both continue to shrink...

  4. wow that takes a lot of strength- you go girl!

  5. TJ,

    I'm trying to keep going. And going. I have Energizer Bunny aspirations. ;)