Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mind Over...Paranoid Troglodyte

It's been so long since I've climbed that I had time to soak my Just Do It bag -- the one that I carry my climbing equipment in.

After my gym card was scanned, I immediately asked for a rope. See, I've been thinking about Paranoid Troglodyte or, as Patti likes to call it, The Orange Route. I also think of it as Sophie's Orange Route since she set it.

Paranoid Troglodyte is the lead test route. The last time that I practiced lead climbing, I was only able to clip in on two quickdraws. Paranoid... is a gnarly route that I can climb on top rope but add the element of lead climbing and, well, the gnarly route just got even gnarlier.

I haven't been climbing in two weeks because every body's schedules are all over the place but Patti and I managed to get on the same page today.

I warmed up first then I headed straight for Paranoid Troglodyte. I stopped many times but I was able to clip in all the way to the top.

See, I've been talking to myself -- telling myself that I need to relax and breathe more; you know, tap into that whole yoga thing that I've been doing.

I climbed Paranoid...again and again. The third time I could barely hold on but I made it to the top.

Patti gave me good tips. She noticed that I was bunching up my arm when I went to clip when I should have a straight arm. She also gave me technique tips about matching feet and hands -- a difficult maneuver for my chubby little hands and feet. I also got a reminder, from Patti, that you are pretty much bouldering until you secure yourself in at the second clip. In addition, I had forgotten that you need to give the lead climber slack when they're starting off. Of course, this is the opposite when top rope climbing...

At this point in the program, it started to remind me of front crawl breathing: arm reaching as far as possible, chest down, dispense with all air before you turn your head to take another one. Information overload.

I practiced more lead climbing and met my match on the final route of the day. I started z-clipping and back clipping. Why? My gym is replacing quickdraws and the new ones suck. I don't like the gates on them at all. I just pray that they won't take the quickdraws on Paranoid Troglodyte down before I've had a chance to take my lead climbing test.

Rock climbing has been in the news recently. I shared this article with my rock climbing buddies and Mike responded:

Thanks for the article. Now that it is becoming cool, do we have to put it aside?


  1. Wait - rock climbing has only now become cool? Oh my misspent youth!

  2. You know what? Do you go to Lifetime? When you said that they scanned your card and you walked to the climbing wall it sounded like my new gym. My goal is to go climbing this week! I have to. I have equipment that is still new because I haven't been in over a year!

  3. gingersnapper,

    You totally made climbing cool when you hit the wall. :)


    We don't have Lifetime in this area. I like the video on their website. We have one main gym in this area that's actually opening up another location at the end of this month.

    There's supposed to be another company building a facility but no one has heard anything about them in a long time.

    Hope that you're able to put a little wear and tear on that equipment this week.

  4. hubby and i were talking about rock climbing the other day and how people sleep on the side of cliffs.
    i was wondering, would you ever do that? i cannot even imagine. oy vey.
    also, was curious, what is your dream destination for rock climbing? :)

  5. Heather,

    I'm a "climb up" and "come back down" kinda woman. :)

    I don't have a dream destination for climbing yet but I definitely wouldn't mind going to England or Germany. I like to travel and I like to climb. Putting the two together? Priceless.