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Scaling the Walls

rc_harness.jpgNo, that's not some kinky sex toy you see here...

Gabe and I went rock climbing yesterday. While it's safe to say he's quite a good deal "more monkey" than me, I did fairly well I guess. I think big feet are a minus, as is "weighing a lot" and having more upper body strength. For someone who types all day, I have surprisingly weak fingers. We climbed at Coral Cliffs in Ft. Lauderdale (ugly site, but not a bad joint all told).

Gabe weighs only 145 lbs, so during our lesson, when I fell (on purpose, to practice belaying), he was picked up off the ground quite nicely and slammed into the rock. Heh heh heh. I don't know how I got to 180 with a 30" waist (I'm 5'10", as is Gabe). I'm just solid. Ladies, bounce a quarter off my... never mind. 🙂

Anyway, I think it'll be awhile before I attempt any big climbs, though, as my fingers are, as I said, pretty weak. Our guide/teacher Matan said cliffs are rated from 5.5 to 5.10 (though we spied a few 5.11's at this place), and the 5.5 is pretty easy. I'd climb it without harnesses 100 times and never get hurt unless I was drunk or just awoken... the 5.6 proved interesting, and I couldn't get a good pattern down on the 5.7 to make it to the top. Gabe made it up a 5.8 with a slight reverse angle (whatever you call it: /* where * is the person and / is the angle of the rock) once, but was too tired the second time.

My friend Aaron is apparently an avid climber. I'm just getting into it, but it's something I want to continue to do. There aren't many places around (just Ft. Laudy, Miami, Orlando, Tampa in Florida) so hopefully scaling walls doesn't turn into some "hip" thing to do like my last four hobbies (inline skating/roller hockey being the most recent... ahh, at least my Ukrainian Egg Decorating never took off). I've done the math, and if Gabe and I go once a week for the next 6 months, it'll be cheaper to get a yearly membership and buy our own gear. So, that's what I'll be doing, probably...

Of course, I'll try to find some more people to go. A yearly membership lets you go every night if you want. And, truth be told, Gabe's gotta do some learning there on the whole belaying side of things. He's a bit eager to let me down, let's say 🙂 Nah, I'm just razzing him. It was our first time. And as for the fingers, I guess I'll just grab a tennis ball and crunch it. Or Aaron's currently suggesting doing pull-ups. My dislocated shoulder seemed fine, so so long as it doesn't separate again, I think pull-ups might have the side advantage of ensuring that it doesn't dislocate again as well...

Anyway, I'm outtie. Gotta watch West Wing and Ed tonight (as well as the Packers game with Dave... Go Steelers!).

2 Responses to "Scaling the Walls"

  1. Are you sure you were climbing on rock cliffs. That illustration looks more like something at an S and M club ... perhaps something to hold stockings up? 😉

  2. I used to be an avid climber, but alas, I'm without a climbing partner at the moment. If anyone reading this knows how to belay and live in the Southern Maryland area? Please drop me an email. I've got my own gear, and am willing to take lead climbing classes too!