Saturday, October 22, 2011

What first?

There are so many problems to tackle. There are almost certainly problems that I have no idea I need to tackle, and I already can think of a lot of problems.

  • Don't know what other climbing walls or real life boulders are like. Other climber friends talk about "5x10" and "v4" and all this other jargon I've never heard of before. Who knows what major parts of climbing I'm missing.
  • The last time I did anything with pointing a camera at the night sky it was mounted to the back of a 24" asteroid hunter inside an observatory. This has basically nothing to do with amateur astrophotography and everything to do with image processing and math problems.
  • I own relatively little gear that is suited to distance hiking. And by limited, I mean I've got a fleece and a gortex rain jacket for biking that are probably pretty solid bets.
  • Camera gear is heavy and spacious. Hiking is light and compact.
  • Astronomy gear is extremely heavy. Mass is usually a preferred thing because it cuts down on vibration and movement.
  • Rock climbing is dangerous, and I'm super accident prone. In the last two years I've had two concussions, a dozen stitches, two broken toes and a broken metatarsal. I don't remember the last time I didn't have at least a few bruises.
  • The place we are going is called "B l o o d M o u n t a i n." I don't know anything about it except for that fact. Seems ominous.
  • I am extremely sensitive to cold. Every time the temperature dips below 72 I start shopping for apartments in Ecuador.
  • The guys want to do some filming. Like real filming. I'm going to see about inventing some gear that is intended to take some killer shots despite being in the middle of nowhere.
Enough going against me? Sure. But let's crack this nut. I've got about a month. Step one? Local rock climbing gym. Meet Aguille:

From Rocket Sparrow
I am now a fan. While they have a bit of everything I went for bouldering. First time out of the house, so they explained the V system to me and I went to town. First a V0, then V1, then a couple of V2s (these were starting to get a little harder for me), then managed two different V3s. The V4 I could only make it halfway through. Things I learned:

  • Pocket grips. I don't have any of these.
  • compact spaces: I'm good at this because I'm really flexable.
  • I have awful technique. I make up for most things by just being really strong, so I had a habit of bailing myself out of bad situations by just hoisting myself up one handed or making a good leap and grab. This is not a sustainable solution.
  • The people there are super nice. Met some great folks climbing, and they really want to see people progress.
  • Climbing makes girls incredibly fit. Ladies? Oh Em Gee. If you're looking for a way to get in shape this clearly works.

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