Sunday, February 10, 2013

Climbing By Myself

I had a busy day planned.
It started off well- meeting a friend for breakfast at one of our local places to catch up, hang out, and eat some tasty omelets.  We were originally going to go climbing after, but her plans changed once we saw the weather.
A big system was moving in, and the wind was already picking up when she dropped me off back at home.  Instead of opting to stay in, I decided to go down climbing anyway.  After all, there are other ways to train when you have no belay partner.
I like to stick my headphones in and traverse when I'm by myself.  This means starting on one side of the gym, and going across the wall until I can't go any further, then go back.  I usually try to stay off the ground for a minimum of 10-15 minutes, and do it several times.
After traversing and a shorter bouldering session, it was time to get serious.  Outdoor season- and trad climbing- starts when the snow melts.  Trad climbing is different from indoor and sport climbing due to one important reason- you have to carry about 5-7 pounds of gear on your harness as you climb up.  You do lose the gear as you go when you place it on the climb, but you still start with extra weight on your person.  In order to train for this, spring training for Trad Climbers means adding that extra weight on early, so you get used to it by the time outdoor season starts.

One of the best ways to train- without climbing in a gym with a full trad rack on- is wearing weights.  Scott and I have two divers weights totaling 10 pounds that we wear on a piece of webbing tied around our waist, simulating the gear hanging off of our harness.  It's pretty simple, though sometimes the weights give me bruises on my hip bones.  I climbed about 12 feet off the ground on the slightly overhanging hueco wall, then climbed back down to the start without actually stepping to the ground, then back up and down 2 more times.

I did about 10 reps of that before my arms completely blew out.  Then 15 more minutes of traversing with the weight belt still on before I realized that the snow outside was already blowing and accumulating like crazy, and I needed to get out of there before I had to walk home.
It felt great to get a good burn in, and it was worth weaving through the snowy roads to get home after a quick stop at the grocery store for supplies.  My plan was to grab some supplies for soup, then coerce Scott to take pictures of the Snowflake Shawl while it was snowing outside, since it's done blocking (and looking beautiful)!

By the time I got home, the wind gusts and snow were blowing in sideways, and there was no way a photo shoot was going to take place.  Instead, I've been grading, watching CSI, and even got a chunk of reading done in Follett's Pillars of the Earth.

Oh, and watching two kittens snuggle up from the storm. :)
It's hard to not be excited about snowy days up here in northern Minnesota, even when they mess up your knitting photo plans.  There's always tomorrow!

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