|First Name||Last Name||Team||Total||Place||Falls|
|Female Youth A|
|Rachel||Cohen||Rock’n & Jam’n||5975.00||3||0|
|Kate||Stern||Team Sik Bird||5700.00||8||0|
|Camille||Garcia||Rock’n & Jam’n||5475.00||10||1|
|Female Youth B|
|Gina||Kelble||Denver Bouldering Club||5975.00||3||0|
|Alena||Holbert||Rock’n & Jam’n||5575.00||9||0|
|Mia||Greene||Rock’n & Jam’n||5475.00||10||0|
|Sara||Denhoffer||Rock’n & Jam’n||5450.00||11||0|
|Mackenzie||Whitehead-Bust||Rock’n & Jam’n||5350.00||12||4|
|Sara||Seagren||Sport Climbing Center||5175.00||15||0|
|Zoe||Hopkins||Rock’n & Jam’n||4675.00||17||0|
|Allison||Riley||Rock’n & Jam’n||4675.00||18||0|
|Samantha||Krell||Rock’n & Jam’n||4650.00||19||0|
|alexis||hull||Sport Climbing Center||4575.00||20||0|
|Female Youth C|
|Izabela||Nowak||Rock’n & Jam’n||5650.00||6||0|
|Ligaia||Meyer||Santa Fe Climbing Center||5500.00||8||0|
|Amanda||MacDonald||Rock’n & Jam’n||5500.00||9||0|
|Ali||Poe||Santa Fe Climbing Center||5225.00||13||0|
|Madi||Cyr||Rock’n & Jam’n||5150.00||18||1|
|Chloe||Kim||Rock’n & Jam’n||5050.00||19||0|
|Taylor||Berry||Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO||4800.00||21||0|
|Jayden||MacDonald||Rock’n & Jam’n||4625.00||24||0|
|Cassidy||Nicks||Rock’n & Jam’n||4525.00||25||0|
|Nina||Kemp||Rock’n & Jam’n||4050.00||26||0|
|Rachel||Junge||Rock’n & Jam’n||2250.00||28||0|
|Female Youth D|
|Ella||Von Dungen||Team ABC||5625.00||3||1|
|Katie||Kelble||Denver Bouldering Club||5600.00||4||0|
|Anna||Von Dungen||Team ABC||5575.00||5||0|
|Cadance||Hurt||Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO||5525.00||6||0|
|Guilia||Luebben||Rock’n & Jam’n||5075.00||12||0|
|Kiera||Johnson||Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO||4975.00||13||0|
|Ona||Melvin||Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO||4975.00||13||1|
|Kalia||O’Brien||Team Sik Bird||4900.00||16||0|
|Roya||Behbakht||Rock’n & Jam’n||4250.00||23||1|
|anna||auer||Santa Fe Climbing Center||4100.00||24||0|
|Male Youth A|
|Ben||Hanna||Santa Fe Climbing Center||6675.00||1||0|
|Jess||Walker||Rock’n & Jam’n||6275.00||4||0|
|Quinton||Center||Rock’n & Jam’n||6000.00||5||0|
|Brendan||Boyd||Rock’n & Jam’n||5925.00||6||0|
|Tristen||Mohn||Santa Fe Climbing Center||5850.00||9||0|
|Parker||Meer||Team Sik Bird||5550.00||12||0|
|Rollin||Poe||Rock’n & Jam’n||5525.00||13||1|
|Quincy||Conway||Santa Fe Climbing Center||5500.00||14||0|
|Jacob||Kibbee||Rock’n & Jam’n||5475.00||15||0|
|Wesley||While||Rock’n & Jam’n||5475.00||15||0|
|Male Youth B|
|Kaden||weston||Rock’n & Jam’n||6000.00||4||0|
|Ian||Center||Rock’n & Jam’n||5975.00||5||0|
|Mike||Lowe||Rock’n & Jam’n||5825.00||9||0|
|Aspen||Sivey||Rock’n & Jam’n||5700.00||11||0|
|Vinnie||Smith||Rock’n & Jam’n||5250.00||13||0|
|Bryce||Roper||Rock’n & Jam’n||4850.00||14||0|
|Evan||Williams||Rock’n & Jam’n||4175.00||15||0|
|Brenden||Jennings||Rock’n & Jam’n||3575.00||16||0|
|Male Youth C|
|Jordan||Fishman||Rock’n & Jam’n||5325.00||4||0|
|Jackson||Wetherill||Santa Fe Climbing Center||5225.00||7||2|
|Zach||Arenberg||Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO||5100.00||8||0|
|Jonathan||Malavasi||Rock’n & Jam’n||4950.00||10||0|
|Mason||Smith||Rock’n & Jam’n||4350.00||11||1|
|bilal||hannon||Rock’n & Jam’n||4250.00||12||0|
|Marcus||Smith||Rock’n & Jam’n||2100.00||13||0|
|Devin||Wong||Team Sik Bird||1000.00||14||0|
|Male Youth D|
|Benji||Dantas||Vail Athletic Club||5675.00||5||0|
|Brody||Nielsen||Vail Athletic Club||5675.00||6||2|
|Lukas||Bergsten||Vail Athletic Club||5475.00||7||0|
|lowe||lukey||Rock’n & Jam’n||5175.00||12||1|
|Shafer||Helms||Rock’n & Jam’n||5100.00||13||0|
|Solomon||Fitzgerald||Sport Climbing Center||5075.00||15||0|
|St. John||Tsuno-Wayne||Team BRC||5050.00||16||0|
|Boone||Schafer||Santa Fe Climbing Center||4950.00||18||0|
|Sergio||Delgato||Rock’n & Jam’n||4775.00||19||1|
Varsity Team Climber: Max Donovan
Years Climbing: 4
Joined ROCK’n & JAM’n Varsity Team: 2011
We sat down with Max Donovan to get an idea of what climbing on RJ’s Varsity Team is like, and also to ask him a few questions about climbing in general.
RJ: You have an interesting story about how your climbing career started. Will you share a little about how you discovered climbing?
MD: I first learned about climbing from a 4th grade teacher of mine who climbed avidly, after expressing my interest, she decided that, while on a field trip to Colorado Monument National Park, she would take me to do some easy climbing. I fell in love with the sport and started as soon as I moved to Denver.
RJ: What do you like about climbing, in general?
MD: To me, climbing encompasses everything I love in a sport, an outdoor experience, a physical and mental workout, an amazing community, and most of all, the feeling of freedom.
RJ: What do you hate about climbing? What aspects of climbing are the most difficult for you?
MD: To me, the most grueling aspect of climbing is the feeling the day after a strong climb, being ridiculously sore can really put a damper on your day.
RJ: Do you primarily boulder, or climb on ropes? Which do you like more?
MD: I like to think my climbing is pretty balanced between the two, but when it comes down to it, bouldering is my passion. The short bursts of power and strategy mixed with a variety of moves makes bouldering my favorite.
RJ: Tell us a little about the Youth Team. Why did you join? What have you learned, and how has your climbing changed or improved since you joined?
MD: The youth team at RJ is an amazing thing to be a part of, it is a great opportunity to climb with friends, while at the same time learning so much about climbing. Since I joined the youth team, I have felt my level of strength on the wall absolutely soar, my technique and confidence in my climbing have also been hugely improved by my experience in the youth team.
RJ: Do you participate in any other school or extracurricular activities besides climbing? If so, how does climbing compare to these?
MD: Every year, I compete in cross-country with the team at my school. I mostly do it as cross training to improve cardio and leg strength, but it is also a great way to get outside once and a while. While they both provide a great workout, running doesn’t provide the fun and excitement that comes with climbing.
RJ: Do kids at your school ever ask you about climbing? If so, what do you tell them?
MD: Kids at my school are always very intrigued when I tell them I climb. They mostly ask about grading scales and how competitions work, a few want to know about the kind of exercise it provides, but a couple always want to come try it for themselves. I tell them about climbing in the best way I can, but always give the advice to try it for themselves to get the full effect.
RJ: Do you have any climbing goals? What are they?
MD: In climbing, I’m always striving to climb harder, and for me that means breaking down mental limits and building up technique and strength. In climbing, being mentally strong is a huge part of the battle, and that’s the one I’m trying to win.
RJ: You participated in several competitions this year with the Youth Team. What is it like, climbing in a comp?
MD: Climbing at a competition is always a completely different experience depending on where it is and what format the comp has. The consistent changes from recreational to competition climbing are a more challenging atmosphere, a more aggressive approach, and a cheering crowd.
Max (pictured right) after his 2nd place finish at the 2013 Teva Mountain Games
RJ: Do you have any climbing heroes? Who are they?
MD: I don’t have any specific climbing heroes, but there are definitely people who I have climbed with who I respect for their skill and the advice that they give me. One of these people is definitely my coach, Tim Rice.
Max and coach “Timmy-Time” Rice
RJ: Most climbers get amazingly hungry after a climbing session. We’ve heard of everything from chocolate milk to chips and salsa. What is your favorite post-climbing food?
MD: I always find a cold Snickers cools me down, re-energizes me, and is delicious. Other than that, I like to drink yellow Gatorade while I climb.
RJ: Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts about climbing with us Max; and good luck climbing with the Varsity Team this semester!
To find out more about R&J youth programs, visit http://climbthebest.com/instruction.php#KidsPrograms
success and failure while on a climbing trip…the high point and the low point. if you have ever taken an extended trip to just climb (at least a week), you have stared this demon straight in the face. how much time do you devote to one climb, when you only have a limited window to actually climb? should you sample more climbs at a lower grade and get more volume in? these are, no doubt, the burning questions in your mind right now.
obviously, there is no easy answer. there rarely is. but the easiest answer, in my mind, depends on one factor: how familiar are you with the area, i.e. its rock type and/or the style of climbing? if you’re visiting a new area, it is probably wise to step down the grade difficulty and climb for volume. this allows you to get used to the subtleties of the area and gives you a good base of “knowledge” for moving on that specific rock. but if you go back to an area that you have previously spent some time, the answer isn’t quite as easy to arrive at.
projecting something at your local crag is one thing. you can put time in on the climb intermittently, and there isn’t really much pressure (all things considered) since you can typically get to it at your leisure. for all intents and purposes you have “all the time in the world.” but several things can work against you when you decide to project something while on a trip: there is a finite amount of time; the time invested versus the payout or reward of sending may not be worth it; climbing a bunch of routes below your limit might be boring; there may be other people working the same route and you have to play nice with others, etc. thus the conundrum.
one thing working in your favor is that while on a trip, you are usually just climbing. you aren’t bogged down with the minutiae of the daily grind. you can tune out all that other stuff and focus a bit more on remembering beta, sequences, and details of one particular climb. you can get the necessary fitness and strength with few distractions.
ultimately it comes down to your level of confidence in your ability to send the route. this is not something you will know right off the bat. i would recommend getting on your chosen project route early on in your trip, ideally within the first few days. this way, you know what you’re up against in terms of style and difficulty. after you have been on it a few times, that confidence level will kick in (or not…), and in your own head you start to know if your goal is actually reasonable and attainable.
i have personally had both ends of this spectrum, oddly enough at the same place, the red river gorge. bear with me for a little longer, it’s story time!
flashback to early october 2010. i had a 10 day trip planned for the red. i had just finished a sunday shift at the north gym (9a to 6p), and right after locking the door, i hopped in my car and started driving east. i made it as far as columbia, mo, before the proverbial wheels fell off the bus and i had to stop. driving solo for that many hours after a full day is rough! after sleeping for a bit, i continued east and arrived in slade, ky, by 6p. i met up with some friends, drank whiskey, beer and ale8, then went to bed.
that next morning, feeling really rusty and stiff from the drive, we headed down to the ‘motherlode’.
my intended project was ‘bohica‘ (13b), in the madness cave, a brilliantly steep route out a 45 deg angle wall with perfect 1- to 1.5-pad deep edges the whole way. it’s absolutely amazing.
so after warming up on a few classic routes (chainsaw massacre and ale-8-one) it was time to test the waters on bohica. the first burn was a junk show! the moves felt really hard, and i didn’t have the endurance to do more than 2 bolts at a time. i had my work cut out for me.
the next day, we went back to the ‘lode. it was time for me to get my endurance up in preparation of starting to link sections on bohica. so i decided that i was going to go for a no fall/no take day, and no pitch could be easier than 5.12a. so myself and my friend ‘little’ dan proceeded to knock out pitch after pitch of 12a and 12b for an entire day. i ended up doing 10 pitches, dan got in 12, and we thankfully had a no fall/no take day. completely worn out, but psyched with a good endurance day.
the next several days were spent working bohica, with a rest day tossed in there somewhere. each day i got on the route twice, and each day i was linking more sections, and getting high points. my confidence was building.
my final climbing day of the trip, i went out with my buddy nik. he also had a project at the ‘lode, so off we went. after warming up and giving nik a catch on his route, we walked over to bohica for the ‘hail mary’ attempt. first section of the route felt easy and robotic and with seemingly no effort, i found myself at the first rest, staring at the remaining 60 feet of that perfect 45 deg angle wall above me. after lowering my heart rate, i launched into the rest of the route. each move was executed with confidence and precision. there were no wasted movements, no second guessing. before i knew it, i was at the final rest looking at the last 15 feet and the anchors. i composed myself and fired. i made it to the anchor, clipped, yelled triumphantly, then lowered back down to the ground. i drove back to the house, packed up my stuff and started the drive home. success!
contrast that with my recent trip earlier this month. the first few days were spent getting used to the rock again, as it had been 3 years since my last trip. plus, my endurance these days feels fairly poor, compared to previous times and trips. everything felt hard. things that i had sent previously felt so much more difficult! i was up against a big challenge with extremely low confidence.
so third day, i got to check out my intended project: ‘swingline‘ (13d) at a crag called ‘the dark side‘. i did the moves first try on the route, and got incredibly psyched. it broke down as a 5.13a/b to a very poor rest to a legit v8 boulder problem. while i rested at the base of the route, i started thinking about what was actually necessary to send this thing. getting to the poor rest on link would have been a healthy goal, and probably doable. but to tack on a v8 boulder problem after that seemed daunting. after much internal debate, i decided that i lacked the necessary fitness to put it away in the amount of time left and ultimately had to walk away from it. i was bummed. this line is beautiful and inspiring, and a very sought after route. but it wasn’t to be. i found another fun line there, ‘tuskan raider‘ (12d) that i was able to send 3rd try. that ended up being my only real send for the trip.
while the trip as a whole was incredibly fun due to the good company of old and new friends, i consider the climbing side of it to be a bit of a failure. this was due to poor training before hand, leading to generally bad fitness, etc. i have to make sure that i am better prepared for the next go ’round.
so there you have it…both ends of the spectrum. success and failure. elation and frustration. in the end, you just have to look at the whole situation. sometimes you decide to throw your chips in, sometimes you throw the cards away instead and wait for the next round. someone famous once said ” you gotta know when to hold ‘em, know…”. eh, never mind, you get the idea.
It is a little known fact and something I do not broadcast publicly, but I have minor precognitive abilities that let me read your mind; if I tune in on the correct brain wave oscillatory frequency your thoughts become clear as a crisp autumn day. So, to answer your not-yet-posed question: yes, spotting in the gym is really important and you should never be afraid to ask for a spot or provide a spot to a fellow climber when asked.
How do I spot and why is it so important, you will ask in the very-near future. Allow me to elaborate:
Spotting is to bouldering what belaying is to route climbing and as such it is critical that, as a spotter, you are attentive and prepared to execute your duties and keep your buddy from breaking their neck. What is proper technique? How do I know when to spot? Fortunately for you the RJ1 varsity youth team has the skills to pay the bills when it comes to spotting and is here to show you the ropes (mixed metaphor, I know…) as it were.
On drastically overhanging terrain the focus is on the climber’s hips. On the steeps your body is more inclined to swing out when you fall, and a good spot at the hips makes it easier to redirect the falling climber than the typical shoulder spot. Notice Mike has his hands up with enough distance to allow Brenden to swing and his eyes focused on Brenden’s center of mass, not the cute girl at the drinking fountain or another climber elsewhere in the gym. Also notice that with the confidence of Mike’s good spot, Brenden is gunning for the send in proper style.
On less steep terrain the focus shifts up to the climber’s armpits. Again you will notice Max’s attention is on Kaden and not anyone or anything else. He is giving Kaden enough room to sag out from the wall without dabbing but is ready to support his torso and give him enough time to disengage his heel hook. Max is not trying to catch Kaden; he is merely trying to give Kaden enough time to get his feet under him in case of an unexpected fall.
Here Izabela and Amanda employ the power spotting technique. The power spot is used either to help the climber learn a move or allow a climber to skip past some moves in order to try others. Izabela is actually pushing Amanda into the wall, providing support at her waist so that Amanda can get a feel for the body positions of the crux sequence. Experienced boulderers apply the power spot often on hard projects, and it is not uncommon for climber and spotter to have a detailed system down. For instance, Amanda can say “give me five pounds,” meaning Izabela will push Amanda into the wall with roughly five pounds of force. When working a specific move with a power spot it is good to reduce the amount of weight taken on each attempt.
As with any form of climbing, how safe you are is largely up to you. It is your duty as a climber to request a spot if you feel sketched on a particular move or problem. Conversely, it is your prerogative to provide a spot when one is asked of you. As with belaying, communication between spotter(s) and climber is critical. Let your spotters know if you want a spot for a specific move or for the entire climb. Do not be intimidated to ask for a power spot; no one will judge you*. As a spotter, make sure the landing zone is clear and that others in the area are aware that your homie might be coming in hot. Like Captain Planet said: the power is yours!
* Okay, maybe some crusty old Traddie will judge you. Tell them to go climb a tower and carry on with your session.
Throw a wobbler (phrase):
To get really angry. Have a tantrum. See also screaming fit, berserk, rage.
Perhaps my favorite bit of slang I’ve picked up via the climbing community is the phrase “toss a wobbler.” I can’t remember the first time I heard it used, but I do remember the first time I witnessed a climber in the midst of wobbling. I was clawing my way up one of the few sub-5.12 climbs in Rifle Mountain Park when I heard a hoarse, primitive howl reverberate through the narrow canyon. At first I thought someone had sent their project, but the string of eloquent curse words that followed seemed to indicate otherwise. “That will never be me,” I thought.
Like baseball, skateboarding, and panning for gold, climbing involves a lot of failure and a healthy portion of pain and frustration; most of the time the bear eats you.
In order to succeed on a personal limit climb one must invest oneself in said climb. You gotta psych yourself up for those gnarly crimps, yo. You must put your pain in a box, lock the box and throw away the key. One does not simply earn victory by showing up. There are no half measures. Do or do not, there is no try. You get the idea.
The point is, I used to see someone toss a wobbler and think “get a grip, man.” Climbing is fun and I couldn’t understand how anyone could get so upset doing something so enjoyable. But as the years passed and I focused on climbing as hard as I could, I found that it is not always so fun, not always so enjoyable. Sometimes you rip a flapper, sometimes you pump out at the chains, sometimes you miss the pads, and failure is never fun.
So about investing oneself in a climb… Success at the highest level of your ability takes complete commitment to the end result; you gotta *go for it.* When you’re going for it and you fail, it is natural to be frustrated and, speaking for myself, the only way to commit entirely to another attempt at the rig is to vent that frustration. Enter the wobbler.
My go to is the chalk bag toss (though I’m always careful to close the bag first…leave no trace and whatnot) usually accompanied by a quiet-but-severe expletive or two. Ten seconds or so of venting and I’m good to go. By nature I am not an angry person, and I definitely understand the necessity of respecting other people’s space and enjoyment of nature. This is just my way of letting off steam so that I can pour myself back into the task at hand.
While I find Adam Ondra’s outbursts excessive to say the least, I now understand where those outbursts come from and can appreciate how hard he tries and how much of himself he puts into climbing at the absolute highest level.
Naturally, you are entitled to your own opinion on the matter. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and we can work it out.
Back in the days when I was a teenager (before I had status and before I had a pager), there was an entirely different approach to my climbing. As is common with the youthful sect, patience, planning, and strategy were not arrows in my quiver. I wanted to be on top of the boulder and I did not give a hoot in hell about conserving energy, utilizing prime conditions, or injury prevention; I just went for it.
That was a long time ago. Dre put it best when he said “things just ain’t the same for gangstas, times is changin’, young (gentlemen) is aging, becoming old G’s in the game and changin’ to make way for these new names and faces…” Not sure if the Doctor was referring to climbing, but it’s all the same to me. My body is older and slower to recover. Climbing hurts more than it used to. Working has taken over a larger portion of my time and rising gas prices coupled with a growing sense of financial responsibility have made tri-weekly trips to Chaos Canyon and beyond things of the past. So it goes.
I strive to maintain a high standard in my climbing, and I understand that to remain at the level I am accustomed to adjustments to my training routines, climbing schedule, and overall strategy need to be made.
Problem: When I climb too much my elbows, fingers, and skin hurt, among other body parts.
Solution: I climb less now than at any point in my career. However, when I do climb it is focused on specific goals. By decreasing the volume of climbing while increasing the intensity I am able to get stronger while limiting exposure to overuse injuries. Five hour gym sessions are no more, in their place are two hour training blocks that work a particular facet of climbing, be it power, core strength, finger strength, endurance, technique, or general fitness.
Problem: I can’t spare the time to climb outside as much as I used to.
Solution: Make it count! I used to go to my project whenever I could, regardless of conditions or freshness. Now I am more selective, only attempting projects on days when the weather will cooperate and I feel well rested. You have to give yourself the highest probability of success that you can; good temps and fresh muscles help a good deal in that area.
Problem: It takes my body longer to repair itself after a rough day of climbing than it used to.
Solution: Again, make it count! Proper stretching, a protein drink and decent meal after climbing go a long way towards not feeling like death the next morning. More importantly, and this is especially hard for me, make fewer attempts on the project and rest longer in between burns. Once you have dialed in the movement, there is no reason to try a climb if you do not feel with a high degree of certainty that you can send. If I still feel a little pumped or my skin still stings a bit, I sit back down and wait until I feel completely ready. Take the time to clean any part of your shoe that will touch stone. Is there a tick mark on the hidden topout jug? Better take a minute and put one on there. While there is something to be said about the power of sheer will and determination, in my experience this has gotten me up a boulder far less often than proper rest and preparation. Leave nothing to chance…
None of this is to say I am old or anything. Far from it. However, with every passing year I am more aware of the aging process and how it effects physical performance, and with that awareness comes an ability to adapt and progress. I eagerly anticipate the next ten years of climbing to be better than the first.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to summit Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. I have spent somewhere near 150 days bouldering in the Park and had never more than glimpsed the famed peak from the confines of the talus fields I enjoy so much. So under the cruel tutelage of my co-workers/besties, I hauled myself up the Cables and enjoyed a hot espresso at the summit. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday.
At any rate, the highlight of the day was watching a party attempting the Casual Route up the legendary Diamond. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind has lurked the notion of ascending that clean triangle of alpine granite, and seeing its pristine face close up rekindled that desire. I have done approximately zero multipitch alpine trad routes, so I have a lot to learn before attempting any route on the Diamond, but the goal is set.
While it was a good feeling to stand on top of Longs with a great group of close friends, what was most interesting was how much I would have preferred to take a more difficult route to the summit. Or, rather, the Diamond is so much cooler in my mind, probably because it is more difficult and definitely because it looks more badass.
That thought got my mind churning over my motivation for climbing and why I have dedicated my life to it for nine years. I enjoy the social aspect of climbing, bouldering in particular, and I definitely enjoy getting out into the quiet hills and seeing marmots and stuff but, ultimately, I am motivated by difficulty and the necessity of pushing myself to grasp at success on difficult lines. Which isn’t to say I want a big number attached to a climb, though that is always a bonus. Rather, I do not feel fulfilled unless there is some amount of suffering, pain, anger, failure, blind rage, and/or frustration involved in the overall process. To me it is not about being on top of a climb, it is about getting on top of a climb (that’s what she said?). If it was always easy what would be the point?
Judging by the amount of folks on Longs in shorts and sandals and the wide array of body types visible under those shorts and sandals, it is safe to say nearly anyone is capable of hiking to the top. The route we took was not difficult, nor was it easy; frigid, soaking wet alpine 5.4 is absolutely no joke. But I didn’t have to learn anything, didn’t have to make any adjustments to my technique or approach, didn’t have to go to that primitive place in my psyche where the body takes over and the mind is only an observer. Those are the moments that keep me motivated, keep me working towards the overall goal which is…I dunno, to get to the top, or something.
Longs story short (ha), next summer I am going to try the Casual Route. Someone is going to have to teach me about building belays and placing cams and hauling haul bags and things of that sort, and I’m going to have to confront the abject terror I feel towards non-bouldering methods of climbing, but that is the point. Even if I have to rappel (fortunately I do know how to do this…) off the first pitch and never make the summit, the whole process is one that will challenge me and put me outside my comfort zone and, hopefully, progress my overall climbing ability.
Unrelated note: someone please teach me how to trad climb…