Have you ever forsaken climbing?


Original Post
A. Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I started climbing relatively late, at least compared to how young kids seem to start these days. My partner back then was my girlfriend, and we had a small group of people we climbed with. I managed to climb in several different states, which lead to a move to somewhere with more mountains. That girlfriend and I eventually split up, and I didn't feel much like climbing anymore. She started dating another climber almost immediately, and the whole thing lost its appeal. I spent my time biking and snowboarding, which was fine by me at the time.

Fast forward a long, long time, and I am climbing again. I'm old now, or at least old by my then 26 year-old self's standards. I managed to stay in shape and arrive at middle-age-hood with a pretty decent base from which to start again. Everyone seems to be climbing so hard these days. I never cared too much about grades, I just wanted to go someplace cool and get up as high as possible. I'm not saying I don't like pushing my limits on hard climbs, but it is a new idea to me. Anyway, I am having fun, getting strong, and glad to be back. Did you ever quit climbing for a long time? What brought you back?

Mike Brady · · Van Diesel, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 551

Glad you found your way back.

I quit climbing for 2 years after I moved to Oregon. I had left Bishop and couldn't handle how shitty the climbing was in the Portland area so I just let it go. I decided to follow my other passion of drinking beer. I was already in pretty good drinking shape and Portland was a great town to stretch my legs and just see how much beer I could throw back. I feel like I held my own but now I drink only recreationally and have gotten back into climbing.

Stu Ritchie · · Denver · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,615

I have drifted astray for the past 4 years to compete in Ironman Triathlons. Having never been a swimmer or much of a cyclist, I have found it very challenging and rewarding. I'm now a three time Ironman and have one more race next summer before I return to the fold. I climbed for 37 years before taking this break and look forward to getting back after it!

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

I haven't taken a complete break from climbing. But the past 2 years I've found myself climbing a lot less than the previous 4 years. It's been more of a casual endeavor. In short, I've found it's been hard to balance mtbing, backcountry skiing, climbing, and a career so my time climbing has definitely decreased. It bothered me for awhile, and still does sometimes when I see friends out there crushing it on a regular basis, but I've come to the conclusion that as long as I'm getting outside and moving, it doesn't really matter if it's climbing, biking, or skiing...

Redyns · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

i took a few months off because i was injured.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

climbing friend,

No.

you should not have been letting your ex-climbing-girlfriend's new climbing boyfriend do the outclimbing of you, making you depress.

you should not be intimidate by the, how you say, young guns. Use your old man strength and old man wisdom to instead be crushing them into the padded gym mat floor!

climbing is nothing without the superiority to others. see historic example of hiding int he bushes until someone they come along a struggling for midnight lighting, and then you come down from bushes and casually chuck a lap, ho ho, ha ha!

myah!

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 95

TLDR: Got fat, stopped climbing, got sick, lost weight, started again.

When I was in my late 20s I started climbing. I joined a gym that had a pretty good wall (Lakeshore Towers in Orange County) and there was an active community in the gym. Bob Gains was a member, Lynn Hill stopped by once or twice, you get the idea. I hurt my shoulder and started a new job, and got out of the habit of going to the gym. I also started to put on weight and play softball, so as I got up to about 200, I liked the power I had with the weight. Of course, I kept putting on the pounds, until I peaked at 220 and stayed there. I stopped climbing for about a decade and did some other things (mainly golf), but was generally less active.

Fast forward to my mid 40s and I discover a lump in my neck. Head and neck cancer from HPV (please get yourself and your kids vaccinated). Thankfully, this form of cancer is treatable, but treatment sucks. I lost 20 pounds in 9 weeks of chemotherapy and then 40 pounds in 4 weeks of radiation, going from 220 to about 160. I got a feeding tube, my weight stabilized, and I finished treatment and started to recover.

I put on about 10 pounds and began cycling regularly, and then a new climbing gym (Sender One in OC) opened up in the area. I tried it out on opening day, joined on spot, and have been a regular there ever since. I met a number of new climbers, plus reconnected with one of my old-old-old partners, and now am outside regularly, climbing at Tahquitz/Suicide, Josh, Holcomb, Riverside...

I turned 50 this year and I missed my goal of a 5.12 redpoint in the gym, but I regularly on-sight mid 11s (and yes, I know S1 is soft). Right now, I keep getting spit off trad 5.9s at Tahquitz, and I figure I will keep working on them until I finally realize I am not a 5.9 Tahquitz leader, or I become a 5.9 Tahquitz leader.

A. Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Yeah, I need to unleash some of that old man strength I keep hearing about. I am only in my early 40s, so maybe I need to get older before that kicks in.

I actually like the struggle of getting better though. It is very motivating. I've got some good climbing friends, and my wife and kids are getting into it. All good.

A. Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
Matt Himmelstein wrote:TLDR: Got fat, stopped climbing, got sick, lost weight, started again. When I was in my late 20s I started climbing. I joined a gym that had a pretty good wall (Lakeshore Towers in Orange County) and there was an active community in the gym. Bob Gains was a member, Lynn Hill stopped by once or twice, you get the idea. I hurt my shoulder and started a new job, and got out of the habit of going to the gym. I also started to put on weight and play softball, so as I got up to about 200, I liked the power I had with the weight. Of course, I kept putting on the pounds, until I peaked at 220 and stayed there. I stopped climbing for about a decade and did some other things (mainly golf), but was generally less active. Fast forward to my mid 40s and I discover a lump in my neck. Head and neck cancer from HPV (please get yourself and your kids vaccinated). Thankfully, this form of cancer is treatable, but treatment sucks. I lost 20 pounds in 9 weeks of chemotherapy and then 40 pounds in 4 weeks of radiation, going from 220 to about 160. I got a feeding tube, my weight stabilized, and I finished treatment and started to recover. I put on about 10 pounds and began cycling regularly, and then a new climbing gym (Sender One in OC) opened up in the area. I tried it out on opening day, joined on spot, and have been a regular there ever since. I met a number of new climbers, plus reconnected with one of my old-old-old partners, and now am outside regularly, climbing at Tahquitz/Suicide, Josh, Holcomb, Riverside... I turned 50 this year and I missed my goal of a 5.12 redpoint in the gym, but I regularly on-sight mid 11s (and yes, I know S1 is soft). Right now, I keep getting spit off trad 5.9s at Tahquitz, and I figure I will keep working on them until I finally realize I am not a 5.9 Tahquitz leader, or I become a 5.9 Tahquitz leader.
That is a rather frightening weight loss plan! Congratulations on getting back! I am climbing similar grades in the gym, but they do not translate well to Red River Gorge climbing here in Kentucky. I've been denied everything above 5.9 in three trips down there so far. It is so much different than where I used to climb in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even out in Washington. Good times though.
ARonchetti · · Mundelein, IL · Joined May 2011 · Points: 10
A. Michael wrote: That is a rather frightening weight loss plan! Congratulations on getting back! I am climbing similar grades in the gym, but they do not translate well to Red River Gorge climbing here in Kentucky. I've been denied everything above 5.9 in three trips down there so far. It is so much different than where I used to climb in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even out in Washington. Good times though.
Just do laps on 27 Years of Climbing. If that doesn't get you the endurance to crush above 5.9 I don't know what will.

And I haven't walked away but I have dramatically cut down. New job + real life stuff. Sometimes adulting is hard.
Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

I haven't been climbing long enough to get away from it. I started when I was about 34. I just turned 40. I still love it, almost too much. I have a great wife and 3 small kids so making sure that I keep it in moderation so that everyone feels loved and looked after is important.

My wife is really great about me doing regular after work climbing and the periodic Saturday climbing day, as well as 3-4 long weekend climbing trips per year. I'm heading to El Cap in a couple of weeks to climb the Nose.

I don't climb as much as I would like to, but I do get to climb as much as I think I should climb.

I don't see myself quitting climbing anytime soon, it's so helpful to my mental health. I tell myself that maybe I'll stop when I'm old, but look at Fred Beckey, that guy just doesn't stop.

Daniel H. Bryant · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 145

I climbed with the ex a bit in our late teens then it phased out before our twenties (gear cost and time constraints). 13 years later and a divorce, I'm now climbing again going more places and doing more in general.

What brought me back was the thought of starting up a bungee jumping business (which is still a possibility), which made me realize I like being outside in high adventure situations. Being that Colorado is a pro climber place, getting gear and finding partners made the transition back into the game easy.

Brandon Alke · · Helena MT. · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Good thread,

I also took a break, probably close to 7 years. I had kiddos, or my wife did anyway. I'm now past 40. Young was fun but older is to, and I don't think being in the older years should slow a guy down. Been back at going on year two. Have goals of trying to be better than I ever was, or as strong as I once was. I don't feel as it's too late because my old partner that I used to climb, train, and put up routes with was in his late 40's and got up 5.12a. So I'm gonna set my goals high and see where it takes me. Having fun anyway and looking to keep after it till I can't anymore. Which could be a long time, because one of the fellas I have climbed with as of lately is 70 has a Pacemaker and was leading some Trad and getting up 5.9 sport routes earlier this year. So stay tough...

Daniel Joder · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

I climbed from about 1975 through the mid 80s, then life (a teaching job near Yuma, then an Air Force career) intervened. I got into competitive cycling and did that for 25+ years. So, a couple of years ago I started back after a 30-year break. Talk about changes! Holy bathook, is it a different world! But, I think I have a better attitude now (the ego is less involved) and just love it. There are a lot of "old folks" like me around Boulder who are still climbing really well and I find that inspirational. I'll keep it up as long as I can and I'm a bit sorry I didn't keep at it my whole life. Interesting comments on this thread.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165

I agree I much prefer long easy to moderate routes. I do like to push myself sometimes on hard stuff but to me 1000ft + of climbing where I am not worried about falling at all is alot funner than a few single pitch 5.13s that I feel like I am about to fall off at any moment.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

climbing friend,

the real question is, can these, "older folks," are they still able to do maintaining of half-erection into 40s, 50s, and beyond?

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 0

I've considered forsaking it a lot lately.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 95
A. Michael wrote: I am climbing similar grades in the gym, but they do not translate well to Red River Gorge climbing here in Kentucky. I've been denied everything above 5.9 in three trips down there so far.
Outside is different than plastic, so be patient. Three trips is not all that many.

Of the spots the spots I climb regularly, all within a few hours from home, there is a huge variety in how places are graded. At Tahquitz, I on sight 5.7 and 5.8, but have taken 2 big whippers on 2 5.9 leads. At Josh, Holcomb, and Malibu, I am leading in the 10s on sport and trad. And rarely do I encounter a climb outside that is emulated well in the gym.
Stephen Felker · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 310
Daniel H. Bryant wrote:What brought me back was the thought of starting up a bungee jumping business
Yes
Eplumer400 · · Cleveland, OH · Joined May 2016 · Points: 80

I haven't been climbing long enough to forsake it, but I've just gotten down on myself lately because right when I started to be able to climb a bit better I injured my shoulder and haven't really been able to climb since. I've gone out once in the 3 weeks that I've been injured and when I did go out I did one 15' high boulder problem. It doesn't help that I live in a nearly dead zone for climbing, and I don't like the confrontation of meeting new people to climb with, and my friends suck.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0

I've seen it all the time. From people who dabbled and never really took it seriously to people who took it too seriously and when progression stalled they lost they became frustrated and lost interest.

Personally I see myself as a lifer. Sure plenty of times work or other parts of life get in the way, but climbing is always there even if I'm not training I can still enjoy moderate routes in up beautiful cliffs in the sunshine...

Every so often I set goals or trips and up my training to meet them.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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