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Birthday challenge how hard is it?


Original Post
Chris Michalowski · · Granby, CO · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 60

I'm turning 36 in March and before dad bod fully takes over I'm wondering if I could finish a birthday challenge.  Has anyone done it?  Does it count if I top rope some lines?

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

A birthday challenge is a challenge you set for yourself to celebrate your birthday. So, these are going to be impossible questions to answer until you decide what your birthday challenge is...?

Chris Michalowski · · Granby, CO · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 60

My bad, I want to climb a pitch for every year I've been on this planet.

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

Well I'm guessing it's as hard as you make it. You could climb easy climbs, short pitches, give yourself a week to get it done, be fine with toprope...

If you're talking 36 pitches in 24 hours, of climbing well within your comfort zone, it's definitely doable. It'll be a lot more fun if you luck out with decent weather and have a good group of psyched and supportive friends with you. You can just look at 24 HHH to see what kind of pitch counts are possible in 24 hours... of course, not knowing what kind of climber you are, what climbs you're targeting, etc I doubt anyone can tell you how hard it will be. 

But what have you got to lose? If it sounds fun to you, do it and have a blast!!

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 455
Chris Michalowski wrote:

I'm turning 36 in March and before dad bod fully takes over I'm wondering if I could finish a birthday challenge.  Has anyone done it?  Does it count if I top rope some lines?

Hey, look at it this way. How many of those years could you have done a lead? Top rope those birthdays, eh?

Have fun! And don't underrate dad bods. :-) Helen

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,693

Did it for 29 at Indian Creek.  Survived and was able to climb the rest of the trip.

You have to set your own rules.  For me, repeat laps (sometimes on TR) were acceptable.  Others may frown at that tactic.  In the end, it's your day so do what you want!

Kevin MP · · Redmond, OR · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 357

Go for it! It all counts, just depends on what challenge you want to set for yourself. The goal will depend on your ability (how many pitches have you done on your previous biggest day?) and the crag available to you. I did mine all on lead and 29 different pitches, but I was able to because of the area I was climbing at. If it was Indian Creek, hell yeah I would take some TR laps! It helped that I had climbed many of the routes before. I figured worst case scenario, if I was totally failing I could toprope 20 laps on a 5.8 and finish it. At the end of the day I could have climbed more but my skin and my feet were worked.

Have a plan, how many pitches per hour, which routes, factor in crowds, etc. Extremely helpful to have dedicated belayer(s) obviously. I am still forever indebted to mine, even though she did get in quite a few pitches that day too.

Steve Hulett · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Wow....I'm scheduled for 57 pitches next month....that probably aint gonna happen.

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,336

Birthday Challenge...try the challenge that Alex Honnold set for himself for his 29th birthday. 290 pitches solo in Squamish, BC.

Alan Emery · · Lebanon, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 251

Not for me ... I'll be turning 65 soon and I don't know of anyone who has done 65 routes in 24 hours.   Spreading it out over a week is doable!   This challange is good for the young though!

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Alan Emery wrote:

Not for me ... I'll be turning 65 soon and I don't know of anyone who has done 65 routes in 24 hours.   Spreading it out over a week is doable!   This challange is good for the young though!

Tons of people- the 24HHH usually has most competitors do that many. My friends regularly do well over 150. 

I had another friend do 50 leads for her 50th a couple of years ago. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,360

www.birthdaychallenge.com

Brendan N · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 375

30 beers (5.0 ABV)

30 miles (summit over 12K)

30 pitches (Lead, unique, 5.9-5.12)

24 hours

Came up two beers short due to vomiting. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,360

If you finish your birthday challenge it was too easy.

sam england · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 410

We are big on the Birthday Challenge in our little crew.  Some of the ones my friends and/or I have done:

Age 31: 31 pitches of 5.12 in a day (all on lead)

Age 61: Rope solo lead climb a route at 6 different crags in a day

Age 39: 39,000lbs weight lifting

Age 57: 57 routes TR in a day

Ages 24 and 28 (shared challenge): 24 pitches and 2,800 feet link up of Whiteside Mountain (Traditions), Laurel Knob (Groover), and Looking Glass (Glass Menagerie) in a day.

Age 30: 30 mile trail run

Long live the birthday challenge.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I did the birthday challenge for my 26th. It was tough but really fun. For me it was just tagging 26 pitches with a lead/top rope mix. Plan for it to take all day and go for it! Super fun. 

Alan Emery · · Lebanon, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 251
John Wilder wrote:

Tons of people- the 24HHH usually has most competitors do that many. My friends regularly do well over 150. 

I had another friend do 50 leads for her 50th a couple of years ago. 

The difference between a climber at 50 and one that is going to be 65 is a lot.  When I was 50, I was in much better shape.  Age has a strange way of changing a body.

rob.calm · · Loveland, CO · Joined May 2002 · Points: 630

Every time I see a birthday challenge thread, I see a glaring anomaly, viz., as you get older the challenge becomes more difficult as each year you add an additional pitch. Here’s a suggestion for a more rational challenge. The number of pitches = 100 – your age. Since I’ll be 88 on my next birthday that means I need to climb 12 pitches, which will be a challenge that seems doable. Eighty-eight pitches would be absurd.

And at age 100, I would consider being successful if I just got to look at the cliff.

Rob.calm

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Alan Emery wrote:

The difference between a climber at 50 and one that is going to be 65 is a lot.  When I was 50, I was in much better shape.  Age has a strange way of changing a body.

Her husband did well over 100 pitches and he's 65.

Alan Emery · · Lebanon, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 251
John Wilder wrote:

Her husband did well over 100 pitches and he's 65.

100 pitches in 24 hours at 65?  I'd like to read about this climber.  Who was it so I can do the research?  Must of been a record.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Alan Emery wrote:

100 pitches in 24 hours at 65?  I'd like to read about this climber.  Who was it so I can do the research?  Must of been a record.

Yeah, hard to believe. I would need to personally witness that to believe it, but I'd fall asleep after watching five or six pitches.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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