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New climber that's owning it!


Original Post
Forrest Halley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 9 days ago · Points: 0

So I took my girlfriend to the gym to try climbing just as something fun and active to do. She's 5'7, medium build, really pale, blonde and blue eyed. Heat is not her friend, sunscreen is a religion, and bugs are drawn to her like crazy so outside this time of year is a tough sell. So we get there and go through the autobelay lecture and get all dressed up to play. Come to find out she's not really a fan of heights. Ha! So she toughs out the day at the gym and we're on the way home and I ask her if that's something she'd try again. "Sure. It's kinda hard, but fun." I told her we should get her a harness and some shoes so we don't have to rent them. So we head to REI before our next outing and she selects a harness and a pair of shoes...in tealish blue, her favorite color.

So here we are accesorized to perfection going to the gym for the second time. She's climbing up higher on the auto and killing 5&6's reaching the top of the wall, but is challenged by the 7's.

On the third gym outing she's qualified to belay top rope and then it's off to the races. She's climbing 6&7's and working on 8's with a high failure rate. She doesn't want to hang on the route and is always wanting to come down imediately when she tires. She almost made it up a sloper route(2/3 of the way) that was 5.11, but she got tired and couldn't be talked out of bailing. She slips a lot on the ATC belaying device on long takes and can't figure out the Grigri.

On the fourth gym outing she gets an ATC Pilot because it's fairly simple and has an auto assist to make it easier on her to hold me while I work on project routes. She's reaching farther than ever and making more aggressive moves and crushing the 7's. She's really starting to hang in there more and guts through an 8! We both pass the Lead climber's test, but barely miss the belaying portion.

Yesterday, we pass the lead test fully and get the brilliant idea to try it out on real routes. She sends a 7 in lead. We rest a bit and she tops a couple of 8's! I lead a couple of 10- and a 9. In reply she leads an 8! Wow, I'm shocked at this girl who has really taken to climbing. She isn't done. She starts sending me up on 10's top rope knowing she's hanging me out to dry because I'm pumped. This is apparently retaliation for not letting her quit on the 8's. I'm up there sweating my butt off and she's down there camped out on her pilot smiling up at me. . So for her finale she tries a 9 top rope and fails. I bring her down and suggest she take my chalk bag with her next time. She relents and finally agrees to try chalk. She goes up and sends it after a rest mid way up. She made the longest moves and most technically brilliant climb I have seen from her yet. Gumdrop slopers all the up and she's steadily grinding it out. It was the most amazing sound to hear an exhausted "take" come down from the top.  I'm so proud of her I could shout!

Not bad for a girl afraid of heights...eh? I'm working out like crazy to stay ahead. It won't be long until she gets to the 10's and starts to catch me...

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 60

Hahahaha wow!

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Why are you telling us this?

Forrest Halley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 9 days ago · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote: Why are you telling us this?

Because it has to do with a beginning climber becoming excited about the sport. Funny how you only find people like you on the internet. Haha. You can't take away from our excitement. 

Chalk Norris · · Brighton, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 105

5.7 is not owning it! 

Gilman Coryell · · Mount Vernon, Maine · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

Forrest, lots of general negativity on here. Ignore the holier than thou bs and keep that stoke. 

Forrest Halley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 9 days ago · Points: 0
Gilman Coryell wrote: Forrest, lots of general negativity on here. Ignore the holier than thou bs and keep that stoke. 

Haha, yeah I have noticed that. Climbers in person have always been nice folks. I guess the keyboard gives some folks courage enough to say things they normally wouldn't dare. Thanks for your kind words. I'm so happy she's overcome her fear of heights and is eager to go climbing. 

J.Kruse · · Las Cruces, NM · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 150

incredible post.

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

She'll be running off with a beanie wearing boulderer within  month...

grampa potate · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 5

Wow...impressive narrative. My 6 year old, in a technically brilliant way, "owned" a "5.6" at the gym on her first day. Proud of her effort, but hardly worth a 6 paragraph post.

Ska Ggs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 10

wait till she whips on one of those 5.8 leads ...

djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

I enjoyed your energy !

Paul Hutton · · Flaming Gorge, UT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

 climbing does good things for people. It's good to see people getting healed by it. You may look back on this when y'all are sending 5.12 and realize that posting things like this is uncharacteristic of someone that loves to climb for themselves. Think about that. 

Tapawingo Markey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

So you just joined MP two days ago to tell us this? 2/10...

Jared M · · Oakland, CA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 80
Paul Hutton wrote:  posting things like this is uncharacteristic of someone that loves to climb for themselves. Think about that. 

This is gold, coming from the guy who sprays about his 5.7 solos on MP

simplyput . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 60

You’re both gonna die.

Victor K · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 165

Wow, this really took me back. I was in the same place when I started about twenty years ago. The early progression is nothing but pleasure; thanks for sharing the stoke.

Paul Allen · · Mesa, AZ · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 10

OP snark is a way of life here. Take it with a grain of salt and keep climbing. I enjoyed your story.

Nate Tastic · · 88,4,108,50, 80 · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 10

Forrest, you do know what happens once she surpasses you, yes? 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,360
Nate Tastic wrote: Forrest, you do know what happens once she surpasses you, yes? 

Fan Zhang · · Washington, DC · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 951

No one has mentioned it yet, so I will. Be careful not to let your (or your GF's) enthusiasm get the best of you and result in an injury. If a finger, shoulder, etc., feels sore and you're tired, then stop for the day.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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