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New and experienced climbers over 50 #4


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Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588

Keep it going guys enjoy your day I’m doing a different kind of climbing today on the perms

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175

Well, we have learned that old people like to talk alot.     Wow... so we head into 5000 posts.  

Senor, Helen, Wendy, Erika, Tim... thanks so much for your caring and input.  So, I spent some time talking with Ryan today... and I think his answer is 'e'... "All of the above".  He confessed to some real frustration with this gym, which has an absolute pre-requisite of a 10c... but knowing that the 10c's are overhanging routes, it should be a 'comfortable 11a'.  It's just the way it is.  I seriously have wondered if I will get there... (even into the 11's) but he looked shocked that I asked... "Duh... OF COURSE YOU WILL!".  I don't think he's bullshitting me.  He also suggested that I could go almost anywhere else and easily take a lead test and climb indoors.  And, easily begin outdoors at this point.  

He talked quite a bit about how Pipeworks was structured... to serve a population of indoor climbers who have never been outside.  And so, for him, he has to think of it as almost two different sports. We are working on whatever outdoor skills we can... both our hearts are there.  

Ryan has a Bachelor's in some kind of physical science... almost like physical therapy and he said his other goal with me  is to train without getting a fresh injury or sprains. It's been slow gaining strength and stability... without whanking out a finger or shoulder.  Everything is getting stronger, safely... I hope.  There is a lead class at that gym that I can take... just to learn the basics.  But I wouldn't be able to use that knowledge there, yet.  

I don't know how you all feel about this... but I'm blown away by the whole mind/body aspect of this game.  We played a little game today, of memorizing moves, and adding more.  I lost track at the 12th move.  My short term memory is shit.  So another thing I didn't know I lacked... but we'll now be playing climbing games.  That sneaky guy... we played unroped... and I realized we were in essence bouldering, and I fell... and it was FINE.  He laughed and said "So you took a fall, and look... you handled it."  

The other thing I've noticed lately... is how quickly the slightest negative thought can derail a climb immediately.  I'm really observing how emotions and my brain work.  (everyone agrees, right?)

As for climbing with 'just regular people'... I'm ready for that. (except Jeffrey, who would have me swinging from one of his cranes like Jane from Tarzan -- inverted.    )  It's hard to overstate this issue... it's just finding folks to climb with.  The closest crag is 40 miles away, and I think it's a dangerous one.  Everywhere else I go is 100's of miles away.  I have not figured out how to just show up... hang around a parking lot, and hope someone comes along with a rope.  I'm meeting people, slowly.  I'm less and less worried about climbing with regular folk... it's unfolding as we speak.  With such gratitude...  

Ok, gossip-wise... I thought I saw Alex Honnold's mom climbing, and it was indeed her... on one of my favorite routes!  It was nice also to see that she was not spidering up overhangs... but just about where I am.  Except, I haven't climbed El Cap.    

Russ Walling · · www.FishProducts.com · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,417

Um... someone should drop their thread... another GeriThread™™™ is lurking in the bowels of MP

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,080

Lovena was first, but Lori posted in this one and technically it's a continuation of her thread so.........

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
John Barritt wrote: Lovena was first, but Lori posted in this one and technically it's a continuation of her thread so.........

I don’t have a thread! That torch has now been passed to Constine and I’m DYING to see what he has to say.’  Can someone consolidate before it gets out of hand?

Justice Holloway · · Ventura, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 120

Can we agree this isn't the training forum?

Danny Poceta · · Calgary · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 40
Justice Holloway wrote: Can we agree this isn't the training forum?

I hope so

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 275
George Bracksieck, well over 50 and still getting after it.  Here he is climbing a 3 pitch 5.10 somewhere in Death Valley.  George was the original owner of Rock and Ice magazine.   A few times a year I have the pleasure of climbing with him when he is in town.
Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181

It's hard to keep up while we are on the road.  John Barrett, diversity, just having fun, +1.  I will never be great at anything, but I enjoy a lot of things.  

Erika, wow, we didn't have any lines at all when we did the routes at Arches.  Of course, we never go out on weekends, maybe that is the difference.

Lori, leading, the risk of injury is increased with each foot above the last pro.  Don't get in a hurry to go there, it will come in time. We have left many bailer beanies and web in our learning process. 

Just enjoy each day you get to climb.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175

Dallas... "I will never be great at anything..." that's not true.  You are truly great, just being you.  And I think you are great to be taking such good care of your wife, and all the creative ways you have of facilitating this grand adventure of yours.  And you're probably a much better climber than you let on.  :-)

I guess I have to go back over my more recent posts to figure out when/where I said I was stressed over lead and sport climbing.  I'm finally really relaxed about the whole thing. It's coming right up... meanwhile, I am learning so much.  I keep wanting to explain or make excuses for having a coach and guides.  Every time I get that help I think how exceptional this is... my mom always goaded me about going on cruises, or joining some kind of league... but I wanted to climb.  I literally keep looking at my watch... as in "my biological clock is ticking!" and knew I'd need serious and continuous help to get up to speed (not just a one time thing).  It was really overwhelming to figure out how to do this, at this age, not knowing anyone.  Now I can see some independence on the horizon.  I'm getting very comfortable in the climbing world. 

I saw a route yesterday at the gym (11d) that should be impossible for me... maybe I can take a picture.  But it was set up to be all lie back.  That was a totally natural kind of route for me... I have only tried part of it... but when I saw the below picture today I thought, there you go--something useful at the gym.  Also, one day Illusion Dweller with some additional strength and practice.,, Lovena...    are you ready for this?

What I AM stressed about is how to go climbing in 'weather'.  Apparently another pair of shoes an extra half size so I can wear wool socks?  Can you climb with socks?  And we talked about hand warmers... what I have seen are cheap one-time warmers that you buy by the dozen... or some kind of butane lit warmer that costs more but can be reused. Any thoughts there?   I'm seeing desert temps with a high of 57 and a low of 31.  This will take some fortitude.

This is too a training forum.  Otherwise, it's a life-passages climbing forum with deep pondering philosophical undertones, which doesn't seem to have a slot in MP.     

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181

Predicted low temp for our arrival at Park City, 5F.

I did lots of "weather" activities in my teens, twenties, thirties.  The kids kind of ended that for me, they kept whining about being cold, hot, tired, hungry.  All right, it wasn't their idea to go on that adventure, I kind of drug them out of the house. . Barb and I have tried some cold weather climbing, but we were just cold and not having much fun, so we don't do extreme weather anymore. Won't climb in the rain, won't climb in triple digits, won't climb below 45f, unless it's in the sun and there isn't much wind.

What's fun to do in Albuquerque, we will be here for 2 days?

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Dallas R wrote: Predicted low temp for our arrival at Park City, 5F.

I did lots of "weather" activities in my teens, twenties, thirties.  The kids kind of ended that for me, they kept whining about being cold, hot, tired, hungry.  All right, it wasn't their idea to go on that adventure, I kind of drug them out of the house. . Barb and I have tried some cold weather climbing, but we were just cold and not having much fun, so we don't do extreme weather anymore. Won't climb in the rain, won't climb in triple digits, won't climb below 45f, unless it's in the sun and there isn't much wind.

What's fun to do in Albuquerque, we will be here for 2 days?

Hot air balloons?  

Well you guys are picky!   That eliminates a lot of weather!  
If it hasn’t been obvious I want to be warm.   I watched a surf movie last night where a group of surfers went to Iceland in the Arctic to surf. I kept thinking they could catch those same waves in Newport Beach and stay warm. So I don’t understand those souls who are drawn to ice and snow but they are—god bless them. I’d rather peel clothes off than layer more on. 
Hot August nights are my favorite. But as I was leaving J Tree last time a big storm was rolling in, wind and ominous clouds and crazy rain were right there. A flash flood had already come and closed the roads a week earlier.   and it killed me to leave without getting out in that rain and playing in it and climbing. It was beautiful warm. I understand climbing in lightening is dangerous but I might have been willing to take the chance if it was a middlin’ storm. 
I get that climbers have to deal with inclement weather so I’m going to suck it up and see how it feels to hike and climb in the cold. I have been wondering why all good climbing can’t happen in Jamaica. Or Bali. Brrrrrr....
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

In addition to the numerous indignities of aging already mentioned is declining cold tolerance.  In my case, I've gone from being able to climb bare-handed with temps in the 20's to needing mid-40's and sun (but remember I'm 75 so most of you aren't that badly off yet   ).  Handwarmer packs in the chalk bag help a bit.  They don't last very long so come equipped with spares.

As for socks, I had to laugh.  Everyone wore socks in their climbing shoes until the slip-lasted models took over.  Here's me modeling some that are not even particularly thin on Outer Space in Eldorado Canyon during the pre-cam-brian era.


Here I'm wearing socks over tights (the horror) on Disney Point in the Gunks


Two pairs of socks for bouldering!



Socks on Cerberus in Custer SP



And of course if its gonna be chilly, (Wolfshead variation in the Wind Rivers),


Many people still use socks for extended crack climbs for the extra cushioning, and of course people who are out in the cold for long periods wear socks.  If you are doing single-pitch or short multipitch routes, you can typically go barefoot in your regular shoes as usual.
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 588
Dreaming about climbing! 
Tim Schafstall · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 1,321
Lori Milas wrote:
If it hasn’t been obvious I want to be warm.   I watched a surf movie last night where a group of surfers went to Iceland in the Arctic to surf. I kept thinking they could catch those same waves in Newport Beach and stay warm. So I don’t understand those souls who are drawn to ice and snow but they are—god bless them. I’d rather peel clothes off than layer more on. 
Hot August nights are my favorite. ... 
I get that climbers have to deal with inclement weather so I’m going to suck it up and see how it feels to hike and climb in the cold. I have been wondering why all good climbing can’t happen in Jamaica. Or Bali. Brrrrrr....

I also prefer warm; however, at 60 years I realize I don't have a lot more years of climbing at my limit available and I still have a goal left to accomplish, so I like to get out as much as possible.  I survive the low 40's days and always feel better for getting out at the end of the day, even if I only get in a pitch or 3.  Good clothes, single pitches, 2 climbers, and a thermos of tea help.

I wear thin polypro socks outside a lot.  It keeps my feet from sweating in summer and /keeps them warm in winter.  And my shoes do not become petri dishes.  I don't really care if I look like a dork.
Russ Walling · · www.FishProducts.com · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,417

I always wear socks (summer too, as in always) and will climb when in the mid 40's as long as there is no wind and hopefully some sun... I hate the wind

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Tim Schafstall wrote:

I also prefer warm; however, at 60 years I realize I don't have a lot more years of climbing at my limit available and I still have a goal left to accomplish, so I like to get out as much as possible.  I survive the low 40's days and always feel better for getting out at the end of the day, even if I only get in a pitch or 3.  Good clothes, single pitches, 2 climbers, and a thermos of tea help.

I wear thin polypro socks outside a lot.  It keeps my feet from sweating in summer and /keeps them warm in winter.  And my shoes do not become petri dishes.  I don't really care if I look like a dork.

Amen to that.  I was reading a link that described pulling wool socks OVER shoes... maybe cutting out the toes.  Does this make any sense?    

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,080

I've always worn socks year round as well and still do. I have shoes sized to be comfortable with thin no-shows and a half size up for a thicker regular sock Or padded no-show (power sox).

I like the sweat absorption and the comfort the sock provides by filling voids inside the shoe.

For multipitch or long stretches in shoes, having some padding and not smashing your feet to death is most pleasant.

If it's cold enough for wool I'm not climbing. Arthritic hands can't take it. 

Tim Schafstall · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 1,321
Lori Milas wrote:

Amen to that.  I was reading a link that described pulling wool socks OVER shoes... maybe cutting out the toes.  Does this make any sense?    

Not to me.  A climbing shoe has sticky rubber on the entire bottom, the toe, and the heel for a reason. 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Tim Schafstall wrote:

Not to me.  A climbing shoe has sticky rubber on the entire bottom, the toe, and the heel for a reason. 

I'm going to have to ponder this.  It does make sense that if we spend so much time looking for the stickiest shoe, you wouldn't want to pull socks over it.  This is going to have to be all trial and error for me, I guess.  These disposable hand warmers sound useless, too.  Fortunately, I have a few weeks to contemplate the whole mess.

Rgold... OF COURSE you climbed with regular socks and shoes... those were the days when men were men (and I have no idea what women were doing).     BTW.. those are really great pictures.  Thank you!  I don't know if you are familiar with Paul Ross, another old timer... I love his climbing pics (similar) but realized those were different days when I saw a picture of him with a pack of Pal Mal and a flask of whiskey tucked into his belt for taking a break at the top. And another picture of him with a rope (a regular rope) tied around his waist... I guess that would suffice for a harness.  

I guess no bone broth for anyone here--just mustard, and whiskey...    it could be my one and only real contribution to the discussion of climbing at a certain age.  I swear it has made all aches and pains go away.   



md3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 45

In the rain, when everything is running water, wool socks over the shoes give much better traction than climbing rubber.  I used to do this once in a while in NC where so many days involved the possibility and reality of rain that you wouldn't go out half the time if you only climbed on reliably clear days.  It isn't exactly fun, but it can allow you to finish a pitch if necessary so that you don't have to leave gear or a rope.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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