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New and Experienced Climbers Over 50 #8

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190

Here’s an old people’s question: one of us here (not me!) is having another flare of the gout. I remember someone mentioning it upthread... it would be nice to figure out a way to deal with this without a trip to urgent care. His foot is swollen and in a lot of pain. 

Cpn Dunsel · · Over There, But Well Hidden · Joined Jan 2003 · Points: 130
Lori Milas wrote: Here’s an old people’s question: one of us here (not me!) is having another flare of the gout. I remember someone mentioning it upthread... it would be nice to figure out a way to deal with this without a trip to urgent care. His foot is swollen and in a lot of pain. 

Spending money and going to an urgent care is a waste of time and money for gout. There is nothing that can be done that is any more effective that what is available through a web search.  It's all about prevention, and the medical industry is not suited to this reality.  It is a form of arthritis.

The best thing to do is to control it through diet.  It can be very well controlled and regulated through diet and flare-ups can be minimized.  Once a flare-up is happening not much can be done and time and rest and the only things that work to alleviate conditions.  

Stress is bad for gout.
The key is to relax, get off the feet and allow time to pass.

There is no cure, no remedy, no magic treatment but diet and what we put in bodies will be the most effective way to limit and mitigate episodes in the future.

Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, all add to flare-ups and avoidance of these will help avoid episodes.

When flare-ups do occur:  

  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication as soon as possible.
  • Ice and elevate the joint.
  • Drink plenty of fluids

wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10
Lori Milas wrote: 

I’ll bet I’d have a blast on sport routes Wendy! And maybe meet some female climbing friends!  So far, 10 days in here in Josh, and climbing all over the park, I’ve seen two women, only one of them climbing. So really for the most trad climbing here is a young man’s game.  


Maybe at JT. Not my experience in Colorado.

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190
Cpn Dunsel wrote:

Spending money and going to an urgent care is a waste of time and money for gout. There is nothing that can be done that is any more effective that what is available through a web search.  It's all about prevention, and the medical industry is not suited to this reality.  It is a form of arthritis.

The best thing to do is to control it through diet.  It can be very well controlled and regulated through diet and flare-ups can be minimized.  Once a flare-up is happening not much can be done and time and rest and the only things that work to alleviate conditions.  

Stress is bad for gout.
The key is to relax, get off the feet and allow time to pass.

There is no cure, no remedy, no magic treatment but diet and what we put in bodies will be the most effective way to limit and mitigate episodes in the future.

Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, all add to flare-ups and avoidance of these will help avoid episodes.

When flare-ups do occur:  

  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication as soon as possible.
  • Ice and elevate the joint.
  • Drink plenty of fluids

Thank you! I’m trying to be compassionate here... wishing I could help him. But if I could identify one thing I’m seeing, as a layman, it’s dehydration.  Just doesn’t remember to drink water. 

I’ll share your post with him. Thank you for taking the time.
Cosmiccragsman AKA Dwain · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 106

It was GOOD talking with you, Lori!!!

Brian Wirtz · · Sierra Foothills · Joined Apr 2019 · Points: 5
wendy weiss wrote: Lori, my early leads were trad because that's all there was BITD. But there's no reason you can't dip a toe in gradually by starting on some easy sport routes. You'll still get the experience of finding a stable position to pause and clip, while enjoying the security of bolts. And, as others have said, you can stick clip the first bolt or two to avoid potential ground fall.

I agree completely.  Start with easy sport leads.  Try one that you've followed or top roped (one that you have dialed in).  Seemed to work for me.  I got back into climbing after 25-ish years off.  After getting in some semblance of shape at the local rock gym, I began by leading easy sport routes that I hadclimbed previously.  I'm now feeling OK leading 5.9 sport and was fine leading a 5.6 trad on my minimal trad rack of stoppers, hexes and ancient cams (new slings).  Hoping Santa brings me a new set of cams!

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Lori Milas wrote: 
I’ll bet I’d have a blast on sport routes Wendy! And maybe meet some female climbing friends!

You like slab, right? There's a sport route in Indian Cove called LUCY that would actually make a great first lead for you. MP says it's a 5.6 but I'm guessing that's influenced by a lot of people who don't like slab. I don't think it's any harder than the 5.4 slab a few climbs to the left. Bolted anchor right at the top. 

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145
Lori Milas wrote: I’ll bet I’d have a blast on sport routes Wendy! And maybe meet some female climbing friends!  So far, 10 days in here in Josh, and climbing all over the park, I’ve seen two women, only one of them climbing. So really for the most trad climbing here is a young man’s game.  

I haven't spent much time in J Tree but saw plenty of female climbers when I was there last. You've spent lots of time with male guides, maybe you should seek out some female guides to get out with or take some clinics that are female focused (there are several). I would hate for you to have the idea that women don't, won't or can't climb/lead trad. You should try and hook up with Susan P (Russ's partner). If I recall correctly, that might have been suggested a few thousand posts ago. I know she climbs in J Tree. 

One thing I have noticed with female partners - they might not mind being the rope gun, but they will expect you to carry your full weight in every other aspect of the mission! :) Male partners are more likely to coddle you (if you are female)! :)

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60
Lori Milas wrote: Here’s an old people’s question: one of us here (not me!) is having another flare of the gout. I remember someone mentioning it upthread... it would be nice to figure out a way to deal with this without a trip to urgent care. His foot is swollen and in a lot of pain. 

You know your life has taken an unfortunate turn when you start discussing gout on a climbing forum.  So sad...

For the first time, I had a recent attack of gout that was somewhat misdiagnosed as osteo-arthritis.  An X ray revealed that I had some mild arthritis in the joint of my great toe (that's what they call it apparently) but what was really painful was the gout.  Red, swollen, and REALLY uncomfortable, it felt like I had a tourniquet on my foot and the pain would wake me up in the middle of the night.  Let's put it this way. I've had one of my knees rebuilt twice and this as almost as uncomfortable.  For about the only time in my life I was happy to have a desk job.  

Having said that, about the only thing you can do is to get some prescriptive strength anti-inflammatories.  I took 500 mg. of naproxen, though there are ones more geared toward gout type symptoms.  After several long weeks, it felt better.  I don't know what triggered mine, but my dad suffers from it (though he's in his 80s) and there is a genetic link.  Shellfish can cause symptoms, and several weeks earlier I was in Belize on vacation with the family and it was lobster season.  $25 for a whole grilled lobster, so I probably had more in 5 days than I had in the prior 5 yrs.  When I told the podiatrist that fact, he just nodded knowingly.  While he noticed the minor arthritis, he said it was much preferably to have to deal with a gout attack once in a blue moon than having bad arthritis.  The toe joint is more sensitive than it used to be.  I just went to the climbing gym for first time since the attack and it felt less stable and a tad more sensitive.  Maybe it's time for baggier climbing shoes.  
Oldtradguy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 15

Having a great time in Alabama Hills this week. Will be in Jtree next 2 weeks.

Leading 5.9 finger crack. 


Beautiful cloud in evening
Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Oldtradguy wrote: Having a great time in Alabama Hills this week. Will be in Jtree next 2 weeks.

Leading 5.9 finger crack. 

Beautiful cloud in evening

Your fingers must be TOUGH or you found better quality rock in the AH than I ever have. I was at the Corridors a few weeks ago. Really fun and beautiful area.

dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 782
wendy weiss wrote:

Maybe at JT. Not my experience in Colorado.

Not my experience in the northeast US, either. It might be that I'm kind of biased, because when I look around, I do tend to notice women when I'm climbing. You know how it goes "oh, look, there's a woman! Oh and there are two women climbing together!" (the latter is somewhat more unusual). TBH, it sometimes seems like women are just following their boyfriends up a route. I've gotten a bit sensitive about this; I want to be seen leading - "look, women lead trad too!" - lol.

I definitely see more men than women climbing when I'm climbing outdoors. But it's not like there are 99% men. There are quite a few ladies out there (I'm guessing - maybe 30% female?). For example, last week I noticed several pairs of female climbers leading trad (harder than I lead) at the Gunks. I also noticed plenty of male/female pairs. I've also noticed women climbing here in the Conway area, although climbers are usually far enough away that it's hard to tell if a person is a woman, and if they are, you can't always tell if they are swapping leads with a man or seconding the entire thing.

I do get the impression that there are more women doing sport climbing than trad. My impression is that I see significantly more women climbing at Rumney than around here on the trad routes.

Yeah, so it just seems weird that JT is mostly guys. Lori, are you climbing on the weekends as well as weekdays? I wonder if more women show up on weekends.

And Lori, everyone's going to do stuff their own way... however you go about it, hopefully, you'll keep having fun with it! There's a lot of fun to be had swapping leads on really easy trad routes (5.3 or whatever). That's what I did today. It never gets old. You can take down the risk a few notches and just do some fun mellow climbing and decide if leading is something you really want to do.
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 612

The climbing at Joshua Tree is spread out over a massive area.  I can't explain why Lori hasn't seen many woman climbing there (I always see other women climbing and leading no matter where I climb), but the sheer size of the place may have something to do with it.  

I've been trad climbing since I started climbing in 1980. I was a trad leader well before I was a sport leader.  I think the advice to start leading on sport routes is great advice, since it's in general a much simpler pursuit, but there weren't many around back then!

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190

7 days of climbing here and 2 to go... then we’re done for awhile. It’s kind of full immersion.

You who have been climbing forever, it must just be nice to have so much under the belt. This sure takes time.   
I don’t know why I’m not seeing women, maybe I’ve just missed them. It really doesn’t matter. I have asked each time we go out to let me carry my weight. I have referred back to rgold’s 2nd Date article... I don’t want to be pampered ever. I just want to be a decent partner.

I wound up on an offwidth and several traverses today. I kept losing my footing on an undercling and took some long swinging falls. I got the hang of keeping my feet to the wall and dancing it... all fun.

A couple days with Bob Gaines then goodbye to Joshua Tree.  

A large scorpion somehow got in the house and ran under the sofa. NOW WHAT? I don’t know where he’ll show up next. 

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

On the magnificent Muldoon today. Led the first pitch, Mark led the second. Bit of trepidatiousness coming on to the arete.
Bit of time spent at the belay fine tuning our comedic skills. No-one has more fun climbing than us...

Oldtradguy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 15

Another beautiful day at Alabama Hills  

John
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,074
Lori Milas wrote: 7 days of climbing here and 2 to go... then we’re done for awhile. It’s kind of full immersion.

You who have been climbing forever, it must just be nice to have so much under the belt. This sure takes time.   
I don’t know why I’m not seeing women, maybe I’ve just missed them. It really doesn’t matter. I have asked each time we go out to let me carry my weight. I have referred back to rgold’s 2nd Date article... I don’t want to be pampered ever. I just want to be a decent partner.

I wound up on an offwidth and several traverses today. I kept losing my footing on an undercling and took some long swinging falls. I got the hang of keeping my feet to the wall and dancing it... all fun.

A couple days with Bob Gaines then goodbye to Joshua Tree.  

A large scorpion somehow got in the house and ran under the sofa. NOW WHAT? I don’t know where he’ll show up next. 

Got a black light somewhere? Seriously, that's how they find scorpions here, poking around with little black light flashlights under rocks at night (ours are tiny, and harmless).

Re leading, do as you wish. However, if you would like to place gear, maybe look for a gear route that's been bolted. Yeah, it's evil, but it's happened over the decades. Anyplace where they started bolting earlyish. Your guys will certainly know of some. Then, you can do gear with bolts also, and lead for real, if the bolting is reasonable and it's a route with clean falls.

All? I posted this elsewhere, but Boise had a climbing fatality yesterday afternoon. The name has been released, and I'm not sure any of us know the man. He was from North Carolina, but I have no idea if visiting just briefly, or here for a longer stretch. It's not clear what happened yet either, but it's sounding an awful lot like a mistake cleaning at the anchor. So sad, no matter which smaller community he was from, we are all in this together. It's been a stressful time for us here, without knowing who it was. I'm sure, when the time is appropriate, we will get together in remembrance of this man.

Be safe, folks. In another thread, ironically, when this happened, a discussion was going on about how beginners, anyone really,  has the hard task of judging the best approach for all of this, every moment we climb.

Thanks to all, across the board, but Rich? You have been a wonderful, patient, teacher on MP for the entire time I've been on here. Thanks, sir. I even enjoyed the physics "arguments" and the long, long, romps you had with bearbreeder! I promise I will stay "feisty", keep asking questions, and being opinionated....but also listening. I do know, now, a great many more read these threads than ever participate, so I am honored to stay a resident noob by proxy. Especially with so many excellent mentors to annoy with "stoopid" questions, lol!

Best, Helen
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,074
Oldtradguy wrote: Having a great time in Alabama Hills this week. Will be in Jtree next 2 weeks.

Leading 5.9 finger crack. 

Beautiful cloud in evening

John! That looks wonderful! And, if it is really a finger crack, for you? Wahoo! Hand crack for me, lol!! Give each other a hug from me, eh? I'm really valuing my friendships, lately, but today especially.

Best, Helen
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

Thoughts on trad leading.  First of all, why?  It's more dangerous and some part of you has to like that. I'm not speaking of thrill-seeking or dare-deviling though; an intrinsic part of trad leading is controlling the risk with a combination of climbing and protecting skills, and getting some kind of satisfaction from making your way safely in dangerous places.  This means getting in protection when you need it and coping calmly with your situation when you don't have protection.  If you mess up, it may not be pretty...

There's no question that this involves a lot more than making the moves, and so leading a trad climb is viewed by many people as a higher form of accomplishment. Although this may be true for various individuals, I think the idea has gained far too much currency, so that people who enjoy the movement aspects of climbing but not all the pressures of leading are somehow coaxed into leading things as part of their "progression."  So let me say plainly: you don't have to do this, you can enjoy a whole lot of different types of climbing without leading.

That said, if you aspire to "the freedom of the hills," which means you (and your gear) can more or less go anywhere and more or less climb anything, not necessarily only something that has been prepared for you with hours of drilling and trundling but just a wall anywhere, then trad leading is a requirement that has to be mastered.  Of course, most of us who learned to do this got in at least some practice on small crags where leading wasn't really necessary, and somehow the inclination to simulate the situations encountered on bigger things got turned into a desirable activity in its own right, so people are leading short routes that could easily be top-roped, because something about leading is cooler.  

If, upon quiet and serious reflection, you find that you really do aspire to trad leading, then I'm going to go against the grain and suggest little or no sport leading as preparation, because in my opinion sport leading is at best poor preparation for trad and may even be counterproductive.  Not only does sport leading not develop the requisite physical and mental skills beyond how to clip the rope to a draw, but it also can encourage bad habits in the trad context.  No, the way to learn trad leading is to work your way up the scale, starting at the low fifth-class end and progressing only as much as skill and desire dictate.  The gear placement and mock leading exercises are fine too, but it's all hypothetical until you head up something with the rope hanging behind you and nothing above you to clip in to.  By all means lead things already followed at first to eliminate some of the uncertainty about moves and where to go, but I wouldn't go into full "headpoint" mode where you figure out all the gear placements as well.  This because the trick is not to eliminate all fear and anxiety, but rather to perform calmly and competently in the face of those emotions.
Buck Rogers · · Germany · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 205
Lori Milas wrote: 
A couple days with Bob Gaines then goodbye to Joshua Tree.  

I thought that name sounded familiar.  He co-wrote the AMGA SPI handbook.  I'm taking the basic SPI course next week and have been reading the book a few times over the past two months.  

Have a blast!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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