Mountain Project Logo

New and Experienced Climbers Over 50 #8

crewdog lm · · Nevada · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 25
Warriors wrote: 49 and 1/4 now.

Shoulder protocol: ortho.ufl.edu/sites/ortho.u… has helped me maintain a modicum of deltoid stability.

Fungussy toenails:

I couldn't even wear a shoe comfortably at the start of year if it was near the right size. Finally took some gnarly oral fungicide for monthsg. Stopped it in june as family tragedy struck and I started drinking rather heavily. Terbinafine, lamisil, etc put really heavy loads on the liver fwiw. The dermatologist said that some people cycle fungicides after the initial "kill off stage" (*a couple of months)...like 1 week out of 4. Her estimate was a year for the nails to really be healed. It is painful as the new nail grows back into the proper bed in my experience.

For a gentler solution, Nonyx has also been useful. But patience is a virtue and I am only about 1/2 way there on the left toes.

Recommend having both big toenails removed altogether rather than screwing around with those liver-killer-drugs. I'm having that done due to hangnails myself. (Married to a hospitalist ANP. She comes through on some stuff.(  :-)
Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,195

More stories, please!  Frank started it off strong!

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

OK with all this talk about OLD days, boots and first leads I was moved to dig out some slides...…



Not First lead but pretty darn early. Lori this climb has your name written all over it.



One needs a Motley crew to talk you into doing crazy things.

And Toe Nails.....    Best to just rip those big ones clean off! 
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,094
frank minunni wrote:...The last thing I heard before going out was the rack jingling through the trees.

Great book title, Frank! All, Frank is a wonderful storyteller. I'll be back later with some pics.

Best, Helen
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 1,082
Carl Schneider wrote:

Had they even INVENTED bouldering back then? Are you over 50 or over 80?   

Carl, there was plenty of bouldering in that era and before, just no bouldering pads!  ;-)  

I was never a boulderer.  This was the era just before climbing gyms started to appear, and buildering was a great way to train in our suburban environment. Amazing training for footwork and forearm stamina.   There was a regular group of us who used to climb on the stone walls at the University in the evenings.  The problems were on various buildings - the Art Building, the Quad, the Chemistry Building, left of the Church, etc. and the problems even had names, like "The Plaque", "This One", and "The Other One" (Not very exciting, I know.)  There were a few cracks and some training up the underside of open stairs.  Eventually the University got pissed off about the chalk and banned buildering on most of the buildings, but allowed us to continue on a few walls in more obscure locations.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

phylip…..  educate the youth!!!  

Cause I was down and looking for slides. I found this GEM. Top prize for who is pictured and where when.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,195
Carl Schneider wrote:

Had they even INVENTED bouldering back then? Are you over 50 or over 80?   

Technically, this guy is buildering, which has also been going on for ages.  I have heard Geoffrey Winthrop Young credited as the first author of a buildering "guide."  Fun details here:


https://gripped.com/profiles/indoor-weekly-history-buildering/

ETA: the instinct is alive and well in the younger generation.  When the tour guide said the base of the Statue of Liberty was granite, these two got right to work.
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190
Guy Keesee wrote: Frank- Great story! Basic and Advanced Rockcraft is all one needed. When youngsters ask how to learn I tell them to get those 2 books and start their. Climbing IS pretty darn simple when you get down to it.
Lori, Randy explains boots pretty well. You should really try to climb in your approach shoes. 5.10 guide tennies are 10x better then what we had in the 70’s.... EB’s were the shit. One had to develop great footwork or you could not climb at all.
Do this and afterwards any and all modern boots will be much superior performance wise.
Two quotes come to my mind regarding shoes: #1 Bob Kamps was fond of saying- “that climb is not that hard, but it does require good footwork” - always given with that smile and twinkle in his eye.
The other is from a little known climber- Erik Ericsson- while listening to somebody blaming his shoes for failure. “Dude! Climbing IS NOT about shiny new shoes!” 
And Russ.... show us some more of your amazing tricks! 

For the last year all I've really been hearing about is 'footwork' and technique... and I respect that, and know it's true.  Of the climbers I know, Bob Gaines is the slab/footwork master.  He's delicate, precise, and tolerates no sloppiness.  It's a great meditation to move up slab, quietly and with great mindfulness.  Bob even likes to put little chalk marks exactly where the toe should land on difficult moves.  (And I always laugh at this.)  

Also, Bob preaches the perfect 48 degree temperature for that slab.  It seems to be true that around that temp you do stick better.

Back at the gym, most of my climbing and drills are with the reminder to have 'quiet feet'... which means, precise... NOT a herd of elephants.     So I cringe when I bang my way up.  

The crack thing is another thing that you all seem to know... and I'm still learning.  Gaines is the one who demonstrated exact crack technique to me (over and over), as described in a previous post here... slight torque of foot, not a major jam.  The part about 'now STAND UP' is still baffling   ... how you do not whank an ankle standing upright on a wedged sideways foot.  Yet it seems to work.

The thing is... as you all seem to know, and Frank's story attests, is that most of this stuff is not intuitive.  There's several ways to learn.  It takes time, experimenting, and some kind of mentoring... or many ER visits.  

I enjoy this picture, from last time I was out.  On the ground Nelson said "Whatever you do... DON'T get your knee stuck up there."  I had no idea what he was talking about until I got to the spot... 'oh, shit'.  

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 1,082
Guy Keesee wrote: phylip…..  educate the youth!!!  

Cause I was down and looking for slides. I found this GEM. Top prize for who is pictured and where when.

Mount Roubidoux?  But will look forward to hearing about that crew.


BTW, Frank M - absolutely fantastic story!
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

I guess the cross gives it away. This was at the first Rubidoux bouldering contest- 80??
and the profile is our own Russ the Fish! Prepubescent I believe.
The crew- Gary Ayers, Shawn Curtis and Dean Fidelman.
Lori keep working at that crack climbing thing, Josh isn’t the best place to learn it - BTW- to much blood loss. Get yourself to the Valley, that’s where you learn all the tricks of the trade. Have fun ya all.   

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

As I approach my 61st, I’m climbing more now than ever. (Semi-retirement helps, along with moving from San Jose to the Eastern Sierra.) I work hard to stay healthy, especially as my past work life led to three shoulder scopes and a herniated/degenerative disc. Climbing 11a/b in the gym and working on 10a on real rock. But my passion is alpine. After reading about the alps I finally made my first Chamonix trip in 2017, and again this year. The photo is my son and I topping out on the Cosmiques. I just listened to the Enormocast interview with Jim Donini; if he’s climbing at 76 I have plenty of time to achieve my goals. 

Greg Opland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 322
Lori Milas wrote:

I enjoy this picture, from last time I was out.  On the ground Nelson said "Whatever you do... DON'T get your knee stuck up there."  I had no idea what he was talking about until I got to the spot... 'oh, shit'.  


Granny Goose. Nice! Fun climb.

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

1973, in my 60-40 and mountain boots. International orange was all the rage.
And edited to add one taken in Garnet Canyon in 1980.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190
Howard Griffin wrote:  During any kind of workout I wear a Polar heart rate chest strap and log my fitness on my Polar watch and phone app.  

Such great conversation going on on this thread... I would wait on this but, I was going to go buy a Garmin watch this weekend.  I'm all hung up now on various technology... FitBit, Polar, iWatch, but I'm thinking that Garmin has it all going on with outdoor navigation etc.  

My REAL reason for digging into this is to see if I can get my insulin pump to transmit real time glucose numbers to a large watch face so I don't have to fish around for my pump when I'm climbing and try to manage my blood sugars hanging by one arm.  To do what should be a simple thing turns out to require 29 pages of tiny print instruction in moving data from my pump to an adroid phone, from the phone to Hoku and something called iDrip, and back down to a Garmin or other smart watch.  So... I got to thinking about finding a watch that can serve multi-purposes, including maybe navigation (and logging in the bike rides, climbing heartrates, etc.)

Does anyone have a favorite smart watch?  This one is a Garmin VivoactiveHR.  

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Lori Milas wrote:

Such great conversation going on on this thread... I would wait on this but, I was going to go buy a Garmin watch this weekend.  I'm all hung up now on various technology... FitBit, Polar, iWatch, but I'm thinking that Garmin has it all going on with outdoor navigation etc.  

My REAL reason for digging into this is to see if I can get my insulin pump to transmit real time glucose numbers to a large watch face so I don't have to fish around for my pump when I'm climbing and try to manage my blood sugars hanging by one arm.  To do what should be a simple thing turns out to require 29 pages of tiny print instruction in moving data from my pump to an adroid phone, from the phone to Hoku and something called iDrip, and back down to a Garmin or other smart watch.  So... I got to thinking about finding a watch that can serve multi-purposes, including maybe navigation (and logging in the bike rides, climbing heartrates, etc.)

Does anyone have a favorite smart watch?  This one is a Garmin VivoactiveHR.  

I can't imagine wearing a smart watch while rock climbing. Especially at J-tree. Going to look like this stat. Are there insulin meters that use a different way of communicating? Like something that beeps if your numbers start falling?

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,094
Señor Arroz wrote:

I can't imagine wearing a smart watch while rock climbing. Especially at J-tree. Going to look like this stat. Are there insulin meters that use a different way of communicating? Like something that beeps if your numbers start falling?

Personally, I'd look for a version that goes in the sports bra, if there is one like that.

Something I just came across, is a "help" button being added to some of the trackers. Not just tracking you, but a discrete thing you can summon help with. From the cycling and running community, but apparently quickly adapted by women for personal safety.

I was thinking of something to haul along anyway, as a single old lady who is now traveling. Only had one creepy bit on the recent two week trip, quickly backed out of it.

But, on an earlier trip this year? I realized I was entirely on my own until my friends showed up, or some one else arrived, if anything happened. No phone, no nothing, for perhaps 30 hours. It was very odd. It was even stranger to realize that was the first time I was utterly on my own.

Best, Helen
Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Old lady H wrote:

Personally, I'd look for a version that goes in the sports bra, if there is one like that.

Something I just came across, is a "help" button being added to some of the trackers. Not just tracking you, but a discrete thing you can summon help with. From the cycling and running community, but apparently quickly adapted by women for personal safety.

I was thinking of something to haul along anyway, as a single old lady who is now traveling. Only had one creepy bit on the recent two week trip, quickly backed out of it.

But, on an earlier trip this year? I realized I was entirely on my own until my friends showed up, or some one else arrived, if anything happened. No phone, no nothing, for perhaps 30 hours. It was very odd. It was even stranger to realize that was the first time I was utterly on my own.

Best, Helen

Helen, probably the best "help button" you're going to find in terms of medical rescue (as opposed to anti-crime response) would be to just get an Inreach Mini  with the $12 per month subscription and keep it in your backpack or purse. 

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
Guy Keesee wrote: Frank- Great story! Basic and Advanced Rockcraft is all one needed. When youngsters ask how to learn I tell them to get those 2 books and start their. Climbing IS pretty darn simple when you get down to it.
Lori, Randy explains boots pretty well. You should really try to climb in your approach shoes. 5.10 guide tennies are 10x better then what we had in the 70’s.... EB’s were the shit. One had to develop great footwork or you could not climb at all.
Do this and afterwards any and all modern boots will be much superior performance wise.
Two quotes come to my mind regarding shoes: #1 Bob Kamps was fond of saying- “that climb is not that hard, but it does require good footwork” - always given with that smile and twinkle in his eye.
The other is from a little known climber- Erik Ericsson- while listening to somebody blaming his shoes for failure. “Dude! Climbing IS NOT about shiny new shoes!” 
And Russ.... show us some more of your amazing tricks! 

Guy, about 15 years ago Royal Robbins was speaking at REI Saratoga. I show up with my copies of Basic and Advanced Rockcraft and ask him to sign them. He laughs and says, “Where did you get these?”  I said I bought them while in high school and we both laughed. 

frank minunni · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined May 2011 · Points: 93
John Vanek wrote:

Guy, about 15 years ago Royal Robbins was speaking at REI Saratoga. I show up with my copies of Basic and Advanced Rockcraft and ask him to sign them. He laughs and says, “Where did you get these?”  I said I bought them while in high school and we both laughed. 

I still have mine.

Tod Gunter · · Hailey, ID · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 90

Great origin story Frank!   It's amazing so many of us survived our initial learning curves.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
Post a Reply to "New and Experienced Climbers Over 50 #8"

Log In to Reply