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New and Experienced Climbers Over 50 #9

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190

Helen, thanks for being so open about your dirty little secret... you top rope.     Now that all of our 'issues' are out there... I've been thinking we should spend some real time together.  Might you consider staying with me/us for a few weeks or a month?  We could run with the wolves in Joshua Tree... head out to that great beyond together for awhile and play. (Not THE 'great beyond'...   ).  Maybe think about the Fall.    

Hmmm.  This post is about to veer off into an unexpected direction.  Part of being 'over 50' for me is facing late-life issues that we didn't have to think about before.  One of those things is ticking off the bucket list... aka, taking a whole year to indulge in something big like climbing.  But just as important is making sure that we build community, the tribe who will be there and step up with support when its needed.  We are all reaching out here, and hopefully in the non-virtual world, to build relationships that will last.  

It hasn't happened well where I live and have conducted my daily life for the last 25 years... it could be because I've been consumed with urgent family and business matters for far too long and if anything I was craving time to duck out and recover.  I didn't want to entertain after grueling days.  But if I got sick and didn't come out of my house for a month, no one on my block would know or care and that's terrifying.  That has to change.  

So, when Senor sends me a link to a piece of J Tree property for $750,000 (with Pet Cemetery! )... I know it's in part light-hearted (I think!), but it's also the call to consider finding a place where everyone is welcome. I dunno... maybe something bigger like this is in the cards.  Maybe I still have that hippie-commune thing in my heart.  But climbing has been such a totally unexpected gift, I wonder what else is possible in this Third Act of life.  Nothing would surprise me now.  So, plan on coming and spending time in Josh.  My door will be open.      

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190
dragons wrote: Helen, you need a few buddies to train and climb with, some people who face similar problems! These days, I wish I had a few locals to train with, too. Keep us posted on your progress with the personal trainer?

Lori, I just kind of feel like I'm watching someone being egged on to do something they don't really want to do. ("Just take one hit! You'll love it!" "C'mon babe, everyone's doing it!" "You suck if you don't do it!"). You've survived long enough so I assume you're not going to do something if you really don't want to do it. And you'll do it, sooner or later, if you want to do it. I don't think I'd ever have started leading if I didn't have the burning desire to do so. No amount of coaxing could have convinced me. Top-roping is wonderful, although it is indeed very different from leading. But it's all climbing. It sounds to me like have discovered something you love - climbing - in the perfect venue (JT), and if top-roping is all there is to it, you sound like a lucky and happy person.

dragons... I was just reflecting on this this morning!  Thank you for saying this!   At this moment, I just keep finding more fun things to do... have not felt the urgent call to set everything else aside and 'lead'.  (Although I have spent some hours on the rock doing just that... but not ecstatic about it.)

I have been thinking about myself and my children, and how they learned and evolved.  One day they were riding a tricycle, and then they wanted the bicycle with training wheels... and when they were ready, they suddenly saw the beauty of taking the training wheels off and riding solo!  I never had to push.    

I've watched myself evolve as a climber... and things I stressed about a year ago have disappeared overnight.  Suddenly, whatever the challenge was got all figured out.  So... I am eager to see what awaits with a year (as a round number) of climbing to my heart's content.  If I remain open and curious, I'll find my own groove and strength.

Others might weigh in on this, too... but perhaps having cut my teeth on Joshua Tree, with a little time elsewhere... there is not a lot of need for leading in that place.  Of course, it's a trad mecca... but these are mostly shorter, single pitch routes that place a lot of emphasis on actual climbing skill. Every time I get introduced to a 'sport route' there... I think it doesn't look like my idea of a sport route.  10-15 feet of dicey slab, with a few bolts spaced far apart...  If I were hanging out in Yosemite, it would be requirement to place gear and lead... or so I would think.    

I love phyls suggestion to explore New Jack City and Dwain has offered some coaching close to his area (not far from J Tree). I've never actually been to a sport climbing area!  It might be surprisingly fun!  

But then that's the beauty of 'a year' (if I can make this year happen.)  Time to roam and explore, childlike, all the myriad fun stuff out there.  

I guess I was also really asking what everyone else's 'year' will look like?  What are you all hoping to look back on, in 2021?  What will you be doing this year?
 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,175

I will be working my butt off, hopefully kinda literally, lol!

Carl, I think I bloody love your bloody self. Happy bloody Valentine's day, dear! The rest of you too.

As for using a panic or a hex, for that matter, on a top rope? "Follow", for me, means get my ass up....no matter what. Clipping a bolt gives me something to use for a hand hold, if the draw was already cleaned by the lead. I've not used the panic yet, I just got it. Single pitch, yes, the cheats could include grabbing the belayer side of the rope and just hauling. And yes, I do that too. But if the belayer is above me? I have to get there. I will almost always be the "lesser" climber, so it's pretty likely you people will get me in over my head.  It's partly ability, but often reach. "Easy" grades are often not so beginner friendly. Just in this thread alone, there are a lot of assumptions. My 5.4 climb at City last summer, I followed, super fun, no problem. Yeah, I could have lead it even.....if I was confident climbing with no ​bolts and no ​gear. That's old school. Everywhere I climb is old school, buyer beware.

Just for the record, I do have a few leads, sport, no gear. Don't have any partners who would have me doing gear, at the moment. The majority of the leads are at City of Rocks. The first of those was with Frank Minunni! Another lead was on Erika's home turf. None of those were rehearsed, I just eyeballed them and went for it. My local stuff is just sucked, sport climbs anyway. Eventually, I'll see if I can get gear going on something, but that's either learning to aid solo, or, again, finding the right partners. That's a different level of trust than just casually swapping belays with a rope gun who wants mileage on rock. 

Lori? Here's my first consideration for Jtree:

Hmmmm...

That translates to four travel days, for me. I can't bomb through a 13 hour drive anymore.

So, peeps, what's out there on the Eastern Nevada border? Anything besides jackrabbits?

A second trip to UT/CO will happen this year. That's also a long trip. And who knows how many trips to City, that one is easy! Just need a partner.

Nick, what are those easy trad climbs you are thinking of at City? Easy for you, or sewuppable for a complete noob to gear who semi sucks at climbing?

Maybe I'll bring some nuts tonight and see what the gym will let me get away with!

Best, Helen

Oldtradguy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 15
Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181
Lori Milas wrote: Oh you guys are just totally pissing me off.   So FINE. Let’s play a real game.  

...

I’ll sweeten the pot still more. At least three months I can go to the Sierra to climb. I can travel to RedRocks, Smith, etc.

How would you structure this magical year of freedom and climbing?  How would you lay it out so that it was productive month by month... so you could say that NO MATTER WHAT you did something you were proud of. Something you could tell your grandkids about.  
——

And there’ll be pasta and good friendships.  Hopefully excursions to the mineral baths down the road and nights sleeping under the stars.  

It’s in the works. I’m not there yet and anything could happen.  Not counting my chickens... yet.  But I’m starting to plan-house is on the market and Senor keeps sending me listings of million dollar properties.   

I would toss all of the detritus that got collected during the building years.  Many people cannot do this, their identity is wrapped up in the stuff.  Then I would free myself of all debt.  Financial is one aspect but there other debts that need to be acknowledged, and managed.  Kids, grandkids, clubs, friends etc.  This takes time and energy, and probably a goodbye block party.  

Then get mobile.  This is a time of change.  And no matter what plan you make it will morph into something else, so be prepared to be flexible.  Here is the really hard part, it is your time to be selfish.  Every one else gets to dance to your music choices these next few years.  Don't rush into any long term situations.  

Then; be brave.  Like rapping, that first step is always scary.  And like rapping you check our stoppers knots, double check your rope set, double check your ATC, then you begin.  You check your supply chain, determine how you can live within your means, figure ways to keep in touch with family, set short term goals.

Then you go... that first step away is always the hardest. 

Suddenly you realize that this is right and good. It's exhilarating.  Your life becomes rich and fulfilling in ways you never expected. You meet more like minded people and build life long (although often long distance) relationships that are rich and rewarding.  You are now the Butterfly. Free!

 

   

Senor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Mark E Dixon wrote: 

@Helen- what do you use the panic for when following???

I'm going to guess the panic makes an excellent French Free Extender (TM). 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190
Dallas R wrote:

I would toss all of the detritus that got collected during the building years.  Many people cannot do this, their identity is wrapped up in the stuff.  Then I would free myself of all debt.  Financial is one aspect but there other debts that need to be acknowledged, and managed.  Kids, grandkids, clubs, friends etc.  This takes time and energy, and probably a goodbye block party.  

Then get mobile.  This is a time of change.  And no matter what plan you make it will morph into something else, so be prepared to be flexible.  Here is the really hard part, it is your time to be selfish.  Every one else gets to dance to your music choices these next few years.  Don't rush into any long term situations.  

Then; be brave.  Like rapping, that first step is always scary.  And like rapping you check our stoppers knots, double check your rope set, double check your ATC, then you begin.  You check your supply chain, determine how you can live within your means, figure ways to keep in touch with family, set short term goals.

Then you go... that first step away is always the hardest.

Suddenly you realize that this is right and good. It's exhilarating.  Your life becomes rich and fulfilling in ways you never expected. You meet more like minded people and build life long (although often long distance) relationships that are rich and rewarding.  You are now the Butterfly. Free!

 

   

Oh, man. Dallas... I know some of this would be better off-line.  But this thread, which I admit I started but never intended as anything more than a simple question (I didn't know 'threads' existed or could go on and on)... it's nothing if some of us aren't transparent.  

I have printed this post and will tape it to my wall.  This post of yours, and a few other recent ones of yours... thank you so much.  You speak wisdom, and from the heart.    

I have been introspecting a lot.  What is it I want so badly right now?  What's dragging me down here, day after day?  I always find a way to manage a little bit more complexity in my life, find the money to pay a little bit more, work a little harder... it's gotten me out of a lot of jams in the past, but it's not serving me now.

I could sit in Joshua Tree and burden myself with the same overwork and worry that I do here.  I impulsively build castles.  

I will meditate on 'free myself of all debt'.  Holy cow.  I've been working on this for a few years... but have some fast work to do now. 

I wasn't going to mention this, but... it's been on my mind for awhile.  I just experienced something Helen wrote about earlier in the year... the loss of a family member to alcoholism.  My ex husband, who never was really a full 'ex', and who I knew and loved since he was 19... just drank himself year by year into cirrhosis and then death.   He wasn't a loud fall-down drunk thing... it was a quiet implosion for decades.  When a year ago he woke up swollen and toxic, and he realized 'this is really it'... he got furious and bitter.  As he declined, hanging onto his children and grandchildren and hoping but losing... It didn't help that I was out rock climbing, getting stronger, and giving the middle finger to this old age stuff.  We buried him last weekend.  A piece of paper does not end anything.

Shit gets real.  Time is not endless.  Health is not endless.  

Ok, now I've made myself cry.    Time to get packin'...  thank you more than I can say, Dallas.  
Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,394

oh'My                                                                                                                                               ____________ Oh,   

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 1,175
Lori Milas wrote:

Oh, man. Dallas... I know some of this would be better off-line.  But this thread, which I admit I started but never intended as anything more than a simple question (I didn't know 'threads' existed or could go on and on)... it's nothing if some of us aren't transparent.  

I have printed this post and will tape it to my wall.  This post of yours, and a few other recent ones of yours... thank you so much.  You speak wisdom, and from the heart.    

I have been introspecting a lot.  What is it I want so badly right now?  What's dragging me down here, day after day?  I always find a way to manage a little bit more complexity in my life, find the money to pay a little bit more, work a little harder... it's gotten me out of a lot of jams in the past, but it's not serving me now.

I could sit in Joshua Tree and burden myself with the same overwork and worry that I do here.  I impulsively build castles.  

I will meditate on 'free myself of all debt'.  Holy cow.  I've been working on this for a few years... but have some fast work to do now. 

I wasn't going to mention this, but... it's been on my mind for awhile.  I just experienced something Helen wrote about earlier in the year... the loss of a family member to alcoholism.  My ex husband, who never was really a full 'ex', and who I knew and loved since he was 19... just drank himself year by year into cirrhosis and then death.   He wasn't a loud fall-down drunk thing... it was a quiet implosion for decades.  When a year ago he woke up swollen and toxic, and he realized 'this is really it'... he got furious and bitter.  As he declined, hanging onto his children and grandchildren and hoping but losing... It didn't help that I was out rock climbing, getting stronger, and giving the middle finger to this old age stuff.  We buried him last weekend.  A piece of paper does not end anything.

Shit gets real.  Time is not endless.  Health is not endless.  

Ok, now I've made myself cry.    Time to get packin'...  thank you more than I can say, Dallas.  

Dallas's post was perfect, I'll just add hugs and kisses from afar, ma'am. 

Best, Helen
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 190

Check, check, check..

https://medium.com/@erikrittenberry/the-comfortable-life-is-killing-you-61cae61622e7

Cosmiccragsman AKA Dwain · · Las Vegas, Nevada and Apple… · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 121
dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 777

So sorry, Lori!

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Lorie. Sorry for your loss. Life is to short to get your as kicked all the time.  take  trip to COR and RR for some easy gentle climbs... 

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

 We buried him last weekend.   


Ok, I sure missed some stuff.  I am horrible at the correct social responses when it comes to someone passing away.  All I know is that when you have lived around someone for a long time and they pass away there is a hole left in your life.  It hurts. I cannot take this hurt away completely, I can only take a very small part of it.  Give me a sec..... ok done.  Everyone that you share with will take a little bit of the hurt away, eventually it won't hurt as much...

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 315

Lori - I am so sorry for your loss.

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

Ok, I sure missed some stuff.  I am horrible at the correct social responses when it comes to someone passing away.  All I know is that when you have lived around someone for a long time and they pass away there is a hole left in your life.  It hurts. I cannot take this hurt away completely, I can only take a very small part of it.  Give me a sec..... ok done.  Everyone that you share with will take a little bit of the hurt away, eventually it won't hurt as much...


I never know what to say or do. But if this works, I'm all in.

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
Old lady H wrote:Carl, I think I bloody love your bloody self. Happy bloody Valentine's day, dear! The rest of you too.
Ha ha thank you. Here's love and psych coming your way too, babe. 
Anonymous · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 12,720

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