After many years away from climbing, yesterday I got my climb on. It’s been on my mind for a while and I finally bit the bullet and signed up for a membership at our local Lifetime Fitness, specifically because it has a decent climbing facility. This used to be run by a company called Vertical Endeavors, but Lifetime did not renew their lease and now run it themselves.
Because he was available, I took the Little Worker, who has been pretty excited over the last week or so – he loves rock climbing outdoors, so he figured indoors might be just as fun. He’s right, and he’s wrong. Most of the rocks around us in nature are gently sloping and not too tall. The walls in the gym are tall, steep, overhanging, and, did I mention, tall. Pretty scary at first.
If you haven’t been climbing before, the gyms have made it so easy. Put on a harness, put on your shoes, clip into an auto-belaying device, and climb on. It’s great especially because two climbers of completely different abilities can work at their own speed and don’t even have to climb together. It was fun to move about the facility with the Little Worker, first on the kids’ wall, then a climb for me, to the kids’ bouldering wall, some bouldering for me, ad infinitum until it was time to go.
The gym provides all the gear you need, looks like pretty much exclusively Evolv products, which were fine as a starting point, but moving forward I’m going to try out some old gear I kept from my last foray into climbing, when we lived in Virginia. A pair of La Sportiva shoes and a Black Diamond harness are both in good shape and maybe higher quality than the loaner equipment. We’ll see.
In any case, the Little Worker wants to go back tomorrow (and the day after and the day after and…), so we’ll be shooting to go as often as possible, shooting for 3-4 times a week. Looking ahead, him being on the climbing team is something else he’s excited about, but we’ll see how he does after the novelty wears off.