Sunday 1 July 2012

Climbing the walls

For once, it isn't me that's taken up a new hobby - it's A. So yesterday morning, I headed to Reading Climbing Wall with him to see what all the fuss is about.

I stuck to bouldering - this is climbing without ropes and harnesses. Apparently it is kind of harder than rope climbing because you can't rest and take the weight off your arms, but I'm not quite ready for being suspended by a rope and travelling high up a climbing wall. The highest I climbed was with my feet about 5' off the ground.

I hired some shoes, stuck my handbag in a locker and A gave me some basic instruction.

To say I was rubbish is maybe a little harsh, however it definitely doesn't come naturally to me. You are supposed to hang and make your legs do the pushing - I ended up pulling with my arms way more than I was meant to. And I have poor upper body strength (something I need to work on before summer surfing); climbing is a good workout for the arms :)

Did I enjoy it? Yes, more than I expected to.
Did it hurt? Totally - arm muscles slightly wrecked and small blisters forming on hands. I think I lasted half an hour, and I was attempting to club for less than half of the time.
Will I do it again? Yes, although I'm not taking it up as another serous hobby - just something to do occasionally.
What next? I guess I might have to try proper climbing and take a lesson or two. I'm really not a fan of hanging by a rope though - it's not a feeling I enjoy...


Elle said...

Ah you are so much braver than me. I know I do not have the upper body strength for this but wish I could do it!

Good Sport, You, for giving it a go!

You do get up to the most fun things.

Mad Scientist said...

Climbing tips in answer to tweet :-)
Stay close to the wall and never stick your bum out it instantly Unglues you from the wall. Try to be decisive in your moves hanging by your fingertips gets v. tiring v. quickly so push with legs and go for it.
Wow anyone would think I used to do a lot of this :-)

P.S. climbing boots are riddiculously sticky and will grip the tiniest of surfaces.

RainStorm said...

Thanks Dave :) I found the "moving decisively" thing hard as I didn't trust that I would be able to reach the next bit...