July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
Unlike hiking and biking, rock-climbing is not one of those sports that’s very easy to be an amateur at. It’s expensive, hard to get into, and once you invest, hard to not continue investing in. Almost all the climbers I know have done it consistently at least for a few months. That means they know what all the knots are called and what all the clips are for, and generally how to not kill themselves or their friends when they go climbing, indoor or out.
I am not one of those friends. I’m the friend that says they’ve been climbing before, but you have to explain all the basic things to. The one make that you make the squinty-eye-head-tilt face at when I tell you you probably should let me belay you. The one that keeps wandering off and scrambling things when it’s not her turn and/or is drinking all the beers. The one that, annoyingly, doesn’t seem to have a problem getting to the top of things that I have no business getting anywhere near.
This Sunday was such a perfect representation of just what a perfect rock-climbing amateur I am, it almost makes me cry. We went out to Booty Bassment at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park San Diego until two in the morning, slept at Rebecca’s – a Coffee Spot on the corner for an hour before we got kicked out, wandered around Balboa park to sober up, and finally went to meet a friend of a friend and avid rock-climber, Dave.
Patient man, belaying for three hung over amateurs.
We carried a cooler full of beer up the mountain and camped out at the bottom of one climb and the top of another. The first, none of us could get to the top of and I spent most of the time trying to not throw up or pass out. By the second, I had had a few PBR’s and shimmied up a tight corner that only Dave had conquered after two tries. High off my success, I put on my chalk bag and went to scamper and explore while our other friends tried to make the ascent.
Peter and Dave
Do I want to actually know something about rock-climbing? Yes, most definitely. I think I have the body type for it and would probably be pretty good. Am I able to put in the time and monetary commitment it’ll take to to actually to do it right? Not until I’m a real adult with a real adult salary that’s not working 80 hour weeks. In the meantime, I’m happy to blunder about with forgiving friends and climb whatever they’ll take me to.