Bouldering Day 2

OK, so I’m a little embarrassed about this one.  Emily didn’t want to climb today (she’s
thinking once a month sounds about right for her), but she did agree to go with
me and sit in the lounge area and draw.
I think it had something to do with getting pizza on the way…

When I was about half way there I remembered I’d left my chalk bag on
the counter. 
Whoops!  I was also hoping to wear my new rock
climbing shoes today, but I still don’t have them.
  They came in the mail (twice) but each time
they were the wrong size (more on that once I actually fix this situation).
  So I rented some very well-fitting shoes and
headed straight for the climbing wall.

Once again there were a lot of people there tonight, and I wanted to
get some practice in before there weren’t any lines left available. 

 I was doing pretty good today.  I
started with a 5.5, and then went on to 5.6, 5.7, & 5.8.
  Each time I’d successfully make it to the top
(using the correct color routes, of course) I’d try something a little
  I was doing great until I got to
  I was two holds away from the top
when I lost my footing and fell.
I was on a pulley, so I didn’t fall too fast, but I did hit someone on the way
  He was pretty close to where I was
on the wall next to me, and as soon as I fell I knocked into him (I didn’t have
time to realize what was going on before colliding).
  He was obviously a much better climber than I
as he was on a pretty difficult run.
didn’t fall, but I could tell I had jostled him a bit. I apologized profusely, blamed
it on being a novice, and figured that was probably enough rock climbing for

On to bouldering!  The runs (I’m
not even sure if that’s what they’re called?) had been changed since last week,
so everything was a bit different.
However, this time I knew to follow the same color run, so I felt a bit
more confident.
  The lower wall was more
difficult to climb today than it had been last week (and I don’t think that run
had changed?)
  I decided to skip it and
take the stairs (side note:
  I came back
to it later and was successful).

My hands were slippery and I had several blisters already (once was
cracked and bleeding) and I’d forgotten my chalk, so I tried to “steal” chalk
from the counters by covertly wiping my hands across them where chalk had
settled from others. 
I know, I’m
  Next time I’ll offer some of
my chalk for free to someone to make up for it.

Once again I started with the easiest runs and worked my way up.  5.0-5.4 were easy and I was racing up each
run, over the wall, and back down to try the next in line.
  There were fewer people bouldering than
climbing, and it was easy to keep advancing without waiting for those around me
to climb.

Then I came to a run that was a bit more difficult.  I don’t remember the class, but I was one
hold from the top when I lost my balance and fell.
  No, I didn’t fall away from the wall like you’re
supposed to, ad I didn’t anticipate the fall.
This time was worse than the first time because I was sideways when I
fell, and my arm hit a couple of holds on the way down.
  I landed on my backside, not seriously hurt
because of the mats below me (I fell about 10 feet).
  I didn’t look at my arm when I landed, but I could
tell I’d bruised it pretty well.
 It felt
like a nasty rug burn.

I looked around and no one seemed as embarrassed as I was about my
fall, so I picked an easier run, climbed just to prove to myself I could, and
then made my way back down to the lower climbing area to lick my wounds where
no one would know what I’d just done. 

This time it actually hurt worse than it looked (usually it’s the
I asked the lady at the front desk if she had
any Vaseline and she looked at me like I was crazy.
  I guess my type of injury isn’t common. 

I made it back down to the lower area and found a couple I’d met earlier
who offered to let me climb with them when they found out I was alone and new
to climbing. 
I’m really uncomfortable
making friends when I can’t reciprocate, so I didn’t take them up on their
offer to let me climb while they belayed, but I did stand and watch them for a
  This is something I need to work
on, but I know it will take me a while to accept help/friendship. I’m slow to
warm, but working on it!

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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