Climb On

For my learning project, I am doing climbing. It is something that I’ve done in the past a few times but I haven’t done it as much as I’d like to. I was introduced to climbing through my dad. He was really into climbing before he had kids, such as climbing Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, USA. Once I was old enough, he started to teach me about climbing. My first climbing experience was when I was ten years old or so. Despite having a cast on my broken leg, I still wasn’t going to pass on the opportunity of getting to climb. Since then, I have gone on two climbing trips.

My reason for switching my learning project to climbing was partially do to watching Alex Honnold on 60 Minutes. For those who don’t know who he is, he is considered the best climber in the world right now. He’s like the Tiger Woods of climbing, before Tiger’s sex scandal. He is a big wall free solo climber, which means he climbs solo with no rope up some of the most challenging and enduring rock walls in the world. The climbs the he has accomplished is simply remarkable.

Watching the piece on him turned the pilot light within me to a rapidly growing flame. I missed climbing and wanted to get back at it again.

I spent a lot of time watching climbing videos on Youtube and even watched k2: The Ultimate High.  There was one Youtube video that made my jaw drop. It consists of world-class climbers such as Alex Honnold and Chris Sharma pushing climbing to the extreme. This is one movie that I am definitely going to try to find!

There are two climbing walls in Regina that I can climb on: one at the Science Centre and one at Golds Gym South. I don’t have a membership to Gold’s so I’ll probably do most of my climbing at the Science Centre. I’ll try to see if one of my bud’s can sneak me into Gold’s to do some climbing there though.

This last Saturday my dad and I went to the Science Centre to climb. I got him to bring his camera so he could take some pictures and videos of me climbing. The wall there is 60 feet high and has an angle of over 90 degrees, which means your climbing at a negative incline. There are 3 different routes you can climb, each route being unique. The first route I attempted was the middle/yellow route. After the first few steps up, my mind was blank and I was focused only on the wall in front of me. I found this route to be very fun as you have to move from your left to your right back to your left as you climb, rather than being a straight vertical climb. Before I knew it I reached the top and rang the cow bell.

After being lowered back to the base of the climb, I asked if I could try the left/green route and was told that I could. This route consisted of two overhangs, the second of which causing me some trouble. I needed a couple breaks to give my forearms and legs a rest, and to eye up the holds to see how I was going to manoeuvre my way up. I kept going at it and reached the top with much satisfaction.

The worker who was belaying me said that it took me under twenty minutes to climb 120 feet with a break in-between climbs. This brought the idea of timing my future climbs to see how long it takes for me to make my way up to the top. Next time I go I will attempt the right/red route and possibly the yellow or green one again. I don’t know if I will be able to or not, but I hope that I can climb all three routes  back-to-back-to-back one day.

Overall the day was a very successful and I did surprisingly well considering it’s been a few years since I last climbed and a few months since I’ve really done any kind of physical activity.

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About Adam Brock

My name is Adam Brock and I am a third year student at the University of Regina! I am currently in the Secondary Education Program, with plans to major in Mathematics and minor in Outdoor and Physical Education. I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and look forward to travelling after my years at the U of R.

Posted on November 1, 2011, in Learning Project. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. onepercentyellow

    Great project, Adam, and awesome photos! Thanks for joining the ECI831 class yesterday! I spent quite a bit of time climbing a couple years ago and the challenge is immense, and not only physical. I certainly took the chance to work out a lot of frustration on the wall! (making rock juice and other climber-type expressions). My friends and I even built a bouldering wall in our garage. It’s awesome that you’re watching other climbers. It will really help you improve your technique. Some of the best advice I was ever given was to concentrate on your feet. If you can climb with your feet and keep your arms as rested as possible, difficult climbs are much easier. Perhaps you’ll have the chance to visit Yangshuo, China some day. That’s where I spent 9 months learning to outdoor climb. I even worked my way up to a 7 pitch multi-pitch climb! Amazing!

    http://yangshuoaccess.org/

    • Hey, thanks for the comment! It was interesting to be in a Webinar with so many people, it was a neat change. Thanks for the climbing advice! My dad kept telling me to “think with my feet” and to take small, progressive steps rather than big steps with require a lot of strength to accomplish. Yangshuo looks incredibly beautiful! Spending 9 months there would be an amazing experience. Congratulations on your climbing achievements and I wish you look with future climbs.

  2. Excellent idea! That wall at the Science Centre is a complete mind-game with the mirrors! Congrats on your climbs!

  3. Great comparison to teaching. Which mountains will you climb next?

    • My dad and I have been talking about climbing Devil’s Tower together for 2 or 3 years now, it just hasn’t worked out for us to go yet. We tried climbing in the famous Bugaboo Provincial Park years ago but the road leading to it was washed out. We’d still love to go there and climb some on some of the beautiful granite rock it offers.

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