Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
first wall after age 40?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


csproul


Aug 20, 2009, 6:39 AM
Post #1 of 44 (6619 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

first wall after age 40?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

So, I'm getting a little older (I'm 38 now) and have been climbing for a good number of years. I have been recently getting the bug to try some real aid climbing and maybe eventually a wall. I've done a number of grade IV/V free climbs over the years, and have done routes where I had to aid small sections, but I have never intentionally targeted aid climbing. I want to hear about others who have gotten into aid later in life. Anyone done their first wall after the age of 40?


Tree_wrangler


Aug 20, 2009, 7:03 AM
Post #2 of 44 (6604 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 8, 2007
Posts: 403

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

No.......and I'm only 33, but I'm in your boat too.

I am going to climb walls on aid. I figure that I'll be in my late 30's, maybe 40's before the kids are old enough for dad to take off for the kind of time needed. Maybe I won't have the opportunity until I'm 50.

But I fully intend on being a spry, fully functioning 50, 60, 70 year old....Once, I saw a 70 year old dude free a 5.10 crack using only nuts/hexes for pro.

Screw "Sharma". That 70 year old dude is MY idol.

I also once had a 60 year old coworker tell me that, "I partied/skied/climbed my 20's/early 30's away (no regrets), and then found my career later. That's all well and good, but now I'm 60, and I still can't retire for another 10 years. Guess what? I still feel great, and I'd still rather be out skiing/climbing than at work".

40 isn't old. at all. 50 isn't old either. and so on. It's all a state of mind.


cologman


Aug 20, 2009, 7:04 AM
Post #3 of 44 (6603 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 28, 2002
Posts: 581

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm way past 40 and still doing walls, love em! Just go do one! A friend of mine once likened wall climbing to vertical ditch digging. Appropriate when all you look at is the amount of work involved.


csproul


Aug 20, 2009, 7:07 AM
Post #4 of 44 (6599 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

Re: [cologman] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

And when did you do your first wall?


cologman


Aug 20, 2009, 7:16 AM
Post #5 of 44 (6587 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 28, 2002
Posts: 581

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was 21 and now I'm 58. Been a couple of years since my last one. Still planning on more.


dingus


Aug 20, 2009, 8:01 AM
Post #6 of 44 (6554 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 16, 2002
Posts: 17394

Re: [cologman] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My wall career, such as it is, didn't start until I was in my 30s.

There is a mind boggling amount of work involved in wall climbing. It will be among the hardest, most physically demanding work you may ever do. Unless you're a slave or somthing I guess.

Wall climbing is WORK.

The question will become - how do you want to spend your vacation time?

With each passing wall it became and has become harder, to convince myself, to spend (squanderP) another vacation beating myself ragged on a wall.

Now I get to say that with the benefit of having done some trade route as well as a couple of grade V FAs. My last wall is a few years behind me now but like colgman there I suspect there is at least one more in me (another FA siren's call)...

But for vacation? I prefer something involving less work and more speed.

But if you have the itch, nothing will scratch it until you at least give it a go. Some people, pass the pitons pete is a good example... fall in love with the whole gig and it becomes their thing.

Most of us are smarter'n that though....

DMT


pischi


Aug 20, 2009, 8:36 AM
Post #7 of 44 (6526 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 27, 2002
Posts: 4

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I am 46 and will give it a try this year for the second time. First attempt was 15 years ago with very limited success (we bailed). Will see how it goes.
p


shimanilami


Aug 20, 2009, 8:48 AM
Post #8 of 44 (6512 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 2043

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I did my first wall at age 34 and fell in love with it. I'm 39 now. I try to squeeze a couple in a year.

For me, the primary appeal is that you're fully immersed in the vertical realm and fully committed to reaching an objective. It's like you've entered another world. All your normal day-to-day concerns fade away.

I agree with Dingus that it's a ton of work, but you get more efficient with each wall you climb.

One downside is that I prefer free climbing to aid. There's nothing like being 2000' off the deck with just a few cams and nuts hanging off your harness. My partner and I are going to start choosing routes with more free climbing, even if it means the aid is a grade or two below our abilities.


scotty1974


Aug 20, 2009, 9:59 AM
Post #9 of 44 (6483 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 30, 2006
Posts: 248

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

How is it that no one has mentioned John Salathe'??

Hellllooooo!! Tongue

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Salath%C3%A9

http://yosemiteclimbing.org/content/john-salathe-and-yvon-chouinard-camp-4


(This post was edited by scotty1974 on Aug 20, 2009, 10:00 AM)


Partner pbcowboy77


Aug 20, 2009, 10:55 AM
Post #10 of 44 (6460 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 8, 2002
Posts: 574

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm only 31 but I took a buddy of mine up his first wall when he was 51. He loved it and had a great time. We are planning on doing Zodiac on El Cap for his 55th, it's gonna be his 2nd wall...


But you don't want to do walls anyways, it's nothing but suffering and at your age you may break a hip or something...Wink


sspssp


Aug 20, 2009, 11:16 AM
Post #11 of 44 (6449 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In some ways wall you could probably have a longer wall career than free climbing career. Just like marathon runners are more competitive late in life than sprinters are.

You need some endurance and shoulder muscles, but you don't need the finger strength and balance like free climbing.

If you carry enough food and water so you don't have to do to many pitches a day, mainly want you need is commitment and willingness to sufer.


sspssp


Aug 20, 2009, 11:18 AM
Post #12 of 44 (6447 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: [pbcowboy77] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

pbcowboy77 wrote:
But you don't want to do walls anyways, it's nothing but suffering and at your age you may break a hip or something...Wink

And as long as you stick to C1/C2 routes, you are probably less likely to break something than you are free climbing...


soffcookay


Aug 29, 2009, 6:36 PM
Post #13 of 44 (6336 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 2

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hello all - my first post!

I am 43 and am doing my first wall on El Cap next month. I am lucky enough to be going up with two veteran wall climbers so this will be an excellent learning opportunity for me. Climbing a big wall has been a goal of mine for a while - of course, there is no bailing as these two have already told me that once the rope is pulled, there is no going down...


mar_leclerc


Aug 30, 2009, 10:06 AM
Post #14 of 44 (6279 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 31, 2008
Posts: 156

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Im sorry... I did my first wall before the age of 16...

but I don't think it couted because it was only about 15 pithes and I freed all but a short bolt ladder.


csproul


Aug 31, 2009, 5:36 AM
Post #15 of 44 (6232 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1768

Re: [soffcookay] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

soffcookay wrote:
Hello all - my first post!

I am 43 and am doing my first wall on El Cap next month. I am lucky enough to be going up with two veteran wall climbers so this will be an excellent learning opportunity for me. Climbing a big wall has been a goal of mine for a while - of course, there is no bailing as these two have already told me that once the rope is pulled, there is no going down...
awesome, can't wait to hear how it goes.


moof


Aug 31, 2009, 9:35 AM
Post #16 of 44 (6203 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 17, 2003
Posts: 400

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Not me, but the last time I did WFLT it was my mid-40's partner's first wall. He did just fine.

My main advice is:

1. Take it easy, and plan extra days for your trip. Bailing because you had to wait in line for a days sucks. Ferrying tons of gear and fixing on the first day is rough, and should be avoided if you can afford it.

2. Don't underestimate the work involved. Give yourself a full day to ferry all the gear to the base (maybe more for things like half dome). Plan on a modest number of pitches per day (3-4 tops if you're new to walls). Toiling late into the night to keep up with an aggressive schedule destroys morale and old bodies, only resort to late night shenanigans if you absolutely have to.

3. Practice, practice, practice. Building belays, setting up hauls, leading/following traverses, etc are all killer if you are learning on the wall, but are pretty casual if you've put in your miles at the crag. Using poor judgement and screwing your follower on a traverse can also lead to mid-wall partnership meltdowns, and can be avoided simply by practice. Lastly, practice hauling big loads before going on the wall. Hauls can really make or break a wall. Bad hauling due to bad anchor planning, poor technique, or what have you can shut down morale fast.

4. Take care of yourself. Once on the wall stay clean'ish (wipes, clean shirt to sleep in, toothbrush, etc), hydrated, and fed. Unlike the young guys, old dudes shutdown much easier if they run out of water or calories (arm cramps, bonking, cussing at God, etc).

5. Expect pain. There will be great gratification as well, but expect the trip to be full of bruises, soreness, and aches. Embrace the pain.


aro


Sep 9, 2009, 6:45 AM
Post #17 of 44 (6079 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 23, 2008
Posts: 4

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have been given "permission" to do my first wall )Nose) by my wife and children as a present for my 40th birtday (note that being a European resident, climbing a big wall like the Nose requires a rather huge financial and timewise effort regarding equipment/preparation/practising (where in Europe?? we solicited permission to clean aid the cracks in our local climbing gym!) and travel).

We bailed on our first try and came back the year after to complete what we had started. I enjoyed every second (including the pain and the scrapes and and and).

I am only afraid that future possibilities will be minimal due to the circumstances described above (I know, no whining!).


salamanizer


Sep 16, 2009, 7:16 PM
Post #18 of 44 (5926 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 2, 2004
Posts: 879

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Dude, 40? Seriously???

My buddy (lets just call him Captain TR) didn't start climbing big walls until he was in his late (really late) 50's. He's 64 now and was on an attempt to solo Mescalito recently. Didn't make it but that's not the point. Did I mention it was still winter?
He also followed Alex Honnold a few years ago up the Salathe wall while he was attempting to free it. Yeah, he was following, but he still flew up it. He was 62!!!

Anyway, you can do whatever you want. You're only held back by the limitations imposed by your goals.

Start dreaming big and saying "yes" instead of maybe or I don't know and you'll throw those worthless goals right out the freakin window.


dan2see


Sep 16, 2009, 8:32 PM
Post #19 of 44 (5912 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 28, 2006
Posts: 1497

Re: [salamanizer] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

salamanizer wrote:
Dude, 40? Seriously???
... Anyway, you can do whatever you want. You're only held back by the limitations imposed by your goals.

Start dreaming big and saying "yes"...

Yes.

Now that I'm 66 I've started leading sport climbs, and sometimes on scrambles I'll solo "5.easy" waterfalls (when they're dry). It helps to camp overnight on the mountain, I get more rock time.
Last winter I did my first ice-climb. This year I've started on multi-pitch trips. Not big walls, but all-day roped climbing.

The big trick is: Keep doing it. And smiling helps, too!


soffcookay


Sep 22, 2009, 5:59 PM
Post #20 of 44 (5827 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 2

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Headed up this Friday - first three pitches will be fixed. Will post trip report when we finish, hopefully 8-10 days. I am pretty nervous, but am trying to keep a positive attitude. Lots of great advice on this thread!


ptlong


Sep 22, 2009, 6:40 PM
Post #21 of 44 (5811 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 4, 2007
Posts: 418

Re: [csproul] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

csproul wrote:
So, I'm getting a little older (I'm 38 now) and have been climbing for a good number of years. I have been recently getting the bug to try some real aid climbing and maybe eventually a wall. I've done a number of grade IV/V free climbs over the years, and have done routes where I had to aid small sections, but I have never intentionally targeted aid climbing. I want to hear about others who have gotten into aid later in life. Anyone done their first wall after the age of 40?

I thought aid climbing was what you were supposed to switch to when you got to be 40.


climbingaz


Jan 5, 2010, 10:35 AM
Post #22 of 44 (5373 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 123

Re: [ptlong] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've been climbing for 10 years (now 36) and just recently got the itch to learn aid climbing. I think as long as we prepare mentally and physically and aren't under the false assumption that aiding is EASY, we should have no problem learning and accomplishing goals for years to come.

My reason for wanting to learn aid is I know it's mandatory if I ever want to climb The Nose...a goal I hope to achieve in my lifetime.


swoopee


Feb 20, 2010, 7:56 AM
Post #23 of 44 (5114 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 17, 2008
Posts: 560

Re: [dan2see] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

dan2see wrote:
salamanizer wrote:
Dude, 40? Seriously???
... Anyway, you can do whatever you want. You're only held back by the limitations imposed by your goals.

Start dreaming big and saying "yes"...

Yes.

Now that I'm 66 I've started leading sport climbs, and sometimes on scrambles I'll solo "5.easy" waterfalls (when they're dry). It helps to camp overnight on the mountain, I get more rock time.
Last winter I did my first ice-climb. This year I've started on multi-pitch trips. Not big walls, but all-day roped climbing.

The big trick is: Keep doing it. And smiling helps, too!

You are awesome.


guangzhou


Feb 21, 2010, 7:24 PM
Post #24 of 44 (5037 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Posts: 3389

Re: [swoopee] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I took a friend of mine on his first wall for his 62th Birthday. We were planning on climbing Glass Menagerie on the North Side of Looking Glass, but because of a cold spell and some wetness, we changed routes and did Invisible Air Waves instead.

He's a good natured persona nd was a blast to climb with. I have to admit, he was tired when we headed home.


skinner


Feb 22, 2010, 10:42 PM
Post #25 of 44 (4982 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 31, 2004
Posts: 1747

Re: [moof] first wall after age 40? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

moof wrote:
Embrace the pain.

This should be on a t-shirt!

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook