Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Just starting
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


marathonmommy


Jan 8, 2012, 5:45 PM
Post #1 of 16 (2094 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2012
Posts: 3

Just starting
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi! I went climbing today for the first time ever! Wow, I can tell my fingers and forearms are going to be sore.

I come from a running background. I'm 26 and have run 31 marathons/ultras and done the qualifying for Boston bit. I overdid it a bit last year and needed a different challenge that stresses a bit differently, so decided to try indoor rock climbing. A bit concerned I have found another addiction (as you might have guessed from the running, addiction is how I operate.) - but I guess rock climbing will self limit.

I think I can only get to climb once a week because of the childcare time required - not to mention needing a belay partner. (Thankfully, I found a friend who wanted to start at the same time!) Of course, I'll be exercising all week long, need my time each day. Of course, it's quite obvious running doesn't really prepare you!

I'm also pumped that I wasn't the outright disaster I am initially at most sports. Not good (of course) but not the hemming and hawing I've seen from instructors of most sports I've tried. ;) I think while all the marathons haven't physically prepared me, it has helped foster a certain degree of mental fortitude and persistence that helped.

The only question I have thus far is -- rent equipment or purchase? What should I be doing now?


Urban_Cowboy


Jan 8, 2012, 5:55 PM
Post #2 of 16 (2087 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 2, 2009
Posts: 219

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Renting equipment will eventually cost as much as what it would have cost you to buy. Most indoor climbing gyms will let you try equipment with the tags attached before you have to commit to purchasing them. Look around and see what you like, try out what they have available. Shoes, harness, locking carabiner, belay device are all you "need" right now, maybe a chalk bag too if your hands sweat.

I'd suggest taking a class, that will show you techniques you'll need, like belaying, tying in. Along with some that you can pick up quicker with instruction, like "movement".


marathonmommy


Jan 8, 2012, 6:02 PM
Post #3 of 16 (2078 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2012
Posts: 3

Re: [Urban_Cowboy] Just starting [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 101 class and learned belay. We didn't get to much climbing instruction, other than, feet location is important.

I was thinking I will take more, but it would help to practice first.

Thanks. :)


Urban_Cowboy


Jan 8, 2012, 6:07 PM
Post #4 of 16 (2074 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 2, 2009
Posts: 219

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

You're already ahead of the power curve! Wink Very unusual (on this forum especially) for first time posters in the beginner's section. Cool


jae8908


Jan 8, 2012, 7:53 PM
Post #5 of 16 (2039 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 15, 2011
Posts: 270

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I would definitely say buy and not rent. Like said above, it would cost more to rent in the long run. Shop around and find the best prices for the gear that you want. Be sure to try on shoes and harness before purchasing.


Player


Jan 8, 2012, 8:02 PM
Post #6 of 16 (2034 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 29, 2011
Posts: 56

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Purchase. Cheaper in the long run and more comfortable.

As far as the next step.. just keep climbing. Enjoy it. Try to make some friends at the gym who climb outdoors and will take you along.


ObiKate


Jan 8, 2012, 10:19 PM
Post #7 of 16 (2009 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2012
Posts: 4

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi there! I just started reading the forums, and I'm new to climbing as well! I just started about two months ago, and I also run (and I'm a mom!) though never did marathons :) I was experiencing a lot of joint pain back in November and it got colder so I hit my local climbing gym and have not regretted it one bit. I love climbing so far, it's quite addictive (in a totally awesome way!). Anyway I just wanted to say Hi, thanks for posting and hopefully you keep at it, it only gets more fun the more you do it!

Cheers!
Kate


(This post was edited by ObiKate on Jan 10, 2012, 10:17 AM)


bearbreeder


Jan 8, 2012, 10:32 PM
Post #8 of 16 (2004 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

buy ... itll be cheaper in the long run ...


CurlyFries


Jan 9, 2012, 5:35 AM
Post #9 of 16 (1905 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 23

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

If you are going to climb lots, buy your own gear. Harness, shoes and chalk bag. Most gyms provide belay devices, so don't worry about that unless you have to.

For a harness it doesn't really matter. As long as it fits. Get one with gear loops as well just in case you start lead climbing in the future.

For shoes, try a whole bunch on. Proper shoes are key. It is really nice having your own shoes too.


dagibbs


Jan 9, 2012, 9:08 AM
Post #10 of 16 (1873 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 882

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Everyone is saying buy, and in the long term that's the right thing to do.

But, I'm going to say hold off a little bit on buying. Rent gear a few more times before buying, and if you can, try going to a couple different gyms, or get a couple different pairs of shoes from your gym (if they have different models).

I'm saying rent a few more times for 2 reasons. First, to make sure you really do like this rock climbing stuff, before you commit to buying. Second, to have a bit more experience with (especially) what climbing shoes feel like, and if you can, what a couple different types feel like, before buying. While renting, try going up and down a size, to see what different fits feel like. Do they climb better (for you) if tighter. Do they hurt more? Is the better climbing worth the greater discomfort?


tH1e-swiN1e


Jan 9, 2012, 9:27 AM
Post #11 of 16 (1865 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 28, 2011
Posts: 192

Re: [dagibbs] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

Stick to your marathons. Climbing is lame.


OhioClimber20


Jan 9, 2012, 1:34 PM
Post #12 of 16 (1812 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 4, 2011
Posts: 10

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Buying really depends on what you want to do in the long run. Do you want to climb indoors only? Boulder? Climb outside? At the current level your at for climbing I would say first look at the gym. My gym already has the ropes and ATCs already there. I'm not sure where you live but from my experience climbing in different gyms, larger ones seem to have more rope already there. Also what your buying will be determined by if you are lead climbing (clipping you rope in every five feet or so) or climbing top rope (rope is already secure at the top of the wall).


marathonmommy


Jan 9, 2012, 7:33 PM
Post #13 of 16 (1768 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2012
Posts: 3

Re: [OhioClimber20] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Everyone, thanks for the information and welcome!

Obikate- cool! Let me know if you have any running questions. I am recovering from overtraining now but it is my passion.

dagibbs, that's what I wasn't sure if I needed to do before purchasing; or if it would help much if the rental equipment was pretty uniform.

Ohio- I'm not sure about long run - right now I'm doing indoor top rope climbing. The gym I'm at has set up ATC's and gri-gris at the courses. I've used mainly the gri gri because it's on all the easier courses but I feel more comfortable with the ATC. I'm not sure why. It just feels better for me.


I am mostly good today, not sore like I thought. Except my forearms - Opening my car door- or anything involving gripping something - oowwww. And hotspots on my hands/fingers. I skipped weights today anyway just to be cautious. I ordered some books on climbing so I could read up while I learn, too.

I have a couple more things - sorry if the answer is right there in front of me. My friend
kept slipping and sending me down really fast. I was thankful for padded floors, let's say. Likely scenario - am I doing something wrong or her (she did say her hands were sweaty; mine didn't get sweaty so I don't know if that would cause it.) Was thinking of just climbing myself back down next time...


Should I go straight through to more lessons, or how much more practice on this before I go back?
My instinct was that I needed to build my grip strength and instincts of where to reach before other techniques could help much - I just couldn't do some of the harder courses because I couldn't hold on - though climbing shoes might help me have a firmer foothold then the tennis shoes I was in, and make it a bit easier for me not to have to reach my short stumpy limbs so far :)


Urban_Cowboy


Jan 9, 2012, 7:49 PM
Post #14 of 16 (1765 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 2, 2009
Posts: 219

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Your friend is not keeping enough friction on the rope, through the belay device. That's why you are being lowered so fast. Sweaty hands shouldn't have anything to do with it, it doesn't take much of a grip on the belayer's part to regulate the speed. If she's having trouble, her technique may need to be reviewed, have someone with more experience step in provide some tips/advice the next time you climb together.

Climbing shoes will help a lot compaired to tennis shoes when it comes to traction on the holds. Usually women do better with footwork than men, because men try to "power" through a climb with grip strength. Your grip only needs to hold you against the wall, the majority of your weight should be on your toes.


ObiKate


Jan 10, 2012, 10:26 AM
Post #15 of 16 (1713 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 8, 2012
Posts: 4

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

@marathonmommy- Thanks! I just went for an outdoor run on Sunday after a few months on the treadmill and it felt great. I'll hit you up with a PM if I have specific questions as to not hijack the thread :)

Just sharing my experience, I took a 101 class, likely similar to what you did, and I've been climbing on my own since then. I was planning to take another class soon that will cover technique. At this point I can comfortably do 5.8s, some 5.9s and V0s (I'm terrible at bouldering!). But I know my footwork is still sloppy, but in the last few weeks I've noticed a huge change in both confidence and comfort. But I'd like to have some one on one time with someone telling me what I'm doing wrong before I develop too many sloppy habits.

Along with books, read all you can online and watch videos (note, take some with a grain of salt, some instructional videos are better than others!). I know your time is probably limited at the climbing gym (mine is) so I don't have as much time as I'd like to sit back and watch different climbers. But I'd say that has been the most helpful starting out for me. I try to pick up on how people climb differently, footwork, all of that...

Your belayer might need some practice it sounds like, and I'd just stress that communication is important, you're not going to feel comfortable if you think you're being lowered too fast, so be sure to say something, sweaty hands should have nothing to do with it!

I sort of have the same question as you with regard to working on strength. Being a woman and my primary exercise working my legs, my upper body is somewhat lacking! I've read that the best thing to build strength for climbing is more climbing :) I have a grip ring that I use when I'm at my desk working, and some 8lb weights that I roll back and forth on my fingers. At the gym I run, do lots of stairclimber and I've started working in more intense core and arm rotations to prepare for climbing. Is there more I can do? I've read that buying a finger board isn't great for beginners.


dagibbs


Jan 10, 2012, 10:46 AM
Post #16 of 16 (1705 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 882

Re: [marathonmommy] Just starting [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

marathonmommy wrote:

dagibbs, that's what I wasn't sure if I needed to do before purchasing; or if it would help much if the rental equipment was pretty uniform.

If only the one gym, you can always ask if they have any other types of shoes (and explain why). And you can, even with only one brand, try going up/down a size and see what that feels like.

In reply to:

I have a couple more things - sorry if the answer is right there in front of me. My friend
kept slipping and sending me down really fast. I was thankful for padded floors, let's say. Likely scenario - am I doing something wrong or her (she did say her hands were sweaty; mine didn't get sweaty so I don't know if that would cause it.) Was thinking of just climbing myself back down next time...

You're not doing anything wrong (other than, maybe, climbing with her).

She is doing something wrong. I'm guessing this is with the gri-gri, not with an ATC, and that you weigh something in the 160lbs and up range. I have found that a gri-gri is a bit harder to give a smooth lower on than an ATC for a heavy climber, especially for someone with smaller/weaker hands (which, again, women often have, especially if fairly new to climbing). Once locked, it takes a fair bit of effort to "release" the gri-gri, and often, after release, the person then pushes/holds it too far open, giving a fast to very fast lower. Better technique can help -- and mentioning that it is too fast is a good idea. But, if the lower goes too fast, she can just let go of the gri-gri (locking it again). This will give a jerky, but safe lower. She can try to moderate the pressure... once released, ease up the pressure to slow the lower. And, she can increase the friction on the brake strand -- wrapping it farther around the body, at the hip, for more friction can often help with this.

In reply to:
My instinct was that I needed to build my grip strength and instincts of where to reach before other techniques could help much - I just couldn't do some of the harder courses because I couldn't hold on - though climbing shoes might help me have a firmer foothold then the tennis shoes I was in, and make it a bit easier for me not to have to reach my short stumpy limbs so far :)

Generally, especially at the beginning stages, climbing is the best practice and learning mode for climbing. It builds the climbing-specific strength and the technique at the same time.


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook