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Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing?
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mrronoah


Apr 9, 2013, 3:04 AM
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Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing?
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So I only recently started climbing consistently(2 weeks now). But if I was to train hard would it be possible for me to be a professional? I am more interested in lead climbing than bouldering or speed climbing.

At the moment I am a beginner and I have never actually lead climbed (only top rope). The hardest walls I have climbed so far are grades 15-17 (5.9-5.10b).

I am in Australia and it is in no way a known sport. But I am sure that there are people that have been climbing since birth.

Should I join a climbing squad and try and take this seriously? It is something that I am passionate about, but if it is too late I could just have it as a hobby.
All opinions are welcome. :)

Thanks, Noah

(This post was edited by mrronoah on Apr 9, 2013, 4:53 AM)


Partner oldsalt


Apr 9, 2013, 4:40 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start climbing? [In reply to]
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I stated climbing at age 53, 10 years ago. I took off for 3 months to have my hip replaced five years ago. I recently cut back from monthly trips of 250-500 miles (each way), due to retiring and working at lower paying jobs. I am an average climber at best, but it is no shock to see people in their 50s, 60s, and some 60s on the rock.

Smile Please go climbing and ask your question again in 40 or 50 years.


Kartessa


Apr 9, 2013, 6:28 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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mrronoah wrote:
So I only recently started climbing consistently(2 weeks now). But if I was to train hard would it be possible for me to be a professional? I am more interested in lead climbing than bouldering or speed climbing.

At the moment I am a beginner and I have never actually lead climbed (only top rope). The hardest walls I have climbed so far are grades 15-17 (5.9-5.10b).

I am in Australia and it is in no way a known sport. But I am sure that there are people that have been climbing since birth.

Should I join a climbing squad and try and take this seriously? It is something that I am passionate about, but if it is too late I could just have it as a hobby.
All opinions are welcome. :)

Thanks, Noah

Hey Noah,

There are golfers who start at 20 and become pro, and there are basketball players who start at 16 and turn pro too... but the chances of being a pro-climber are slim.

Really, all I can say is climb for you and love it. If that means competing, compete.

Write down what you posted here, go join the squad, train hard, make friends, and revisit this question in 6 months and again in a year. You'll have a much better understanding of how the climbing world works - I can tell you that your chances of becoming a pro climber are the same as becoming a pro football player (maybe smaller). That there isn't much money to be made and even less glory, but that would just make me an asshole. Probably best you learn to understand it for yourself.

I don't know you, I don't know your strengths or your potential. Just climb, and who knows... you could be the next Sharma or you could just lose interest like so many others.

Oh... and start lead climbing... You can't say you like it most til you actually try it.


granite_grrl


Apr 9, 2013, 6:50 AM
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Re: [Kartessa] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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There's a big difference between who we see as pro climbers and the people that actually go an compete at world competitions (at least in North America, where the competition climbing isn't really taken that seriously).

Pro climbing you need to be fairly good and be one hell of a self promoter. A good comp climber needs to be good at competing, good enough to place.

It's hard to say how good of a climber you'll be at this point, but my husband started ice climbing when he was 29. Last winter at the age of 35 he competed at the Ouray Ice Fest in Colorado (and won). This winter at the age of 36 he went and competed at the 5 events that make up the Ice Climbing World Cup, so you're certainly not too old.

But he's been doing comps because he's been enjoying it, not because it gives us any money. He still has a full time job (as do I), and while he did get some sponsership dollars there were still a lot of out of pocket costs. The pro climbers you see in the mags don't make a ton of cash either, most of them have to do other jobs as well to make ends meet.

So join a squad and take it seriously, but do it because you enjoy it, not with the idea that you'll make a career out of it.


skelldify


Apr 9, 2013, 7:23 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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So you're saying you want to go pro at something you've never even tried?

How about you try lead climbing first. Better yet, do it for a year or two, experience all of the ups and downs, frustration, exhilaration, and everything else that goes along with it, and THEN see if you still want to be a pro.

Sorry if I sound crude, but you're basically asking if you can be as good as someone who devotes their entire life to the sport, and you haven't even tried it.

Also, how would someone on the internet know if you should try it? You need to decide for yourself.


(This post was edited by skelldify on Apr 9, 2013, 9:15 AM)


Parkerkat


Apr 9, 2013, 10:21 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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I started climbing at 25 years old, learned to lead in year one and also joined a number of competitions.

If you're climbing to be famous - don't - start a blog or something.

if you truly love climbing, want some competition to help up your game and are ok watching little mutants kill every climb you can't - keep up with it.

The people I've seen who are most happy climbing are those who could care less about what grade or how they ranked. climbing is a different type of sport than most... i wouldn't put my life in someone else's hands or in danger just to be #1. I do it because I love it.

Take it one step at a time. First learn the skills, then worry about comps and sponsorships.

...and if you really take to it...it won't matter how you climb or where you climb... you'll just be happy to be climbing - thats they key!


Kartessa


Apr 9, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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And in case you were curious as to what you might be up against, should you decide to "go pro"

http://www.8a.nu


gblauer
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Apr 9, 2013, 1:01 PM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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Check out your local gym. Many gyms have climbing teams. You can get coaching, compete and learn from others. It's a great sport and HELL NO you are not too old. Go for it!!!

(I started at 44 and competed for several years [masters division])


mrronoah


Apr 9, 2013, 3:51 PM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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I would think that lead climbing is not much different from top rope climbing, except you have to hook yourself in. But I will definitely get into it more. The reason I havent is because the gym says I need a lead climbing card to lead climb. So I cant get any practice.

I'm not sure if any of you guys are from Australia, but its hard to get into it here, it is not a very known sport. For me, the closest club is and hour and a half away by train, there is closer climbing gyms, but none have climbing teams. Dont get me wrong, I am happy to travel that far because I love doing it but it isn't as easy as just going down to my local gym and joining a squad.

I have never had any interest in fame or fortune, no need to worry about that haha.
Thanks guys.


(This post was edited by mrronoah on Apr 9, 2013, 3:52 PM)


shockabuku


Apr 9, 2013, 6:27 PM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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http://www.rockandice.com/...ews/born-again-gumby


freezorburn


Apr 25, 2013, 8:59 AM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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Ah yes the draw of the FAME GLORY AND VAST WEALTH of being a pro climber is very hard to resist.

However you said you’re a 16 Year old man!, You better hurry and get your Career started.

Do it now while you have a little time left!, I mean could you imagine trying to start rock climbing in ten years from now when you’re a decrepit old man of 25/26 years old? You will have no hope at that point and may as well check into old age home.


Winemaker


Apr 25, 2013, 9:29 PM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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Dude, newbie talking here, but lead climbing is WAY different than TR. You actually have to climb. I just did my first lead climb on a 5.6. Holy shit. Way different. Dude, a fall before the third bolt on a sport climb might mean decking. Clipping the second bolt was pretty intense.





tr


acorneau


Apr 26, 2013, 5:57 AM
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Re: [Winemaker] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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Winemaker wrote:
Dude, newbie talking here, but lead climbing is WAY different than TR. You actually have to climb. I just did my first lead climb on a 5.6. Holy shit. Way different. Dude, a fall before the third bolt on a sport climb might mean decking. Clipping the second bolt was pretty intense.


Unimpressed


tr


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 26, 2013, 1:16 PM
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Re: [mrronoah] Is 16 too late to start competitive climbing? [In reply to]
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If I am not mistaken they allow the youngest age groups(10 and under) to lead in comps in Australia. If that is the case then it will be very hard to catch up to kids your age that have been leading in comps for 8 years.


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