Monday, September 18, 2006


I've been climbing a lot, trying to get back in shape after a summer spent doing more hiking and camping and other activities. Since my favorite climbing partner moved away, it's been harder for me to get outside, and that situation is worse now that my car blew up. Nevertheless, I have been making a real effort to get into the gym, do my routes, get my endurance back, and regain my ability to do tougher leads. I've been working lately on a big overhanging 5.10+ lead with a long roof at the gym, something that at times I'm able to do without too much trouble but that at other times gives me heart palpitations.

When I am climbing several times a week, it's not uncommon for me to have dreams at night that I am climbing. Sometimes bad things happen on these dreams like I look down and realize I forgot to tie my figure 8 and if I can't hang on, I will fall and die. Other times great things happen, like I am able to easily climb things that in real life are hard for me -- those are fun dreams to have. Sometimes I dream about a route that I have been working out and I can see where my hands and feet are supposed to go to make the climb doable and I feel very free and happy. One of my climber friends said she thinks this is the mind's way of working out "muscle memory," which helps you make the same moves more easily the more times you do the climb. I tend to agree.

This video of Dan Osman free climbing an easy 5.7 at lighting quick speed kind of reminds me of my dreams, and there's a part at the end where he makes a big no-hands, no-feet leap for a ledge that definitely quickens the pace of the heart despite the climb's easy grade. (Link via kottke.) I don't climb quickly in my dreams, but I do climb that easily. I guess in some ways I feel like this video is a peek inside my head when I have climbing dreams.


Blogger Guy said...

did that dude not have any ropes? what if he fell?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Had To Move said...

To answer guy's question, that dude did NOT have any ropes -- this is called free soloing (climbing with no protective advices). Of course, this is pretty dangerous, but this particular climb was a 5.7, which for an experienced climber feels kind of like climbing a ladder. 5.7s are what I do for warm ups and cooldowns; basically unless a rock falls on your head it's pretty unlikely you'll fall off because it's too hard (because this is a very easy climb), but if you do, you'll die.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Had To Move said...

sorry, I meant protective DEVICES, not advices. Ugh. coffe hasn't kicked in yet.

1:33 PM  

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