This is the Kanji symbol for mountain. I am of the mountain. I live at the base of a mountain (Mt. Diablo in Northern California), I run on the mountains, I hike in the mountains and recently, I began my journey to climb in the mountains.
Prior to my 60th birthday in November 2015, I decided that I wanted to join a climbing gym, take some lessons and start climbing. I talked my son in-law into joining me on this quest. So we joined the Touchstone gym in our area, took some beginner lessons and went to the gym 2-3 times a week.
At the gym, I was always the oldest climber. Not that I cared, being around 20 somethings is energizing. My early 30 year old son in-law and I climbed the same level. Starting with 5.8 the first day, going to 5.9’s for the next couple of sessions and then by the end of the first month we were using 5.9’s for warm-ups before doing 5.10a’s and b’s with the rare attempt at a c.
I’m not so dumb that I think I am a good climber. I haven’t led anything, have issues with the 5.10c’s and haven’t even tried a 5.11 yet. Still, I have noticed some positive changes. First, my focus has improved while I’m on the wall. Second, I’m not scared of falling off the gym wall, I’ve done it, regrouped and kept on climbing. I’ve also discovered that I feel at home being around the climbers.
I started this blog to chronicle my journey with the climbing community. I hope to add photos and videos showing my progress. I’m hoping to do this without being a total goober at the gym. Finally, I’m hoping that I’m not just writing this for an audience of one, but if that’s the case, so be it. I can live with that too.