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Where and when did you first climb?
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Poll: Where and when did you first climb?
In a gym? 24 / 15%
Outdoors on real rock? 62 / 40%
1990- Present 44 / 28%
80's 15 / 10%
70's 7 / 5%
60's 2 / 1%
earlier than the 60's 1 / 1%
155 total votes
 

macblaze


Jan 9, 2009, 1:51 AM
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Where and when did you first climb?
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Was reading the who taught you to climb and it got me to thinking. There is a hardcore group of "rock" climbers at rc.com but many of the new generation start in the gym, hell, it seems to me that many of the "real" rock climbers recommend noobs to check out a gym first.

So post up, and let us know where and when you started


cush


Jan 9, 2009, 2:01 AM
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the first time i ever climbed was at summer camp on real rock but i didn't actually get involved with climbing until many years later and that was in a gym.


caleb_danner


Jan 9, 2009, 2:01 AM
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Gym in like 3rd grade then in fall of 07 i went outside and was hooked


jakedatc


Jan 9, 2009, 2:04 AM
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First time climbing was at a gym in Tahoe on vacation '96ish.. First real rock climbing was climbing class at school outdoor top roping '99. First sport lead was at Rumney'04.. First trad lead was at Pawtuckaway.'04


chezdillon


Jan 9, 2009, 2:10 AM
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1993 - Elbe river valley, Germany. (aka outside)

- J


jsj7051


Jan 9, 2009, 2:19 AM
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Took my kids to gyms a few times, wasnot impressed then 5-28-07 climbed on real rock at Rumbling Bald NC and average 3 to5 times a month ever sense. Love, Love , Love it !


rogue10186


Jan 9, 2009, 4:54 AM
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I started in the local gym at my University back in 05, Started climbing outside around the Southeast in '07.


N_Oo_B


Jan 9, 2009, 5:04 AM
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02 a buddy took me out to the local crag. He hadn't climbed since the 80's.

I flailed and crawled up some real rock.

weeks later on trip two he backed off a 5.9 and handed me the draws. Said clip the bolts and the rope... backclip? never heard the word in my life.

I advice people to a gym to meet others, and take a belay class. That's all.


thatguyat99


Jan 9, 2009, 5:24 AM
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Man I feel dated...
1985 in Linville Gorge with
the Boy Scouts. We used swami's
made of webbing and belayed and rappelled
using a Munter. I loved it.
But didn't climb again and get
my own gear until the early nineties.
Believe it or not, I've never climbed in a gym.


firemed6


Jan 9, 2009, 5:24 AM
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The first time I was five years old top roping @ Mt. St Helena in Napa with my dad in the mid 80's. Haven't stopped since.


roperunner


Jan 9, 2009, 6:44 AM
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J tree CA was 8 yrs old. Dam my father and the boy scouts!! now it's all i think about. climbing is done OUTDOORS lifting weights is done in the gym.


tradrenn


Jan 9, 2009, 10:21 AM
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I started around age 14 back when I was living in Poland. Those were the good old days as I call them, crags were empty, about 10 climbers on the weekend would visit our local spot. Back then there was no climbing books, no quide books, no internet, it was hard to find a gear store, nevermind buying a rope. ( it took as about 2 years to get a nice brand new rope from West Germany, 50 m. long, was that thing ever short and it cost us an arm and a leg)

I remember visiting other crag one weekend and asking a question:

What are those shiny things up there ?

As it turned out, those were bolts, a part of a sport climb but, back then it was just so hard to know anything as information wasn't easily available as it is today.

I'm not a big fan of gyms, outside is where is at for me.
I hate top roping, as this is the only type of climbing at did in Poland.

To think about it, trad climbing involves figuring staff by your own, just like the old days, maybe that's why I like trad so much.


rockie


Jan 9, 2009, 11:12 AM
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macblaze wrote:
Was reading the who taught you to climb and it got me to thinking. There is a hardcore group of "rock" climbers at rc.com but many of the new generation start in the gym, hell, it seems to me that many of the "real" rock climbers recommend noobs to check out a gym first.

So post up, and let us know where and when you started


For me I did start in the gym back in the U.K where I took my climbing course. Then I progressed to leading in the gym, then seconding outdoors on trad, which initially was multipitch with loose rocks. Then approx 1 yr after that I progressed onto my trad lead course in Squamish. I was advised not to rush onto a lead course but to master the basics first as much as possible.

The only reason I did it this way is I was with a Mountaineering Club of experienced climbers, a lot higher than my level, one of them was a great all-round role model, I took his advice mainly.

If they told me to learn solely outdoors, I would have done so. I believe it was winter at the time.

I say there is no hard and fast rule of having to learn outdoors or in the gym. I can see how both can work well.
Yes indoor is completely different to outdoor, especially on trad lead climbing. But then indoor lead climbs are more sport climbing than trad anyway.
The principles are still the same for belaying on lead, or lead climbing. If anything the gym helps with climbing outdoors, as does bouldering for building up your strength. I don't necessarily prefer gym climbing to climbing outdoors on the whole, I climb in the gym as it's too cold or wet to climb outdoors here in the winter months.

I'd say it comes down to what ever works, as long as you learn properly is all that matters.

Edited to add, I started 3 yrs ago. Though my first experience was in Scotland more like 16 yrs ago, he just led me up a rock and I did everything wrong, did it again, and never went again despite a Mountain rescue friend trying to encourage me into it. I think what mostly put me off back then was in Norway when I was aged 13, the owner of the house my parents rented was a widow. Her husband had been a rock climbing guide, while out teaching one day a huge rock came down and crushed his lungs. That stayed with me a long time.

In the end, obviously older and sometimes wiser Wink most of my friends were climbing and I felt I was really missing out, plus some told me I'd be good at it and would love it. I certainly did Smile


(This post was edited by rockie on Jan 9, 2009, 11:25 AM)


markc


Jan 9, 2009, 2:54 PM
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macblaze wrote:
hell, it seems to me that many of the "real" rock climbers recommend noobs to check out a gym first.

I think many view referral to a gym or to formal instruction as the safest bet in online discussions, regardless of how we started. It's easy to suggest hooking up with a group of experienced partners, but then there's the difficulty of new climbers knowing who to trust. Books are all well and good, but unless you're getting critical feedback you leave yourself open to misunderstanding.

I started climbing in 1997, learning from friends - some without too much more experience than I had. My first time out was toproping at McConnell's Mill in southwestern PA. (Appropriate, as it's always overrun with new climbers.) I started climbing in the gym once the weather turned. I still get to the gym on occasion, but getting outside has always been my preference.


Adk


Jan 9, 2009, 2:59 PM
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Chimney Mountain, Indian Lake, NY--1983

Climbed the chimney. Solo and then that summer started guiding the caves including Eagle Cave.

Edit to add a datePirate


(This post was edited by Adk on Jan 9, 2009, 3:25 PM)


wonderwoman


Jan 9, 2009, 3:09 PM
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1994 at a crag called Denrock Park in Lawrence, MA. It was a 5.6 on spray painted rock and I got the onsight in converse allstars. I also downclimbed because I didn't want to lower! I remember asking if I could top out over the anchor because I REALLY did not want to lower!


tigerlilly


Jan 9, 2009, 3:22 PM
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I got started a couple years ago during a rainy autumn. I was a serious cyclist, and never thought climbing sounded all that interesting. It didn't move fast enough, I thought. Late October 2006, I was supposed to go mtbiking with friends, but the forecast turned into yet another grey, soggy weekend. My friends suggested we go to the climbing gym, just to get out of the house and do something. My choices were a) ride the trainer for an hour and stare at the wall, or b) go hang with my friends in the climbing gym. I chose option b, climbed until my fingers melted and bought a harness, shoes and belay gear on the way home. It was the start of a beautiful relationship and a great learning experience.

Kathy


DoubleChin


Jan 9, 2009, 3:31 PM
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thatguyat99 wrote:
Man I feel dated...
1985 in Linville Gorge with
the Boy Scouts. We used swami's
made of webbing and belayed and rappelled
using a Munter. I loved it.
But didn't climb again and get
my own gear until the early nineties.
Believe it or not, I've never climbed in a gym.

Maybe we "double dated"...

'86... Devils Tower...


robbovius


Jan 9, 2009, 3:46 PM
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first time? outside, at night, free soloing a face climb (5.2 maybe) on the side of rte 2 in littleton MA, sometime in 1974 or '75. there was a small acess pullout at teh top of the cliff, where we'd go to party and climb/scramble on the faces adjacent to the highway.

then a hiatus until 1979, when I worked at GTE in needham mass, and used to spend lunchtimes boudering and free soloing more easy-peasy stuff on a small cliff band at an undeveloped (at the time) knoll in the industrial park wheere I worked (Back then it had only an aerial tower - 300 feet? 500?- for WCVB-TV, now there's also a hotel, and some other business. the cliff band is GONE) Back then I climbed in a beat up pair of dexter tyroleans with vibram soles ( just like my Scarpa Invernos!)

then another hiatus until about 1998, when I used to take my kids to theNatick MA REI on sundays where we all took turns climbing the faux stone Arch in the store.

I finally got serious about it in november 2002, climbing 2-3 times a week at gravity rock gym in franklin MA (closed since may of 2003)

since then I've climbed pretty much exclusively outside, excepting the times I boulder on my attic home-wall.

As far as trad leading, rope soloing, and now, Ice, I'm fundamentally self-taught.


(This post was edited by robbovius on Jan 9, 2009, 3:53 PM)


Styx


Jan 9, 2009, 3:51 PM
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my first intro was in the Marines in a mountian school. But my real love started on a trip to devils lake WI. Never looked back...


Gmburns2000


Jan 9, 2009, 3:58 PM
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Rosyth Quarry - Rosyth, Scotland in Jan of 1999.

I've linked this story before, but it still brings a tear to my eyes each time I read it. I very likely will never stop linking it.


granite_grrl


Jan 9, 2009, 4:20 PM
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First time was outside when I still lived in Nova Scotia. It only took once and I was hooked.Laugh


kennoyce


Jan 9, 2009, 4:28 PM
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My first climbing experience was on the REI salt lake city wall during their grand opening which I would guess to be around 89. I was like 7 years old, and I knew that I would always love climbing.

From that point on, I would try to get my parents to take me to the REI wall whenever possible (like twice a year), and I first climbed outside at a cub scout camp when I was like nine. I found out about other gyms, and would go as often as my parents or the scouts were willing to take me (once again like twice a year) until I was 15.

When I was 15 I had a good friend who also loved climbing with me, so as soon as he turned 16 and could drive, we went in together and bought a rope, shoes, draws, and a belay device (we had purchased harnesses earlier for our very infrequent gym visits), and started climbing in AF canyon where we figured out how to sport climb, completely on our own since we had never lead before.

I soon decided that I wanted to try trad, so we each bought a set of nuts, and a few cams in like 99 when I was like 17, and started tradding it up in LCC.

My first ice experience was in 2000 on Stairway to heaven in Provo canyon.

I didn't do any real aid climbing until like 04 in Zion National park, and that my friends is my journey through climbing up to this point.


boymeetsrock


Jan 9, 2009, 4:30 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
1994 at a crag called Denrock Park in Lawrence, MA. It was a 5.6 on spray painted rock and I got the onsight in converse allstars. I also downclimbed because I didn't want to lower! I remember asking if I could top out over the anchor because I REALLY did not want to lower!


This was one of my first crags too!!!

I learned to climb at summer camp, outdoors. We tied our own swami's for the ropes coarse, but when we went to the crag we got real harnesses. I thought it was SSSOOOOO cool.

Man I haven't heard of Den Rock in forever... Smile


wonderwoman


Jan 9, 2009, 4:38 PM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
Man I haven't heard of Den Rock in forever... Smile

Ghetto and awesome!

I can't remember the name of the climb but it had 'Iron Maiden' spray painted across the top and the chimney area smelled like pee!

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