Indoor rock Climbing

Discussion in 'The Barefoot Pub' started by The Ramzev, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. The Ramzev

    The Ramzev
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    Does anyone here do this? I just discovered we have a pretty awesome rock gym about an hour from me. My son and I went for a few hours yesterday and had a blast! I'm going to take the class so I am certified to belay.

    It looks like for now I can rent everything I need, any suggestions for gear I should have?

    I wore Merrell True Gloves and they worked fine.

    Here's the gym
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

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    My son went to a birthday party for kids his age, about 9ish, to do indoor rock climbing and lazer tag and stuff. He had a lot of fun. The bouncy places get boring at that age, so it was a nice change for a birthday party for the boys to do. Glad you like it too, Ram! Hee.
     
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  3. The Ramzev

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    I scheduled his birthday party at the rock gym for next month! It's been rough finding something he likes (he'll be 7) he doesn't like soccer, baseball, etc. he like to swim, but not in lessons or on a team. I found out about the gym and he loves it, he wants to go every day. It's an hour away, but if he likes it that much, the drive isn't that bad.
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    For other parties, think about having a swim party, or something else that's really cool are these companies that will bring a petting zoo to your home. There's one that has lizards, and spiders, and snakes, and all kinds of critters that boys like. Then there's the horse/pony riding parties (make sure the kids have helmets). We did a pirate party one time too.

    My husband and I made nearly everything from scratch in our garage. I ordered everything else from Oriental Trading Company.


    Pony party:
    The kids were given straw cowboy hats (blue) and cowgirl hats (red), Sheriffs badges with their names on them, and bandanas (serves well as "party favors")
    Cole wore a cowboy outfit, and some of the other kids did too, although it wasn't necessary since we provided them with the hats and stuff
    a burned wooden sign with Gerken Ranch in western font welcomed the kids with lots of stars and regular balloons everywhere in red, white, and blue
    Another burned wooden sign read OK Corral led to the horseback riding through the paths in our back property with hay bales and cactus cutouts and steerhorn skulls and stuff were laid along the pathways
    Chuck wagon totally decked out with wagon wheels, ropes, canopy, red and white gingham checkered cloths, etc, full of BBQ, western food, and an iron triangle dinner bell my husband welded
    Three star birthday cakes, one red, one white, one blue
    Dinner tables with red and white gingham checkered cloths, hay bales and burlap for the kids to sit on and regular chairs for the big kids (us)
    Bean bag toss through wooden cactus cutout
    Panning for gold with little toys hidden in the sand and rocks painted with non-toxic gold paint
    Cowboy/girl crafts
    Tee pee my MIL made
    Cowboy boot pinata
    Fake campfire setting with hay bales, burlap, bandanas, cards, and poker chips everywhere


    Pirate party:
    The kids were given pirate hats, swords, eye patches, and earring hoops (again, party favors)
    My boys wore pirate outfits
    Burned a wooden sign that read Beware of Pirates in pirate font welcomed the kids along with skulls stuck on long sticks, pirate flags, skull and crossbones, and black, red, and white balloons everywhere
    Tables were decorated the same with fish netting.
    Took a John Boat and made a pirate ship with all the decorative "wood carvings" made from cardboard, with a basket at the top (as a look out) and a pirate flag flying high
    A plank for playing Walk the Plank off the side of the "ship" over a kiddie pool with shark fins (I can't remember if we blind-folded them; I think we started to, then said that was a bad idea and stopped doing that. Hee.)
    Treasure hunt that included a treasure map that had the layout of the back yard and clues in "pirate language" burned (to age) envelopes that led the kids around the back yard from one point to another until they found the big X marks the spot and uncovered a treasure chest that had mini treasure chests full of plastic coins, candy, and other favors
    A pirate ship pinata

    I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, damn medicine, but you get the idea.
     
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  5. Wideguy

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    Careful. Climbing is one of those slippery activities. I've done both, indoors and out. You can start racking up gear pretty quick once you venture outside. And if you like it, you should. Gym climbing is to outdoor climbing what treadmills are to country roads.

    That said, keep renting the gym stuff, chances are the harness is a fairly good brand and reasonably maintained, and stresses on gear on indoor top-rope climbs are very minimal. If you decide you're doing it enough that the $7 /day rental fee is a bite then decent harness will start $50 and up. Climbing shoes (ironic on this site but but there will come a time when trail gloves won't be snug enough to grip if you push harder climbs ) will run you $75-$100 . Your own belay device will run $20-$60 depending on what the gym requires.

    But for gym, basics will be Harness, Shoes and BRD (Belay Rappel Device)

    EDIT: Oh, Chalk bag with chalk (or chalk ball if the gym prohibits loose chalk) Anywhere from $5-$50 depending on how fancy a chalk bag you want.
     
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  6. RunningPirate

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    I wanted to add a couple of bits to this. When you're ready to buy gear, check to see if your gym has packages (harness, shoes, chalk bag) - I think I got all of my stuff for $135 or so with the package at my gym (Planet Granite). Is it the bestestest stuff to be had? No. But it's a) safe, and b) perfectly adequate for a hacker like me. As Wideguy said, if you venture into outdoor rock climbing, get ready to bend over and say cheese - you'll spend a small fortune in goodies...and love every minute of it! :D

    Also, be mindful of buying used gear. Something innocuous like a chalk bag or even shoes (sometimes the gyms will sell the used rental shoes - all you need to do is maybe goo-up some holes and you're good to go) - go for it. As for harnesses...not saying that you cannot buy a safe, used harness, but I'd be damn careful...it's not that I think someone would purposely pass off a damaged harness or anything (the climbing community seems to be fairly cool), but the thought of buying a used harness gives me a squidgy feeling. New is inexpensive enough.

    As for climbing shoes, I've heard of guys climbing in VFF's...you can do it, but I like having one big contact point (as opposed to several little contact points), but YMMV.

    Also, know that you can just do bouldering, which only requires shoes and chalk - no harness...you don't get to climb as high, but you get one helluva workout (it also helps you build problem solving skills)

    Enjoy!
     

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  7. Longboard

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    I remember in the early days of rock climbing seeing barefoot climbers indoors and out.
    Did that completely die out?
     

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  8. Jennn

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    I agree with everything said about gear and when/if to purchase. I haven't been climbing in forever, but I'm planning on getting back into bouldering mostly and maybe a little climbing too. I've always found bouldering to be much more challenging and a much greater workout than climbing. The other bonus to bouldering is that you don't (technically) need a partner since you're not on a rope and harness. Always nice to have someone spot you though, in case you slip.
     
  9. RunningPirate

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    "Hey, can you spot me?"
    "Sure - you're right there on the ground next to that rock you just fell off of."

    Spotter. :D

    But, agreed that bouldering is much harder than top rope climbing...though I can't quite figure out why (unless, I've been relying on the rope more than I originally thought, which could be the case...)
     

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  10. The Ramzev

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    Cool thank, lots of good info here! We did actually do a lot of bouldering when we went on Sunday, it's cheaper since there's no equipment, belayer, etc. needed. And you're not kidding about it being a workout!
    Since I live in the flat lands of Delaware there's not much chance I'll be doing too much outside. There is a big hill a few miles from me but it's a landfill so...no thanks.
     
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  11. peacekaren

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    We've been climbing with the kids for most of a year now and love it. The kids found the club's harnesses uncomfortable. They're adjustable for child through adult, but they're not optimized for the smaller climbers. I bought them each a Black Diamond Kids' harness from REI and that's worked much better for them. (Edit: I forgot -- I got my son (6) the kids' harness. My daughter (11) was between sizes so we went with an adult ladies' extra small for her. Just thought I'd add that in case anyone is considering the kids' harness and wondering about sizes.) REI also had the adult's Black Diamond harness kit on sale while I was there, so I picked up that for myself. My husband still uses the club's harnesses. My kids and husband use their minimal shoes for climbing, I have a pair of climbing shoes. The indoor gyms do not allow barefoot climbing.

    We have a really cool local park with a big artificial rock set up for bouldering. We climb barefoot there.
    [​IMG]

    Peace,
    Karen
     

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  12. Wideguy

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    Because bouldering, from it's very inception, has focused on short bursts of intense effort and difficulty. They refer to "Problems" instead of "Routes." They seek out and hammer on what would be considered the "Crux" moves on most routes. And gyms feed into that. The top rope routes in most gyms, especially the easier ones people will start on, will usually be vertical or slightly less than vertical, with larger holds, allowing you to use the much greater strength of your legs for most of your support.
    Boulder problems are nearly always inverted, overhung and usually smaller hand and footholds that require larger pinch and crimp strength and a lot more focused and controlled movements. They also put a lot more strain on your arms, which are probably less used to holding your full body weight than your legs, and core muscles to support your body and stay in close to the wall.
    And although less so in the gym perhaps, you DEFINITELY want a spotter when you boulder. The inverted nature means that very often when you get spit off a more challenging problem your first point of contact will be your back or head. It's a common mistake to underestimate boulder problems because you're "only 5' or 6' off the ground. "

    If you do go to buy gear, another avenue to consider are sites like Acme climbing . Acme currently has a full Beginner package for $130, new. Features a fully adjustable Mad Rock Harness, Mad Rock shoes, Chalkbag, BRD, Locking Biner ... Mad Rock is a respected brand so quality wouldn't be an issue.
     
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  13. Wideguy

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    As for barefoot climbing, sure there are people who still do. But the early days of climbing, when people's footwear choices were running shoes, mountaineering boots or nothing, nothing gave a much better rock contact feel and connection. Modern climbing shoes are very form fitting and soled with super high friction rubber compounds that aid in traction on the rock. Much better adhesion than bare skin could ever provide. Plus, especially with new climbers, footwork tends to be less controlled, more slipping and flailing to find holds. It's a sure recipe to tear up your feet if you're just starting.
    That said, it might be an excellent exercise, like running barefoot, to force you to make more controlled choices with your footwork. But a big flapper on your big toe will bring an end to your climbing day in a hurry so be careful.

    Edit: And Ramsev, yeah not a lot of climbing in Delaware but you're an easy weekend trip from the Gunks in New Paltz, and withing range of New River Gorge and some decent climbing in SW Penn. If you get into it that is.
     
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  14. NickW

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    So in other words you're saying the older barefoot climbers are much better climbers than those of today that need technology and sticky shoes to climb....:cool:
     
  15. Wideguy

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    Let's say that only people with superior technique and skills can probably have much success climbing barefoot.
    That said, likely you wouldn't find many "old skool' climbers who would pass on the new shoes, given the choice. ;-)
     
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  16. NickW

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    There's someone on here. part of the BRS who rappels barefoot, maybe he also climbs?
     
  17. Wideguy

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    quite possibly rappelling is much less friction and pressure on your feet than climbing actually is, many people rappel barefoot off the top of long lead climbs just to get out of very tight constrictive climbing shoes. It's like taking off ski boots or hockey skates after a while. LOL
     
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  18. Longboard

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    That rappeller was Acuah. After we saw the pics of Richard Branson's inaugeration of his Space Center including rappelling down the new building barefoot with his kids as well as the pros Bob posted his family barefoot rappelling shots here somewhere.
     

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  19. Barefoot TJ

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    I thought this thread was about kids' parties. My oh so bad.
     
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  20. Longboard

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    Sort of like skateboarding. Many of the most accomplished guys & gals from the 70's rode barefoot, but with the choice of workable footwear today they see no need to risk any added injury potential.
     

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