Some of my favorite sessions this summer were indoors! I hit the gyms in Burlington and NYC a few times each as I passed in and out of the towns. One of the best parts has been seeing old friends from non-climbing land get stoked and strong.
In NYC, I went to Brooklyn Boulders once every pass-through, to meet up with Fenoglio for a catch-up-&-crush session. I knew Sarah when she was in high school, then hair school, like ’03-’05. When she started bouldering a few years ago we picked up our friendship over our newly mutual passion. This pic is from the beginning of the summer when I was first in town. We went to BKB again when I was on my way back down to Texas from South Africa. Her technique and confidence had undergone a massive shift between our visits. She’s come full force into that special place in the bouldering process where you can do all the V4s in the gym, and like, none of the 5s. I told her “The 5s will always be kinda hard, and some will always be impossible, so you might as well start falling off of 9s now too just to mix it up.” Lord knows that’s been my method. My dream of dreams is that Fenoglio and I get to climb outside together this year.
In Burlington I spent rainy days at Petra Cliffs. The pun of the name didn’t hit me for a few weeks. When I returned from the Rocklands my aunt introduced me to Annabelle, who along with her friend Sophie, was just getting into climbing and absolutely loving it. The girls (both 12) and I went to PC a couple times together for a basic “real bouldering” session. I taught them how you have to start with both hands on the “V” hold, feet and butt off the ground, or it “doesn’t count.” They were hilarious, and started to develop these powerful personal styles right in front of me. Sophie could balance for a year with a jib and a sloper on a face, and Annabelle curled up like a bat then blasted to full extension between jugs. Climbing with them, and listening to myself explain little climbing-isms to them, made me realize how far I’ve come in this game, and how that whole “give it away to keep it” contributes to my personal happiness and satisfaction.
Also in NYC, I went to Chelsea Piers, the weirdly-negative-reputation sport climbing zone in Manhattan. For some reason there’s a lot of anti-CP sentiment among the northeastern climbers I know. I guess because it’s expensive, rarely reset and limited (only like 20 sport routes on one wall). I can see that, but I loved it anyway. The Chelsea Piers wall is enormously tall, with fun juggy routes out a pretty long roof section. I had a blast climbing there with Emilia and her NYC friends Igor, Mikhail, and Sylvia. Of course it was so much fun connecting with E over her first love, sports action. There are lots of noob folks taking lessons and getting their first exposure to climbing, and the vibe is fitness rather than culture-oriented, humble and awesome. I’d take an afternoon clipping bolts at Chelsea Piers over a DJ’d disco bouldering world cup format systems training series pretty much anytime.
So that was some good times on the plastics. Jeeze louise my life is awesome. I feel very grateful and psyched going through these pictures.