Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back on the Rocks

me bouldering in mammoth

When I met Bruce 15 years ago it was through rock climbing.  I was a beginner and he was an instructor.  He had been climbing for years when I met him. It was his passion, or should I say obsession.  We climbed for years together in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and on the island of Mallorica.  For 7 years this was what we did, every weekend, all time.  We mostly sport-climbed.  Then I injured my arm, climbing of course.  I had to take time off, which ended up being 8 years.  I started doing other things like triathlons and then once I quit Bruce & I decided to try another sport - surfing.  We surfed for a few years in California, Hawaii and then Costa Rica.  It was fun, but super scary for me.

Then we move to cycling and that's been our passion for the last 5 years.  But now that we have decided we'll be moving back to France and the village where we will be living (St. Antonin Noble Val) is surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs with superb climbing, we decided to start up again.  There is also the Verdon Gorge in Provence, Fontainebleau just south of Paris for incredible bouldering and tons of place in Spain for sport climbing.

Last weekend when we were in Mammoth Bruce bought a new pair of climbing shoes and I rented a pair and we went out bouldering.  Bouldering is where you climb without a rope.  It's not free-soloing which is where you climb long routes without ropes (no thank you) it's short moves on a rock/boulder that's maybe 10 feet high at the most.  Super fun.  We were hooked, again.  I had to laugh because when we climbed 8 years ago, Bruce was an amazing climber, very talented and devoted.  I was the girlfriend, so I went where he wanted to climb as he was working on very hard routes.  I never got to be a beginner, I ended up climbing or trying to climb routes that were really hard.  But now we are both starting over, it's to my benefit that he's taken 7 years off.

Bruce climbing at the Happy Boulders just outside of Bishop

Yesterday we went into Rockreation, which is an inside climbing gym in Los Angeles.  Bruce worked there for many years as an instructor and course setter.  We haven't been in the gym in years but our good friend Blane who manages the place gave us passes to come in whenever we wanted.  So yesterday we spent a few hours bouldering at the gym.  Today I'm very sore.  I bought a pair of climbing shoes too and a chalk bag and we are now ready to go!  We are going back to Mammoth tomorrow for a week, so I'm sure we'll be back on the rock a few more times.

It's fun to be back climbing.  So much of our past revolved around climbing and getting away from the chaos of the city.  There is so much climbing where we are moving it would be a crime not to touch the rock and only look at it with amazement and awe.

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