Friday, December 24, 2010

You're doing what now?

As my wise mother-in-law just pointed out, "the secret to beginning is beginning."  So here we go.

Anyone who knows me knows that my interests often become obsessions.  Sure, there are lots of things that I love: playing music, taking pictures, eating, drinking good beer.  Then there are the things that I frequently find myself thinking about when I'm not doing them.  In high school, this was wrestling.  I don't know how much time I sat there in class visualizing techniques, often startled back to reality by an unexpected question from the teacher.  A few years later I took up ju-jitsu, and again found myself occupied throughout the day with the subtle nuances of balance and body position, mentally running through katas at any opportunity.  As much as I miss it, my spine didn't seem to appreciate me being thrown to the ground hundreds of times per week, and my time on the mat seems to be on an indefinite hold.

So now we come to climbing.  Ever since my big brother took me out climbing with him in the 80's, it was something I wanted to do.  At first, as is common with little brothers, I think it was just because I wanted to be like him.  He was, and is, one of my greatest heroes.  I remember a day at Garden of the Gods, watching in amazement as he moved upward on holds I thought incomprehensibly small.  And thinking that, one day, I would be able to do that too.

Jumping ahead a few years, I now find myself climbing several days a week, and often thinking about it when I'm not doing it.  Sometimes up the road at Earth Treks, and outside a couple days a week if the weather is good.   Mostly bouldering these days, though not because I really prefer it over roped climbing.  Mainly because I often go out after work, and even if I do have someone with me, I don't want to spend half the remaining daylight setting up and taking down ropes.  It's so much easier just to plop a crashpad down and be done with it.

While I'm a decent climber, there are LOTS of people around here who are stronger and better.  So why am I bothering with the blog?  Partially because it's something I spend a lot of time doing, and it's as good a way as any to keep track of my own thoughts on it.  Partially because I feel like there is a gap in the information available on climbing in the central Maryland area.  While there is a lot of good information on the local toprope and trad routes, it's harder to find good resources for bouldering, aside from a couple sites with some basic problem descriptions and a few pictures.  While basic info is better than none, many people become quickly discouraged when they visit areas such as Northwest Branch, where it often takes several visits to sort through and find the good quality climbs.  What I have found with more detail seems to be more geared toward the area's more elite climbers, and may give the impression that our local boulders have nothing to offer for those not climbing V-Ridiculous.

That being said, while I'll certainly post about any trips (climbing or non-climbing) I take to other areas, my main goal here is to provide more detailed information about the moderate climbs in the Mid-Maryland area.  If someone finds it helpful and is inspired to get out and enjoy the local rock, awesome.  If not, at least I'll have fun in the process.  And maybe eventually figure out how this thing works!

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