Climbing to the Top in San Francisco

Indoor Rock Climbing

Me climbing the ABC wall

I’ve tried outdoor rock climbing once before in Alaska, but never indoor rock climbing. The first time I tried rock climbing I really struggled, so I we nervous to try it a second time. Surprisingly, I did quite well. I also enjoyed it immensely and can’t wait to do it again. I think training at a Crossfit box for over a year definitely helped me with the strength,  endurance, and mobility components of rock climbing. I started off on the beginner wall (with a rating of “0”, or the most basic) literally climbing alphabet letters. Shockingly, I got to the top and reached “Z” in no time. After a short rest, I was challenged to try a wall rated at 5.6. To my surprise, I reached the top after a couple short breaks on the way up! I have no idea how I went from the baby wall to actually rock climbing a “real” wall.

Indoor Rock ClimbingIndoor Rock Climbing

Indoor Rock ClimbingPlanet Granite in San Francisco is located in the heart of the Presidio with an incredible view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The gym offers 25,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering (not yet at my level) terrain. I was wonder struck walking around the gym admiring the skill of other climbers.The walls in the gym are rated from 5.0 (easy), starting at the alphabet wall, to 5.15 (most difficult) with rope climbing and bouldering (rope free).  Due to the fact that I am completive, I wanted to challenge myself further by attempting a wall rated 5.7. With my cousin belaying me from below, she encouraged me as I went up the rock wall. I made it to the top with determination (and a few mid-breaks along the way), although I did cheat a little by using a few nearby 5.6 foot holds to support me along the way when the 5.7 holds were too far out of grasp. It was an incredible learning experience. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and was successful.

Indoor Rock ClimbingIndoor Rock Climbing

Indoor Rock ClimbingI’m glad I didn’t let my pervious experience of rock climbing prevent me from trying it a second time. When I first tried it, I was glad that I tried it, but didn’t think it was for me. I really thought that I wouldn’t do it again. One of those once in a lifetime experiences, but not again type experiences. I’m glad I overcame my hesitation to try it again, because I fell in love with indoor rock climbing. I wish there was a rock climbing gym close to where I live. I could really see myself going regularly. If I hadn’t of given it a try I would never have known that I loved it. I’m so proud of myself! I hope to continue to pushand challenge myself to try new things throughout my travels over the next 11 months. May the journey continue.

“All the bright and precious things fade so fast…” The Great Gatsby, 2013

View from the climbing gym

11 thoughts on “Climbing to the Top in San Francisco

  1. I almost signed up for this once.. then I remembered I have no upper body strength what so ever. Were there any prep courses offered before you did it?

    • Actually, it’s supposed to be mostly lower body strength (even though I kept relying on my arms at first). Yes, the gym offers technique courses which would definitely help with climbing. I didn’t take the course since I went with two trained climbers. I just jumped in and they helped me along the way. The technique course would have helped a lot though.

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  3. Well done 🙂 I know how you felt. The first time I climbed on the indoor wall I was petrified, but I’ve been climbing for over three years now and I can’t believe how far I’ve progressed. I saw the climbing centre in San Francisco when I was there, and I wish I’d had time to try it out. Keep it up!

    • You will have to try one of the climbing gyms in San Fran the next time you are visiting. It was well worth the visit! I had a lot of fun and it taught me a lot about myself! What other extreme sports are you into? Where have you climbed?

      • Other than climbing and skiing, I’m a bit of a wimp actually! I did a bit of outdoor climbing in England when I was a kid, but I took up indoor climbing a few years ago and I usually go to the climbing wall twice a week 🙂

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