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KitCatherine

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Wow Social Work, eh! You probably already know hundreds of climbers already then, but just don't know it. You are probably the most valuable person who has joined this forum in years, except maybe for that Nodder person :rolleyes:

 

I take a lot of crap for going into Social Work. Its a difficult field to work in, and because Washington is a state where the title of "Social Worker" is not a sanctioned job, it means people who may have NO training, can be called Social Workers. In 35 states, the title means you have a Masters in Social Work, on top of ongoing training. In Washington and Idaho, this name can be applied to anyone, regardless of formal training, or what the job actually entails. So, we are often met with adversity, because in this state, its a bad rep.

 

I actually don't know a single climber. The ones I KNEW are no longer in the area, or I have lost touch with them. My husband is all for me doing this and continuing to learn, and he said he was interested in seeing if HE liked it, as he has never been on long hikes (we did a lot of hikes through Mt. Rainier's Glaciers) snowshoeing, wall climbing, etc. So, I have a supporter and possibly a partner in him, but other than him, I know no one.

 

So my intial plan is to get the books, read them, do a snowshoeing day trip in February, and start down at the rock climbing gym to get my feet wet again. Oh, and join the Spokane Mountaineers Club. Sounds like a good start?

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in that case, the gym would be a great place to start, though it might take until spring to get outside but that is ok. maybe ask if anyone is headed to vantage and wouldn't mind if you tagged along. i mean, you will probably be totally pumped after 4-5 routes, so someone here might not mind helping you get up and out for the first day. you are right though, you just have to get out to make new climbing friends.

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Gym would be good. Usually they have a beginner course to get you schooled on belaying and knots and what not. Having hiking skills is a great first step, as a lot of climbing is actually hiking (approach). Make sure you throw in a MOFA (Mountaineering Oriented First Aid) class and some survival schooling too, to round everything out. I find it funny how most newbie people fear climbing, or mountaineering, or hold it at a higher threshold than such things as hiking. It's all a matter of getting comfortable on the terrain which is pretty straight forward in Washington. Now go to Alaska and you might "bite of more than you can chew".

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in that case, the gym would be a great place to start, though it might take until spring to get outside but that is ok. maybe ask if anyone is headed to vantage and wouldn't mind if you tagged along. i mean, you will probably be totally pumped after 4-5 routes, so someone here might not mind helping you get up and out for the first day. you are right though, you just have to get out to make new climbing friends.

 

Talk to CBS or I and we'll haul you around Vantage sometime next spring. We love newbies :wave:

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sounds good to me (more motivated than anyone else i know), other than one thing, just go to the gym tonight, why wait if it is something you want to start doing?

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Enselson-Because I work 3-11pm the rest of this week! :) During quarterly breaks, I work 40 hours to make up for lack of schoolwork. Plus, I want to drag my husband with me, and he works overnights while he is in school, so he is sleeping right now. In January, when our classload is back in full swing, we have Fridays and Saturdays to spend with each other, so I will start then. For now, its read, listen, and learn.

 

Weekend_Climberz-I will probably take you up on that! :)

 

No doubt I have ANY issues taking first aid and survival. In my brain, thats #1. Feeling safe and secure matters most.

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Weekend_Climberz-I will probably take you up on that! :)

 

Just to warn you, there's usually lots of fun going on and everybody has a good time, so if this doesn't fit into your regime I suggest you look elsewhere. Also, if you can't sense sarcasm in typed words, then you should also find someone else to climb with. :rolleyes:

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you work way harder than me. hopefully you are at least online in your master class, slacking at something!!!! or else i will feel bad about myself

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I work part time at a local gear shop here in MN, so by no means do I want to discourage you from buying gear, HOWEVER...

 

I wouldnt just get something because a book reccomends it.

Wait until you get out a bit with others and see what they use and have to say about it.

I guess I just figure the more I can help someone SAVE money on needless purchases, the more they will have to spend when they know what they want/need. If they like what they have, it will assist in their enjoyment of the activity.

 

When I went to buy my first rope, a friend of mine said, "Do you climb with people who have ropes?" "Yes", I said. "Then what do you need one for?" Truth be told, I didnt need it yet. I needed more experience. Just be curteous of the fine line between never having any gear to share and excessively buying things you dont quite need yet. Doesnt sound like you will have a problem with that , as you seem to be a reasonable person.

 

Anyway, the gym is a great way to go as a start. Personally I dont like the gym and typically only go when I need extra training. Thats not to say there is anything wrong with it. Its just not something "I" enjoy for my own personal reasons. Had I not started in the gym, though, I doubt I would ever be climbing.

 

Funny story at the gym when I first started. The friend I was with said she recognized a guy near us who ice climbs. Like a dork, I walked over to him, introduced myself and asked if he would take me ice climbing. Well, he wouldnt (hehehe). He did give me a number of a one of his friends who might. I called and that guy is now a great friend of mine, who taught me well and introduced me to a whole new community. The smartest, bold move I have ever made in my life.

 

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you work way harder than me. hopefully you are at least online in your master class, slacking at something!!!! or else i will feel bad about myself

 

We don't have any classes from December 7th to January 7th. :) So, not slacking, just in between quarters on winter break. But, don't feel bad. My chinchilla business keeps me sane, working my job on break keeps me busy, and finishing school gives me hope for a retirement! LMAO

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Kit, you've got lots of answers, I will add that the best way to get in shape to climb is to do a variety. I would put #1 as hiking, with weight! I personally put 2 liter bottles in my pack and hike the local hills, which are not much being in the SF bay area. Work up to the point where you can push your aerobic level. Add a little bike riding, weights if you can, and lots of hiking! Good luck.

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you work way harder than me. hopefully you are at least online in your master class, slacking at something!!!! or else i will feel bad about myself

 

We don't have any classes from December 7th to January 7th. :) So, not slacking, just in between quarters on winter break. But, don't feel bad. My chinchilla business keeps me sane, working my job on break keeps me busy, and finishing school gives me hope for a retirement! LMAO

 

Chinchillas are aid

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Anyway, the gym is a great way to go as a start. Personally I dont like the gym and typically only go when I need extra training. Thats not to say there is anything wrong with it. Its just not something "I" enjoy for my own personal reasons. Had I not started in the gym, though, I doubt I would ever be climbing.

Climbing gyms: some people love 'em, some hate 'em, some tolerate 'em. But they do have their place. Lots of fine climbers started in gyms. Maestrette (spousal unit) is so hooked on rock climbing that she can't stand it until the next chance to climb. Know where she got that? Yeah, in the gym! You also meet potential climbing partners there. So I would suggest to hang out at the gym as much as you can squeeze in - at least in the winter when you can't get outside much.

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The gym is an outlet till the snow and ice melts from the cracks (unless you climb ice of course). It's a good place to keep in climbing shape. I'm in there 3 or 4 days per week with a big and happy group around 4ish (2:30 on Saturdays). Stop in an say hi or join us for sushi and beer after.

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As for an opinion on REI...

 

REI is a large successful company that has managed to expand across the nation and in essence, corner a very large share of the outdoor retail market. It is not uncommon for small locally owned shops to fold their doors as a result of an REI in the same city/neighborhood.

 

REI is failing to staff its stores with enough trained, knowledgable staff who can give you solid beta on the gear, local routes, or other pertinent data. I am not saying that all their staff are sub-par, but it's a rare day that I find someone in the store who knows what the heck they are selling. The company is large enough to absorb losses at certain stores and re allocate funds from other locations to ride out bumps in the local economy. Smaller locally owned shops can't compete. They don't have the reserve capitol.

 

Some of us feel that if folks would frequent the smaller locally owned stores and boycott big box stores (home depot, walmart, target rei ect ect ect) then it would give local owners a better foothold in the market place. That would benefit the consumer because then we can go to place who employs people who know their stuff. We, as a consumer, get better service, more knowledgable staff, and a better feel for buying local.

 

The downside of small shops

 

they may not have the gear you want, when you want it. With smaller inventories on hand, they gotta prioritize what gets retail space. They are always eager to order it for you and can have it in a week, but that does nothing to help you replace xxxx item for the weekend trip tomorrow. Solution...be organized, plan early.

 

Sometimes an elitist attitude may form. That's a managment issue. If you, as a consumer, feels your dollar is not welcome in a store, I would recommend letting the manager on duty know. Beginner or seasoned vet, your money is the same color, your business is just as important as the next guy. Just because you don't know the difference between a standard static rope and a dynamic double dry doesn't mean you should be treated in any way but courteous. Most small shops know this and do well by it.

 

I could go on for awhile but I'm just rambling and watching myself type.

 

In short, in my opinion, REI has turned into a faceless Big Box Store and smothers smaller, independent retailers. It pushes out the little guy.

 

They can offer better prices on some items and then there is always the member rebate at the end of the year. However, if there are no other retails where you live/play, then you don't have much of a choice. REI does carry name brand high end gear. You can find Metolius, Black Diamond, Patagonia, Camp 4, and other reputable dealers. As a neophyte, these will serve you well for many years to come. When you start bagging the 8000 meter peaks, then you may want to upgrade your kit a bit.

 

After all that babbling, I guess the bottom line is you can find what you want at REI, but you lose a little soul. Support your local small business owner, they are working hard for you.

 

Good luck and congrats on the weight loss..it ain't easy, especially being a student while doing it.

 

Steve

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Tim, I did email you. I normally never work Saturdays (except this one)so I am thinking I will swing in the Saturday after Christmas to see what its all about and just watch you guys for awhile. Wild Walls gives a college student discount on monthly memberships, so that works for me!

 

I want to thank all of you so much! I am certainly not done with this thread, but i hope to join up with some of you this winter and spring (yeah, I am in for the Vantage thing ) and learn, learn, learn.

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You can also get $5 tickets from the college. At least Eastern was selling them anyhoo. Not sure where but a friend of mine used them last year. A big savings over the monthly rate if you're only coming in once or twice a week. I'll look forward to seeing you next weekend then. We'll be the rowdy group of 6 or so - throw something at us when you get there :)

 

I have extra shoes (size 8.5) and harnesses so if you wanna climb too, just let me know.

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Kit

 

Tim/spotly is a great guy and good climber. I climbed my first alpine tech climb on his lead. You will not regret hooking up with him. Go for it you will love it!!

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I have to take that class first! They are all in the evenings, which isn't good, because thats when I work! If I have an evening off next week (I haven't seen my schedule yet) I will take the class and join in on the following Saturday. Otherwise, I will come down at around 3 on Saturday the 30th (if I don't work, i normally don't) to watch you all. Just let me know if you guys cancel, so I don't come out and be a fool.

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Welcome to the dark side Kit! You'll love it here :moondance:

 

Mountain Gear :tup: I get the impression that Mountain Gear is what REI used to be. The folks there really know their stuff.

 

When it starts to warm up, you might look into top roping stuff at Minnehaha down on the Spokane river. Some good stuff and you can't beat the commute from Spokane :P There is also some TRing at Treaty Rock in Post Falls and along the Spokane River just downstream of the Post Falls Damn. Talk to the folks at Mountain Gear they should have a good idea.

 

Definitely take CBS and Weekend up on their offer. Both good guys :tup:

 

I think the biggest part of conditioning is finding a good cardio activity that you enjoy enough that you'll actively on it's own. Either that or find someone independent (not your husband) to train with. There's nothing like the guilt of knowing someone is waiting for your ass in a cold parking lot to get you out of bed in the morning. Your husband can go, but if it's the two of you it's too easy to back out.

 

Have fun!

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Hey - thanks to KitCatherine for getting this convo going. I've been too much of a pussbag to ask many of the same questions. Lots of encouraging words here for nubs generally.

 

My own situation is different and I know requires a reality check. My spouse is major outdoor dude, has posted here in the past, came later to climbing than to other activities (backpacking, paddling etc), took a Mazamas class last year, summited Hood, summited a few other peaks but nothing he feels was super difficult. I really want to be able to keep up with him.

 

Need for reality check: While climby spouse was taking his class & summiting Hood & all that other good stuff last year, I was... preggers. And now we have a lovely little Center of the Universe whose schedule takes precedence over mine.

 

So, how unrealistic is it for me to want to take up climbing, given that I'm also in charge of a very active 1-year-old bambina? Should I just stick w/ the Kelty Kid dayhiking, carcamping, yadda yadda for now? Any other parents who wanna chime in to tell me I'm naive or selfish, and how much of those, have at it. THANKS.

 

 

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Damn, I got booted off before adding that I do have decent motivation for this. Want kiddo to be able to share in this with all of us, and to know both mom & dad are capable of climbing. But I may be way on the premature side here. Thanks for even reading my dribble...

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