Extreme Sports Update

Kiteboarding update: My Kiteboarding hero, Ryan Schenk (who will from now on be referred to as: Old Man Schenk), sent me an instant message last night informing me that he had done 20 foot jumps while kiteboarding yesterday. CAPS LOCK BRAVO Old Man Schenk. CAPS LOCK BRAVO.

I am excited for the day when I too will be able to perform such impressive stunts.

Unlike the Cape, CT has had very little wind over the past few days. I’ve been talking to an instructor and we’re going to try to set a lesson up as soon as the wind picks up. There will be kiteboarding, and it will be great.

Rock climbing update: Over the last few nights of climbing I have been able to consistantly perform on 5.11a at the gym. Soon I hope to tackle a few harder 11’s on my quest to 5.12

12 thoughts on “Extreme Sports Update

  • 7/26/2005 at 3:11 pm

    Softball Update: My team won a game last night! Which means we are now 2-12 for the year. (We also lost a game last night, too, to the tune of 24-1).

    Volleyball Update: Tonite, it’s my team vs. VUIG’s team.

    How does the rock climbing difficulty thing work? Why is everything a 5.something? Is there such a thing as a 4.0 or a 6.0? I can climb a ladder. Does that have a rating?

  • 7/26/2005 at 3:31 pm

    Did you zoom in all the way Kurt? it’s cheese!

  • 7/26/2005 at 3:36 pm

    the 5 means “points touching the wall” in this case: two legs, two arms, and a rope. a 2.3 would be an easy hike down a trail, but, as I’m sure many of you have noticed, no one rates hikes like that. it’s just not useful. Even bouldering (where you have no rope… technically 4.something) has a different rating system. the 5.X system is really only used for climbing, it’s just the standard.

    also, this is not decimal. it’s two seperate numbers a 5.11 is read as “five eleven” instead of “five point one one” or “five and eleven hundreths”

    A ladder would probably be a 5.3 or 5.4 depending on its angle to the ground. An average weight individual with no climbing history will definitely be able to complete a 5.5 on their first try, probably a 5.6. If you’re in decent shape, 5.7’s are easy. If you’re tall, thin, and in good shape, 5.8’s are possible during your first trip to a gym. After that it starts getting more technical.

    I’ve never seen anyone complete a 5.9 on their first trip to the gym. 5.9’s take a bit more finger strength and some technical knowledge.

    5.7 and under are considered beginner climbing routes.
    5.8-10 are considered intermediate
    5.10-12 are advanced and anything above 5.13 is professional or near professional. The hardest officially recorded climb is a 5.15a

    once you hit 5.10, people start throwing on letters between ‘a’ and ‘d’ to break it into further levels of difficulty.
    5.10a is easier than 5.10d

    Occasionally you’ll see a plus sign or a minus sign at the end of a number that doesn’t have a letter attached. a 5.10- would be considered a 5.10a. a 5.10+ would be considered a 5.10c or d. a 5.10 without a letter or +/- sign could be anywhere in the spectrum. All this just relates to the American system. Europeans have a totally different rating system.

    Interestingly, routes are rated from feedback. If you found a new climbing spot and tried and completed it, you would have to get the public opinion on that climb before officially declaring its difficulty. This results in lots of variability in climbing difficulty on the lower levels, and especially at gyms where routes always get traffic from the same (potentially biased) climbers. A 5.11 at my gym might be a 5.10+ at your gym.

    When you go outside things get a lot harder. Firstly, many people place their own protection (called traditional climbing), so that makes it much harder to do a 5.9. If someone outside can climb a 5.10 while placing their own gear, they would be considered a very good climber as opposed to a gymrat who would only be seen as a good climber. Also other letters might be thrown on to signify lack of gear placement spots and the like. Once I have more experience outside I will happily share more on this topic.

    Rock climbing is really fun, and a great workout. It’s always a challenge and in the beginning it’s really motivational to see your performance improve with each passing week/month. If there’s anyone out there interested, I will gladly take anyone climbing as long as they can get themselves to the house of rock.

  • 7/26/2005 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks for the explan. I’ve actually been rock climbing a few times, both outside and at a gym. One of my best friends is HUGE into climbing and just moved from Kansas to get to a better climbing locale. And one of my exes got into climbing. And she left me for a climber dude.

    I’m tall and thin (6’4″, 150), which is good, but I also have woefully insufficient strength (emphasis on the 150).

    Orienteering difficulties are in colors. White, yellow, orange, brown, green, red, blue. And that’s subjective, too.

  • 7/26/2005 at 8:21 pm

    Knowing that Patrick is lanky makes it funnier to picture him falling over backwards as a tour guide.

  • 7/26/2005 at 10:07 pm

    I fell down twice. The first (my sophomore year) was by Lindley Hall, and there’s a set of 3 steps that I forgot about. It was ugly.

    The second time was my junior year over my Murphy Hall, again, a set of about 3 steps. Since I’m so tall, as I fell up the steps, my butt landed on the top step. With my backward momentum, I decided to play it off kinda Jackie Chan style, so I did a backward somersault and jumped and somehow pulled it off. The best part about it is that Jeff (another tour guide and frequent commenter on T5T) saw the whole thing and says it was the “coolest looking fall by a gangly dude” he’d ever seen.

    The most embarrassing tour guide moment was when I accidentally triggered the security campus blue phone alarm…. but that story is for another day.

  • 7/27/2005 at 7:09 am

    Its another day…..

  • 7/27/2005 at 11:54 am

    6’4″ and 150 lbs.? That’s not even lanky, that’s probably dangerously underweight.
    You will need muscle to climb, 5.7 and up typically involve a good portion of it, even if you have good technique. We strong people take it for granted, but then we see a skeleton like you struggle on an easy 5.7 after 3 weeks of going to the gym (oh, Javier).
    Though sometimes people surprise you. Like Mike’s (good looking!) friend Kate, who’s like 6′ and 160 lbs. (?) who rocked a 5.8- her first time out. But she’s athletic, whereas I’d rate orienteering somewhere between librarian and accountant, in levels of athletic ability, at least compared to those 5.11s.

    Don’t let Mike fool you. 5.8 is HARD. And 10s and 11s are REALLY REALLY hard. 5.12 is impossible but for select members who go to the gym. I suspect government sponsored super-human project gene manipulation therapy. Imagine climbing straight up a brick wall…only the holds are far apart.

  • 7/27/2005 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, for shame, Sander! Lovely Kate B is not six feet tall. And she is definately NOT 160 pounds. While she probably would not be insulted by the mistake in height, a girl does not like to have her weight guessed at OR guessed at incorrectly and then posted online. So take it back.

  • 7/27/2005 at 12:20 pm

    I respectfully disagree with Sander on his strength comment. Gym fiend Paulina, who can climb 5.11’s without a breath of exhaustion, can’t perform a single pull-up.

    I use this as my proof that climbing is much more technical than it is strength related. however, oftentimes new climbers will try and compensate for technical skill with brute force. This works, up until about 5.8. Then it gets really sticky really fast if you don’t have the technical foundation.

    I think you’ll find that everyone has an opinion about climbing and the only real way to learn what’s what is to try it out and experience the glory.

    And yeah, 160 lbs is WAAY off for the lovely Kate B. Shame!

  • 7/27/2005 at 5:51 pm

    OK, her name starts with a K.
    Also, Mike is right in that it does involve less strength than it sometimes looks like. But you do have to hold yourself to the wall, and hold your hands cocked, and that often gets REALLY hard on your forearms. I don’t mean brute force, I mean you do have to be strong a little in order to stay on the wall, at least in proportion to your weight.

    I don’t remember if Kate was shorter than me or not, so I picked an even number. But she’s over 6’6″ anyway. As for 160 lbs., my ability to guess weight is remarkably bad. She probably weighs somewhere between 0 and 200.
    As for the commenting on a woman’s weight thing, I am aware of this rule of thumb, but I figured I’m far too funny looking a dude to ever see any kind of romantic ramifications of my comment with Kate B, who has it goin on in the looks department, whereas I am somewhere between “eeehhh” and “well, he’s not UNpleasant to look at.”

    Though it definitely does take hand strength to climb well, but anybody can get here just with climbing practice, no gym time required.

    I’ve also noticed people who are athletic are coordinated, confident, and generally not awkward, which is good for climbing. Lanky people sometimes get their only exercise playing Everquest, though Patrick sounds like he’d be fine what with being outdoorsy.

    Am I still talking?

    Who’s the Female Representative? Take off the kid gloves, I’m pretty accustomed to your kind of comment (have you read the Beatles post?).
    Ben, is it you?


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