Tuesday, January 27, 2009

almost wobbled

i guess it's this week. i'm not sure why. i seem to be attracting the inept and inexperienced. on the road, in the gym, on the metro. there has to be some causality. instance number 103 from this week.

last night at the gym, i tied some knots so i could pull on some vertical plastic. i was still a little weak from friday's epic session which saw me work and send two V7s, a V6, a few V5s, and countless made up shenanigans (including playing takeaway on one of those V7s!). in any event, my biceps were sore and not willing to crank very hard on anything, much less what the strong(er) boulderers were inventing on the 45 degree wall. i convinced rob to put his harness on and climb some routes.

first one i get on is a wicked sloperfest of a 5.11. heel hooks, long deadpoints, and few rests snake their way up one of the tallest walls in the gym. did i mention it's slightly less than vertical the whole way up? flash pumped, my forearms fail me about three-quarters of the way up. as i chalk up and rehearse the moves, i notice movement below me. some kid clipped himself into the auto-belay and was now climbing below me. for you non-climbers, this is what's known in the climbing world as a bad thing. no matter your brain function, you should realize that climbing beneath someone who is probably going to fall is probably not the best idea for your safety, much less the other climber's.

"hey. you shouldn't be on the autobelay while i'm climbing on this rope," i say calmly.

"oh, i'll be okay. our routes don't cross, and i'm sure not going to fall," he responds rather snidely. my blood begins to boil as about 10 feet above his sight, our routes did indeed cross, and i took his falling comment as a i'm better than you kind of jab. which was not exactly the case as he was on a 5.9 jug haul.

so, i hang dog until he gets up and downclimbs so that he doesn't hit me when he releases his grip(!). i haul myself on, cruise the last few moves on adrenaline, and rob lowers me.

at this point, i'm fixing to toss a wobbler at this kid.
Tossing a wobbler” means throwing a fit after trying really hard and failing. A corollary is that wobblers are most often “tossed” (Britain) or “thrown” (U.S.) by sport climbers when they fall—usually a recurring fall at a specific high point on a route (though a fall henceforth from any point lower than this is equally wobbler-inducing). Tossing a wobbler is not limited to sport climbers, and boulderers and alpinists have been known to “throw mean wobblers” (slang). Trad and aid climbers, however, typically never toss a wobbler because trad climbing is too scary and aid climbing is too boring to justify anger.

not only was he stupid, he was arrogant about it and unapologetic. i could've throttled him. it was no better on terra firma. i kept my composure, though my italian blood was cursing lemme at him.

and thus ends your climber lingo lesson for the day. time to go play in the snow.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Sometimes at the gym I see climbers that remind me of Derek Zoolander....this sounds like one of them.