Friction Series

Planet Granite held a climbing competition at their SF location yesterday. I missed the one at my home gym last month, and have been coveting people’s comp tees ever since. So I decided to go up there and get my own.

I had no idea what the format would be. I wondered what category I belonged in. As it turned out, I didn’t have to decide! Our 25 routes were ordered by difficulty, and not visibly rated. We simply climbed what we thought we could from looking at the route.

I’ve never fallen off the wall so many times in one day. It was awesome.

Not that I like falling, but I generally climb what I think I will probably be able to complete, based on rating. These days, that means I mentally top out at 5.11a and 5.11b routes. (Knowing that I do this and remembering to change my behavior aren’t quite in sync yet.)

I have no idea what I tried to climb yesterday, but everything I attempted was a challenge. Every time I fell off, I added a new skill to work on to my list.

Here’s to falling! *clink*

At the end of the day, we watched the top 3 male and female climbers compete in an on-sight final. I loved the radically different styles between climbers. In the end, only one climber reached the top. I had seen her at my gym in the mornings practicing super hard bouldering problems, trying and failing, trying and failing again, while her mother took notes.

Trying and succeeding. Trying and winning. I love seeing hard work pay off.

I also love all the fun events my gym puts on. What a great way to encourage member interaction and build community. Thanks PG!

I love my comp tee.


  1. Having mental images of judging a climbing competition with scoring categories of fastest up the rock, most sideways travel, order of first to last to fall, farthest fall, farthest fall complete to the ground, number of things hit on the way down, most creative falling…

    • Someday I may learn to like falling, and maybe then I can start working on the art of winning a deebeecee climbing comp.

  2. Should have put in that all falling will be done safely and without injury…

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