A couple weeks ago I joined the climbing gym here in Lima to test the waters on getting back into the sport. I only had to put in a couple training sessions before the guys who run the gym offered me a spot in the weekend line-up.
I was both nervous and excited to rope up on real rock. What if I didn’t like it anymore? What if I was too scared to do it? What if my spanish translation of the climbing command “WATCH ME” or “FALLING” was misinterpreted for “SLACK” by my Peruvian belayer, a scenario that would not be completely out of the question.
Well, I guess the timing was finally right to find out. After being sidelined by a nasty ground fall almost 5 years ago, I’m officially back into rock climbing.
Everything felt great. My head was a little off, but the big concern was my feet (both were severely broken in the accident), and they were fine. Frankly, I was surprised that I remembered how to climb. It’s not exactly an “off the couch” sport. I even managed to scratch my way up a 5.12.
This has motivated me to really start training again. If I can get back to climbing 5.13 before we leave Lima, I’d be set up perfect to do some big walls when we roll into the climbing mecca of Argentina next. (Lorenzo & Dragon, Patagonia is calling, time to saddle up).
Sending my first 5.12 in 5 years
The guys in the local climbing scene are super cool. I’ve made some good friends and we’ve been out to the crag 3 times now.
I think Stevie is really enjoying my climbing days away. She gets an entire day to herself without me following her around the house asking… “Have you taken your prenatal vitamins today? How many grams of protein have you had? Did you practice your breathing, do your hip openers, take your iron?” (Seriously though, those are important questions).
The rock around Lima is sharp granite that climbs well. Lots of edges and creative lines. I’ve got some good photos of the area below.
Although the climbing around Lima is solid, I’m really trying to get up to the climbing areas near Huaraz in the Andes, about 8 hours away. Those rock climbs sit at an altitude of 14,000 feet and are supposed to be the best in Peru. We’ll see if I can talk one of these guys into making a weekend trip. Until then, train train train.