Sport Climbing at Big Block

This last Sunday I set my first ever sport route. That’s a little embarrassing I must admit, since I have been climbing for over four years now, one of which was spent leading in the gym. While I am ashamed it took me so long to go outside, it was everything I had hoped for.

I’ve bouldered before at U-mound in the foothills of the Sandias, and the week before at Big Block. Now that I know my skill set you will find me outside more often.

The rock was a bit dirty from the runoff earlier in the week, but I was still able to send the route with minor hesitation. Big Block is a beautiful, north-facing limestone wall that offers many variations.

During my climb I began to experience the same anxiety that I do when I lead in the gym only tenfold. My last draw was far below me, 10ft maybe, and I couldn’t figure out the next sequence of moves to the next bolt. I began to panic and realized that “yes, I am going to fall,” to which I quickly returned with a confident “no.”

I reminded myself of the several feats I have under my belt and that I am a strong climber. I reflected on Alex Honnold’s discussion of soloing, where he stated that it is a mental game and that once that is lost, your ability to make safe decisions disappers.

Join me next week for a mountain biking adventure!



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