klättrande på Klätterverket = climbing at Klätterverket


Saturday, 1 Feb. Gaspumpen: the first ever climbing competition at Klätterverket.

Klätterverket= the brand new climbing gym that opened in early October, about 4 blocks from our house. Open every day from 10 AM to 10 PM. Nice to be able to walk down the block, climb the walls, take a sauna, then come home. Chris entered himself and the kids into the climbing competition, remembering fondly doing fun competitions before in both Portland & Seattle.

After the gym opened in October, we remembered how to belay and learned the European system (slightly different). The kids learned how to tie a figure 8. And we've been climbing ever since. Learning to trust a rope = challenging. Bouldering = more fun (for 3 people in the family; I prefer going up).

Learning the moves and how to handle overhangs 
 Fast forward several months to this past Saturday. By now, we've climbed a lot. Our kids are much more comfortable with going up, sideways, or being under overhangs. They were not too excited about a competition.

Below left = belayers getting ready. Picture to the right below: routes headed up, up, up... and not marked to show how hard they actually were.

Getting crowded as the competition was supposed to start. Cool prizes made from old gas valves (the climbing gym is in the old gas works building- makes for a really cool space)

A long face. Do I have to do this? First up for our family, Elizabeth Fowler...

 E. made it a long way up on what ended up being marked a 7a climbing route. Note that this is approximately a 5.11b in the US system (it's harder than I've ever climbed even when I was climbing a lot). She didn't make it all the way up but gave a valiant effort, with recovery aided by a smoothie & a cardamon bun. We didn't realize that each person was supposed to climb three routes, then the top 4 in each category would progress to the finals. After 1 route, she was done. Finished. No more. 

Next up in the family: Chris.  
 Then he fell off. I missed capturing that on film. I'm sure he was not sad that I missed capturing that glorious moment. His goal was to climb until he fell (versus dropping off because he was scared). 

In the meantime, Stephen in the young men's division waited. And waited... with about 17 people in front of him, he was done with waiting, perhaps done with climbing competitions forever by the time it became his turn.
 And then he fell off. I also didn't capture that... just as well. Wait awhile more. Chris did his next two routes and was on them too briefly for many pictures... he figured he'd just take the last place slot as it turned out that all the climbers were fairly good and quite seasoned. He had fun doing it. 

Stephen finally was able to climb route #2. 
And coming down.

Suddenly, it was Elizabeth's turn again. Despite being done, done, done earlier, she simply went up and did her climb. Her last climb and Stephen's last climb were at the same time... entertaining to watch them both work their way up what turned out to be seriously challenging climbs.

After the competition, Elizabeth (with some help) peeled off her number. Her note maybe explains it all. In commenting afterwards, Chris noted that all other (okay, all 2 other) competitions he's done had easy routes. None of these routes were easy. We've tried to climb them after the competition and had to work hard to get a few holds off the ground. Whether the kids will try another competition remains to be seen, though E. was valiant in swearing she was done, but then sticking with it. 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming of simply climbing the walls for fun. We are spoiled by having a gym this nice this close.