This weekend we enjoyed a sunny, warm day of climbing. It was warm enough to be comfortable without a coat, which is incredible for the end of December in New England. At the same time, it was cold enough to take advantage of good friction. Lots of people were outside soaking up the rays and enjoying the warmth. Many people were in high spirits and eager to start up a conversation. Almost everyone who walked by said hi, even if I was mid climb. It seems like everyone feels happier with the typical winter chill holding off. With all the great opportunities to get outside, we hope this is close to how the winter stays.
It has been especially nice having all the extra days off due to holidays. We are hoping to get in some New Years climbing. Lately, we’ve been climbing at Lincoln Woods in RI. The rock has been mostly dry, with the exception of pieces of certain climbs. The approach is simple, so when the temperatures do drop, we can easily grab our portable heater out of the car or another layer of clothes and keep going. They also have a bathroom that is still open despite the park being sort of off season, which is always a nice bonus.
This weekend Josh did some climbing at Pond Cave, and I found a little wall not too far off that had some really fun climbs. They were chalked up, so I know others have climbed there before, but there is nothing in the guide book. While it would be nice to know what they are, there is always something so pleasurable about not knowing. It is cool to think you have a little area to yourself, even if it is a bit chossy and technically not a place I discovered since there was already chalk. The mystery of it is fun as well. You can easily get a pretty good idea where the grade range is. It has some big holds, some good feet, its going to be below V4, etc. However, sometimes removing the pressure of knowing exactly what it is and should be can be liberating. If you can’t tell, I’m the type of person who tries to climb all the new gym climbs before the grades go up. I find I usually try harder because maybe it is hard, but maybe its not and I really should do the best I can. I also seem to be more aware of my limits. Instead of thinking I can do this because it is in my grade range, I’m more in tuned to what my body just doesn’t want to do or doesn’t feel okay with. There can be a lot of benefits to not knowing, like there can be benefits to knowing.
Either way you want to look at it, we got in some really fun and challenging climbing. Honestly, we love outdoor climbing far too much to give up in the winter. We usually are out there even when the snow is to our knees. However, this incredible weather is certainly spoiling us. We are looking forward to finishing more projects at Lincoln Woods, heading up to Pawtuckaway, and hopefully taking a big vacation soon. Perhaps to Joes Valley or maybe back to our absolutely love, Bishop CA. We’ll see how things go and hopefully get some more posts up. Hope you are all out there enjoying nature! Good luck with your climbing goals as we head into the New Year. We’re sure 2015 is going to be an awesome year for climbing. Though 2014 definitely had some incredible moments that will be hard to beat, especially for female climbers.