Me, A Bat Wannabe

Not surprisingly, the day after my climb I was rather sore. Muscles hurt that I didnt know existed! But I was in Mexico and determined to enjoy it if it killed me. So when my guide suggested Bouldering, what else could I say? Of COURSE I wanted to try something 3x harder than what I did yesterday! Of COURSE I wanted to hike a mile to a cave situated on the side of the mountain on aching muscles – behind a guide who seemed maddenly inexhaustible! Why not? After all, he only suggested it because he said I did so well on the climb the day before – how could I let him down? And besides, it only cost me $30! :)

And so I packed a backpack with brain food (mangoes!) and set out for day of bouldering. Bouldering is basically rock climbing, only upside down. You see, instead of climbing UP a mountain, you climb ACROSS a ceiling.

hangin-around.jpg

This requires immense upper body strength, since your legs are really only good for balance in this position. It also requires you to be able to hang on to a rock with two or three fingers on each hand, supporting all your weight with them and stick your leg up between them in front of your nose to get your next toehold!

So ideally, training for this would involve studying under a contortionist, while doing one-handed chin-ups. But really it was a lot of fun. The goal is to travel from one point to another on the ceiling, without touching the ground. This can be difficult or almost impossible, depending on the size and availability of hand and toe holds.

But there is some good news. Before I left, I saved a load of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico! Err. Actually, I made that part up. Seriously though, the good news is that your partner follows along behind you with a heavy mat in case you fall. And if you fall, its only six or eight feet.

Anyhow, I did this for a few hours, in various configurations, and it was a lot of fun – although I left with raw fingers – until finally I simply couldnt do anymore. I dont mean in the sense that I was tired, or fatigued. My arms simply would not move. My biceps were so tight (when I was relaxed!) that they seemed ready to burst. I just couldnt make them move any more. So, at that point, I decided to call it a day.

I do recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity, it is a LOT of fun, but be prepared for a serious workout; and if you cant do a chin-up, you probably wont enjoy Bouldering.

And it rained for the next three days, so I didnt get to do much. Set around the hostels community kitchen, got to know a nice family from Monterrey by playing several games of concentration and Jenga, talked with some American geologists studying the area, and used the free high speed internet to advantage; I find it ironic that I cant get high speed where I live, but I can get it on the top of a mountain in the wilderness of Mexico. Go figure. Well, next time Ill tell of my hike to the top of the mountain, which started well, and ended badly.

2 Responses

  1. David K, Seattle Says:

    thank you, yes, i was JUST visiting the link to your blog!

    i have some intermediate mountaineering (seattle!), and hired a young man who climbed with scott fischer at makalu and taught him rock climbing i prefer snow and ice by a wide margin.

    thank you, david
    dk-transform, icc
    friend of GM Seirawans!

  2. Natnee Says:

    After this, Im eager to try more climbing and maybe some actual mountaineering someday, but Im not crazy about being cold (thats why I live in Texas!)

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Posted on July 2nd, 2007 by Natnee and filed under Mexico |

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