Thursday, October 6, 2011

Indoor Vs Outdoor climbing

I recently, and finally, got around to visiting San Francisco's Planet Granite and while I'm primarily an outdoor climber, I have to say it was pretty nice. I have admittedly limited experience with indoor climbing facilities but this one seemed like a good one. It was clean and well maintained, with friendly staff and a nice crowd of climbers in a range of skill levels, something the gym seemed set up to accommodate.

I'm really a fan of being outdoors as much as possible and I like the solitude that most of my favorite climbing spots offer but it was a nice change to have some company as well as a cushy landing area so I could be a little more daring and care free about just climbing. I think if I climbed inside too often I'd train myself to take bad risks outside, not something I'm interested in doing. Though, while I'm happy taking a slow and calculated approach to my ascent there was definitely real value in being able to work on technique and push some boundaries in relative safety.

The drawbacks were that it was much harder to just "zen out" and lose myself in the rock, a habit that I'm certain contributes to my lack of getting "stuck" or suffering from writer's block. I'm also pretty fond of topping out, making a cup of coffee or something and getting some work done in the most literal sense of working "remotely". As long as I have cell signal, I can write, edit and fire off emails or make calls. Not something I see myself doing at a climbing gym. I also wonder if climbing in a gym would ever fully feed my need to momentarily "get away from it all" but today, I have to admit as I look out at a rain soaked San Francisco, the climbing gym sounds pretty good.

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