Farting shoes, biting carabiners & other lesser-known hazards of rock climbing

23 Jul

A couple of months ago, Mommy Dearest and I drove up to Grand Forks to go shoe shopping. No, not that kind of shoes; I mean this kind of shoes. When we were trying on the shoes, the shop lady said we should try them on without our socks so we would get the proper fit.

Me: But I always wear socks with my shoes.
Shop lady: No one wears socks with climbing shoes.
Me: Really? Not even the rebels?
Shop lady: No one.
Me: Will people laugh behind my back if I wear socks?
Shop lady: No, they will laugh to your face.
Me: Okaaaay.

So we bought the shoes that fit our naked feet, but she forgot to warn us of the side effects. Climbing shoes are smooth on the inside and pretty stiff, and also have a bit of a curve to them so when you walk in them with bare feet, they make rather realistic fart sounds as your feet flatten out the curve of the sole. Really classy. Maybe she was lying about the no-socks rule just to mess with us.

Anyway, Sunday Mom and I had plans to go climbing at the Y. Don’t ask me why, but I foolishly agreed to Ian’s suggestion that we ride our bikes to the Y instead of driving. I don’t know WHAT I was thinking. The “feels like” temperature was 97 degrees. Who goes for a bike ride in near-100 degree heat? Idiots, that’s who. Idiots coated with lots of sunscreen, though, because I am mostly Norwegian and therefore sunburn instantly.

Mom and I haven’t been climbing together in quite a while, so we fumbled a bit. The first time I went up the wall, I had trouble keeping a grip on the holds and it took me a little while to realize why. You see, as I climb my hands sweat. This is normal. Usually I just wipe my hands on my jeans and keep climbing. This time, that didn’t work because the sweat on my hands mixed with the sunscreen to form the most unhelpful anti-grip solution in the world. So for future reference, if you are going to climb and need to apply sunscreen, wear gloves. If for some reason you need to lubricate your hands, put on sunscreen then go rock-climbing.

Also, did you know that if you are belaying for someone and they fall unexpectedly, the force of their fall when the rope reaches the limit of elasticity can actually lift you off the ground for a split-second and might also result in a spectacular wedgie? There really is no subtle or dignified way to remove a blue-jeans wedgie from your bum. Just saying.

Then later after Mom went climbing, I was removing the carabiner from my harness so she could use it to belay for me, and the little bastard snapped shut on my finger! That might not sound like a big deal you guys, but that mofo really stung. And THEN, as we were leaving Mom realized that the belay rope had peeled off a layer of skin on her hand.

After climbing only a few times each, we were both dripping with sweat and decided that we really need to get back on a regular climbing schedule so that it’s not so freaking difficult  the next time. And we rewarded ourselves by going out for frozen yogurt after we left. Yes, I realize this sort of cancels out the exercise but it was flipping hot and we worked hard. We deserved it. Shut up.

After all of this, I STILL had to bike home from the Y in the near-hundred-degree heat. But at least this time the wind was at my back instead of in my face. Needless to say I did not do much of anything else after we got home.


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5 responses to “Farting shoes, biting carabiners & other lesser-known hazards of rock climbing

  1. mareserinitatis

    July 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I’d be inclined to drive to the Y and skip the yogurt. 🙂

    • mareserinitatis

      July 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Of course, I have no heat tolerance whatsoever…this is what happens when you work in an air-conditioned building all day.

    • karifur

      July 25, 2012 at 7:40 am

      Well the yogurt was a last-minute decision. We had already biked to the Y before we decided to have yogurt so there was no going back at that point.

      • mareserinitatis

        July 25, 2012 at 8:03 am

        If you’d already decided to bike, the yogurt was the right way to go, then. 🙂

  2. Emily Guy Birken

    July 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

    You totally deserved the yogurt. The universe was telling you so, what with the farty shoes and bloodthirsty carabiners and all.


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