Name your climbing walls

Two days before my climbing session I received an email from my climbing buddy. It was a photo of all of the routes being reset.

What?! I have been dreaming about the blue cave route and how to get across to the next bit. I felt a bit sad, but also excited, because now I get fresh routes for my next session!

My friend had suggested that I name the walls, which will most likely help me remember the different routes which I seem to find so impossible.

This is what I was thinking about at 4am this morning as I lay in bed unable to get back to sleep. A million thoughts racing through my mind, some good and some bad. Mostly I thought about running and climbing walls. I’ve decided on three wall names:

  1. The Cave – for obvious reasons
  2. The Spotlight – the one in the bright light, talked about more in my previous post BEST CLIMB EVER: Analysis
  3. Giselle

Why Giselle? This wall is probably my favourite. It has a positive slope, so it’s a safe place. Giselle, to me, is a comfortably podgy, trusting aunt-like figure. She’s not boring though, she has an interesting past and can be unpredictable and difficult to read. Giselle was a wild thing and she’s happy to share her wisdom.

Two things:

  1. I realise I may have taken this wall naming thing too far
  2. I wonder if Giselle used to be a classy mistress or similar. No? Just me who thinks that?

So now I need to name the rest.

I don’t feel inspired by the others yet, so I figured I’d just decide on what the breakdown should be, so I know which walls I’m naming.

There’s the warm up wall. It’s full vertical, no slant. It’s always the first one I climb, with an easy black route or two. Other non-warm up routes on this wall have been tricky, so I think the name has to be predictable but with an air of danger/excitement…

Around the corner, right next to Giselle is the wall I underestimated last week. I nearly fell off because it has a slight positive angle and I forget that bits of my body can upset my centre of gravity when they meet unexpected or particularly lumpy holds. Let’s just say it, I’m talking about my hips and boobs. Sorry, it’s a fact. Surprisingly, it doesn’t really happen with my shoulders, which I tend to think of as being rather robust for my height. So this might just be Lumpy. Not sure about that.

On the other side of Giselle is one I don’t really climb, it’s vertical and often set with routes I can’t do – I’m going to park that one for now. Then there’s The Cave, which we’ve done.

Around the corner is The Nook. I just decided that. It’s not very wide, it’s the one I smeared my way up the pink route on last week. I have liked routes on this wall in the past as well. The Nook it is.

Further around we have the ugly wall. It would be wrong to name this after a (fictional) woman as with Giselle. Probably wrong to name it after a man too! For now, it’s just the ugly wall. Maybe I’ll call it The Mutant.

After this, there’s a sort of bridge, which splits off to the left to a serious overhang and on the right is the spotlight wall. On the way to The Spotlight is a nice corner, probably deserving it’s own name. Hmm. I’ll put a pin in that.

The overhang wall is basically my nemesis. I don’t hate it. Mostly because it never hurts when I fall off. It’s a straight drop down because of the incline and my bum is never more than 3 feet off the floor because I can’t do overhangs. It’s basically totally out of my league which makes me want to call it something stupid like The Cool Boy or The Prom King.

I realise I will have to explain all of this to my friend who will laugh at all of my names. I will probably have to issue him with a spreadsheet, because none of it will make sense to him. Oh well. 

Back over to the other side, opposite Giselle and the cave, there are four sections of the same wall. From left to right:

A tiny corner, where the blue route I kept getting stuck in was.

A mini cave, I’ve never climbed anything in that.

A slight incline with a jutty-out overhang bit which I have only managed to complete one route on.

Finally, the gnarly section which has two edges and a surprising number of routes crammed into it. Neither love nor hate this bit — I’m sort of indifferent and unfazed by it.

There are four more, but we hardly ever climb them, so I’ll park them for now.

I apologise for the slightly rambling nature of this post, well done if you’ve made it this far! I have only really learned, or confirmed two things in this process:

  1. I have a tendency to overthink
  2. Naming the walls does help me remember the routes. Even after the event, so that was a good idea…



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