As much as we would love to climb all day every day, sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes, we can’t climb for days, weeks, months, or more. It’s the worst.
But we don’t always have a choice in these things. So, why not front load all the awesome things we would have done during our break from climbing? If you find yourself in this position, here are some climbing bucket list items that our team would love to do before their hiatus from climbing.
My list may be a little too reachy (pun intended), but why settle for anything less than what you want?
- At least 1 week trip to favorite crag
- Attempt every single route at home gym
- Endurance day (i.e. 24HHH lite)
- Night climb at local crag
- Take a massive whip
- Catch a massive whip
- Climb with a crag dog
- Rappel on tallest routes
- Jumar and take climbing photos for friends
- Rescue gear that another climber left
- Day long multipitch
- Burn out on a route with permadraws that I had 0 chance on
- Successfully climb & clean a route with natural anchors
- Develop my own crag
- Climb with theDIHEDRAL
Top priorities when forced into an extended break from climbing. (High-Clip’s list is so much better, I think if I was forced into an extended break I’d start by asking High-Clip to make me a list).
- Climbing plays a central role in my mental health. When I can’t climb, I need to find other outlets to help reframe my focus. So, I would make sure to have alternative pressure relief valves lined up. Friends, family, exercise, hobbies, shows, games, all greatly help alleviate the void left by the absence of climbing.
- Books. From cookbooks to philosophy, when I can’t climb physically, it helps to “climb” mentally. Having a chance to catch up on the books that have been waiting for my eyes to cross their pages always makes me feel inspired. I’d make sure the reading list is ready to go!
- Gotta hit the crag one last time and make arrangements to surround myself in nature while out of commission.
- 1st last climb = a session to just burn out. I mean climb until I can’t climb any more. Fingers aching, muscles pumped, clothes drenched in sweat, and stumbling into #5
- Post 1st last climb food. After burning out on the wall, I’d have to just go nuts on food, whatever I was craving at the time, I wouldn’t even think about it, I’d just go all in. Whether it was pizza or tamales or pizzales, I’d refuel like a semi-truck on “E”. I almost never get dessert but based on the efforts of the 1st last climb, I’d go hard on some rice pudding, or mango cheesecake, or triple chocolate mousse, or maybe all of it?
- Last last climb = a session to just pay attention. Most of the time we can’t predict when we’ll be forced to take a break, so if I know ahead of time, then I am going to do my best to drink in the moments. I don’t think I’d make a big deal about it; I would just climb like it was any other day, but I’d try to capture the moments along the way, the things we take for granted, the things that make climbing so special.
- I’d be pretty ceremonial about putting my gear away. “You are a good rope, and we will meet again my friend.”
- I’d let theDIHEDRAL community know that the content may temporarily be a little different and I’d hope for support here as well.
- I’d place affirmations in so many random places. Just little reminders all over the place, reminders that whatever is going on can be managed and used to grow.
- Victory WHIP. The last climb of the last last climb would be a whip for sure. I don’t love whipping, but I’d want to make sure the last climb of the last last climb was memorable.
This is a starter list, but please add more items in the comments!
5 Replies to “Climbing Bucket List”
I have actually had my “last climb” but it was a last run. I didn’t know it. It was in late 2004. What I carry with me is the memory of a run with Ariel that led us to a perfect meeting with a mountain lion, Angust 4, 2004. I’d hoped for that for years, and there she was.
A few months later, I wasn’t running any more. I thought I would again after my right hip was repaired but that didn’t turn out to be the case. SO…climb every climb as if it is your last.
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Aw man..I’m so sorry that you didn’t get to get back out there. Yes, you are so right!
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It’s OK. Like most broken hearts you get move on. Then you’re open to new experiences and different ways of seeing. You are transformed, too, whether you know it or not. It’s all good. But, the cougar. ❤️
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I originally typed, “get over it” but changed it without proofreading. I don’t think we get over all the broken hearts, but we move on.
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