note: this post was written by Emma, the HC ambassador from GLAM climb of Texas. Emma fucking rocks.
Hey kids, this is Emma – y’all probably don’t know me because I’m a broke ass who spends her money on bicycle parts instead of climbing trips. I do most of my climbing in the Austin area with GLAM, I’m not too horrible at it. Yesterday I went out and did some fucks up so bad, I thought I’d write a list for y’all so you won’t repeat my mistakes. I had a lot of time to think about this list while I was clinging to the rock fifteen feet above my last bolt and about a foot away from the sport anchors while not being 100% on belay.
1) Always check your rope. All of your rope, not just the first 30 feet. I don’t care if the person who first took you rock climbing was the last one to pack it up. Check it every fucking time. If we had checked the rope yesterday, I wouldn’t be writing this list. We didn’t check the rope. That’s why I was stuck up on the rock while my belayer and a kind stranger were working on removing a massive knot from the middle of it.
2) Take your freaking slings up with you. Yeah, they look pretty attached to a tree holding all your extra quick draws but you spent $50 bucks on that shit for CLIMBING, not organizing. If I had taken the extra 30 seconds to attach the extra 1/8th of a pound to my harness, I could have just clipped in to the chains and hung out all protected and shit.
3) If you’re not going to take your slings up, at least take an extra quick draw or two, even if the climb you’re on has sport anchors. I usually take two extras, but this time I only took the exact right amount for the bolts like a fucking dumbass.
4) You know that hard route you can climb? The one that you can usually get set up but it still challenges you? Don’t warm up on that one, climb something easy first.
5) Keep your insurance card on you*. Or at least a copy of it in your gear bag. I had my insurance card in my extra wallet that was in my car…at my climbing partner’s house because we carpooled in her car. Had I fallen, not having my insurance information would have created one more thing I’d have to deal with, possibly in a motorized wheel-chair.
6) Did I mention checking your mother fucking rope? Really, check your rope. Might be a good idea to have your belayer check it, too.
*#5 might only apply to people in the US. I don’t know how Canadian health care works since all the Canadians I know are sexy motherfuckers that don’t inspire thoughts of health care when I look at them.