"You know you're old when" revisited

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Jane Merr » Sat, 07 Nov 1992 09:10:37


--

My husband and I started rock climbing last fall, and are
now avid climbers, and continuing to improve technically all
the time (very satisfying).  Here's my question.  We're both
40 years old (darn, all those years we could have been climbing
but didn't know) and are wondering how aging affects
climbing abilities.  I assume strength and balance diminish
sometime along the way, and that one might have to be satisfied
with lower-difficulty climbs.  Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
old climbers out there?  How many years climbing do we have left?

Another side question, how many folks out there climb with
their spouses?

-----------------------------
Jane Merrow, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Portland, Oregon

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Steve Strickland, sg.. » Sat, 07 Nov 1992 14:06:01

Quote:

>--

>My husband and I started rock climbing last fall, and are
>now avid climbers, and continuing to improve technically all
>the time (very satisfying).  Here's my question.  We're both
>40 years old (darn, all those years we could have been climbing
>but didn't know) and are wondering how aging affects
>climbing abilities.  I assume strength and balance diminish
>sometime along the way, and that one might have to be satisfied
>with lower-difficulty climbs.  Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
>old climbers out there?  How many years climbing do we have left?

>Another side question, how many folks out there climb with
>their spouses?

>-----------------------------
>Jane Merrow, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Portland, Oregon

Well, I'm 37 and I expect to be climbing a good many years yet (though my 3
kids are putting a SERIOUS cramp in my climbing; actually my current plan has
one of them dragging me up ASTROMAN in about 15 years).

Also, John Gill is still cranking away well into his 50s. And I used to see
Fritz Weissner doing routes in the Gunks when he was in his 70s.

As long as your climbing enjoyment doesn't depend crucially on a climb's grade
(and the continual escalation thereof), I think you can almost climb 'til you
drop. Quick reflexes are not a key factor in climbing while strength and
endurance (and technique) can be maintained pretty well (though increasing them
gets harder).

Lots of rock jocks move on to Alpinism as they get older (e.g. Bridwell,
Rowell). Bridwell's around 50 now. Climbing had 2 part series a few years back
on climbing after 30 (or something like that). I remember feeling encouraged (
"Well, Bridwell's older than me; Rowell's older than me; etc.").

I think it is pretty reasonable to climb up to 5.11 or so for quite a while.
The main limitation (IMHO) is that climbing competes with so many other things.
When you're young, it's much easier to channel most of your energies into one
thing. If you can still do that, you shouldn't have much trouble.

-Steve Strickland

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Nancy Jens » Sun, 08 Nov 1992 07:05:43

Quote:

>Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
>old climbers out there?

A friend celebrated her 60th birthday by climbing the regular
route (5.9) on Fairview Dome (Tuolumne Mdws, Calif., USA)
in five hours.

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by wayne trzy » Sun, 08 Nov 1992 02:58:29

Quote:

>--

>Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
>old climbers out there?  How many years climbing do we have left?

I know a guy in his 60s who climbs 5.11.

--

-Wayne Trzyna

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Stewart Maxwe » Sun, 08 Nov 1992 08:52:01

The only local you are guaranteed to see on any given weekend
at Quartz Mountain, OK is 50(?)-something Jane Ritchie.  Her
son, Mike, got her into climbing a few couple of years ago, and
she's since made a trip to the Bugaboos.  She climbs 5.10+.

Speaking of Quartz, Bob Kamps was through there a couple of weeks
ago.  Now there's an old fart.  Many of his contemporaries are
still climbing, like TM Herbert and Chuck Pratt.  I met a 50+
woman in Jackson, WY last winter who climbs with that crowd
regularly in JTree and the Valley.  I'll leave it to someone else
to ask how old ENM is.

Look for a back issue of CLIMBING from a couple of years ago with
a story about the South Dakota Needles/Mt. Rushmore.  There were
a couple of brothers who spent the summers climbing there after
they retired from farming in Iowa.  These guys were in their late
sixties at the time and leading 5.11 only a couple of summers
after they started climbing.

On climbing with spouse:

My wife is my favorite partner.  If we don't get along when we are
climbing, the chances are we wouldn't get along doing anything else,
either.

So long BillW, and thanks for all the stories,

Stu
(lurking no more)

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by John Mort » Sun, 08 Nov 1992 11:14:05

Quote:

>--

>My husband and I started rock climbing last fall, and are
>now avid climbers, and continuing to improve technically all
>the time (very satisfying).  Here's my question.  We're both
>40 years old (darn, all those years we could have been climbing
>but didn't know) and are wondering how aging affects
>climbing abilities.  I assume strength and balance diminish
>sometime along the way, and that one might have to be satisfied
>with lower-difficulty climbs.  Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
>old climbers out there?  How many years climbing do we have left?

Bob Kamps is about 60; supposedly he can lead 5.12.
Allen Steck is 66 and leads in the mid-10's.  Both of these folks
(and most of the others I have known since the early sixties, who
still climb) are at the peak of their leading ability now,
except for the really strenuous stuff.

John Morton                                     University of California

{decvax,cbosgd}!ucbvax!euler!jmorton            Machine Shop

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by BLANCHARD DAVID OW » Mon, 09 Nov 1992 14:20:49

Quote:

>--

>Another side question, how many folks out there climb with
>their spouses?

>-----------------------------
>Jane Merrow, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Portland, Oregon

My wife and I are regular climbing partners (and approaching 40)

David Blanchard
Boulder, Colorado

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Tim Schneid » Wed, 11 Nov 1992 00:53:27

Last weekend at JT my friend Scott (41) bagged the most stars and the
most difficulty for the weekend when he finished a 5.11b over in the
hall of horrors.  I (28) followed him on it only after much*** and
lots of falling!  Sandy (>40) also made it up.  

None of the other "twenty somthings" even cared to try!  They just sat
on the rock in the sun and offered "helpful" suggestions, while eating
all of Dan's (18) food!

great weekend, great weather, great climbing, great friends!

--
            tim schneider


  uunet!asuvax!hwcae.honeywell.com!timsc
           (602) 436-3078

 
 
 

"You know you're old when" revisited

Post by Jeff Elis » Wed, 11 Nov 1992 01:27:39


Quote:
> My husband and I started rock climbing last fall, and are
> now avid climbers, and continuing to improve technically all
> the time (very satisfying).  Here's my question.  We're both
> 40 years old (darn, all those years we could have been climbing
> but didn't know) and are wondering how aging affects
> climbing abilities.  I assume strength and balance diminish
> sometime along the way, and that one might have to be satisfied
> with lower-difficulty climbs.  Are there any 50, 60, or 70 year
> old climbers out there?  How many years climbing do we have left?

I'm sure you will get lots of encouragement here, but I will add to it anyway.
You should have a lot of years left.  I'll be 33 soon.  I'm lighter and much
stronger than I was in high school.  I climb much better now than at anytime
in my 20's.  I don't see an end to this trend of improvement anytime soon.

Examples:
 - Fritz Weissner climbed 5.8 into his 80's.
 - The mother of the Le Menestral brothers leads 5.12 in her 40's.
 - A local climber just turned 60 and leads 5.11.

It's all in the attitude (and maybe a little in the training).

Mort