Haven’t climbed in a while. My forearms are throbbing and hands are raw, but it’s all part of getting ready to tackle Joshua Tree this summer once again.
Before I head outdoors for some more serious and thrilling climbs I need to get the strength back in my hands and forearms. Today I found myself struggling on some of the easier climbs simply because I’ve lost much of my upper body endurance. Frequent trips to a climbing gym is a great way to build that strength up. The climbs may be shorter and less exhilarating than climbing outdoors, but the ability to train a bunch of different styles of holds without the hassle and time required outdoors is a quick and easy way to increase your conditioning. It’s a real bummer when you set out on a climbing trip and you’re not in the condition needed to complete the climbs.
Last year I did my first climbing trip to Joshua Tree and finally learned what all the talk was about! I did the largest, most difficult, and most fun climb of my life. The climbing opportunities in Joshua Tree are seemingly endless, and any climber looking to put their skills to the test needs to head out there. I was definitely not it the ideal physical condition for the climbs I was attempting, but this year I’m sure to make that different.
Even if you’re an experienced climber and have the the necessary gear, I’d still recommend getting a guide if it’s your first time in Joshua Tree. They know this area really well and it’ll save you a lot of time finding and setting up climbs. Getting a guide even allowed me to do a climb I would have never tried on my own. He did a lead climb up a massive face, which was way more intense than anything I would lead climb, and set up the climb to allow me to top rope. It was an experience of a lifetime. This time, however, I’ll be taking on Joshua Tree on my own, but first I’ll be getting ready in the gym and my local San Diego climbs.
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