Monday, January 30, 2012

Found Something New

So I mentioned in my last post that I had started rock climbing a bit. Joined the local gym and even yesterday I went outside for my first bouldering session. Which, I learned, is in the same area where I ride my mountain bike all the time- which is within walking distance right behind my house!
Now is that me in the picture? Hardly. That is Chris Sharma, one of the more well known climbers in the sport who is constantly pushing the limits. Climbing crazy things like this and other 5.15 c/d routes which up until he came along, most people thought would be impossible to climb.

This is a video off a cool website called Climbing Techniques. A great site for people like me who are pretty new to the sport but want to learn as much as possible. This is Sonnie Trotter, climbing one of the most difficult "trad" (stands for traditional) routes around. The route is called the Cobra Crack out in Squamish, British Columbia. Rated at a 5.14 b/c. As I understand it. A 5.14 is really hard. A 5.14a is harder, and a 5.14b is pretty much impossible. The farther down the alphabet it goes, the higher difficulty without breaking into the next category- a 5.15. And the same goes for a 5.12, 5.12a, and so on. I know any climber who's reading this is yawning at this point and I'm surprised they haven't moved on to another blog, or the latest cute cat pics on imgur, but by telling you about it- I'm teaching my self! Huray!

So, for these past 4 days I haven't been working. I took time off to head up to the X games which just finished up on Sunday. But as it goes, plans fell through and by staying home I was able to even save some money. I haven't been riding or skiing much since I twisted my knee the last time I was on the slopes. My first knee injury skiing, and I was very fortunate that it was only a minor one. A sprain in my left MCL, or the ligament which runs along the inside of your knee. It definitely could have been worse. I hit some rocks which put a burr on my inside edge. So when I continued down the slope it caused the ski to pull out from underneath me and spun me around while my left leg was pulled up the slope-without me. It was this that has me taking a good look at Knee Bindings. If you've never heard of them, and you ski a lot- check it out!

These bindings have a third release point in the heel that acts the same way your toe releases. So when you fall, like I did, and your heel is trying to twist out of the binding, it actually releases instead of tearing your ACL or MCL in half. I was informed that the rates of ACL injuries are skyrocketing, but the good news is these bindings seem to prevent many of these injuries. In fact, even though the company is only two years old, they have no reports of any major knee injuries. Now will they prevent all injuries? No. Does wearing a helmet mean you won't get a head injury when you crash? Nope. But I'm glad that I was wearing one for the four I've broken in bike racing. So, save your knees. Try 'em out. And when you buy them, bring them to me and I'll mount them for you!

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