Climbing at Planet Granite

Plante-GraniteClimb number two is complete. I mentioned last week I was heading out to Planet Granite to climb with my new buddy, Ellen.

She’s the blog reader turned friend, who contacted me out of the blue to see if I wanted to meet up for a climb last month. Of course I said yes.Ellen-Nancy

It makes me incredibly happy to get a few hours of climbing in, and I’m hoping to become a regular at some point, as the gym isn’t too far from our house. I’m thinking of getting either a 10 clip pass or a monthly membership to the gym, since it includes CrossFit, Yoga, and Climbing. I’ve only climbed in a handful of gyms in Newfoundland and Ontario, but Planet Granite is the biggest climbing gym I’ve ever been at.

Given the fact it’s 25,000 square feet with tons of bouldering, 60 foot walls, 110+ top ropes, there are so many areas and “rooms”. This is one of the areas where we like to climb a few easy routes to warm up our muscles. It’s also where you can purely crack climb or get claustrophobic and climb into a closed space as you can see in the left picture below. Not for me, especially if it’s rated harder.crack-climbing

I couldn’t capture the essence on how huge the place was. They have a spot off to the side with a yoga room, an area for weights, treadmills and even a decent sized gear shop. Plus the staff are super friendly — which is pretty even across the board. Every climbing gym I’ve been to, staff have been awesome.

Notice how there isn’t any tape on top rope climbs? I found it a little strange at first, but you simply follow the colour of the holds rather than the tape. They tape the routes for boulder problems, though. Plante-Granite-gym

Can’t believe we managed to climb for a solid three hours. My hands were only beginning to get sore by the time we were done, which I’m surprised considering how long it’s been since I’ve pulled on plastic.

It’s great that Ellen and I are on the same level of climbing, where we both can easily climb 5.10’s. I attempted the yellow 5.11b in the picture below, getting a few moves up and failing miserably. I might give it another go on fresh hands next time.

Here I am below, deciding to get out of my comfort zone and getting ready to climb a very stemmy 5.9. 59-climb

Those routes scare me a little, since your legs and arms are sprawled openly like you’re climbing up a chimney. I don’t trust my arms mantling (even though those are some of my favourite moves) feel like I’m going to fall and scrape my face off the wall.stemming

For my birthday last year, Scott got me a pair of Lasportiva Katana’s, which I’ve still yet to break in. When I headed to the gym late last week, I made sure to wear them for a few routes.

There’s even a freakin’ slackline set up in the back of the building which Ellen and I had a go at. The ground was covered in rubber bits to soften your falls.Slack-lineI haven’t been on a slackline in a few years, and never been good at it. However it was fun to give it another go. Justin did a great post last year on 5 reasons you should slackline, I agree 100% on all the points he makes.

Hoping to meet up with Carla after school’s out to have a climb at the Planet Granite SF location, which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge on some routes. Crazy!?!

Have you ever climbed?
If you live around the Bay Area, I’d love to take you!

Are you afraid of heights?
After all these years of climbing, I am still terrified of heights.

When climbing, do you like to boulder, or top route (or something else?)
I love top roping since I’m more of a technical climber than a powerful one. I reserve bouldering for when I don’t have a climbing buddy.

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