The Heights

Panel one and two feature my renditions of the Rockville Earth Treks climbing gym. For those of us who climb, there are two types of people in this world: those who love climbing and those who don’t yet know that they love climbing. Whenever I can, I try to bring my friends to the climbing gym and throw them up on something.

I have to admit that I’m almost exclusively a gym monkey. There are some decent places to climb outdoors here in the DC Metro area, but most of my free time is in the evenings when it just doesn’t make sense to climb outside. Also, we don’t have our own outdoor gear so it’s a little more difficult to just spontaneously hit a crag without some prior planning. The gym makes it easy to climb whenever we get the urge.

As for the fear of heights? Well, I’m still fucking terrified of heights. There are times when I’m paralyzed with fear on a rope and just can’t move. But dealing with the fear gets a little easier the more I climb. It’s a lot of damn fun and I highly encourage everyone to try it at least once. If a fraidy cat like me can get up a 40ft. climb, fucking anyone can do it!

  • Jordan

    Pretty much. I’ve basically been a gym rat climber for the last fifteen years. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

    These days I almost exclusively boulder. Which is a shame, because I feel a much greater sense of accomplishment about the hard lead routes I’ve done in the past than the hard bouldering problems I’ve done, but it is nice to stay closer to the ground. Except when my gym has a highball bouldering event. It’s fun, but… unsettling… to be up that high without a rope, even if you know there’s a three foot deep crash pad underneath.

  • Fish

    I love rock climbing and I found a place near where I live, but I only ever go there now to boulder cause it cheaper. Although I have loved few times I got a chance to go climbing outside.
    I made a horrible mistake to climb some of the high ones with friends (I have no idea the actual name for them) then to go bouldering right after in the spare 20 min we had. my fingers were dead, I would get most of the way up and then just feel my fingers slip off the handhold.

    By the way, I’m going to be going to school in Boston, anyone know a good place to go there that a college kid could afford?
    I go to Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria if anyone is looking for a place to go in that area, its next to the Van Dorn metro stop

  • kelsey

    O_O i wanna go rock climbing so bad. it looks like so much fun.

  • Awesome Music Vids

    Finally there are more sports! Comics should all have more sports. Just like adding a cop to a story, adding sports adds so many possibilities. And the style is developing really well, especially for something done all outside of the computer.
    Incidentally, I can’t wait to get my new Pitt manga markers to color my comic art without photoshop, although I’ll need to learn to use them. Does anyone here use Pitt artist markers (artist pens)?

  • Jamie

    @Jordan, I’m much too much of a chicken shit for lead. I took the lead class and the last thing we did was falls and that completely scared the shit out of me.

    @Fish, I think there’s a big Boston gym, Boston rocks or something. Ah, here it is, Boston Rock Gym.

    @kelsey, anytime you wanna go, we’ll get you up on a wall!

    @Awesome, I think Adam Hughes uses Pitt pens for his sketches.

  • Mikey D

    Oh yeah! Awesome rendition of the gym! I remember the first time I pulled around back of the Marlo building and thought… “This looks kinda shady, did this Webcomic artist invite me back here to kill me?”
    Then I went climbing with you and it was awesome.

  • chami

    I live a few minutes away from Rockville Earth Treks, and I have to wonder – do they have auto-belayers? I haven’t climbed since I left Indiana, and none of my buddies are really into it.

    Auto-belayers have that one terrifying half-second of free-fall when you let go though. -_-

  • Jamie

    @chami, no auto-belays at Rockville. There was a big recall of one of the auto-belay systems a few years back.

  • Jordan

    @Jamie It just takes some getting used to. Even top ropes are freaky for a little while until your brain starts assuming that you’ll be O.K. when you slip off. Leading definitely takes longer since you’re going to be falling a ways unless you’re right at the bolt. When I was on a climbing team they’d make us take whippers (climb almost to the top of the wall, skip a clip and then let go near the next clip) to get used to falling.

  • M

    Climbing is the best fun there is.

    Climbing outdoors that is, the gym is just for training.

    Do yerself a favor get yerself a bunch of outdoor gear and go to the crag when at all possible, it’s 10x more awesome than indoors, even when, like me at the weekend, you carry all 150lbs of yer gear into the mountains and then it rains at you continually and the best you manage is brewing a cup of tea 500m up a hill.

    Oh, but maybe you’ll wanna stop being a pussy and get on with the leading already.