Wednesday, November 27, 2013

First Trad Gear Purchase

After my second year attending the JTreeTweetUp in Joshua Tree National Park and third time leading a climb on someone else's gear, I finally decided to purchase my first piece of protection: a Metolius Master Cam #3:
So begins my rack. It would have made more sense to begin with a set of nuts, but I'd like to think having one thin-hands (fingers for most) size cam might make me a more appealing climbing partner. I haven't made it out to the various parks in the Berkeley hills much since joining the belay staff at Ironworks, but as my rack slowly grows, I'll make more of an effort to get out there and practice my placements. 
I've watched plenty of climbing porn but I haven't ventured much into informational videos; I thought the one above was good. No replacement for getting out with an experienced partner, but how else will I distract myself from the pile of job applications I should be submitting.

I found the cost of outdoor pursuits prohibitive until I became passionate about climbing-- while I certainly don't have the means nor inclination to purchase a lot of expensive gear for climbing or camping, I've begun making room in my financial life for things like building a trad rack and getting a decent pack with a good hipbelt.

It's hard making room for non-basic survival expenses (rent, paying off debt, etc.), but I'm trying to maintain an attitude of abundance, knowing that I'm equipped with the skills necessary to manage the balance.

But first, before the gear: must find a regular trad climbing partner based in the Bay Area, preferably East Bay.

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