/ Pensioner's rock grades
Can you tell me what grade you or your friends climb?
I guess I am only interested in leading outside trad and sport.
I recall climbing with a guy who cruised a tough E3 after a hip replacement.
Dave Birkett must be 40+ and he's climbing mega hard! Johnny Dawes is climbing hard again too..just to name a few!
Feeling old at your age is just giving in to self invented psychological pish. After hearing Fred Becky talk the other week (90) I certainly don't feel like I've peaked yet.
Aged 43 and 3/4
I think grade chasing matters, if you want to chase grades. For me, my most exciting and memorable cragging adventures have been when I've been breaking new ground.
Even when I was like at my best, I didn't climb at my limit everytime I went out; though I suppose everyone has a different relationship with climbing and where they find enjoyment.
Either way; 44 is definitely not too old to climbing hard!
I climbed today with Andrea, aged 81. He led a VS
I'm 48 and i led a VD the other day. I did top rope it first though but i was well chuffed.
Our team are all the wrong side of 60 but the oldest (a genuine pension book carrying oldie) did a 7b last week. B*stard!
Steve McClure must be 40+ by now, he's still climbing pretty well.
I'm 40 and I fell off a plastic "4" at the weekend.
I was told recently that Al Cowburn decided that when he turned 70, he would (out of consideration for his family) stop soloing above E1. He is still soloing easier stuff now - at the tender age of 83.
We were only saying the other day these young pups don't realise how lucky they have it these days.
Aim is to be on interesting E2 by the end of the year is the weather ever gets warmer. I don't climb for grade, I look at a route and if it looks good I will try. If I fail it goes on the hit list for when I have improved. Try to avoid routes with crimps, the arthritic fingers hurt like shit on them!
Some mornings at the Edge I am the second youngest and the worst climber there out of about 15 or so people, think they call themselves the old grumblies or something!
I didn't *start* climbing until I was 42. OK, I'm still crap....but I saw Rowland Edwards lead an E4 when he must have been 72.
Well not that hard!
4 years later,mike's still doing things like this + more
i think he did "the nose" in same year
> I think grade chasing matters, if you want to chase grades.
But grade chasing is bound to end unhappily isn't it? Unless you pack up climbing as soon as you notice any deterioration in performance.
My Dad's 60 and is getting up F7b+s and V6s and still improving...
On a recent trad climbing trip to Morocco, each morning we'd get beaten to the start of a route by a climbing team of "experienced" lady climbers. They would then proceed, without fuss, to disappear up said route at great speed, and usually be back at their car before we were more than halfway through our pitches. I decided to call them the Pensionators - very inspiring to see.
IF you have the will you can carry on till a ripe old age and why not !
44? Don't give up just yet!
I'm only 41 and only just starting outdoor trad leading (seconded E1 5b a few times last year).
Its great to hear their are plenty of people still progressing or maintaining their level as they get older.
I look forward to another 30+ years.....Hopefully I will have learnt to use my feet by then
I think I'm 45 is this the dentists?
> But grade chasing is bound to end unhappily isn't it? Unless you pack up climbing as soon as you notice any deterioration in performance.
You could use that argument for any activity where age is a factor. To which the moral would be; never try at anything.
Do. Or do not. There is no try...
Bagged my first HVS 5b trad lead last night,which is not bad seeing as I only started leading on Monday (Diff).
Onwards and upwards (both metaphorically and literally).
I turned 50 the other day and sadly failed to meet my target of redpointing F8a outdoors. It better happen this year though; if it doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying that's for sure! Hoping to tick off at least a couple of 7c+ projects in the next few months. Trad wise, I'd hope to get some E4s and E5s this year.
Friends I climb with of a similar age are doing slightly better than these grades.
At 44 you've still got plenty in the tank. Just don't get injured.
I'm 51 and have been at it just two years - led 6b+ indoors onsighted a couple of HVS and hopefully gonna bag myself an E1 this year.
The only thing I've noticed is that when I hit 50 I realised that I can't abuse myself so royally ie not so many pints afterwards and also taking a bit more care to warm up.
What is nice though is looking at peeps young enough to be my sons and seeing them thinking how can that old git get up that when I can't
Bit of a contradiction there, Slider!
You know the story.....inactive younger guys at work say "isn't it about time you stopped that.....at your age". The usual banter.
It got me thinking about all those tough old geezers (an ladies) so I thought I'd ask.
8a at 50 is impressive......good luck I hope you get it.
Not generally at Swanage there isn't - its not somewhere for soft touch grades and its usually a challenge.
Retirement seems the obvious solution - less unhelpful banter and more time to climb!
But on those days where it all comes together (and you get up something you never thought you could do) well that's a bit special.
So yeh it's not all about chasing grades but I personally like to push myself and subsequently get a real buzz when I manage to contradict that little voice in my head that says you'll never be able to do that you're to shit/old/useless/fat/old.
> Dave Birkett must be 40+ and he's climbing mega hard! Johnny Dawes is climbing hard again too..just to name a few!
I don't think that you can lump people like that in with mere mortals like us - Birkett was probably born climbing E8, and as for Dawes I think that he was sent from another planet to show us earthlings how to climb.
Also David Bowie is well old and is still producing music which is far better than most stuff you hear (yeh I know his not a climber, but if he was he would probably be able to climb E5 in his ziggy platform shoes)
Then again here we have Mick Ryan (69 at the time) at Gogarth... http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=119127
I'm 70 next year and lead up to VS. I tend to chose "enjoyable" rather than "testing" routes. I'm not thje slightest bit interested in proving anything, just having a good time. I would also describe myself as a fair weaher climber, the days of setting off in rain have long gone as I try to avoid "epics" these days. If it's raining I go walking instead.
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