Confessions of a Rock Climbing Addict?

Ad·dic·tion [uh-dik-shuh n]  noun

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma


Hello, my name is Anna and I am a rock climber.
I haven’t seen my family in almost 2 months. I missed Thanksgiving (Red River Gorge trip).
I missed Christmas Eve story telling (Potrero Chico). I missed my birthday party (Indian Creek). I missed Easter dinner (Seneca Rocks). I missed Canada day camping (Daks).
My dad tells me he loves me via facebook message.


Hello, my name is Anna and I am a rock climber.
My friends are also all rock climbers. When we are not rock climbing, we talk about rock climbing, using jargon no one else can follow. Or we watch movies about rock climbing. Or read magazines about rock climbing. Or listen to podcasts about rock climbing. If we go to a restaurant, at least one person tries to climb the side of the building. A one-armed chin up contest at a party is not unusual.
I used to have non-rock climbing friends, but I haven’t seen them since the weather turned warm.


Hello, my name is Anna and I am a rock climber.
I have a job. This job facilitates my rock climbing. When I am working, I am planning my next rock climbing trip. I am waiting for the end of the day so I can go rock climbing. I am counting down until the weekend so I can go rock climbing. When work inevitably interferes with my rock climbing, I quit. And move into my car. Until the money runs out. Then I get another job.


Hello, my name is Anna and I am a rock climber.
I wake up in the morning with claw hands that can take up to an hour to be able to open fully (actually, one finger doesn’t straighten fully anymore, but Im pretty sure I can get it back again). My right ankle hasn’t worked or looked quite right since I broke it bouldering. Neither has my left ankle—I broke that bouldering too. I have little to no feeling over the first knuckle of both my hands where I jam. And it is awesome.
I wish my fingers would hurry up and go numb too so I can climb hard finger cracks.


Hello, my name is Anna and I am a rock climber.
Rock climbing is not an addiction, it’s just something I like to do.
I can stop any time I like.

heart crack

What Rob Ford and I have in common

Climbing Rage

On a recent climbing trip, I was belaying a girl I didn’t really know on top rope
(a girl “friend” of a friend of mine).
She was super nice and friendly on the ground but transformed into a screaming, thrashing animal as she repeatedly struggled, flailed and fell at the crux.


I’m not one to judge though: I have been known to yell while climbing too.
Like, REALLY yell.
And unfortunately, my belayer too has ended up in the direct path of it.

Looking back, I’ll admit that usually * the yelling was undeserved.  Although, at the time, I
a) thought it was deserved or
b) didn’t realize I was doing it until it was too late.

So, Id like to use this post as an apology:
To my Belayer Friend, Im sorry I yelled at you that time.
I don’t think you are a F**KING MOTHERF**KER (or whatever else I called you).
I feel bad and kinda embarrassed that I called you that.
(I also don’t want you to GO F**K yourself.  Im not even sure how that is possible…)

And, although I’m sure you already know, I wanted to share some of the reasons why I was yelling.  Or screaming-Adam-Ondra-styles at the wall.  Or why I stormed away and vowed I would never climb again:

1.    I was frustrated.
The move was too big.  The hold was too small.  I was totally gassed.  The clip was in a stupid spot.  I hit my knee really hard.   The sun was too bright.  The rock was too sharp.  I was wearing the wrong shoes.  The ice was too hard. The crack was too big.   The crack was too small.  I was running out of time.  I just couldn’t stick it.  I was so close.  Rope drag!

2.    I was scared.
There was no pro.  I was super run out.  My last piece was bad.  I was going to swing.  There was a ledge.  There was a tree.  I was going to hit the ground.  I was pumping out.  I was so exposed. (Or at least it felt that way….)

3.    I was upset about something else totally unrelated

4. #1, 2 and/or 3 plus one (or more) of the following:

  • I was cold
  • I was hot/sunburnt
  • I was hungry
  • I was dehydrated
  • I was hung over
  • I was tired

So, to that girl “friend” of a friend of mine who yelled at me, I want to let you know that I understand. I get it. I’ve been there–It’s not me, it’s you.
And I’m not mad…It actually inspired me to write a blog post!
(I think that means in the internet world we are friends.  Or do you need to upvote me on reddit?  I dont really get the internet…)

BUT, just like me, you are going to have to learn how to deal with your climbing rage. Sometimes while climbing you are going to get frustrated.  or scared.  or upset.  or hurt.
or drop a piece of gear. or hit a rock with your ice tool. or pull a hold off the wall. or grab something gross-fuzzy-and/or-slimy inside and/or instead of a climbing hold.
But these are not good reasons to yell at anyone, scream at the rock, or throw your chalk bag on the ground and swear to give up climbing altogether.

Take a breath.  Relax.
Love and cherish your belayer
And Love and cherish your time on the rock

*Not always…even if it’s an easy climb you shouldn’t be smoking and texting while belaying me!


Suffering from…..CLIMBING RAGE!