Great Attitude!

Thank you so much for your article. I wish every climber shared your attitude. I'm nearly 40, started climbing last year, realistically may not ever climb higher than a 5.9. My friends who got me into it love being on the rock wall, whatever the grade. Of course they also want to challenge themselves with 11s, 12s etc, but they find joy in even the easiest routes. I never heard anyone say "this route is a waste of time" or "we have to do this stupid 5.x so she can climb something" until I spent a day at the crags with a few 24 year old macho competitive guys. They sucked the joy out of the sport for me. People like that feed off of and challenge each other, it works for them and that's great. But if those were the only people climbing I would have never stepped into a harness and onto a wall. There's a lot of us older latecomers to the sport and, at least for a non-competitive person like me, it is so wonderful climbing with people who can enjoy it beyond the grade achievement. It's especially inspiring when this attitude is shared by kick-ass teens and 20-somethings who consider my hardest routes an easy warm-up, the people who understand that a 5.8 experience for me is the same as a 5.11 for them. These are the friends and gym rats and 'dirtbag climbers' that made me fall in love with this crazy sport. Thanks for listening to my 'almost meaningless rant'!

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