I thought I was soooo smart when I bought myself a pair of used nordic skis over a month ago. I naively believed that the snow that fell on our canoe/camping trip was the start of great things to come. And now here we are in the middle of November and there is NO SNOW here in Trondheim (or much elsewhere in Norway, I think).
So instead I’ve been keeping myself busy with other athletic endeavors including climbing. I’ve dabbled in climbing over the past few years – mostly enjoying the social aspect of it and working just hard enough to stay competent in case the opportunity to climb outdoors should present itself. But going regularly over the past few weeks means I’ve been making quite a bit of improvement.
We have a pretty sweet climbing wall back at UW. It is small, but there are challenging routes (often frustrating) but it is cheap – $3, compared to $15 at the other gyms around town. Conveniently NTNU has the same sort of set-up – a small wall at the sports center where you can climb for 20kr ($3.45). The only problem is that it is crazy hard! On Saturday I spent close to 10 minutes working on the first move of one of the easiest routes there (finally got it – twice!). There is also a larger gym in the center of town – picture below – which is more expensive (100kr) but has a larger variety of routes. One thing I really like about climbing in Norway is that instead of marking the routes using colored tape, the colors of the holds themselves dictate the route. It makes it easier for me personally to plan out my route and helps when you are above a hold and can’t see the color of the tape below it.
What I find interesting is that at both of these climbing gyms there is no sort of check – for example, a belay test – to determine that you know what you are doing. You don’t have to sign any sort of waiver. I’ve never seen any sort of staff member at the NTNU wall and only the occasional instructor at the city gym. It is self pay and there’s no equipment rental. And on top of that, every route (save a few at the city gym) requires an initial lead climb! You have to bring your own rope and quickdraws. I’m thankful to have a good climbing buddy (who has a rope and skills)!
And while I am still anxiously awaiting the snow, I can’t complain about the time spent in the climbing gym, and can’t wait to hit up some of the outdoor crags come spring!