Leading the Way

To begin with, I’m sorry to everyone that was having a hard time getting their rebelpeon fill yesterday.  It seems as if insight was having fun playing with their DHCP server, and my machine didn’t acknowledge the latest and greatest IP Address.  Hopefully that won’t happen very often. 

Just so everyone knows, my birthday is coming up (March 31st), and I only accept cash.  Since my weekends are fairly packed for the next few weeks with climbing, I decided to head home to the tundra region last weekend.  My thinking was that I could get my birthday gifts early.  What I wanted was a set of Petzl Spirit quickdraws and some Petzl Attache locking ‘biners.  I really wanted these early so that I could use them for the next few weekends.  Well, I still needed to get my brother a birthday gift, so while I was up there, I got his, and he got mine.  I got him the Dave Chappelle Show Season 1 DVD and Unreal Tournament 2k4.  He got me 3 of the locking ‘biners.  Later that day my parents and I went around to various places looking for the quickdraws.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find any.  Most of the places had the Spirit ‘biners, but not the draws.  Unfortunately, if you buy the ‘biners and the webbing separately you end up paying more.  The last place we went was Moosejaw, and they didn’t have the draws either.  However, being the nice people they are, they pointed me to Planet Rock.  Now, I had been to the Planet Rock in Ann Arbor (sweet place), but I had never been to the one out in Pontiac.  It turns out it was just down the road from where we were.  So we head over there and they had them in stock!  Turns out they have both the anodized and non-anodized ones too.  The guy first told me the price of the anodized ones, and not knowing which one he was referring to, almost left the store right them.  $25 for a quickdraw is a little steep.  However, the ones I wanted were only $20, PLUS all the spirit draws were 15% off.  Ends up being just about the same price as the cheapest I could find on the internet.  And I get the instant gratification of having them right away.  So, my parents pick up 5, and I buy an additional 5.  That should be enough for right now, but I’ll probably get 6 more sometime in the near future (after I get my next paycheck). 

So, last night, I head over to Vertical Plains, and learn how to lead from James.  All in all not too bad.  I definitely need to master the art of clipping, but that will come with practice.  Tonight I’ll be heading back to VP to do it some more, and Colleen will come with to get more practice leading, since she’s only done it a few times.  This is a great week to be learning this stuff because it’s spring break here at UIUC, so I pretty much have the gym to myself.  The only down side of learning to lead, is now I have rope burn on both of my pointer fingers.  I’ll have to remember to tape that area tonight before I start, otherwise it’s going to hurt a lot.

For those of you that have shown interest in climbing, I’d recommend coming out to VP sometime this week.  If you get in touch with me, I can probably get you out there for free too.  I think Colleen has some free passes.  I’ll be there tomorrow and Thursday, so just lemme know.  The guy that’s working there this week, James, is great.  He is by far the best person I’ve met for learning how to do various things.  Even if you’re brand-spanking-new.