Is that Climbing Trip Worth the Drive?

Cooler temperatures will soon be upon us in the southeast and with the cooler temperatures comes outdoor climbing season! It’s been a scalding hot summer and my friends and I are stoked to take a couple climbing trips soon. The only problem is that living in Florida, we live far away from any notable crags. I’m talking a one way 9 hour drive far. Herein lies the problem for the typical weekend warrior. Guaging whether the time spent driving to go climbing is “worth it.”

Many climbers have to make this decision several times throughout the winter. Should I make the 9 or so hour drive to go to Rocktown in Georgia or LRC in Tennessee? On one hand I’ll get to spend a fun weekend with my friends with the potential of sending a project of mine and starting a new one. On the other hand I could stay at home, get some rest, and maybe take a hike or go mountain biking close to home. Or I could always go to the climbing gym.Croc Bloc on a Climbing Trip to Rocktown

Fortunately there are a couple answers to this age old weekend warrior question.

V Points Per Hour

This is specific to boulderers. You should send an equal, but preferably greater, amount of V Points for every hour traveled. So let’s say we spend 9 hours in the car up to Rocktown. It’s safe to say it’ll take us another 9 hours to get back home, so we’re looking at an 18 hours round trip. In order to justify the trip each person would have to claim 18 or more V Points.

We could knock that out by climbing 18 V1’s, but that’d be a little cheap. You can make it so only climbing grades that are near your max count. Or you can just say that everything you climb counts as a V Point. Hell if you’re really strong you could knock out those 18 V Points with only two V9’s.

Pitch Quota

 Much like the V Point Per Hour method, the amount of pitches you need to climb (whether sport, trad, or free solo) to make your climbing trip “worth it” directly correlates with the amount of time you spent traveling. We’ll stick with the 18 hours round trip figure again. This means you’d need to climb 18 pitches to make your trip “worth it.”

To a lot of weekend warriors that’s a daunting task. I know I get pooped or find myself getting a case of the Elvis Leg by the 4th pitch. Something like this usually requires a few more days than a weekend.

To Hell With It Mentality

 Sometimes you feel like you just need to say to hell with it all! You just want to get away for a weekend, maybe even a day. It doesn’t matter how many sends you get. You may not even bag any sends at all that day. Just the fact that you’re a little out of cell reception in nature with some friends is good enough. But a send or two wouldn’t hurt.

What do you do to convince yourself that climbing trip’s worth it?

How to Get and Rock a Wetsuit Tan

It looks like winter’s finally drawing to a close with the time change and rising temperatures throughout the week. Spring’s on its way and in the southern parts of the northern hemisphere, wetsuit season’s almost gone, and swimsuit season’s upon us. One thing your liable to see at the beach towards the end of wetsuit season is the wetsuit tan.How to Get and Rock a Wetsuit Tan

Photo: Adam Fricke Photography

The wetsuit tan is earned by surfers throughout the winter that spent enough time surfing in the cold and resulted in some awkward tan lines. It might sound a little weird, but if you ski and/or snowboard, it’s the equivalent of working hard all season to have the gnarliest goggle tan.

How do you get a wetsuit tan?

For most surfers, it all starts in early fall. Down here in Florida, we’re all a bunch of weenies when it comes to the cold. Nothing new there, so when the water temperature dips below 75, you’re bound to start seeing surfers wearing their spring wetsuit. It’s the wetsuit with short legs and short sleeves and sometimes short legs and long sleeves. This starts happening around October and it gives a solid base tan around the neck.

Most surfers have already got a solid tan line that wraps around the middle part of their neck come December and it only builds from there. End of November to the beginning of December is when the full length winter wetsuits start coming out. That’s when things start to get weird.

The full length wetsuits stick around until the middle of March and that gives ample time for surfers to keep building on that neck tan and start on their hand tan. Picture someone walking around witch tan hands, face, a half tan neck, half pale white neck, and pale arms. It’s a sight to see, but every surfer’s damn proud of those tan lines.

As the air starts to warm up, so does the water and we’re back to spring wetsuits where the head and half neck tan continue, but the arms start to even out with the legs. Yet the neck tan still remains.

How do you rock a wetsuit tan?

When we get closer to summer and the air warms up, we typically don’t need a wetsuit and the wetsuit tan begins to dissipate. We need to enjoy it and flaunt it as much as we can while we’ve got it. That means you should wear a tank top as often as you can. Oh and those crew neck shirts with the low neck line that those scene kids wore in the early 2000’s, prime way to show off that half tan neck of yours.

Own those awkward tan lines, throw your shoulders back and own that wetsuit tan you’ve worked so hard to get. Summer’s just around the corner and before you know it, you’ll have a uni-tan once again.

How do you get and rock a wetsuit tan?

Surf so much in the winter your brains start spilling out of your ears and then own it so well that others are jealous they don’t have your rad wetsuit tan.

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