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.
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.
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?