10 Things You Do Up on the Wall That You Would Never Do Down on the Ground

We're 99% sure that Adam Ondra only screams like this while on the wall...

We’re 93% sure that Adam Ondra only screams like this while on the wall…

We morph as we climb a seemingly blank face of rock, reaching new heights, conquering new challenges. However, there are some things climbing opens us to that once untied from the sharp end, we would cringe, laugh at, or straight up deny as having happened. Today we share the top ten things you do up on the wall climbing, that you would never do down on the ground. 

1. Swear like a pirate, phrases that make absolutely no sense and are truly just a long stream of grammatically incorrect expletives.

2. Fart. TMI? Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it. You’re alone on the wall, contracting your core tighter than a boa constrictor and it just slips out. Besides, gas floats up, not down, right?

3. Scream bloody murder at the poor soul on the other end of the rope because slack just isn’t coming quick enough.

4. Talk to yourself. Whether it’s a motivational “you can do it” or a reprimanding “get your $h!t together, Cate”, those words you’re telling yourself aren’t just in your head and you sound two steps away from the looney bin.

5. Hyperventilate. Despite running marathons, there are times up on the wall when you could easily be confused for having an asthma attack.

6. Jailhouse Rock. On an actual dance floor, you’re Steve Urkel, but on the wall, once that leg starts a stitching, you’re a bonified Elvis impersonator.

7. Bite your rope. It might be the quickest way to pull slack for a clip, but on the ground, you and your germaphobe self know that thing’s been dragged through the dirt, in and out of stranger’s hands, and sprinkled with magnesium carbonate.

8. Punch rock. We all know this isn’t the smartest decision – rock always wins, but somehow it just feels right (and then wrong).

9. Grunt. Reconnecting with your neanderthal self, are we?

10. Quadruple check a yes or no statement. “Do you got me?” “You got me?” “Sure you got me?” “Spot me!” “Watch me!”

Anything you’re willing to admit to doing on the wall that you wouldn’t be caught dead doing on the ground?

Climb on! ~Cate


*I want to apologize for an earlier version of this post that was offensive and insensitive toward some community members. Thank you for your feedback.


9 thoughts on “10 Things You Do Up on the Wall That You Would Never Do Down on the Ground

  1. Léo says:

    Nice one Cate!

    #4! Just before rapping down after cleaning a route, the dark side starts taking over and I start thinking about loose anchors and breaking rock. To counter this, I psych myself up by saying aloud, “Léo, you’re a rock star! You can f*ing do anything on this rock.” That always cracks me up and flips me back to the lighter side.

  2. Heidi says:

    oh my god, yes to every one!

  3. Peter says:

    I do all those things on the ground. Actually, I swear on the ground a lot more than I do on the rock.

    There are so many young kids at Vertical World that I have resorted to yelling DARN IT whenever something doesn’t go right, and now that I’ve learned the habit, it sticks with me.

  4. Kate says:

    #4 for definite, my partner is often asking ‘what?’ and I’m like I wasn’t talking to YOU…uh yeah ok Kate cause there’s so many other people to talk to up here.

    Also I would never admit to wiping a running nose or brow sweat on my shoulder or t shirt sleeve…or when outdoors putting my hand in something gross and wet (it’s wet often here in the UK) and just wiping it on my clothing and carrying on.

  5. Jesse says:

    Anyone who says that they never fart when they’re on the ground is a liar…

  6. Nick says:

    Here’s one thing that I DON’T do on a climb ( a hard climb) that I always do when I’m on the ground: Breathe.

  7. Sach says:

    +1 for imagining terrifying rap/abseil possibilities. The number of times I’ve abbed off of shovel-head size spikes of rock is actually quite disturbing :\

  8. Julia says:

    Omg, the second one! I have literally climbed FASTER just so that I could accomplish that higher above my friends as a courtesy. This, of course, often fails and then someone makes the obligatory jet propulsion joke.

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