Posted by: noadventure | March 10, 2009

Rock Climbing

This is the Mississippi River Delta, and while it’s an excellent place to have as a port for America to the rest of the world, there hasn’t been alot of climb-able rock here for about 50 thousand fucking years.

Back in college, I worked at ClimbMax on Canal Boulevard, which is sadly no longer with us. In the tradition of MOVIE PITCHERS and the MERMAID LOUNGE, ClimbMax was a dingy little hangout that had a core crew that either climbed or loitered at the gym during all hours.

Current Rock Climbing options in New Orleans:

METEORITE IN AUDUBON PARK
gwrocksc1

Legend has it that this meteorite came from outer space and crashed right here on the golf course, smashing some guys foot and totally ruining the day(Ok, I just made that up). At around 6 feet tall, you can climb it pretty easily and get bored with it even easilier(really a word?).

SLIDELL ROCKS
Only a thirty minute drive from New Orleans, this gym is actually pretty damn tall and way fun.
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My first experience at Slidell Rocks was quite a contrast to all the sweaty summer nights I spent pulling moves in ClimbMax with my bouldering buddies. This place is sterile and has ice-cold AC. You won’t be slipping off the holds or burying your hands in chalk.

Their bouldering cave also rocks.
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HOME ROCK WALLS(AKA WOODIES)

Here is a photo of my home wall I built in my apartment in college. Yes, it was the nineties, but I still don’t know why I designed it to look like the cover of a Trapper Keeper.
college-wall_21

There was a small clan of dudes who would come over and climb this tiny wall; the only thing I can compare it to is skateboarding with friends. We would climb at each other’s houses on our home walls, watch climbing VHS tapes, and bullshit endlessly about climbing and dream trips we would probably never take.

When I became an “adult” and moved into my first custom house, I decided I wanted to re-spark my love of climbing. Much to the disapproval of my wife, I commissioned a carpenter to build a 145 square footer in my den. Checkout the following embarrassing video from a themed couples shower we had before we got married.

THE STORY:
1 I’m wasted.
2 The bald guy is my father-in-law.
3 I’m determined to climb a route without help.
4 Notice the 40oz beer bottle on the table.

No regrets on having that wall built(and thanks to my wife for taking care of my hangover).

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Responses

  1. Dude, you missed the alpine endeavor afforded by Monkey Hill in Audubon Park.

    On my first attempt on Monkey Hill at the age of 4 I had to be carried off in a blinding snowstorm by Sherpas from the Garden District when I passed out due to the altitude.

    I recovered from minor frostbitten fingers that winter and vowed to return before the onset of the moonsoon season the following year. I trained by carrying my booksack up the ramp next to the now defunct Jackson Brewery down on Decatur St. In those days it was still in operation and I would be rewarded by the brewery workers with a cold Jax at the end of each training session —ahhhhh, New Orleans, where even a five year-old can get a brew.

    The following season I trekked through the park from the St. Charles streecar, past all the live oaks, near the zoo and returned to my nemesis. I knew that if I didn’t conquer Monkey Hill this season I would not get another chance, as the brewery workers could not afford another sponsorship, and, some guys from Marrero were threatning to beat me to the top.

    I roped up, slapped on my crampons, and smeared my lips with zinc-oxide and headed up; two steps and breathe, two steps and breathe. Within no time I made it to the top.

    It was a glorious site, I remember seeing the old rr locomotive shrouded in a fog, I looked across the expanse of Audubon Park and felt glad that I was at the top of my world. Though the wind was not blowing hard, I knew I was taking chances if I lingered, so down I headed.

    Part way down I realized I had forgotten to take a photo of myself on the summit. I knew that nobody would believe I was there, but it was too late in the afternoon to turn back for a second summit attempt, so I continued down. But suddenly my foot went out from underneath me and I began to rag-doll down the side of Monkey Hill.

    Many thoughts went through my mind; would I fall into a crevass? Would I be unable to climb out? Would I be injured? Would I be found before it was too late. Then, just as suddenly I found myself at the bottom of Monkey Hill, a bit bruised, but otherwise fine.

    I’m sorry I didn’t get that summit photo, but take my word for it, the view is fantastic.

    Anyway, that was the start of my alpine career, after that I began buildering the wall that seperated our place from Pat O’Brien’s and any other building in the FQ that I became curious about.

    Well, that was a long time ago, and now I am a retired climber having hung up my chalkbag for the most part. But on occassion I still slip on my slippers and do the granite dance.

  2. ps, I caught the video, sure you weren’t suffering from HAPE?


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