Brooklyn Boulders fascinates us. Our store operations coordinator, Shaen, goes there every day after work, and my two sons have gone multiple times and climbed free form, returning home with stories of height and might. Is this the latest of crazes after yoga and spinning? It makes sense, the challenge of vertical feet, but within the confines of an abandoned parking garage.
Rock is scary, rock is real and rock is definitely far from the street.
When we were starting production in our factory in Brooklyn in 1997, I had a computer programmer friend who learned how to climb in Banff, Canada. She took me several times to The Gunks, and we made our way up some 5.6 and 5.7 climbs. When we got to the 5.8 realm I had a hard time scrimping and finding the crevasses and fear ultimately took over. My last climb was a multi-pitch, which involved being strapped into the rock at different intervals. Just above the tree line, perched on a minute ledge, my eyesight slowly went as panic took over. I had a rare temporary condition where extreme stress causes blindness. Sitting on that ledge, I couldn’t see anything: not the trees, the rock or the ground. Luckily, I had a good partner who coaxed me upwards. I managed to climb the remaining 30 feet and my eyesight slowly returned. That was the last time I climbed.
Image from MohonkPreserve.org