Climbing is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to challenge my body. Why? Because it is every bit as mental as it is physical. Looking up at a wall you've never climbed or a new route, thinking: "How the hell do I get up this thing?" It's like a puzzle. Great stimulation for the mind and body.


So, gear check! 
Tarantula by La Sportiva

Unbeknownst to me, a climbing newb, you're supposed to go sockless with climbing shoes. And they are supposed to fit very snugly (no rubbing on the heels). I tried on just about every shoe at Vertical Endeavors. None felt right. Until I tried on the Tarantula. Bonus points for the cool colors.  

Women's Primrose SA by Black Diamond
The rental harnesses you get at climbing walls are boo. When I tried on the Black Diamond harness, I didn't have to think twice. Super comfortable with plush and extra wide padding. Plus, this freaking matches the color of my phone. Can't stop, won't stop. But for real, when I climbed with this, I forgot I was even wearing a harness (not really, because I would fall to my death, but you get the point). Not very expensive either!

Not yet belay certified, so that stuff will come later!


My first time climbing was at Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville, IL. It was a blast! Even brought a couple of friends on my next few trips. 

Me! at VE Warrenville

Friends at VE Warrenville

Then, I heard about another Vertical Endeavors opening in Glendale Heights, IL. This place is HUGE. No, really. It's the largest indoor climbing facility in the country (over 45,000 sq. ft.). Mike and I volunteered during their grand opening in exchange for 2 day passes and a 30% off coupon (which I used on my shoes and harness). Then, a few weeks later, we went climbing.

Mike, VE Glendale Heights

Me! Top o' the mornin' to ya.
Mike bouldering (kinda)

We've got another set of free passes, so we can't wait to go again. 

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