This year I turned 31, which is not an auspicious year; other than it being the last year that you can represent on one hand counting in binary (
2^5-1). So I went down to MetroRock in Essex, VT and spent about 5 hours in the gym getting my 31 climbs together with support from friends and loved ones. To plan I started by listing out some rules:
- Climb on ropes only or if doing boulders you need to link to rope length.
- Climbing up and down counts as 2 pitches.
- All climbing grades 5.6 and above are in
- Every 5 climbs you need to do something 5.10a or greater.
- Falls are ok, but you must get to the top of the climb without cheating past moves for it to count.
- You must finish the climb an uncompleted climb does not count
- Auto-belays are good to go.
- No more than 4 repeats of a single route.
I then thought through some strategy
- Concentrate on number of pitches, no more than 4 repeats.
- Have enough people such that I can always climb.
- Choose routes that minimize tie-ins.
- Keep going, take rests when you can and don’t let yourself get pumped out of your mind
- Stretch periodically.
- Eat plenty of food
As I went through the climbs I ended up doing about 4-8 climbs in a single push. In between these pushes I would take a longer rest. During these rests I would stretch, drink water, eat food, belay my climbing partners and go on walks. This left a nice casual feel to the day. However, over the last few climbs I started to get more and more tired. I would sweat profusely when I got to the ground after climbing 5.8, and I started to have a dull ache in my forearms.
Overall, I averaged a grade of about 5.8-/5.7+. I did manage to pull off one 5.10a or higher every 5 climbs, and I finished all 31 climbs. This was a great challenge, and I would love to do it again. Overall, it was easier than I thought; mostly just focus, commitment and community were all I needed.
For the nerds here are some stats.
Thanks all who came out to celebrate my birthday and support me.