Teaching Crossfit how to climb




The day after the Marathon bombers were encircled by what seemed like the entire police force of Massachusetts, Daniel and I drove to Quincy Quarries and taught some workout-nuts how to climb rocks.

The idea was simple: Some people from Daniel’s gym had expressed interest in doing some climbing, and he’d offered to teach a quick class about it.  And by “he offered to teach”, I mean “he volunteered me to help”.  But I don’t mind – it’s an excuse to go climbing, meet new people, and hang out somewhere that I enjoy.  So we planned to meet up at Quincy about an hour before the rest showed up, and set about building some anchors…


  • After a quick breakfast I start the drive down the highway to Quincy.  It’s early, 8:30 or so, and the drive is actually quite nice
  • After arriving and finding Daniel still on the road, I head in to do a quick recon of the area…
    • We’re going to be the only ones in our area, which is kind of nice.  A bit lonely though…
    • There’s a whole group of AMC folks in the area learning “climbing skills”.  It’s a bit strange… but looks interesting.  For example, in order to practice catching a lead fall they’re hoisting a chunk of pig-iron 80ft into the air, and then dropping it off a cliff.  The belayer has to catch it while anchored into the ground
    • Seems a bit… unique.  Everyone has tons of safety gear and is spending more time dicking with more ropes than I could have ever imagined
    • Safety is quite important, as is practice… but at some point you’re just overcomplicating things.  Safety lies in simplicity, nearly as much as practice.  Sometimes too many safety devices can just overwhelm each other and provide too many points of failure
    • Not that I’m arguing, but… dang.  That’s a lot of rope.  They were quite fun to visit with though, and we had some good chatting while I waited on Daniel
    • Once Daniel does finally arrive we start setting ropes and building anchors.
    • He leaves for a bit to grab people from the parking lot, and I finish up the anchors that we had been making.  After 10min or so Daniel returns with a whole entourage of people, and we give a quick explanation of anchors and standard safety tactics.
    • Climbing!  I mostly backup belay, but I do get a few interesting climbs in.  Unnecessary heel hooks!
    • Marla arrives around 2:20 in the afternoon.  She’d been training for a half marathon, and today was her final run.  When we learned that Quincy was almost exactly 13.1 miles from our house, she had to do it.
    • Around 3:00 Crossfit starts to leave, and Daniel and I take over doing some routes of our own.  We get a lead in, which is quite nice, before packing everything in and heading back to the city
    • We hit a Vietnamese place called Pho & I on the way home.  Food is excellent and the company is fun.  We all shoot the shit and relax before heading home for real

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