Member News October 2010

As the leaves begin to change and the temperature outside gets cooler every day, we’d like to wish you a happy fall season filled with plenty of pumpkins and strong climbing.

Slackline Yoga Clinic in Rockville this Wednesday! slackline.jpg

Slackline Yoga (or slackasana) has been described as “distilling the art of yogic concentration.” To balance on a 1″ peice of webbing lightly tensioned between two trees is not easy, and doing yoga poses onit is even more challenging. Yet despite the seemingly impossible nature of the act, it is achievable by almost anyone with a little bit of perserverance and patience. The practice has many layers, simultaneously developing focus, dynamic balance, power, breath, core integration, flexibility, and confidence.

Join Adi Carter of YogaSlackers for a unique slackline yoga clinic at ET Rockville on Wednesday, October 13th from 6-8pm.  Cost: $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early for registration. The members of team YogaSlackers have collectively taught over 5,000 people (from 2 to 82 yrs old) to successfully embrace this form of amazing asana.  For more info on YogaSlackers, visit their website here or to get a better idea of what they do, check out this great video!


2010 Reel Rock Film Tour returns to Maryland this Friday! 

Reel Rock is back and better than ever! This year, Reel Rock turns five, and co-founders Sender Films and Big UP Productions are celebrating by taking you on a global ride like never before. From death-defying speed link-ups of the wildest faces in The Alps, to Olympian displays of strength and tenacity on the hardest boulders ever climbed, Reel Rock 2010 features a breathtaking journey through the vertical realm with the heroes of rock and snow.

Festival tickets are available at all Earth Treks locations: $15 in advance ($12 students with school ID) or $17 (students $14) at the door. The festival is being held at McGuire Hall, Andrew White Student Center, Loyola College of Maryland. [ Event Website ]

Member Clinics October 2010


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 6:30pm-8:30pmPreventative Maintenance for Gear When does that trusty rope need to be retired? Do those cams cause more pump than a 5.10 roof? The preventative maintenance clinic will address these questions and many more, so you can continue climbing safe and strong.
Thursday, October 14, 2010, 6:30pm-8:30pmBuilding Climbing Endurance Crisp air, changing leaves, and biting sandstone, the fall climbing season is only a few months away. Building climbing endurance is essential for sending that pesky route with the crux 60 feet up. On Thursday, October 14th we’ll talk about techniques for building climbing endurance.
Every Wednesday in October at 7pm & 8pm
Yoga for Climbers*
In partnership with Charm City Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat. 


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 8-9pmCore Strength for Climbers It’s true that the arm bone is connected to the shoulder bone, but how is the shoulder bone connected to the hip bone?  Through the core!  We’ll discuss how core strength requirements for rock climbers differ from those of other athletes, and learn exercises that will improve your ability to move through steep rock.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 8-9pmWhip Therapy Have you lost your lead head? Do you lead well below your potential because you’re scared to fall? Conquer your fears and join the Earth Treks team to practice falling safely.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 8-9pmSystem Board Training Have you had trouble sticking one of the many crux moves in the bouldering cave or feel too pumped to hold on to a crimp three-quarters of the way up the wall? System Board to the rescue! Learn how to safely and effectively train on a System Board and start stepping up your game.
Every Tuesday in October at 7pm & 8pm
Yoga for Climbers*
In partnership with Charm City Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat.


FREE Member Clinic Location, Date and Time Description
 Monday, October 11, 2010, 9-10pmShoulder Strengthening A Front, Side, and Rear Deltoid? Rotator cuff what? Do you find yourself pondering the anatomy of your shoulders, as they ache in pain after a good day of climbing? Learn how to sculpt your shoulders, prevent injury and turn into a lean mean dyno, side pulling machine. 
Monday, October 25, 2010, 9-10pmAscending a Fixed Line It’s a crisp fall day, the rock is really biting. Your partner just pulled the roof on Son of Easy O and now it’s your turn. Before you hit the roof, you blow the cruxy slab section and can’t get back on the wall. You don’t want to be lowered but you can’t remember how to climb a fixed line. Now’s your chance to learn how!
Every Wednesday in October at 7pm and 8pm
Yoga for Climbers*
In partnership with Thrive Yoga! Two 45 minute sessions will be offered each scheduled evening starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm.  Space is limited so be sure to call the gym ahead of time or arrive early to reserve your spot. BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Mat. 

Clinics are FREE to annual members. Clinics marked with an asterisk ( * ) have a limitednumber of spaces available and pre-registrationis recommended (required for some clinics). Call the gym to pre-register.

How to Trad Climb

How to Trad Climb

Traditional climbing or Trad climbing gives the climber a unique sense of freedom. It is a style of rock climbing wherein the climbers place all equipment/gear essential to protect against accidents and remove them once the passage is complete. A trad climber finds thrill in the complex rock forms, which establishes a deep connection between the climber and the rock as they examine and step every inch on difficult conditions. With the right training and skills, and with the necessary equipment, you really have the ability to climb the rocks. Here, we give you a low down on trad climbing.

Select the Route that Suits You

Choosing the right climb for your trad limit is extremely important especially considering that trad routes do not have bolts. Therefore, you must choose a hard on-sight route depending on the style of climbing you enjoy the most. If you find technical face climbing exciting, then do not opt for an off-width crack as your hard lead. Initially, go for really simple, low-angled routes that offer multiple opportunities to place protection. Placing protection appropriately at the right places can take time. It requires a lot of strength and stamina to perform the action smoothly. You’ll get better with practice.

Pick the Correct Gear

Trad climbing necessitates a lot of gear. Picking the correct trad climbing gear for the job can make all the difference on a difficult ascent. In addition to your harness, shoes, and helmet, you will also need nuts, micro-nuts, hexes, tri-cams, cams, micro cams, carabiners, quickdraws, slings, runners, cordelette, nut tool, gear sling, etc. What’s important here is to pick up the right size and type of protection for the rock you are about to climb.

Prepare a Strategy

Before you think of getting to the top at the earliest with trad climbing techniques, make sure you’re feeling solid and comfortable on the rock. Invest enough time in practicing to climb cracks of different sizes. Once you’re there, assess your projected route by standing back from the cliff. Then, take a detailed look from the base of the cliff. Begin with single-pitch routes which are easy to look at. This space will help you see all the features of the rock.

Take Small Steps

Take small and planned steps. Keep going slowly for as long as you can. Do not spend too much more difficult moves, which will help you climb the awkward sections with ease and look for places where you can hang on to place gear.

Keep Your Cool

If you can’t figure out the route ahead, do not get confused and run into making the wrong moves since the action can’t be reversed. You do not want to risk taking a big fall. Keep calm while you assess the safest route ahead. Remember that fear of falling or the fear of the unknown can make it difficult for you to function and propel you to make unsafe decisions.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Indoor Climbing
A Popular Sport

Climbing is a popular activity for adventure sports enthusiasts across the world. The activity is not restricted to the outdoors, but can also be enjoyed indoors, making it even more accessible to all.

Indoor climbing is a sport wherein people climb man-made walls instead of rocks. These walls are created to reflect actual climbing surfaces. The walls have holds for hands and feet of varied shapes and sizes, fixed at different positions. This kind of climbing gives you a feeling of rock climbing, but in a controlled environment. A number of gyms now offer the facility of climbing indoors.

Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Climbing

Climbing indoors is safer than climbing outdoors. The height is limited by the presence of a ceiling. It is the ideal sport for beginners. Individuals of any age can perform it. Moreover, it doesn’t require much time, making it ideal even for those who are normally too busy for outdoor sports. This also ensures that climbing enthusiasts can enjoy the activity even in the absence of suitable outdoor locations, as well as when the weather would not permit an outdoor climb.

Indoor rock climbing is simpler in comparison to outdoor climbing. A climber may plan his moves before starting. You do not have to cope with conditions like rain, extreme winds, bugs, extreme cold, or extreme heat, among others.


Indoor rock climbing is a safe sport. A beginner may start his journey under the supervision of a trainer. You can learn to use and wear the equipment, as required, in a controlled environment. This offers protection against the elements and ensures safety. Additionally, the limited height gives you greater confidence and you are less likely to be overcome by fear. This gives you the opportunity to perfect your holds, flexibility, strength, and skills.


Some of the innovative activities that have been designed around indoor climbing include:

  • Follow the route that a routesetter has created and is marked by hold color or tape.
  • Climbers need to search for letters embedded on the wall and then create words with them.
  • Climbers need to decode the hints on the wall. These hints suggest the route, which the climbers then need to communicate to their partners.
  • Climbers copy the movements of their partners. They need to follow them without missing a single step.
  • Participants practice techniques, simply by climbing the traverse wall. They are already given a route to follow.
  • Practice core and finger exercises on a specially designed training wall, such as a hang board, campus board, or systems board.

These are some  climbing activities. Climbing in an indoor setting is perfect for kids and youngsters, as well as for older adults with lower fitness levels.

Rock Climbing Parties

Rock Climbing Parties

What do we mean by rock climbing parties?

Rock climbing parties  are essentially two hours of climbing in a private rock climbing area with a range of climbs suited for various ages & ability levels. After a brief orientation and traversing, low sideways climbing – to get warmed up, the climbers transition to vertical climbing with the help of instructors. The minimum recommended age is six and everyone’s welcome to bring their own food refreshments. Snacks can be served during the entire party, but it’s best to take a break half way through if you want to serve cake and sing happy birthday. Then it’s back to climbing until a brief wrap up at the end of the party.

The healthy way to celebrate

Whether it’s a birthday party, school field trip, scout event, corporate event, or church outing rock climbing parties is sure to be a big hit. Climbing is enjoyed by both kids and adults alike and no experience is necessary. It is a healthy way to celebrate and makes for a great team bonding experience. What’s more, climbing activities are extremely fun!

Celebrate your kids’ birthday with a climbing theme

A climbing theme birthday party is not only a great idea for your kids’ birthday but also a good option for the parents to have fun too. While the kids will be completely engrossed, it’s a great chance for everyone to get together and spend quality time. You can arrange for snacks and drinks; having pizzas delivered is a popular option – just make sure you schedule them for delivery in the first half of your program.

Make your kids aware of the benefits of rock climbing

Rock climbing is a great form of physical exercise that builds muscle and strength. It has several other benefits too, such as improved brain function, reducing stress, and keeping you active. Tricky maneuvers require flexibility that wasn’t there before. Climbing up a route also demands body awareness and problem-solving abilities. The way to the top is sometimes not as you may have assumed and it takes focus and determination to climb to the top. Overall, there are several great lessons for kids to learn all while having a great time!

Research has shown that time spent outdoors may decrease symptoms of ADHD, improve memory, boost creativity and even wake your brain up with the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee! So go ahead and plan a rock climbing party for your kids’ birthday and inculcate the importance of rock climbing & other outdoor activities in your kids.