Literally Dreaming of Climbing


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McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 20, 2012 - 02:43am PT
How many of you guys regularly dream about climbing? I should note my climbing dreams more often in pen, especially since I've started keeping a workout journal again. Last week I had a dream where I was doing this heel-hook traverse on the roof of some vending type cart like a hot dog wagon or something. The really funny part was that when I would start the traverse the cart would start falling to the side, because of my weight of course, so I'd have to do some sort of mental anti-gravity twist to keep the cart in balance. Most off my dreams are bouldering type stuff - short stuff. I never really find myself on some endless climb where I would have to bivouac. That would be a good number though for the 'recurring' category of dreams!

Trad climber
The rock doesn't care what I think
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:44am PT
Not too often, but I recall a dream a while back where I was running it out on lead big time. Felt ok about it in the dream.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:10am PT
Go row your boat, McHale.



Dec 20, 2012 - 04:15am PT
I'm with you Mchale, not all the time but definitely have a few good ones every now & then. Generally bouldering or soloing alpine rock type things on outrageous features with massive exposure in totally unrealistic situations. Very cool!

Keeping a dream journal can reveal some interesting things, I kept one for awhile when I was younger & going through some things & it was really useful, I'd recommend it. Especially if you are having good, vivid dreams. Could help them to come true.
Captain...or Skully

Dec 20, 2012 - 08:29am PT
I have climbing dreams, sometimes. I figure I just don't get out there enough, so my subconscious is takin' up the slack...or some such.

Dec 20, 2012 - 11:00am PT
I'll confess that when I was putting in routes at this place in the photo below, all I could think of, awake or asleep, was being here. I was counting the breaths until I could get back. Unless someone was right in my face talking about another subject, it was in my mind 24/7.

Once I got about 3000 feet of climbing routes, and then ripped my shoulder up when 3 knobs popped simultaneously (while following a pitch!), the fixation just all but disappeared.

Real damned strange, but at moments to this day, when the leaves are turning or the wind is just right, I'll flash back to that feeling.....

Mountain climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 11:53am PT
looks like choss...

Big Wall climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 11:59am PT
Credit: McHale's Navy
yestarday i went surfing all day and i was dreaming about how "cool" some of those ole'timers can be from stoney point. this is one aid-line i'd dreamed about but was not too sure who's sent it!
so glad Ksolem went climbing with you.

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Dec 20, 2012 - 01:50pm PT
Oh, I dream about climbing often! I may be a bit unusual because I have vivid dreams every night and I usually remember some of them when I wake up.

Usually climbing dreams come after a day of climbing. If I've been climbing outside I dream of outside climbing and if I've been in the gym I dream of gym climbs. Something is usually a bit "off" in the dreams. Like a dream where I went into this huge gym with several large rooms filled with routes, but all only about 10 feet high and dead vertical. And they had topropes on them but the anchors were set in a type of styrofoam so they were useless.

A few years ago I had a bad groundfall and got pretty trashed and after that I had regular dreams of falling and hitting the ground. That is a sickening feeling, even in a dream. I've heard people say that you cannot die in a dream but I have died in groundfall climbing dreams a couple of times. You wake up with your heart pounding and feeling pretty bad.

But this is a good place to tell a dream I had recently when I was on a climbing trip to J Tree, which was strange even by my standards:

Someone contacted me to tell me that Werner Braun had a gift for me (I have never met Werner). So I went to Yosemite to the place where I was told I would find him. I walked up to this dwelling and there was a large workshop, about the size of a 2-car garage, filled with workbenches etc. And Werner was in there, puttering away, but he looked exactly like the actor Anthony Hopkins with long white hair and a very kindly aura. I told him who I was and he pulled out a set of cams he had made for me. They were the tiniest cams I have ever seen - a set of three measuring no more than 3-4 millimeters!!! I took them and then the dream dissolved with no real ending the way dreams often do.

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
WOW. It is crazy I saw this thread. Last night I had a dream about a climb that scares the f*#king sh#t out of me. One that is way above my head but I feel like I still have a chance to go for it. It looked scary in my dream and than I transitioned to me 40s and than realized that I am getting older with each minute. I interpret it as I am getting older and I should go for things that are out there to experience now since you get older and your priorities may change or something. I don't know. Never really thought about my dreams like that, it's for grandmothers right?! Now that it featured something that I can't get off my mind it bothers me.

Do you guys also think about a climb that you have a chance to attempt but you know you never climbed anything that hard? For days? Non stop? When you are at work? Always?

Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Dec 20, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
I dream about climbing quite often. All my dreams involve bluebird days, great rock and good friends. I've never had a snail eye nightmare. I seem to save those for my waking moments.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 20, 2012 - 02:19pm PT
I read that seeing your own hands in a dream meant something. I know I see my hands when I climb in dreams. More than anything in dreams, I like discovering new rocks to climb! Then there are the climbs that a person thinks about quite a bit but then they don't end up in dreams at all - like the way I think about Astroman. I'm there everytime I read a TR about Astroman.......damn, you'd think I would at least have a dream about it. Perhaps climbs like that reserve themselves for the real thing!

Snaileye nightmare? I woke up in the Nevada Desert one morning before a climb and was rolling something around in my mouth - turned out it was a small catepillar that crawled in while I was asleep.

Looking back not too far though, it does seem like the dreams come on when I don't get to pull on enough stuff - artifiscal (had to say that) or real rocks. Pulling on stuff has to be the best thing ever for the human build. It would be super cool to have a dream where claws came out of my hand like a cat's paw (I have a cat on my lap right now). Human sized claws with nice sharp points could really take the edge off.

this is one aid-line i'd dreamed about but was not too sure who's sent it!

Pyro, I loved doing that pitch solo. It was a good time to go out there and take my time with it. The pins went in like a pick in perfect ice - didn't have to pound much since it traversed.
Nate D

San Francisco
Dec 20, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
Fun thread, and one I actually considered starting years ago, 'cause I hadn't seen it discussed.

I too have climbing dreams periodically, and I might even climb more in my sleep than in reality.

I've written one or two down and they are real kooky. When I get a moment, I'll post again here.

Phylp - the Werner dream is a hoot.

paul roehl

Boulder climber
Dec 20, 2012 - 05:47pm PT
I used to dream about bouldering out at Stony pretty often. It was incredibly real, the moves and holds, the feeling of gliding over the rock... the feel or texture of the rock... never dreamed about the Sierras or the Valley... kind of strange.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 20, 2012 - 06:12pm PT
Yes.....and it's horrible! I wake up sweating, panting and with chalk all over the sheets.

Trad climber
Nevada City
Dec 20, 2012 - 06:23pm PT
yes a lot. especially more so since my car accident where i havent been able to climb since, yet. i kinda figured it was withdrawals.

from out where the anecdotes roam
Dec 20, 2012 - 07:07pm PT
well, it all started with the knuckle walking, gorilla style knuckle walking.
soon it was the grasping and hoisting, finally bending the bars of the cage.
before long i'm pushin' tray, past the stoopid pancakes. i smell BACON dammit

Dec 21, 2012 - 01:59am PT
Vitaliy, yes.

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Feb 4, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Last night I had my first climbing dream. After years of climbing I am amazed it took this long, as I have several snowboarding dreams a year.

I walk down into a canyon area and on one side is Wings and Stings on Hammer Dome, and on the other side is the Rostrum. There is a very tall very built asian guy with glasses who asks me if I have ever climbed wings and I say yes- at this point I cut to a flashback image of being on the climb, then back to the guy. He asks if it is free-climbable as he plans to aid solo it, and I tell him I only free climb but that he will have a great time. I turn to the other side of the canyon as I am somehow planning to aid solo the rostrum (now I know almost nothing about aid soloing, never done it). There are people setting up to mini trax the rostrum except the rope dropped down is a big circle of rope and the climber about to start steps into the bottom of the loop and attaches the left and right sides of the U of the loop to devices on either side of her harness. She climbs up a bit and then feeds the loop up through each side of the harness so that the U is snug against her again and continues. I ask a guy next to me what is going on and he tells me there is s a silent partner on top keeping the slack in. (I'm pretty sure this is not the way to do things). Then I get hungry (a first for me in a dream that I can remember) and so I pull out a sandwich from my pack and eat it.

While this dream seems very strange I should disclaim that I tend towards multi-layered inception style psychedelia in my dreams- so while weird, this was super tame in comparison.

Trad climber
SF Bay Area, California
Feb 4, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
Yup, on and off.

I'll dream about every part of a trip, from contacting buddies to go climbing, meeting up, packing the car, hiking in, the climbing...the whole shebang.

The funny thing is that I've been dreaming about climbing for a bit, as I often have what I call 'action movie' dreams where I'd commonly climb big walls, rock faces, towers, building, trees, etc to infiltrate the 'secret hideout.'

However, my favorite is when I'm having a climbing dream, and my partner of the dream lays out the rack (always waaay bigger than mine ;) ), turns to me and asks, 'what's it going to be today?'

At that moment, I know I'm having a climbing dream and YEAH! I'm gonna have some FUN!!

I always wake up smiling from my climbing dreams, even if the dream was of crappy climbing.

I would also like to mention that I've died in my dreams quite often, from falling, drowning, hitting the ground, suffocation, being shot, hit by yeah, some people don't wake up before they hit the ground. I didn't realize it was guys are all so strange! hee hee


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