Marijuana and climbing
Today more than half the states in the US tolerate marijuana use in some form. Climbing magazine surveyed a panel of pro climbers to get their take on its place in training and our sport.
Note: All opinions are presented here under the condition of anonymity, as it’s not the most sponsor-friendly topic . The responses skew more towards climbers that have used marijuana, because they were more likely to return survey answers of this nature. Climbing magazine did also receive a handful of polite responses simply stating “Thanks for reaching out, but I do not, and have never used marijuana.” The climber in purple’s responses have been paraphrased, by request.
Do you, or have you ever used marijuana while climbing?
“I actually smoked marijuana three to 10 times a day throughout much of my climbing career. Then in my thirties I realized that getting high was played out and it was time to quit. I don’t regret my days as a stoner, but I’m glad that I am living life a little clearer now. I actually had a honey bear bong with a tie off loop that I brought up most of my first ascents.”
“Yes. It’s been a positive part of my climbing life for over 20 years.”
“Short answer: no—not in the act of climbing. Shit is dangerous enough without adding another factor. I have however used it as a recovery tool.”
How do you think marijuana affects your climbing performance?
“I’d say it was a wash, except perhaps when I was bouldering. For bouldering, sometimes the ritual of smoking gave me the rest and creativity to look at the problem in a different light. At some point I think it began to make me lazy, so I do sometimes wonder if I would have accomplished more if I hadn’t smoked so much weed, but maybe I wouldn’t have been as comfortable living in my truck and diving in dumpsters either!”
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