Home : Climbing : Tuesday Night
Once upon a time, there were no rock gyms, so climbers who wanted to train during the week had to set up topropes at local crags after work. This worked best at large crags like the Quincy Quarries, where people could easily trade ropes; on busy weekend days, the Quarries still resembles an outdoor gym. But some of us needed an alternative, as the original version(s) of this page explained:
Those of us who work and live on the North Shore find it hard to get to the Quincy Quarries for the traditional after-work Wednesday climbing events, so we have our own tradition of Tuesday night climbing. Since there are no large climbing areas within an easy drive, we rotate the location among a series of smaller sites . . .
The Tuesday Night group started up well before I started climbing in this area (which means at least 30 or 40 years), using a paper schedule that was copied and distributed by hand. 25 years ago, I was introduced to Tuesday Night toproping, and soon became a regular. In 2000, I started publishing a version of the schedule on this page (at which time I copied the quote above from the paper schedule), and assumed the job of "schedule maintainer" a few years after that.
In the late 80's, you could depend on having at least six to a dozen climbers show up in good weather, which meant there were always enough climbs set up to keep everyone busy until sundown (and sometimes later). Starting about ten or so years ago, attendance started tailing off when some of the regulars moved away, and fewer new climbers showed up to replace them. In the last few years, we've needed a blog to communicate with each other so that nobody finds themself the only person to show up. The last year was particularly dismal, with fully 16 out of 26 dates when nobody showed up at all. 9 of those were due to rain (May was completely rained out), but that's still only 10 out of 26 successful days (less than 40%). What's worse, half of those ten involved three or fewer people, which meant that we could only set up a few routes, and often spent more time setting up than climbing. (The previous year was almost as bad, but I no longer have the record of how many people showed up for each date.)
So, with a heavy heart, I'm calling it quits for Tuesday night toproping. I enjoyed it immensely over the past 25 years; rock gyms are wonderful, especially when it rains, but they are no substitute for climbing outdoors. Thanks to everybody who came over the years, especially to those who started coming recently; I'm sorry I have to disappoint you. Perhaps somebody will find something to take its place.