Ask Tessie: What are your tips for someone who wants to get into climbing? |

Ask Tessie: What are your tips for someone who wants to get into climbing?

Dear Tessie,

I’m an avid skier and hiker, but have only dabbled in rock climbing. It’s something I’d like to get into this summer, but I don’t know how to get started. Any suggestions for this newb?


Movin’ On Up

Alright, the first step to becoming a rock climber has absolutely nothing to do with the physical activity itself. It’s all about laying the groundwork, so start talking to your friends about it constantly. But before that, grab a cheese grater and get to work on distressing that pair of cords your mom bought you for Christmas, then roll them up into capris in a very casual way. You want them to look like they’ve been rubbing up against rocks for years now, but you’re so environmentally conscious you can’t bring yourself to throw them away and have them end up in a landfill.

Next, throw on a Patagonia jacket and snag a pair of those shoes with individual spaces for each of your toes. The average chica will likely never want to talk to you again, but those climbing birds will be all over your new look.

Everywhere you go, assess the landscape — including buildings and homes — and describe to your friends the techniques you would use to climb it. Better yet, get on there and show them. There is nothing cooler than a man in toe shoes attempting to scale the side of a taco stand.

Also, make sure that your car is so full of carabiners, rope, crash pads and chalk dust that you have to strap one of your buddies to your new Yakima roof rack just to fit everyone in for your next climbing adventure. Remember, you are not “excited about the big trip,” you are “stoked for the gnarly terrain.”

But if you really want to be the real deal, build a bed inside the back of your truck, adopt a dog and name it Summit or Banjo, and live out of your car.

As for actual advice on learning or locations to climb, I haven’t the faintest idea.

Dear Tessie,

I’m in dire need of some pampering after the winter we’ve had. What are your favorite South Shore joints to go get a massage on the South Shore?


In Need of TLC

How many dolla-dolla bills are you willing to drop on this pampering? I’m a creature with expensive taste, so when I go in to get my scales buffed and fins moisturized, I don’t skimp.

When I’m in the mood to get rolled up like a nice Rainbow Sushi Roll, I head on over to Sugared in South Lake Tahoe for a Seaweed Wrap. It’s like being inside a giant burrito, but better.

When I’m feeling like I’m carrying a little winter weight, I pop on over to Onsen Spa at MontBleu for the Yellow Horned Poppy Cellulite Treatment. Apparently the extract from the Yellow Horned Poppy can produce colorful hallucinations, plus, it’s about time to put that summer bod on display!

And while you may be tempted to go for that $35 massage advertised by the dozens of massage parlors along U.S. 50, just … don’t. Instead, grab bae and head over to BioSpirit Day Spa for a couple’s massage (unless he’s the kind of guy that falls asleep within five minutes of hitting the table — that’s just a waste of money).

Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to

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