CURIOUS DORA: Trad Climbing – A Beginner’s Guide

CURIOUS DORA: Trad Climbing – A Beginner’s Guide

Are you looking for the perfect hobby with a great community? Climbing is one of those hobbies that encapsulates both. It’s a great way to get outside, exercise your mind and body, and meet new people.

While browsing for a upcoming post on free camping spots in Southern Utah, I came across a term called “Trad Climbing.” Since I knew nothing about this sport, I did some research on it and decided to publish my findings as a “Curious Dora” blog post.

What Is Trad Climbing?

What Is Trad Climbing
What Is Trad Climbing?

Trad climbing is the more traditional form of rock climbing. The gear used to protect from falls is placed into the wall by the climber when they ascend, and then clipped into carabiners so it will hold if they fall. This means that trad climbing involves removable gear—meaning that once a climb is completed, the climbers can take their gear with them rather than leaving it behind on the wall like sport climbers do. This also means that trad climbs can be done multiple times on different routes, giving you a lot of variety in your climbing experience.

Like all definitions, this one has some leeway. Many climbs are a mixture of the two, (sport climbing and trad climbing), with some sections protected by bolts and others by gear. These routes are sometimes referred to as “mixed” climbs, but they vary widely in adventurousness, difficulty, and quality.

The most important thing to know is that trad climbing involves placing your own protection in the rock. This means you can only climb routes that are protected by removable gear—usually a combination of small nuts, cams, and pitons. The challenges of trad climbing are what draw many people in.

What Are the Benefits of Trad Climbing?

Trad climbing4
Trad climbing

There are many benefits of trad climbing, such as the satisfaction of completing a climb without the help of bolts, and the feeling of accomplishment when you successfully summit a trad route. It can also be a more challenging and rewarding experience than sport climbing.

Additionally, trad climbing offers a unique challenge and sense of adventure that cannot be found in other forms of rock climbing. The unpredictable nature of the weather and terrain make trad climbs an exciting pursuit, and climbers often return to the same locations again and again due to the high quality of the rock.

The quality of the rock is often what attracts climbers to a region. Different environments and rock types bring different challenges and character to a climb. There is an almost endless variety of trad climbing venues, with a huge number of routes documented and graded in guidebooks or on the internet.

Trad climbing2
Trad climbing

Dora’s Conclusion on Trad Climbing

In order for trad climbing to be safe, it requires knowledge, skills and training with a lot of input from others. Learning trad is a lot like an apprenticeship where you need time and expert input from other climbers to go smoothly. It is best to learn from a friend or pay for professional classes.

Bottom Line: I’m going to pass on this adventure. Maybe I’ll try Yoga. 🙂

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
CURIOUS DORA: What is Dim Sum?

CURIOUS DORA: What is Dim Sum?

Mike and I were recently asked to join some friends for a Dim Sum lunch. Since I have never had dim sum before, I decided to research it so we would have a idea of what to expect and what to order.

Dim sum is a type of Chinese food that is served in small portions, typically during brunch. It includes a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet, such as dumplings, buns, wraps, and noodles. Dim Sum can be made with a variety of different ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, pork, vegetables, and seafood.

Dim sum is often considered a more leisurely dining experience than traditional Chinese cuisine and provides an opportunity to try several different dishes.

A Brief History

The name dim sum literally means “to touch the heart.” Dim sum cuisine originated in the Guangdong region of southern China before spreading to Hong Kong. The culture of eating dim sum began in tearooms in the latter half of the 19th century after opium dens were banned throughout China.

But where did this delicious tradition come from? Dim sum has a brief but interesting history. Originally, silk road travelers and traders would take breaks in tea houses for a light meal of dim sum. As they continued to travel, the tradition spread and gained popularity throughout the region. Dim sum eventually found its way to Hong Kong, where it became an iconic part of the local cuisine. And the rest, as they say, is history!

What you should know before trying dim sum for the first time.

Dim sum can be a confusing experience for those not used to dim sum items. Pay attention to what other tables are ordering and pick the same items from your carts as they do.

Cart attendants will also voluntarily showcase their items to diners and it’s perfectly polite to point and order.

Remember, most dim sum dishes are quite small. They usually feature 3-4 dumplings per order.

Dim sum is a communal meal, so it’s perfectly acceptable to order items for the table. As a general rule, order 1-2 steamers per person.

In short, dim sum is a traditional Cantonese cuisine that is typically served as a snack or course, rather than as an entrée. This means that it is not meant to be a full meal, but something to tide you over before your next meal.

Etiquette and Ordering

  1. Pick a tea to drink first.
  2. Take the lid off the teapot if you need water and wait for your server.
  3. Order your meal from a pushcart at a traditional dim sum restaurant.
  4. Use check-list menus like menu cards instead of waving an arm in the air to order your food.

What to Order

The following are popular dim sum dishes:

  1. Har gow—shrimp dumpling (steamed)
  2. Siu mai—pork dumpling (steamed)
  3. Cha siu bao—BBQ pork bun (steamed)
  4. Taro dumpling—(fried)
  5. Xiao long bao—soup dumpling (steamed or fried)
  6. Shrimp rice noodle roll—(cheung fun)
  7. Pork and vegetable dumpling—(soup dumplings) (fried)
  8. Chow fun—rice noodles with beef/chicken/pork
  9. Dumpling soup—a clear broth with dumplings (steamed)
  10. Wonton noodle soup—(with or without wontons)

Shrimp dumpling (har gow, xia jiao) — One of the most popular dishes at dim sum, these are chunks of shrimp encased in a thin translucent dumpling wrapper and served in a bamboo steamer.

Shumai (siu mai, shao mai) — These are thin, round wrappers in a cup shape and hold a filling — usually of pork, shrimp, or a combination of the two; and often a small amount of vegetables like bamboo shots, black mushrooms, and water chestnuts.

BBQ pork buns (charsiu bao, chashao bao) — These are fluffy, bready white buns stuffed with sticky and sweet barbecue seasoned pork and served in a bamboo steamer.

Char siu bau – are usually eaten with a sweet and tangy sauce called hoisin.

Chewy, rice flour noodles topped with a variety of ingredients including roast duck, pork belly and shrimp.

Chicken feet – (tau zi fung zao, chizhi feng zhao) – These are whole, deep-fried and braised chicken feet that have been cooked in a rich black bean sauce until tender.

Egg tart – (dan tat, dan ta) – These tarts have a flaky pastry and sweet, rich custard filling that originate from Macau.

Rice noodle rolls – (cheong fun, changfen) – These are large, thin, usually handmade steamed rice noodles rolled around a tender shrimp or meat center or a crispy fried dough filling.

Bun cha gio — Vietnamese stir-fried pork and vegetables in a savory soy sauce broth served on a soft bun with lettuce and cilantro leaves.

Final Thoughts

Today, dim sum is enjoyed by people all over the world. It’s a popular meal to enjoy with friends and family, and it’s often served as part of a larger brunch or dinner.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1

P.S. We will be trying Dim Sum at a local restaurant in 3 days. Now that I have a general idea what it’s about, I am looking forward to it. Afterwards, I’ll add my thoughts about how it goes to this post.

CURIOUS DORA: What is Cryptocurrency and Why Should I Care?

CURIOUS DORA: What is Cryptocurrency and Why Should I Care?

The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. Dora’s Corner does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

Dora’s Thoughts

I wrote this blog post because I was unsure about investing in cryptocurrency. I have heard both positive and negative things about it in the past, so instead of making assumptions, I decided to research it and write this post.

SPOILER ALERT: Now that I’m familiar with the topic, I’m not going to do anything with my hard earned money. In today’s post I’m going to cover some of the risks you need to know before you invest your money.

(Your mileage may vary.)

What is Cryptocurrency?

Crypto currency is a digital payment method that uses cryptography to secure transactions, control the creation of additional units/coins and verify the transfer of assets. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies in existence.

With crypto currencies being so new, there are many opinions on whether or not they will succeed in the long term. As with any investment, you should do your research before investing any money into cryptocurrency.

Crypto currency is not like regular money-it has no physical presence or backing. It fluctuates in value due to market forces alone, and people are buying into this new kind of money because they believe it will continue to increase in worth over time as more people understand its true potential for expansion throughout many industries around the world.

On the Positive Side…

  • Cryptocurrencies use cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. They are not controlled by a single individual or government, but rather operate outside of central banking systems.
  • The value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates constantly, so traders speculate on the price movement rather than buying them for the long term.
  • Cryptocurrencies are digital, encrypted currencies. They work outside the control of the traditional banking system.
  • Cryptocurrency trading is done with a CFD account or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange. Cryptocurrency trading has been around for a while now and is becoming more popular every day. It’s speculative in nature, not just a tool for finance, but can be used as such if you have experience doing it.
  • Cryptocurrency is becoming more popular every day, as people are beginning to understand the benefits of this alternative form of currency.
  • It’s a fast-growing and disruptive industry that has been under scrutiny in recent years because it can potentially lead to financial instability. However, there have also been improvements made recently which make crypto valuable for investors and traders alike.
  • One of the biggest benefits is how easy it can be to get started. You don’t need any previous experience or knowledge, you just have to create an account and start trading! It’s also incredibly convenient because you can trade on your phone or computer wherever you are.
  • The world is quickly moving towards a cashless society and it’s happening faster than we think. Cryptocurrency will play a major role in this transition and it’s important to be informed about the options available.

CAVAVEAT EMPTOR (let the buyer beware)

  • Cryptocurrency has many advantages and disadvantages like any other form of money, with one major difference: it’s decentralized; meaning no single entity controls or backs it up.
  • Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. They are not issued by any government, bank, or central authority. Instead, transactions are verified by network nodes through the use of miners who have powerful computers solving difficult mathematical problems and then record it in public ledgers which anyone can verify to confirm their legitimacy without needing a centralized intermediary such as PayPal or Visa/Mastercard, etc.
  • There has been no legislation in place concerning cryptocurrencies yet; they are currently unregulated by countries because there was not enough time before this new technology took off globally.
  • Unlike fiat money, crypto currency does not have any ethical policy or terms and conditions.
  • The total market cap for cryptocurrencies is estimated to be $324.716 billion by 2021. There are an estimated 4,928 currencies in use today that have not been listed yet and a large majority of these currencies will fail due to different reasons such as being abandoned, busting, or ending up being exit scams. While some crypto projects last forever and others were created just for fun or as a test, there is still plenty of room for many more cryptos out there that could make it big.
  • There is no cost to converting cryptocurrency. However, the process of exchanging crypto into flat money or vice versa can be costly depending on the market prices at the time of exchange.

Final Thoughts

As I wrote above, cryptocurrency is too volatile for me to invest my money. So, as a last word of caution, anyone can create a token and market it as a scam or as a valuable cryptocurrency. You need to do your homework to know whether or not this is a legitimate currency that you want to invest in.

Links used to research this blog post

DISCLAIMER: Dora’s Corner cannot guarantee that any information provided in this blog post is complete, accurate, or up to date.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1