‘Fat Old Climber’ Tells a Great Old Tale

Climbers come in all shapes and sizes, sure, but the ones that capture headlines usually look pretty similar.

This one does not.

Gordon Robb, a.k.a. “Fat Old Climber,” started climbing around eight years ago. “Terrified” of heights, roped climbing only held his interest long enough for someone to show him bouldering.

Soon, Robb was one of the more recognizable regulars at The Climbing Academy, a bouldering gym in Scotland’s Kinning Park.

Many of us will find his story familiar. Robb found himself down and out after a relationship ended. Seeking community, he found it — in his case, at the gym. Soon, his friend group was growing, and so was his acuity for the task at hand.

Motivation surging, he had just powered through his first problem, rated between 6b+ and 7a+ (gym “pink”), when the facility closed due to COVID-19.

I’ll get out of the way here, and let the “Fat Old Climber” tell you the rest for himself. Suffice it to say, I don’t have a shadow of a doubt that it’s far from over.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.