Birthday challenge takes Huntsville man to new heights

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Birthdays are a special celebration and there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate them. For a man from Huntsville, this birthday was a challenge – a challenge that took him to new heights.

“It was a special occasion, 70, I like that number,” said Rob Dodson, a local climber who celebrated his 70th birthday on Saturday. “It feels good to be 70 years old. I decided for the first time in my life to take up the birthday challenge.

This is something that has been happening for years in the climbing community. On your birthday, regardless of your age, that’s how many routes you climb.

Dodson says he climbs at least three times a week. He says that with High Point Rock Climbing & Fitness, his challenge was made possible.

“Doing it here in the gym makes it a lot easier,” Dodson said. “Because if I had to do 70 routes outdoors, it would be much more difficult.”

35 years ago, a friend asked Dodson to volunteer for a children’s retreat that would take high school students to places like Colorado for weeks to climb. After that, the Huntsville native says he fell in love with rock climbing.

“We just started climbing after that,” Dodson told News 19. that I was deathly afraid of it, even on the top rope at that time.

Dodson says he prides himself on maintaining his health so he can keep climbing. While that keeps him active, he says the most priceless thing of all are the friendships he has formed over the years.

“They went out of their way to make this day really special for me,” Dodson said. “I am blown away by their friendship.”

Dodson concluded by saying that while he can only climb a few routes as he gets older, his love for the activity will never fade.


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