I'm going to make the protagonist of book two something of a climber. Here's the relevant paragraph from my proposal:
"Lately, she's been bouldering. She'd started with wall-climbing at a gym, but that was too tame. Always on ropes, always belayed. Safety safety safety. Bouldering was better. Anjali had started at a local gym, but when that got boring, she'd gone out into the woods. Her parents thought she was getting tutoring. Anything was okay with them as long as it was clearly aimed towards improving her studies. So as long as she carefully managed her grades, taking them up and down as necessary, Anjali could have as much freedom as she wanted. The climbing helped get some of the anger out. She thought she was doing okay. Not great, but okay. But recently, something changed."
So, I have two questions.
1) Does the above sound vaguely plausible / reasonable?
2) What would you recommend I do for research on this? There seems to be a bouldering gym in Chicago, Hidden Peak, and I was thinking of going. But am totally intimidated, especially because the reviews call it 'hard-core'. What does one wear to such things? Will people be weirded out if I introduce myself and say I'm working on a book and ask them to talk about bouldering? If I try climbing, will I look like a complete idiot?
Keep in mind that my sum total of climbing experience is a) trying wall-climbing once almost two decades ago (I suck, made it up two holds or some such, felt like such a wimp), and b) clambering around on rocks in the woods (which I kind of love).