Sunday, January 14, 2007

Belay on!

I went indoor rock climbing with Bill and Julie yesterday. In all fairness, I had to take a belay (to belay is to control the the rope fed out to the climber) lesson first, so it wasn't all about me climbing, but also supporting fellow climbers. In the lesson, I learned about harnessing, how to tie climbing knots, how to work the grigri (A grigri is a hand-sized belay device designed to help secure rock-climbing. Also a talisman that protects the wearer from evil or brings good luck. Appropriate, don't you think?!), and how to stop a climber from falling too quickly.

This is Bill belaying Julie.

Julie climbing. Yes, this climb is as high as it looks. One of the highest in the rock climbing gym. If Wikipedia is correct, there is a grading system to rank the difficulty of the climb. This one is a 5.7. "Class 5 is considered true rock climbing, predominantly on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death." Probably not in the gym tho', there's a lot of padding under the floor. Plus, there is always someone belaying you.

I attempted the same 5.7 at the end of the day. My arms were really tired and sore after the belay class and trying easier climbs. I could only make it about 2/3rds of the way up, arms screaming in pain, but mostly paralyzed by fear. Bill sez that rock climbing is a confidence builder. Yeah.

Really, I wasn't rocketing uncontrollably to the floor, really I wasn't! This expression is all for effect. Besides, Julie was belaying me, so everything was copasetic : .)


Ragged Around the Edges said...

Looks like alotta fun. And very grueling.

madretz said...

Holy carp girlfriend! That's scary!!

I'd freak out just watching you. And I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, I'm just afraid of pain.

You go! Someday you'll get to climb Yosemite!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing...

Nan said...

It's great to test your body to see just how much it can do. I know it feels great to accomplish something you weren't sure you could do.

I wish I'd done a lot more when I was younger. One of my biggest regrets is that there weren't many things we could participate in that stretched our limits. This is a great time to be alive, and you're apparently in a great place!

Rrramone said...

Wooohoooooo! I've only done that once and it was pretty freaking amazing. Good for you! And how is that sketching coming along. I wanna see! xox

Nan said...

Phin, I have a contest for us at Nudge-Nudge. Wanna play?


Nan said...

I'm back. Just wanted to alert you that you can't reach me by clicking on Nan. You need to go through the link in your sidebar.

I've been wondering what you're up to. Still studying art?

-Still Cate

Nan said...

Happy Heart Day, BackAtCha, Phin.