Rock Climbing at the Doylestown Rock Gym
Trip Start Mar 20, 2009
3Trip End Apr 19, 2009
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What I did
I had never been rock climbing before but Julia and Chris had been doing it for about two months and promised to teach me and the others. Ofcourse the first thing we had to do was sign our lives away on the liability waivers. Once that was done we signed up for a day pass and had to rent climbing shoes and a harness. The cost was $20.00, not too bad at all.
Once we got our gear Julia showed us how to put everything on. Rock Climbing shoes are supposed to be snug, not to point of cutting off circulation but uncomfortable. The harness you put on like a pair of pants and make sure all the buckles are tightly secured
We started out bouldering, which means that you are not connected to a rope and you will just fall if you make a mistake. Julia explained that the different colored tape next to the hand and foot holds indicates a route to take and its difficulty. Blue is usually the easiest. We started to boulder and made it across the wall without too much of a problem. At the Doylestown Rock Gym you are not allowed to climb any further than the brown line on the wall without being secured to a rope. The floor is also very squishy and trampoline-like to cushion your fall.
After bouldering for awhile Julia and I decided to try the High Climb. She is certified to belay so she secured the climb rope to her harness and showed me the figure eight knot used to secure me to the climbing rope. Once everything was secure I started my ascent on a blue route. I'm somewhat afraid of heights so I made sure I didn't look down. I made it to the top. Oddly enough I was comfortable with the idea of letting go and letting Julia lower me down. Personally I was more comfortable with the High Climb than Bouldering, probably because I was secured to the rope in the High Climb.
Once I was down I watched some of the others climb, mainly because only Julia and Chris were certified to belay so only two could climb at a time. I did a second climb on another blue route on a slightly more difficult wall. I got almost to the top of this one but I found myself too short to reach the next handhold even with a lunge. I was lowered down and bouldered on some of the walls while the others went up
Julia taught me more about belaying while some of the others were climbing, its almost amazing how easy it seems. She told me she'd help me get belay certified on my next time down. We did a few more high climbs and then did some bouldering on some of the more difficult walls. After awhile I found my fingers feeling raw and the muscles in my forearms aching. It was time to stop for the night.
Rock Climbing was alot of fun and really works some muscle groups that you are not accustomed to using. I would definitely do this again.
Things Learned Rock Climbing:
1. Rock Climbing shoes are supposed to be snug. Not to point of cutting off circulation but uncomfortable.
2. Chalk helps with sweaty hands and helps improve your grip.
3. Bouldering means that you are not connected to a rope and you will just fall if you make a mistake. Usually bouldering is not done too high up unless by someone very experienced.
4. Different colored tape next to the hand and foot holds indicates a route to take and its difficulty. Blue is usually the easiest.
5. Belaying is a technique used to manage a climber's rope. A belayer can stop a climber's fall, provide tension or lower a climber to the ground. You must be certified to do it since the climber's safety is in the hands of the belayer.
6. Rock Climbing works some muscle groups that you are not accustomed to using.