Friday, July 20, 2007

I wanna be a Rockstar!

I went climbing yesterday with two friends I met on a climbing forum. This is Shelly. She invited me down to the Columns in Eugene, Oregon to teach me how to crack climb. Not only was this my first time attempting cracks, it was also my first time climbing outside!

She took me to the top to teach me how to set an anchor and rappel down. My fear of heights got the best of me so I walked down.

Here I am on the easy double crack route. For those who climb, it's an easy 5.7 according to Shelly, but it felt really hard to me. I fell many times, but Shelly made sure I didn't lose much ground. She was a very patient teacher and top-notch belayer. She kept telling me I could make it to the top, and finally, after several attempts, I did!

Shel shows me how it's done. She was a great teacher. I compared my hands to hers afterwards. I've got cuts and bruises and missing skin on my hands and arms. Hers were a little red.

Reuben, who acted as our ropegun, showed up and set another route for us. Here I am struggling to climb up this one crack. I didn't make it to the top, but I sure learned a lot from my attempt.

Here's Reuben on a harder climb. The guy can move. He belayed me on the fat crack route and, like Shelly, was a very patient and excellent teacher.

I loved climbing outside. It's a totally different beast than gym climbing, and I really need to get in better shape to do this. But I had a blast and can't wait until I do it again!