My very firstest experience outdoor climbing was probably one of my most memorable experiences to date. From the drive to the guide’s house to the actual climb, it was non-stop adventure.
I decided to blog about this since memory does fade but a blog lasts forever. Ooooh, that’s deep.
I headed out on Sunday to meet the crew in Collingwood. They had spent the day learning anchors and knots and whatknots (clever pun I know). It just so happened that as I was driving, a bonafide tornado hit Barrie. Apparently, the skies turned green but as I was in the middle of it, I was concentrating on being safe and not the color of my impending death. I drove white-knuckled at about 35kmh with my hazards on. There were cars and trucks pulled over and everyone seemed to be conscious of the danger that the tornado presented. So I blithely continued onwards and ignored my fear of flying cows until I got to the guide’s house (Leslie Timms).
Spending the Night
Our original plan was to camp in Leslie’s backyard but because the rain was consistent and bad, she let us spend the night over. Leslie has one of those farm house type of garages, with big double garage doors and a very high ceiling. Her and her husband had built a huge bouldering wall inside the garage. This was our bed for the night. We stripped off the mattresses and slept on the foam. Made for a cozy night. That being said, my back was shot in the morning.
What was really funny was that I had everyone trying to explain the knots to me. Talk about chaos, 5 voices going on and on over each other. I didn’t learn anything then.
We woke up in the morning and bbq sausages by the road. We got lots of weird looks from passers by but food is food. Who were we to be all particular?
When we got to the site, the rocks were slippery and I’ll admit it, I was nervous. Very nervous. Soon after, the rocks had dried for the most part and after everyone else had finished their anchors we started climbing the routes that we anchored.
Overall it was a weird experience trying to adjust from a planned route to a free for all. I’m used to looking for a certain color rock and with outdoor climbing, you grab what you can. With one route, you start at the base of a tree, I wasn’t sure how to get off the tree and I kept climbing it. I climbed it about 20ft (meanwhile, I’m hearing people yell, it’s rock climbing not tree climbing) and I went for a giant solid branch so that I can move to the wall. Well, said solid branch, was a dead branch. I hear a crack and I swing out. My heart jumped just a little. I ended up climbing that route a second time just so that I could actually climb the rock part of the climb. Oh how we laughed. At me. Groan!!!!
My favourite part of the climb that day was the 90ft cliff. It had multiple ledges that I stopped and took pictures from (Fitness Musings – Facebook Page). It was a relaxing climb and quite easy. On the way down, there was a caribiner that was left in an anchor, and I swung 10 feet out to grab it. I felt like spiderman at that moment.
As mentioned, it was a great experience, but it would have been blah if it wasn’t for our amazing guide Leslie Timms from On the Rocks Climbing. Her knowledge, patience and caring attitude definitely inspired. The crew (Shirley, Stanis, Steph, Adam and Tiz) were fun to be with and drink with.
I look forward to another great climbing experience.