rob_haines (rob_haines) wrote,

Perfectly Good Rocks

I was never a particularly sporty student. Going to school in Gloucester it was expected that you played rugby, cricket at a push, every Wednesday afternoon, neither of which I was very good at, so I was delighted in the last couple of years of school when we were given permission to take our Wednesday afternoon sports beyond the school field to more individual pursuits.  Since I was scared of heights, I took up rock climbing.

I was never a particularly good climber, but I enjoyed it for the best part of 3 years, so it was disappointing when I moved to Swansea and there really weren't any opportunities to climb within walking distance. Through necessity I gave up. Until yesterday, when my friend Pete invited Jenny & I to join him in a taster session at one of the rock climbing centres twenty-minutes' drive outside the city.

Long story short, I'm delighted to find that I still remember how to climb, even if I'm a bit rusty. I've lost all the upper-body strength I once had (and even that wasn't much), and three walls pretty much did me in for the day. Still, after spending most of my previous climbing attempts rainbowing (using all hand/footholds, rather than sticking to a route of a particular colour all the way up), it was a fun challenge to see if I could complete certain routes; my first climb was a mere grade 2 slab (about as low as you can go, realistically, but perfect for relearning the basics), and my second a straightforward grade 4.

The third was more of a challenge, a gently-sloping overhang which my fingers simply didn't have the strength to handle once I got a little past the half-way mark. Still, for the first attempt in a decade I'm pretty happy, and at this point it looks like Pete & I will be going back, once wedding malarkey is out of the way, to do the proper training again and start making it a more regular thing. I think I remember the knots, but I'd rather have that officially confirmed before I'm twenty feet up with my hands slipping off the holds.

Oh, and I think I'm going to appropriate matociquala's LJ tag for my climbing exploits; after all, it's probably reading her LJ reports that have kept me interested in climbing all these years.
Tags: falling off perfectly good rocks
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