Rock Climbing Experience by Ruth Bieber
Rock Climbing; July 10, 2011
It was my very first official rock climbing experience, save for a climb I did in the Sacred Valley of Peru, which didn’t require ropes. The climb with the CRIS group was the real thing! Before the climb, including hike into the rock face, I felt excited, but not in that way which involves nervousness. I am sure this is because I have come to appreciate the care and amazing preparation, which goes into all of the CRIS activities. Fortified with this knowledge, and after receiving some detailed instruction, I was strapped into the climbing gear by Kerri, who is an experienced rock climber from Penticton, and up I climbed, with Troy right long side.
During the initial portion of the climb, I received some verbal assistance from Kerri, who was on the ground. Soon I began feeling the rock for my own hand and foot holds, always knowing if I needed help, it was there. Then I experienced a personal challenge, when I was very close to the top. There didn’t seem to be anything substantial to grasp, but my hand touched the rope which was anchored into the rock face. It seemed logical to me, so I asked Troy if it would be considered cheating for me to use the rope. “Yes, that’s cheating,” he replied, “but, whose looking? ” It was just like him to give me the out, but there was no way I was going to cheat. That gave me the determination I needed to find a hold, and up I went. It was exhilarating!
At day’s end, while back in my home, I reflected upon the earlier events and it all just felt quite surreal. Had I really climbed that rock face today? Indeed I did, and now I have the photos to prove it. It is one of those kinds of experiences, that leaves a person wanting more, and I highly recommend it for anyone who has the desire. I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity!