On Tuesday 10/12/2010 I went to Red River Gorge to learn some basic rock climbing. A friend of mine is a Mountain Guide with Fox Mountain Guides and asked if I would come be a student for a AMGA skills test course. Sounded like fun to me, well kind of. The “kind of” comes from the fact that I am afraid of heights, not just a little bit but a lot. But as the theme of the year I was going to go for it.
I left Louisville at 6:30am on Tuesday morning with a whole 2 hours to put my nerves aside and think about how great the day was going to be. I arrived at Miguel’s Pizza and about 8:45 and meet the people who were in the class as guides and the other students. In total there were 6 students and 5 guides. All the students had various experience in climbing, me with the least.
We hit the road to Muir Valley, our climbing destination for the day. A very generous couple Liz and Rick Weber own the land and let people climb on the property as long as they sign a waiver and respect the land. Thanks for being so awesome!
I surprised myself when we got to the climbing destination, I was not as nervous as I thought I would be. We learned some basics that included safety and terms to use while climbing and belaying. Then it was onto knots. I learned the double figure 8 and a clover hitch (or I should say relearned) and where/when to use them.
Now time to climb. As the time passed I thought that I would chicken out but nope my nerves were holding strong. I got to belay a climber first and then my turn. I tied in and was off to climb a 5.6. Rocks are on a grade system and I am still working on the system but it has to do with how hard they are to climb. I also climbed a 5.4 and tired a 5.7 but only made it about halfway up that one.
Over all it felt really good to climb. I did not think I would like it and was doing just to say I did and help out a friend but I surprised myself with how much fun it was and how good I did. Not sure if I have time to add one more thing into my life or not but I would like to try to make time for more learning and trying in this area.