It’s a fun activity to undertake and full of fun but a scary one too. It involves climbing up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls.
I remember during our survival techniques course at the campus we had to do it on a real one , the natural one ,not the manmade one. And it was not easy. It was the first time for most of us to participate and you could see fear in our faces. We climbed one after the other as our fellow classmates and lecturers watched.
How do you trust someone with your life, a person you just met a few minutes ago? That was our instructor who guided us through the rock climbing. He is the one who held our weight as we ascended and descended the Fisher’s Tower at the Hell’s Gate National Park.
I still develop goosebumps whenever I remember that day. I was among the last ones to gain courage to participate the rock climbing, I took time to watch the brave ones first. The sun was very hot so you can image how the rock temperatures were behaving. We wore the rock climbing gear for safety measures, very important. You don’t wanna fall and splash your brain all over the place.
You need climbing shoes, harnesses, ropes, webbing & cords, helmet, bouldering crash pads, training gear, pulleys, ascenders & descenders, carabiners, among others depending on the nature of the rock and your level of expertise.
The helmet was too heavy and they seemed to have also forgotten that some of us have very small feet, the climbing shoes were oversize. So generally my helmet and shoes were oversize, downsize of being short. This was not all, due to my shortest and the weight I had then I had a job to do. Carry myself up there was not a joke. I hade to make too many small painful steps as I carry myself up there. My big toes and hands must have really quarreled the other body parts for what they were going through.
To be sincere I never thought that that guy (the instructor) would manage to balance my weight as I climbed the rock. Fingers ached, my heart stopped several times when my sweaty palms slide off making me hang on the air for a couple of dreadful minutes. There was no room for backing down, it was a must to reach at the peck of the Fisher’s tower. I slided off several times bruised my knee but finally made it to the top. Determination was key here.
It was the best feeling ever but short-lived when the instructor shouted reminding me that it was time to descend. Now this was the real nightmare. You just needed to lean back and hoop down the rock trusting that the instructor will manage to balance your weight till you get to the ground. Easily said , fearful when thought but had to be done. I adjusted my oversized helmet said a couple of prayers and did excatly as instructed. Surprisingly it was not hard as I thought, within two minutes, I was at the ground. Safely.
One thing for sure is that no matter how your are or what you weigh, self courage and determination matters the most. There was this tall guy that took like forever to climb the rock, he was too scared and even after succeeding unlike some of us who had a reason to laugh at ourselves for the beforehand fear, he was still in shock. He was lean and looked fit than most of us.But I think what affected him most was the height although we had been earlier advised not to look down until you make it to the top.
You wanna play with your adrenaline and see how far it can stomach fear, do some rock climbing and see how it goes.