Monday, March 05, 2007

Fake Rock Climbing!

Yesterday, Kenji and I took an introductory rock climbing lesson at NJ Rock Gym, an indoor climbing facility in Fairfield, NJ. I call this post fake rock climbing because the walls at the gym aren't really rock.

This was a first time for both of us. The instructor at the gym, Margo, taught us how to tie the appropriate knots and how to belay. The belayer is the person who holds the other end of the rope that the climber is tied to, and makes sure that the climber won't get killed if he or she should fall off the wall.

It was fun - we each did probably around six or eight climbs during and after the lesson. The gym walls were probably only 25 or 30 feet tall - tall enough to give us an idea of what it's like. The walls we climbed were not especially difficult, but there were some walls at the gym that I'm sure we'll needs lots of practice before being able to tackle them. I think I have more upper body strength than I expected I would, but I still got tired pretty quickly. As the belayer, when you are ready to let the climber come down, you have to let the rope slip through your "brake" hand - this was the part I liked least, as my right hand are very wimpy and began to feel raw after belaying only few climbs for Kenji. I wonder if wearing little half gloves to rock climbing is a wussie thing to do. After all, I didn't notice any of the other climbers there wearing anything on their hands.

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