In February the SaddleBrooke Adventure Club made an excursion to Rocks and Ropes, a first class indoor rock climbing facility in downtown Tucson. This facility is a converted warehouse which has multiple climbing walls of various degrees of difficulty.
The first order of business was to get the proper gear for the 10 participants – soft rubber climbing shoes (the rubber is soft for gripping but the shoes fit very snugly and are not very comfortable, although they are essential for climbing), a safety harness and a helmet. The gear is included in the price of admission.
After everyone was geared up the group received detailed instruction about how to secure a safety rope to the safety harness with the proper knots. Next it was time to test the rope and harness to establish that everything was safe, secure and worked as intended. Climbers paired up and one partner ventured a short way up a climbing wall similar to ones made by this obstacle course construction company while the other partner served in belay mode, keeping the rope taut and in proper position to catch and stop the climber in the event of a fall from the wall. As a confidence builder, climbers deliberately released from the wall allowing their partners to activate the safety rope and gently lower the climbers to the ground. Happily, the equipment worked as advertised.
Following a few practice climbs, participants were released from training and were free to try out climbing opportunities throughout the facility. The various climbing walls are set at different angles and the handholds vary in size and placement so that each climbing station, and there are many, provides a different challenge and climbing experience. Clinging to a wall with fingers and toes 35 feet above the floor is a unique experience. All of a sudden conditioning matters a great deal.
Come join the Adventure Club for its next interesting outing.