It’s been many years since I last went rock climbing. This past weekend, we were invited by Ken’s cousins to True North Climbing for some rock climbing fun.
While we opted out of the beginner class to be able to use the top rope belaying system, we still were able to climb some of the other walls thanks to our certified climber friends and especially the auto belaying walls. The auto belayer is still just as scary as when we went to the Ninja gym last year since the initial fall is the most terrifying. You really have to just let go of the rope and trust the system. I tried to backtrack and climb down a few steps after reaching the top of the wall but it was even harder that way. I just had to let go and descend to the ground.
Unlike in the past where I usually just scaled the rocks up the wall without caring for the coloured climbing holds, this time we stuck to the correct colours for the designated route which makes it more difficult to climb. I surprised myself by scaling up one of the walls by using two opposite walls to do so. Bryan was a good teacher and led by example and gave encouragement throughout the climb. It opened my eyes to how challenging and fun top rope rock climbing can be once again.
The benefit of using the auto belaying system is that you can climb by yourself without having a partner. However, when you get tired on the auto belay, you can’t just sit back and rest unlike the top rope method of climbing. Once you let go, you fall back to the ground. It’s more exhausting this way since you have to scale the route in one go.
By the one-hour point though, my fingers were so tired from gripping the climbing holds. If it weren’t for my tired fingers, I would have liked to keep going. It was rewarding and exhilarating to scale up the walls and see which ones I could tackle. I found that my yoga practice has improved my core strength too by allowing me to push up from my legs higher on to the walls than I would have been able to do in the past without regular yoga practice.
True North Climbing has lots of rock formations for bouldering too. Bouldering appears to be a lot harder than it looks and I’m fearful of falling when there’s no harness. I’m also not even at the skill level yet to try bouldering.
Rock climbing is so fun. It’s definitely something to enjoy every once in a while. (My biceps and arms were so sore the day afterwards — I definitely worked out those areas. 😀 )