Went climbing at Rockface today. It was pretty rad. I've been looking forward to it all week - longer, actually. Since watching Uncharted 4, I've had a mega craving for dangling up high and swearing at a wall. Well, this place delivered. I was definitely up high and definitely swearing.
A few things about this experience stuck out for me:
1. The physical challenge wasn't that bad. I thought my lack of upper body strength would let me down, but this didn't seem to matter so much. At least on the easy paths I took, the rocks were close enough for all my limbs to work together. There was also a taut rope helping to support my body weight (top-roping). I mean, the activity was strenuous, but I still managed a few climbs before hitting my limit.
2. Even though climbing seems straightforward, it's important to prepare the body. Especially if you live in a lazy, tired adult body. I didn't stretch. It was cold. I pulled a muscle in my tricep. Ow. :( I injure this muscle a lot. I hope it doesn't atrophy. :(
3. Smaller people seem to have an advantage. (?) Not just from having to lift less mass against gravity, but being able to stand on the smaller footholds was a plus. My climbing buddies were dudes with big feet. I struggled on some of the steps - can't imagine how tricky it must have been for them.
I imagine it's all relative, though...? Maybe a more experienced climber can educate me on this.
4. People OK with heights also seem to have an advantage. I've always loved being up high. I love that googly tummy feeling you get from looking down, and provided I know I'll have a comfortable landing, the dangling and falling is quite relaxing.
The same does not apply to one of my buddies, who climbed valiantly against a long-standing fear of heights as well as a tendency for vertigo.
5. The mental challenge was harder than I imagined. Especially when having to stretch or jump for rocks just out of reach. It involves calculating and taking some risk. Gambling. Letting go - literally and figuratively. On the harder tracks, it's the only way to get to the top. Metaphor for life? I think so.
We climbed a couple of 13s, an 11 and an 8. Just before we left, I had a go on a 14. That was my limit. My tricep was sore, my armpits were sweating, and my arms quivered all the way to the pub.
It was a good day. The staff were friendly. The place is beginner-friendly. I had a great time and would go back again. If you're ever stuck for something fun and physical to do with your mates, I'd totally recommend this. :)