I’m hooked on climbing. I’ve done a good deal of gym climbing recently and have in the past fooled around on rock, but until last week I hadn’t had any serious experience on rock. Now that that has changed, my life is revolving around sticky rubber shoes, chalk, and tiny strips of nylon that can hold a nice size truck.
Ayo had a Faces of Israel presentation at Ramah Outdoors, an outdoor adventure camp in the Rockies. When I heard that we were going I was excited to find out that they offered climbing as an activity, but I expected that the camp would have a wall. Nope. They just have tons and tons of beautiful granite.
Their climbing program is pretty serious. Their head instructor is one of Israel’s elite climbers (he climbs 5.14b+) and Simon, the instructor who graciously took me under his wing is a wicked trad climber.
I was hesitant to ask too much of Simon, but over the course of a few days we spent hours upon hours out at the rock, practicing everything from gear placement to partner rescue and pulley rigging. I received for free the kind of instruction that people pay many, many hundreds for.
This coming week I’ll be visiting family in New York and I’m excited to take my younger brother out on rock for his first time. Climbing on rock completely changed my approach to gym climbing. I view it no longer as an end in itself. Rather, I see it as training for the outdoors.
Simon and I did a lot of crack climbing without taping our hands – a surefire way to hack away at skin, but now when I look down at my hands and legs and see small cuts and scratches, fantastic memories come to mind.
posted by yair