On Monday night, my friend Kim and I visited the Boston Rock Gym in Woburn for a three-hour introduction to indoor rock-climbing. We got geared up with special harnesses and very tight shoes and then spent more than two hours learning safety basics – essential because while one person is enjoying the challenge of climbing the wall, their partner is on the ground as the “belayer”. One end of the rope is attached to the climber’s harness; the other is attached to the belayer, who also wears a harness to which a special pulley system is attached. The rope goes through the pulley, and through a series of synchronized hand movements, the belayer takes up the slack in the rope as the climber gets higher. By keeping the rope taunt, the belayer ensures that if the climber tumbles off the wall, they won’t have very far to fall.
Kim volunteered (well, I “volunteered” her) to be the first person in our group to go up the wall and she did great. We then broke into groups of three to practice climbing, falling, and belaying.
I had actually tried indoor rock-climbing once before, more than 10 years ago, at the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Chicago with my friend Julie. No photos from that adventure!
Have you ever tried indoor rock-climbing? I’d certainly be up for going again!
The perfect Figure 8 knot.