After signing our lives, and the right to sue, away we were fitted with harnesses and given a quick orientation on the gym's auto-belay system. The auto-belay is basically a giant pulley system rigged through the ceiling that allows people to rock climb without having to learn the mechanics of belaying (safety ropes).
|Maverick: Modeling our uber-unsexy harnesses|
After that, we were turned loose in the 12,000 sq. ft. facility to climb to our heart's content. And climb we did. It quickly became obvious that Dancing Queen is part spider-monkey as we watched her scale the walls like she was walking up a flight of stairs. In no time at all, she tagged the ceiling 35 feet above our heads!
|Dancing Queen or Spider Monkey?|
Coming down was another story. In order to get down, we had to let go of the wall and let ourselves fall backward (and then the auto-belay kicked in, slowed the fall, and lowered us somewhat gently to the ground). Let me tell you...the last thing in the world you want to do when dangling 35 ft. in the air is let go and fall backward! Once I finally convinced myself to let go, I discovered that coming down was almost more fun than climbing up. It sort of felt like floating.
|It felt much cooler than it looks!|
I can't wait to do this again! I discovered that the gym offers introductory belaying, knot-tying, and climbing classes for adults and am seriously considering giving it a try next winter!
Have you ever tried indoor or outdoor rock climbing?