I hope all you fathers out there had a nice Day (capital "D") yesterday. I had a full day. My son Xander's sport is rock climbing, which he's been doing for about a year after discovering that it's good for his shoulders, which he injured weightlifting. He's gotten good at it. The local climbing wall, Adventure Rock, had a "Father's Day Special"—dads climb for free—so I got to go with him. It was great fun. And astonishing to me to see what they can do.
I wasn't expecting to take pictures, but, in case this sport is as unfamiliar to you as it is to me, here are a few snaps:
Here Xander negotiates an overhang. He's using only the blue holds, which defines a single route.
The ropes are only for safety and don't provide any support. On the wall it's all you.
Xander and girlfriend Abby discuss a route...
...And Abby masters the "crux" (the difficult point—in this case, those smooth round blue boulders near the bottom) and "sends" the route (derived from ascend, a complete climb in one attempt without falling) for the first time. The last Level 11 route she needed to conquer before moving on.
As for Dad, well, I did my best. No route—I just grabbed for any old hold I could find and held on for dear life! And if you notice that sign above my head, dang straight I was clipped in.
Hands are the weak point for rank beginners, turns out. I made four or five attempts on different walls and, at my best, maxed out at 20 or 25 feet up before holding all that weight on the wall got to be too much for my hands. I'm not used to holding much more than leashes with exuberant dogs on the other end and lightweight mirrorless cameras.
Speaking of cameras, there was even a very nice photo exhibit at Adventure Rock, 4x5" film landscapes by William F. Lemke. Wonder if he ever visits TOP?
Later, Xander treated me to a steak dinner with Abby's family, all of whom I was meeting for the first time. It was a bit like meeting celebrities, I'd heard so much about them all.
Now I want to go back with one of these, which I've been coveting, once I can afford one. I've maxed out the camera budget for a while now.
Just great seeing my son in his element. Very enjoyable for me—I'm very proud of him.
(Thanks to Xander and Abby)
Original contents copyright 2015 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
No featured comments yet—please check back soon!