This weekend we went Rock Climbing at the Castle Rock State Park in California. Castle Rock is a favorite with rock climbers. We climbed a rock face for beginners. But there were a lot of people with sophisticated gear heading for the more difficult rock faces. We were with a group led by ‘Adventure Out’ as we had got a 50% off deal for that operator.
We hiked about a mile from to the rock we climbed. The hike involved inclines and it seemed particularly hard on our way back after a tiring climb. All our gear were provided to us – Helmet, Climbing shoes, Harness etc. I would have liked some gloves as well, for better grip on the rock. I did see some people climb without helmet. I think a helmet is very very necessary. I slipped when rappelling down the rock face. The helmet protected my head from a bump, though my hip slammed into the rock leaving a black and blue bruise. Our guides also taught us basic techniques and skills required for rock climbing like tying the double-8 knot.
Rock climbing is a test of the strength in your legs and arms as you hoist yourself up. You will also need good control of your limbs as your place them in the crevices. Needless to say, caution is of utmost importance. We used our hands and legs to crawl up the rock face and then rappelled down. Our guides from Adventure Out were our belayers (like a co-pilot). Belaying is an anchoring technique that ensures that the climber does not fall far, if he does fall.
We did come away from the experience with scrapped knees and aching arms. However, it was fun and we loved pushing ourselves to try new things. I would recommend this sport and the operators, to all the adventurous.