Please help.

I am training to do a one-day 28.3 mile hike in support of children's cancer research -- and I plan to do the entire hike BAREFOOT! Please SPONSOR ME in the Ultimate Hike and help support this great cause. Thanks!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Belay

My daughter taking a break on the ledge
I took my daughter to our local indoor rock climbing gym yesterday so she could take a belay class.  We used to go to the gym often to climb but haven't gone much over the last year.  Now that she's old enough to belay I thought it would be a good time for us to resume the activity.  It's also a good way for me to stay active while training for the Ultimate Hike.

In case you're not familiar with rock climbing terms, here's how belyaing works. One end of the climbing rope is attached to the harness of the climber.  The belayer stands on the ground with the other end of the rope threaded through a belay device on the belayer's harness.  It's the job of the belayer to exert friction on the climbing rope so that a falling climber doesn't fall very far.  In the picture to the left my daughter is the climber and I'm the belayer (not shown) at the other end of the rope.

My daughter did great in the class and quickly learned how to belay.  The first several times she belayed for me I had her catch me in a fall while I was still low on the wall.  She did well each time.  It didn't take long before we were both confident in her abilities and I was scrambling to the top of the wall, literally putting my life in her hands.  We took turns climbing/belaying, had a great time and got in a good work out.

Later in the afternoon, we joined some friends at a local park where there is an outdoor man-made climbing boulder.  We hadn't planned to do more climbing that day but we didn't shy away at the opportunity.  Bouldering, which occurs at lower heights, doesn't require ropes so no one had to belay.  Just grab on to the rock and climb!

I do wear rock climbing shoes when I'm at the climbing gym because they require it.  When I'm bouldering at the park I climb barefoot.
Barefoot bouldering at our local park.

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