Monday, 8 November 2010

Climbing Climbing Climbing!!

If you had not worked out from previous posts or from informed intelligence, Sarah and Rachel and I (along with a few others), all LOVE going climbing! So at any opportunity to go...we're there!

On Monday evenings we all go climbing on a very challenging and tricky wall at a local school, which has lots of overhangs. We are gradually conquering the climbs there and set ourselves challenges such as holds only for hands and features only for feet - there are a range of different combinations! There are also the exciting moments when belayers go flying because their climber has fallen off (though I don't think anyone has met half way up the wall yet!?) It's great fun and an amazing way to spend an evening; who needs TV or computers?!

So, for Sarah's birthday it was inevitable that we would go climbing! So on Friday we set out for Craggy Island in Guildford joined by Sarah's sister Emily who had been doing work experience with us that week. Conveniently she is already a wall leader and can lead climb! (JL says Emily can come back anytime!)

During our journey to Craggy Island in Percy (Sarah's car), we had a few incidents with lorries deciding they could squish us: lorry drivers really think they rule the road! When we finally got to Craggy Island after our hour-and-a-half long journey we all had to do a quick test to check we could tie in, belay and put a harness on...which we all passed! Rachel and I hired climbing shoes and Sarah tried out her very own BRAND NEW ones which were a birthday present: they dramatically improved our climbing!

Over the day our climbing improved and we started trying harder and harder climbs at different grades. Emily taught Sarah how to lead climb (and fall) which left her with some stunning bruises on her kneecaps. We also tried out some other techniques like chimneying (is that a word?!) and bridging which we started to use on other climbs as well. Needless to say we became a little frustrated at climbs when we could not do them so I think we might be going back so we can beat them, finally! And, most importantly, when we were swapping from belaying to climbing we invented something called the chalk hug which enabled us to swap the chalk bag over; hugs are amazing and any excuse is a good one :D.

We climbed for about 4 and a half hours with breaks in between which involved investigating the climbing shop they have at Craggy Island; now we all want our own harnesses for comfort reasons! And now that Sarah, Rachel and Emily all have climbing shoes, I guess I'm next! By the time it got to 6pm we were knackered with sore feet, legs, arms and fingers. We all loved our visit to Craggy Island and no doubt we will be going back at some point, though there are a few other places we want to try out as well!

After Craggy Island we went to Rachel's family home which is about 5 mins away from Craggy Island. Rachel's mum had made us dinner which was lovely. Now, no birthday is right without a cake, but sadly Sarah can't have cake. So...we invented the 'grape cake' (two bunches of grapes with candles in them)! It was amazing and Sarah loved it. To follow this fantastic day we went to the local fireworks display at Stoke Park! It was a great end to an epic day :D

I'm sure we will have many more adventures on our days climbing around :D


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