By Anthony | September 21, 2012
Don’t worry, the title will be explained somewhere in between these photos.
Song of the Week=Shake Weight (Tnght Version) by Captain Murphy
As some of you may know, one of the places I work at is the Outdoor Adventure Center. (For those of you that don’t know that, next time you’re on campus, come visit. I’m there just about every weeknight so the chances of me forcing you to climb a route I made is pretty good.) Well, last weekend, we had “OAC Climbing Staff Training” at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. There’s a good chance that last sentence left you with a lot of questions, so just bear with me here.
Get it? BEAR with me!? Oh come on, don’t give me that look.
This trip was for those staff who eventually want to become trip leaders, assistant trip leaders, and the less glamorous position of “Apprentice” (basically going on a trip, but not having to do much other than observe). The Red River Gorge, also known as “The Red,” is one of the most famous places in the world for sport climbing.
So you can only guess how we spent the weekend. Early mornings, long hikes, long days of rigorous climbing, late nights marshmallow-ing, mixed with catching and cooking our entire food, right?
Well, you’d be wrong because it was none of that.
Except for the marshmallows
You see, the training was all about… training. Training how to manage a sight. Training how to think like a trip leader. Training on how to pick out the best part for anchors. Training on how to tie a dozen different knots. Training on safety precautions. Even training on food ordering etiquette. Yes, that is a real thing we did.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t any climbing involved. After an entire day of learning knots and proper anchoring techniques, as well as another half a day of practice, we finally got to put our training into practice.
Now I could carefully explain what was done during each step of the way, but I have a camera phone so I’m going to let these pictures do all of that work for me while I just comment on them.
That bag weighed almost as much I did
In this last photo, I’m hanging from an anchor I set up. For those that don’t know, an anchor is exactly what it sounds like—it holds you there. You also hang the rope you’ll be climbing with on them. This is important.
Traversing along a narrow path. Don’t worry, we’re anchored in.
It may be hard to see, but I’m actually hanging from an anchor I placed. Below me is a 30 foot drop (it was a small wall). To belay means to take in slack while the climber climbs (among other things). Since I’m above the climber, it would be considered a top belay. The type of top belay I’m doing is sometimes referred to as a “hanging belay.” (Told you I’d explain it!)
In case you were wondering, yes, I did get to climb some. If you weren’t wondering, then allow me to explain further: It was awesome I’m doing it again. In fact, it was that same exact route that I was doing a hanging belay over. I’m glad you existed for me to pretend that you asked.
Lesson Learned: Climb more!
To see what else I’m anticipating, check out 4th Year
To see what other kinds of writing I do, check out My Short Stories
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