Finally, work all done, I hit holiday mode, and Uncle Brick and I filled the car to capacity with willing chicklets and headed off to a rock climbing gym about half an hour away.
Our of 5 kids total, only one was determined to derive no joy from the day, so the car ride went pretty much without incident.
I’ve been interested in rock climbing and mountain climbing for a while, I have a love of books about mountain climbing, mostly Everest, but reading David Breshear’s ( of IMAX fame) wonderful book ‘High Exposure’ I learned a lot about the art of rock climbing. Mr Breshears is a purist on the rock. He finds natural holds and doesn’t like to bang pins in and damage the rock’s natural face.
I enjoy reading these books but I am not a wannabe climber, I’m just intrigued by the drive and endurance of people who do it.
But Mr Breshears need have no fear, I pose no threat. I learned I am neither fearless nor sure-footed, two qualities that would be very helpful practicing this sport.
That aside it was a lot of fun and I want to go back. It was all pretty safe and the kids could leap up and down at their own pace.
It was neither too easy as to be boring, nor too hard as to be pointless trying.
After exhausting ourselves from scaling the walls we began gymnastics on the thick mats and discovered not a man among us can do a decent cartwheel, though headstands are my strong suit.
There was hardly anyone else there on the weekday morning, though I suspect it’s probably full of families on the weekend.
There were only about four or five other people there, mostly men, ‘real’ climbers, wearing climbing club T-shirts. very athletic looking,
with wonderfully muscled arms, not that horrible body builder type muscle, just great, ‘ I climb a lot of rocks’ muscles.
There was a sign on the wall saying ‘ NO NAKEDNESS CLIMBING’. Such are the vaguaries of translation here at time, I thought it might even mean no barefoot climbing, so I asked the lady. She said it meant you can’t take your shirt off to climb. I wasn’t planning to, but she said, men had been climbing shirtless and some women had complained.
Who are these women? Have they nothing better to do with their day, bloody do-gooders.