By Nell Velez. Outdoor Gear. Published at Monday, January 08th, 2018 - 13:26:00 PM.
The bottom line is that if you want to safely climb rock climbing walls, choose an indoor rock climbing facility which will offer you plenty of opportunities to improve your skills while at the same time not put you under any undue risk as would be the case if you were to go outdoors and try your luck.
Pulling into New Paltz was exciting. A quick stop at the climbing shop was like visiting an old friend. When we arrived at the trailhead, it was early afternoona far cry from the alpine starts we aimed for in the past, though seldom achieved. My husband and I, back again at our favorite cliff, now with our son, were ready to embark on our adventure. Wed given a lot of thought to how to give Mason a sense of ownership and accomplishment in our day and the first thing we did was have him pack his own pack. We let him choose a few things he wanted to carry and included a piece of group gear so that he could contribute.
There is a moment at the start of any climb when the mood shifts. The drive and the hike in can be casual and chatty, but then comes the time to get on the rock, and the climbing begins. We arranged the gear and my husband, David, started up the cliff to set the belay. After he reached the top and set the anchor, I clipped the rope to Masons harness, tied myself in a few feet below him, and we headed up. With my husbands belay carefully set within eyesight up the cliff and me a few feet below him, Mason started up. He hesitated, a little scared, and balked. For a moment, I wondered whether Masonmy shy and cautious little boywould have the courage to continue. But with some encouragement, he pushed through his fear and made his first move. Then anotherand anothergrowing more confident as he learned to scan the rock and find the best hand and footholds. Before I knew it, we were halfway up the cliff and I was hurrying to keep up with him. By the time he got to the crux move (the hardest move on the route), he had a smile on his face. We made the belay with hugs and delight. Mason couldnt have been happier. At the top of the cliff, we settled in to enjoy a picnic at the top of the world. It was a brilliant moment and the proud, ear-to-ear smile on my quiet boys face was unforgettable.
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