We Challenge the Wall

Indoor Rock Climbing at the YMCA in Worcester

Fall 2005

Rock climbing at the YMCA
This fall we returned to the Rock Climbing Wall at the Worcester YMCA on Main Street for the first time in nearly three years. The activity was an instant hit, and we decided we would do monthly trips there for the rest of the year. Why do we do it? Why should you do it? Our pictures tell the story.

Hannah and Hilary YMCA climbing wall

The Y has a very nice rock climbing wall with lots of different routes and options to try out. It is a great destination for newcomers and first time climbers, but still offers plenty of challenge for more experienced climbers as well.

Sophie Amanda Most of our group of ten who ventured to the Y for our first trip of the season on October 19th had never climbed before, but we all had a blast. Sophie (at left) is clearly getting the "hang" of it, while Amanda, our expert, (at right) demonstrates that agility matters!

(How does she do that??)

Learning the ropes A dozen of us including many more newcomers were back at the Y on November 11th for our second trip of the season. Before we hit the wall, Dan from the YMCA gave an instruction session. He showed us how to correctly tie our knots and other important things like that.

Shannon and Lana Sophie, Hannah, and Arezu Before beginning our ascent, we double check out equipment. At left, Lana helps Shannon with her figure 8 knot, while on the right, Sophie, Hannah and Arezu work on getting their ropes in order

Rachael and Paula Climbing is a 2-person operation. Each climber on the wall is counterpoised by a belayer on the ground who controls the climber's rope. Here, Paula belays as Rachael reaches for a handhold.

Rachael belaying Lana belaying

Later they switch positions. Rachael focuses steadily on Paula's movements while belaying for her.

At right, Dan supervises Lana as she steps into the perfect belaying stance.

Alisa and Hannah Shannon ralleling

Of course, all the real action is on the wall. At left, Alysa is halfway to the top while Hannah is making her second attempt at the overhang.

At right, Shannon smoothly rappels down the wall after successfully reaching the top.

Stephanie Hannah Stephanie searches for a foothold on the wall while Hannah does a koala bear imitation on the overhang.

Arezu and Stephanie Arezu attempts a challenging route as Stephanie belays for her.

So why do we do it? For some, it's the challenge of mastering ever more difficult climbing routes. For others, it's more about strength training. It's about getting out and meeting new people. It's about building confidence in yourself and trust in your belayer. Whether you're doing a slow, deliberate climb or racing a friend to the top, it's your steps and missteps that make it real. It's about that great feeling you walk away with at the end of the night, like "Yeah, I did it; finally!" These are our reasons for doing it.

What about yours?

Photos from related Outing Club events:

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