My High Adventure experience started on the course’s newest feature, a foot climbing wall. After a quick tutorial and demonstration from Turner Bowling, coordinator of the High Adventure program, I was ready to take a climb. It was my first experience climbing anything other than a tree. Bowling practically ran up the wall, looking a lot like Spider-Man, so I thought I should at least make it half
The climbing wall has two sets of hand and foot hold: an “easy” route and an “advanced” route. The holds on the advanced side are smaller and further apart. Climbing for the first time, I was not arrogant enough to think that I could manage the advanced side so I broke toward the easy path with my first couple of moves. Things were going great and I quickly reached the first level. The wall is marked in zones, one to seven, so you can track your progress. As soon as I passed the number “1” inscribed on the wall, I noticed that the holds started to get further apart; still I managed to get to number “2”.
Up until that point, I had chosen my own path. Honestly, I didn’t really think much about it. I just kept moving to the next hold, happy to be moving up. Two things happened next that changed my progression on the wall. First, my shoe came untied. It didn’t affect my foot hold at all, but after my team brought it to my attention I glanced down to look at my PR partner in crime, Amy, and realized how high I was. Then, on my next move my foot slipped. Whoa, that was a scary feeling.
I stayed on the wall and was able to get back on the hold I slipped off of, but I was having trouble finding the next hold that would work. My team of spotters below called out suggestions and I tried to reposition myself to make something work. Ultimately, I made two more forward climbs and then could go no further. My summit was somewhere between “2” and “3”.
Though it wasn’t a bad effort for my first time, I felt I could have done better. I know the next time I attack the wall, I am going to start planning a path sooner and try to look two to three steps ahead as I climb.