The story of the girl & boy who took BRCS for a 2nd time (and the stupidest mistake I've ever made with a camera)
Last year, Andy and I took Basic Rock Climbing School with the Colorado Mountain Club. It was in this class that I learned I have a fear of heights. It was completely new to me, and I had absolutely no experience with being in a harness and climbing or repelling. I really came to enjoy climbing, but during the class, my fear took the wheel. I was terrified of absolutely everything I tried. Every climb, every repel, everything. I watched other students, both with and without experience, have a blast on the rock, and I felt left out. As I've mentioned before, I get mad when I'm afraid. I'm not sure why, but I really feel that if I'm afraid of something, I need to do it (obviously within reason. I don't need to pick up a murderous hitchhiker anytime soon).
Andy and I frequently climbed indoors throughout the past year. And occasionally, outdoors. We really fell in love with the sport. Most of my fears have lessened, and now I focus on getting better and perfecting specific techniques (the day I did my first heel hook was amazing!). Top roping routes in Colorado are limited, compared to the amount of climbing available as a whole. Sport climbing involves clipping into bolts as you climb. Being able to sport climb is my ultimate goal because it will open up so many more options for us. Andy and I decided that we want to move on to the next level in climbing with the CMC, and are signed up for Rock Seconding School at the end of June. Because our first class was so overwhelming, we decided to take it again to make sure we were on track to move up.
BRCS the second time around was an absolute blast. I could not believe what a difference a year had made. Unlike last year when I hovered around the easy routes and was the last one in line to repel, I was excited to jump on the more difficult routes and couldn't wait to be the first one up to repel! (we were required to complete 3 repels, I did 5) I couldn't believe how far I'd come. I couldn't believe how much fun I was having. I was able to focus more on technique because I wasn't fearing for my life. Which honestly, in a top rope environment, is a pretty unfounded fear. Andy and I completely trust eachother on belay, and we are both far more willing to try things we wouldn't try before. I never assumed a route was "too difficult". There were a few I couldn't get on, but I tried, and that was enough. Andy did, too. One of the first one's we tried was difficult even for the instructors, but Andy really gave it his all and fell 4 different times. I was so proud! There were even more routes that I made it to the top of, including chimneys and cracks, and that was the most fun of all. (I'm officially in love with off width crack climbing.)
I can't really praise the instructors with the CMC enough. Everyone is so nice and helpful. They are VERY experienced and knowledgable (some are AMGA instructors and guides) and safety is everyones TOP priority. If I could always climb with a CMC instructor, I absolutely would. But seeing as how everyone volunteers their time to the club, thats tough.
I took pictures all day during our outdoor climbs. And I would show you those pictures, but...wait for it...I SHOT ALL DAY WITH NO MEMORY CARD IN MY CAMERA! If you never want to use my name and the word photographer in a sentence again, I completely understand. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT! Ever! I'm shooting with a Sony Nex5R (my official hiking/climbing camera) and apparently it will shoot without a card and saves 1 image to its internal memory. That way if you click preview, you see the image. This led me to believe all day that nothing was wrong. Had we, at any point, sat down to go through multiple pictures, we would have realized they weren't there. But sadly, that didn't happen and I only have 2 pics that I took on my phone. We were too busy having fun. When I realized my mistake, I was REALLY REALLY sad. But the truth is, it doesn't matter. I had a blast. I'd love to have some pictures to show for it, but not having them does NOT take away from the experience. And, lesson learned. I'll never make that mistake again. Ever.
In the meantime, here's a picture of some of my bruises. So many glorious scrapes and bruises. So much fun.