This trip was the start of my love for the outdoors. It was a rock climbing trip to the Enchanted Rock State National Area in Fredericksburg, Texas. There was a group of us from the Outdoor Adventure group that went for three days and camped. On this trip there were a lot of firsts for me. Those include rock climbing on a natural surface and learning how to repel down a wall.
Rock climbing on a natural wall is a whole other world compared to climbing on a recreational wall. When on a recreational wall, there are predetermined routes that are usually identified by colors. Those routes are then easy to follow, you just find a hold with the assigned color and go up. For the most part, the only challenges you run into are finding a way to grab a hold enough to progress to the next one, or overcoming a section that is inverted. When doing a natural wall, there are no holds marked out for you, you have to find the holds. Sometimes those holds take a while to find if you are not an experienced climber, and because they take long, the climber tends to get tired and needs a break. Many things are different between the two. That is just an example of of some that I ran into on this trip.
Rappelling is something that a climber can do to to get down from setting up a rope. Before even starting to rappel, the climber has to set up a munter hitch (it’s a type of knot) that is used to rappel on a single carabiner. When rappelling, the climber is in charge of their own braking and feeding of rope to get themselves down. Once they are down, they are able to undo the knot and pull the rope down.
This trip was a learning experience for everyone on this trip. We grew as people and in our knowledge.