Rac­ing Up the Wall

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - —shruthi@time­so­fo­man.com

Ev­ery­where you look in Oman, you will def­i­nitely find huge moun­tains stand­ing tall and strong like guardians. While I have been on a num­ber of hikes and treks (and I’m still un­sure if I know what is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two) here, I have never re­ally gath­ered the courage to try moun­taineer­ing for a num­ber of rea­sons. Firstly, my up­per body, es­pe­cially my arms are so weak that I’ve al­most cried af­ter I was asked to do 5 push-ups in a work­out ses­sion. Also while I am not re­ally scared of heights, but the in­se­cu­rity of hav­ing by the har­ness and pos­si­bly scrap­ing my­self against the rough rocks hasn’t seemed like a pleas­ant idea. At most of all I’ve never re­ally found a per­son or a group that can train me to try this out in the wild. So at this level, what I needed was a prac­tice field of sorts. And that came along my way as soon as I dis­cov­ered Mus­cat Wall Climb­ing. While wall climb­ing can be a lot of fun and may look easy, it is a very phys­i­cally chal­leng­ing ac­tiv­ity. The first time I had tried wall climb­ing was out­side the Al Hoota Caves while we were wait­ing for our train to come. There was a kid try­ing to climb up the wall hold­ing on to the dif­fer­ent coloured foot and hand grips. He fi­nally man­aged to get to the top and pressed on the red buzzer, which is when I no­ticed the timer on the wall. That got us all ex­cited and my friends and I, one by one, at­tempted to climb the wall and pressed the buzzers

at dif­fer­ent times rang­ing be­tween 7 and 58 sec­onds. Al­though I didn’t re­alise it while climb­ing due to the time pres­sure, when I got down I found out that I had worked my arms, legs, and core apart from my mind to strate­gi­cally place my hands and legs on the grips. This was my cue to look for a climb­ing cen­tre in Mus­cat be­cause I could ob­vi­ously not drive all the way to Nizwa ev­ery day. I was grate­ful to have fi­nally found a fun way to get my pa­thet­i­cally mis­er­able up­per body stronger in a fun, sporty way. And Eureka! I found just the best place. Hid­den be­hind the Ghubra Power and De­sali­na­tion Plant is the Mus­cat Climb­ing Cen­tre, a huge space for ad­ven­ture lovers and strength testers. It is an open hall with dif­fer­ent kinds of walls with varied an­gles of in­cli­na­tions and dif­fer­ently coloured grip­pers. There was a lot of en­ergy ooz­ing out of the place, with the bright lights and the pumped up vibes. I was shown around and ex­plained some of the rules of climb­ing briefly be­fore I de­cided to try one of the walls out for my­self. The first wall I chose was a bad choice for me. It was in­clin­ing out­wards and had no har­ness to sup­port. Ba­si­cally, this was for the pros, which I was not. So then I jumped to the next wall. It had two ropes, one tied on to me and the other one tied on to an­other per­son who would stand on the floor whilst I climbed to bal­ance it out. I did have to use my arms, legs, and my mind to get right to the top as climb­ing a pro­fes­sional wall does re­quire a lit­tle bit of strate­gis­ing when it comes to the place­ment of hands and legs on grips. While climb­ing up was a task, com­ing down was fun too. Just let­ting go and hang­ing mid air. There are ways to make this chal­leng­ing by ei­ther set­ting a time limit or com­pet­ing with friends or by mak­ing sure you use only a sin­gle colour of the grip to climb. Wall climb­ing can also be con­sid­ered as a warm up for moun­tain climb­ing and helps you de­velop the re­quired skill and strength for it. Well, I am just glad to have found out an­other ac­tiv­ity in Oman that gets added to my week­end work­out sched­ule.

Mus­cat Climb­ing Cen­tre, be­hind the Ghubra Power and De­sali­na­tion Plant Sun-Thurs 1:00pm-9:00pm Fri-Sat 10:00am-6:00pm +968 9344 4787

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