Scal­ing those heights even though I’m scared of them

Bay News - - AROUND TOWN -

Turns out my limbs are built to climb rocks! Well, sort of . . .

I’m 6ft 4, and I be­lieve could be best de­scribed as ‘gan­gly’. I’ve got size 13 feet, so they alone are hard to wran­gle at the best of times . . . Tere are not many of those times, if you askmy lit­tle toe it would de­scribe its re­la­tion­ship­with the couch/table/bed legs of this world as ag­gres­sive and dis­ap­point­ingly painful. But the feet go well at reach­ing the lit­tle and splayed footholds of a rock climb­ing wall that those­with the lit­tler foot/leg would strug­gle to cling to. And cling­ing is def­i­nitely how I’d de­scribemy rock­climb­ing tech­nique. Sim­i­lar to how you see baby mon­keys hold­ing on for dear life un­der­neath their mu­mas she runs through the Ba­li­nese mon­key forests look­ing for de­serv­ing Aus­tralian tourists hats, sun­nies and phones to pinch. Yup, I cling like a tourist mon­key. Though slightly less rabid.

Rock­topia, on Tri­ton Ave at the Mount is a good time in­deed. I got there at 6pm— by 6.12pm I’d hired rock climb­ing shoes ($3), was har­nessed up, be­lay at­tached, been given a tu­to­rial on how to use all equip­ment and was climb­ing my first wall.

It was $20 all up (in­clud­ing shoes) and we could stay as long as we wanted. Al­most two hours later Iwas com­pletely stuffed and had scaled, like a baby gi­raffe mixed­with a sweaty cock­roach, mul­ti­ple walls of vary­ing dif­fi­culty. I’d let go of plenty of the hand holds and let the rope/ harness hold me. I hate heights and I’ve never been less scared of them.

It’s a great and cheap form of ex­er­cise, en­ter­tain­ment and ex­hil­a­ra­tion.

Some peo­ple were clearly pros and lit­er­ally climb­ing along the ceil­ing up­side down like gekos, but, un­like­many sports,

I felt no judg­ment from them as a noob.

The only neg­a­tive part about rock climb­ing I’ve found is that freakn’ au­to­cor­rect changes ‘rock’ to ‘Rick’ and peo­ple are con­stantly get­tingmes­sages from me about this guy Rick I climbed out at the Mountt on Mon­day night and how bug­gered Iwas af­ter­wards!

■ Will John­ston is host of The Hits 95FM Day Show. Live and lo­cal from 9am-3pm, ev­ery week­day in the Bay of Plenty.

Will John­ston, cling­ing to life at Rock­topia.

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