Scaling those heights even though I’m scared of them
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.