Thursday, November 6, 2008

May I climb? Climb away!

There are times at Okemo when the multitude of activities slow for a few short weeks. Yes, the golf course is still open, yes there is snow at the top of the mountain, yes the Spring House fitness facility at Jackson Gore calls my name every time I loosen my belt, but occasionally I want a totally different activity. That's when it is great to be at the center of it all. Just a short drive up Rt 103 and you're in Rutland Vermont, home of the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center. With the days a bit shorter now and no time to play 9 holes of golf after work we're forced to find alternatives. Last night I was coaxed into indoor rock climbing. Now I don't exactly have the body of a rock climber (more the body of a sturdy belay base), but I'm always up for something new.

For a little more the $20 I got a lesson in rock climbing safety, and 2 hours of climbing (you can climb all day if you want, we just went from 6pm until they closed at 8pm). After two hours I was ready to plant my feet on the ground for a while. Having never climbed before I was surprised at the relative ease of the sport - until we started taking 'routes'.

There are a lot of rocks on the walls all around you, and if you just climb up using whatever is close it's really not that hard. We then started taking routes up. Rocks marked with various colors of tape (for different difficulty levels). The object being that you can only use, for instance, a rock with a red mark next to it. Let me tell you, that adds a lot of difficulty to the sport. With a little team work and a lot of trust in each other we were able to make it up MOST of the routes we tried. What's going to keep me coming back? We made it up MOST of the routes we tried, and the hardest route we tried was level 2 of the 8 or so levels they offer.

So, when you visit Okemo this winter and you're looking for some Apres Ski activity for the kids, head up to Rutland for the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center - I'm sure you'll have a great time working together to get to the top. Remember, when you get up, tap your head on the ceiling - the mark of success.

Ready to climb - Ready to belay - May I climb? - Climb away!


TKup said...

Hey Dave,

Thanks for the great report. This is definitely a great option for these short days where we can't always get outside in time, and skiing and riding is just out of reach. I'll have to check it out.

Kdot said...


Don't sell yourself short, you're a very graceful climber. Mental focus is the key for you. Try laughing less while you're on the wall ;) Next week will be better!