Red Rock Climbing Wall

I was the senior member of a small but mighty band that visited Red Rock Climbing Wall in Stratford this morning. It was my first time at, near, or up a climbing wall, and so a chance to live out the aphorism, posted there on the wall, “when was the last time you got to do something for the first time” with a dose of moxie.

We were greeted by personable owner Matt Cormier, a skilled climber, and an even better concierge and teacher. He really is a master of getting one from uninitiated-just-off-the-street into gear (a harness, purposefully-tight climbing shoes), awareness, and up the wall.

I love a new experience, and was curious about what climbing would be like, and that was enough to get me over the fear reflex. It’s a fascinating series of spacial, strength, and body-awareness puzzles to get from the bottom to the top, and, after a slow start, I managed to climb to the top of the first run. I’m proud of myself.

Photo of me just about at the top of the first run at Red Rock Climbing Wall

Once I was at the top, there was nowhere to go but down, which is done—and this is the most counter-intuitive part, something that Matt warned us of—by leaning back off the wall and sliding gently back to Earth. Lisa shot a video of me doing just that:

Notice that I was smiling when I got to the ground!

Thank you to Lisa for the invitation to Red Rock, for Matt for being so helpful, and for younger L. and S., the other members of the crew, for their inspiring feats of climbing prowess.

If you’re curious about rock climbing, and want to get a taste, I highly recommend a visit to Red Rock. You need to bring only yourself and your moxie.