Rock climbing rocks. I don’t really know a better way to say it. My very first try at rock climbing was at Yamnuska this year, and it’s one of the best tours I’ve booked so far. Are you curious why I did it, and if it’s right for you? Read on!
In a previous article, “Meeting Likeminded People,” I mentioned that I met some people who love rock climbing and talked about it passionately. After listening to these stories, I decided that I needed to try it out! (Note to self: always ask about people’s hobbies and try new stuff. It’s worth it.) When I was in Yamnuska, Alberta, Canada, I saw a flyer for a beginning rock climbing course by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and decided to check it out with one of my good childhood friend, Anya.
When you get there
The first thing we noticed when we arrived was that we were a small group. Which is the best kind, if you ask me. There were five of us there, so we could chat easily without being swallowed in a crowd. Once everyone arrived, we started our orientation. In the classroom, our guides explained what rock climbing is, the basics, the safety stuff, and all that shebang. The guides were all about safety, which made me feel comfortable about trusting them with my life while I scaled a massive rock face. They taught us everything we needed to know. Of course, you can memorize every rock-climbing guide without learning how to do it, so eventually we headed off to Zygote Mountain.
The first climb
To begin, our guide taught us how to tie the knot (no, not get married, although it would be a cool place to do that), showed us the point of the hooks, and explained the level of the rocks. He taught us the different commands and how to belay. He also made sure that we trusted our partners, which is super important! Fortunately, I had Anya with me. I know she’s got me.
All that day, we climbed up the sides of the mountain. The time slipped away before my eyes, and before I knew it, the first day was over! I was already addicted to climbing by the time my feet touched the ground for the last time. All day, our guide kept pushing us to do harder and harder paths. I loved that no one follows a specific route; you do your own thing and figure out what’s the most comfy for you. It’s sort of like a puzzle that you have to figure out as you go along. You have to challenge yourself!
Climbing day two
The first thing I noticed when I woke up on the second day was that I was SORE. The day before, I had used all the muscles I had, even the little ones that I didn’t know existed. The soreness actually made me kind of happy!
When we got to the mountain, our guide decided to take us further and made us do the back of Lake Louise. He checked our ability to do the basic skills, and then we climbed. It was such an amazing place to rock climb! The wall was fantastic, and there were so many routes. As a plus, we had a great view of Lake Louise from the top. Event thought the main point of the climb was to have an adventure, just the lake view was worth the trip.
Something I discovered about the rock-climbing community is that everyone is friendly and helpful. There is no competition, only encouragement! Everyone is there for everyone else, and the sport is only a challenge against your own mind and willpower. That’s my kind of sport, friends. I love this culture. I love this tour! I would definitely do it again.