My husband is fortunate enough to work for Slalom Consulting and every year they take all their employees (+1) on an extended weekend getaway! This year’s trip was in Austin at the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. On that Saturday everyone can add an excursion if they want.
At first, when Louis mentioned the excursion options (horseback riding, wine tour, downtown tour, food truck tour, and rock climbing) I immediately jumped to rock climbing!Sure, it’s been about 5 years since I climbed last – how hard could it be!?! So we signed up.
Several weeks later – we are notified that we need to sign release forms, pick our box lunches, and send the size of our rock climbing shoes. This is the moment when I realized this was an OUTDOOR climb. Whoops. Now had I known this from the beginning I probably wouldn’t have been as confident and would have gone for the Horseback Riding option –however, since we were already signed up I didn’t want to be the lame wife who was too intimidated to give it a try.
Fast forward to the trip. We catch the bus and get to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. We pick our shoes, helmets, harnesses, etc. I am 1 of 4 women and the majority of the guys in the group rock climb regularly! We get all our gear our guide then tells us we need to cross a “small creek.” (It had rained the night prior)
After we cross the roaring river stream we get to our climbing site. They already have the ropes up and the show us the safety tips and how to communicate when we climb so no one gets hurts. We watch one of the guides climb up – it does NOT look easy! Louis and I look at each other and just start laughing out loud, we couldn’t contain it – the nervous laughter just wouldn’t stop!
After several others went and made it to the top – Louis gives it a try! He makes it! His long legs certainly looked like it helped! Now, I am now ready to try! If he can do it, I can do it! They said the bottom was the hardest and if I can reach halfway -the top half is easier.
It felt like I was stuck forever, however it was probably only a couple minutes. I finally managed to make it to the middle point. My legs weren’t quite as long as the others climbing so I had to utilize my knees. When I reached the middle point there was a little ledge I could just stand and give my arms some rest. I then realized I had been holding my breath while climbing — who does that?! I finally catch my breath and continue to climb. I was so in the zone – very tunnel vision – just telling myself I was going to make it to the top! If I fall –
I’ll die I’m harnessed! I look up and I’m at the top!! Woo Hoo! I did it!
I repelled down and felt the ground again. My fingertips were sore and my toes were throbbing but I really didn’t care – I did it!
I could have kept climbing other ropes but I was completely content just watching the others climb while visiting with the others on the beautiful day.
Lesson Learned: Welcome the Challenge! I’m so glad I didn’t back out and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Thankful for my husband who pushed me along the way and our new friends who also accepted the challenge. Everyone ended up climbing to the top at least once!
I’m sure we will try outdoor rock climbing again in the future – but next time I may practice indoors prior. Ha!
Shout out to Texas Climbing Adventures – CJ and Daniel – you guys are great guides! Thanks for keeping us safe and teaching us the correct way to climb!