Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rock Climbing in Santa Barbara

For Independence Day weekend, Casey, Richmond and I drove down to Santa Barbara for a somewhat  impromptu weekend with our friends Colin and Megan.  This was pretty much the first time I had been down to Santa Barbara (the first time was on a waterpolo road trip and we were only there for a day) and was excited to hang out and see what the town was all about.  Being some of our most outdoorsy friends, it was no surprise that we did a bunch of sports.  Richmond and I surfed in Big Sur on the way down, I swam a 1 mile open water race with Megan, we all played a bunch of frisbee and body surfing, and to top it off, we climbed some big rocks.  

I've been to climbing gyms a couple times in the past, but this was my first time ever climbing outdoors on real rock.  It was terrifying and exhilarating mixed with challenging and sweat promoting. 

Here is a shot of Megan rappelling down to set up the first climb.  Basically, she and Colin climbed up some shallower areas to get on the top and set up the anchor so we could top rope.  Pretty courageous from my perspective.

Here is my favorite shot of the two.  Megan is doing the first climb on the route that she set up while Colin is rappelling down from the second route he's setting up.  

Here is Casey showing her skills and crafty footwork while she makes her way up the rock.  I'd say she's about 45 feet up at this point.  

This is a bottom view of Richmond making his way up. Bummed I didn't get better pictures of his climb, but I had only brought my point-and-shoot on the trip and my batteries were on the verge of death at this point. 

Here is Richmond belaying me.  Top roping is a two person activity, where one person climbs, attached to one end of the rope, and another person belays, keeping the rope taught and ready to catch the climber if they fall.   It's a weird experience to know you're safe if you fall but still feel completely vulnerable.

Here is a sweet shot Colin got of me making my way up.  This was right after a really flat and difficult spot where was pretty much ready to call it quits.  But they encouraged me that it got better after and I made it up to the top.

In the end, I did two climbs and made it to the top of each of them.  To top it off, I did a mile open water swim a few hours later.  I was feeling like an old man with back pains, but after that swim (or more so after the warm down after that swim) I felt pretty young.