Finally, some rock climbing!

Posted: February 6, 2012 by Ben Weber in Climbing, English, Training, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Yesterday was out first proper climbing session, out in the open at a place called Pedra Bela, about 100km north of São Paulo city. The rock stands out about 60 metres high at the top of a hill in a rather picturesque area, and there is a church on top of it. It is quite popular for both beginner and advanced climbers as there are parts which are only around 70-80 degrees – nice and positive – with plenty of places for hands and feet, as well as vertical climbs with few decent places to get a grip.

Heading out at 7am with a group of about 16 people from the Casa de Pedra climbing gym, we had a beautiful day for it – almost too beautiful, with temperatures of around 35C. We weren’t complaining though as, had it been raining it would have been cancelled, and it has been raining a lot these days in São Paulo.

It was great to be out of the climbing wall! Though it was very different – at the wall, there are plenty of big hand grips and places to put your feet. On the rock, we were clinging to tiny rock tips which were sticking out. Also in the safety of the gym, the “rocks” are not sharp..!  So whilst we would never get dropped on the rock, losing your balance could, and did, lead to lots of cuts, scrapes and bruises across the body!

I think both of us did well. We managed the basic climbs with no problems whatsoever, though when we got to the vertical ones… well these were hard. Natalia has definitely done well in terms of her progress in technical climbing and she managed these quite a bit quicker than me. I am slowly getting better with the technique but still need to work on it – with the last climb I did, I almost cried when I got to the top as it took so long and my legs and hands were hurting with the cuts sustained in loosing balance a couple of times! I need to depend and trust more in my feet and legs as opposed to my hands and arms.

We both, in the end, managed just about all the climbs we tried, though Natalia did one extra climb than myself – I lost a lot of energy with the climbs I did, and my fingers were burning from the cuts. Running out of water at those temperatures was not the best thing either, and there was nowhere around selling anything.

Got back home about 14 hours after we left, so it was a full day. It felt amazingly good to jump into a cold shower at the end, as in spite of a good factor 50 sun cream, we still ended up quite badly burned as well as sweaty and covered in chalk dust for keeping our fingers dry! Certainly slept well last night as well.

All worth the effort, though, and we will be back there soon – plenty more work to do and plenty to learn!

Comments
  1. Only the brave can learn. It takes courage to explore new heights and challenging tasks. Keep up the good work. Nice one!

  2. Ethan Zook says:

    Very well done! As you learn technique, you will be better able to conserve your energy–this should allow you to be a little less exhausted at the end of each climb! Keep at it, climb as much as possible.

    • Ben Weber says:

      Thanks Ethan! Yes, seeing Natalia being able to do the extra climb was great as it was clear about how with the way she had learned, she was able to climb more effectively. Great experience, and definitely will be back outside again soon!

      I liked reading your blog by the way! Interesting info about kit, some great pics and great dream adventures to have!
      Cheers,
      Ben

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