I am always interested in trying new ways to workout or be active. I have always wanted to go to a rock climbing gym and learn how to tie the knots, belay and climb the walls so I went to IBEX in Blue Springs, Missouri with Patrick to give it a try last Friday afternoon.
The owner, Todd, gave us the introductory class called Ropes and What-Knot which taught Patrick and I how to tie in, belay and manage the ropes. It is the beginner class and lasted about an hour and a half.
Todd was an excellent teacher and would not move on to the next part of the class until we had the knot or technique mastered.
In a climbing gym, one person is the belayer, while the other person is the climber. The rope is attached to both the climber and the belayer. The climber ties in at the the end of the rope and the belayer is attached to the rope with a belay device which allows the them to safely hold the climbers weight with the rope.
I have to admit, I was scared to be the belayer for Patrick because he is almost double my weight, but it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated.
The gym has many different climbing routes based on the Yosemite climbing scale.
According to the scale, beginner-level routes are in the 5.1-5.8 range, while climbs in the 5.9-5.10d range are considered moderate.
After we finished the class, we were free to climb any route we wished. I stuck with the beginner, but would eventually like to go back and try a harder climb. To do the route correctly and to scale, the climber should stick with the color. For example, if the orange climbing route was a 5.6, Patrick should stick with the orange only to do it correctly. We cheated since we were first timers, but I thought it was good to know.
If you are looking for something new and fun to do with a friend or spouse, I couldn’t recommend Ibex more. With the class fee of $35.oo you get shoes, harness and everything you need to climb. The best part is after the class, you are free to climb as much as you want and since you are certified, you can come in anytime during open times during the 2 week trial.
Who knows, maybe this might be one of my upcoming challenges in the future.