Through the years, I’ve had some incredible experiences scaling rock faces and subsequently rappelling back down them too.
Rock climbing gyms weren’t prevalent in northern VA growing up, but I got my first taste of this addiction in college (much to the dismay of my coaches). Most of my time was spent in warehouse gyms made up of man made holds and superficial surfaces. This is definitely the best way to learn, get comfortable and get over your fear of heights.
After college, I ventured into the wilderness while on my many adventures with certified guides. Some of the most memorable were a small group on my Alaska cruise scaling a wall in Sitka, canyoneering (mixture of climbing, rappelling & making your way through canyons & cliff edges) outside Zion National Park, attacking walls built on the back of cruise ships and numerous others.
My personal favorite was an extra excursion on Costa Rica deemed a night canyoneering trip. We rode a jeep deep into the wilderness, hiked a short trail to the river’s edge guided by the moonlight and plunged into the icy cold waters in our wet suit. Each adventurer had a heavy duty headlamp, along with a waist belt with a bunch of carabeeners. We slid down boulder faces into dark pools, weaving in and out of rocks before coming to a massive waterfall that we need to rappel down. It was exhilarating and equally terrifying. One at a time we were guided straight down the belly of the falls and I took an extra second while getting pounded with the cascading water to be totally in the moment. What an indescribable total rush! We all escaped unscathed and had an amazing story to tell the rest of the group who hadn’t been so adventurous.