REI Trailheads: Want to Try Rock Climbing?


– Then, I don’t why I let
you guys talk me into this. – You got this.
– Yes, your leg is the second hand and your
right arm is the minute hand. – Okay.
– Are you with me now? There you go, right there.
– That’s it, girl. – Three, two, one.
– Push those legs up. – Keep going.
– Yup, up with the legs. – [Elena] Yes! – There you are.
– That’s it, that is– – Very nice.
– There it is. Is the bell here? Is it close? – There, you got it.
– You are so close to the bell.
– I got something here, my friends.
– Yeah, just a little bit further, yeah.
– Just a little bit further. (upbeat music) – I don’t know if you guys know, but I have a strong fear of heights. – This is gonna be the most epic journey we’ve been on thus far. – I’m not ready, I’m not ready. – Just relax. – Yeah.
– Is that helpful? – [Elena] Where’s the rocks at, y’all? – A gentlemen never tells. – I need to know.
– But, if you’re willing to go on the journey– ♪ Roll on, grab me a roll on ♪ – It’s the climb. – [Elena] Are these the
muscle groups that you use while rock climbing? – [Anna] Oh, I’m nervous. – [Colin] How scary can it be? – Here we go. (whistling) – [Elena] Okay. – [Anna] What is this? – Well, basically, this is what is gonna keep you from becoming a grease spot on the old desert floor out there. – Okay, I’m out. – I have a selection. This is–
– More hiking, less talking about falling, please.
– I think– – Our guide should be
around here somewhere. – I hope we have a guide because I need some explanation on what
all these things are. (footsteps crunching) – I think this is where
we’re supposed to meet him. – Right here? – Yeah.
– Hi, guys. – Oh, hey!
– How’s it goin’? – Hey.
– Look at that. – Hey, everyone.
– Whoa, hello. – Hello.
– How’s everybody doing today?
– They’re coming from everywhere.
(laughing) – Welcome to The Feathers. Because we’re in an area with rocks that are above us, I’m gonna go ahead and give you guys all helmets. – [Elena] Oh, wish I
woulda known that earlier. – Yeah. – My name is Kaya. I’m an instructor with
the REI Outdoor School. – Hey, and I’m Mark. I’m also an instructor with
the REI Outdoor School. – Today, we’re gonna be doing something called top roping. (cheering)
– Can we make this look like we’re hiking like hundreds
of feet in the air? – Do I have to get to the top? – Can I get some hype, people? – Woo woo woo.
– Woo! – That’s the worst hype ever!
(laughing) – So, top roping is when your rope run through a top anchor and the climber is attached to one end
and on the other end is someone called the belayer. – [Elena] She’s barely holding onto him. – This is, no, you’re gonna stress me out. – As the climber climbs, the belayer takes in rope. So, the rope stays with
the climber as they climb, which means that if
you fall or if you need to take a rest, the rope
is right there with you. – So, somebody has to
go first with the rope. – That’s called lead climbing. So, you take the rope up with you and clip quick draws to
bolts on your way up. And then, they install
an anchor at the top and then come back down and then you get to top rope off of that. – Okay.
– Just draw straws or something.
– We will not be doing that. – You will not be doing that. – Certainly not. – So, as beginning climbers,
what type of things do we need to consider
when top rope climbing for the first time? – So, it’s important
that you go with somebody that knows what they’re doing. – You are gonna be just fine. I mean, I have total confidence. – Yeah. – Going with a club or an organization that can teach you. That way, everything can be safe through the whole system,
so you all have a good time. – That’s why you guys are here. (laughing)
– Yeah, welcome to the party. – Yup.
– Like having to take a class or two or with the Outdoor School. – Yeah. – What type of gear do
you need to top rope? – If you’re just come in and try in climbing for the first time, we need your helmet, your harness, your shoes. – [Mark] Climbing shoes have
like a nice sticky rubber on the bottom and around the toe. And so, they allow you to like kinda stick to the rock
a little bit better. Can you stand up on that right foot? – Just like afraid it’s gonna slide out. – It’ll stay.
(cheering) – Is this a cheering
sport or is it like golf? Are we supposed to be like– – It can be nice to have a chalk bag also for the sweaty hands
half way up the route. (clapping hands)
(coughing) – Okay, that’s good,
that’s good, that’s good. – So, you all ready to do some climbing? – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Yes.
– I’m ready. Let’s do this.
– Let’s do it. (intense music)
– Oh, you doin’ alright? Yeah?
– Yeah, I’m good. – You got this, girl.
– I got it. – Hoo, ah.
(grunting) – You guys are staying hydrated, right? – Yeah. – Alright, good. – Just practicing. It’s practice rocks. Practice rock. – So, to start off, when
you’re on the ground, before you even start climbing, you do a check in with your belayer where you and your belayer check your entire safety system. So, first, I’m gonna check Mark’s harness and make sure that it is
secure up above his hip bones and it’s nice and tight. So, one way we can test this, if Mark takes his hand, slides it down the side of his harness, makes a fist. If you can’t get that fist out, we know our harness is tight enough. – Is there any kind of special knots or anything that we should know before going up?
– Yeah. So, the most important knot
that you’re gonna wanna know is the figure eight follow through. And that’s what we use to attach the rope to our climbing harness. And then, that’s a very
secure self tightening knot. So, things we wanna check is that your knot is tied nice and tight. It is through the two hard points. Your harness is good. Shoes and helmet are good. (clapping hands)
– You got it, girl. You are a rock star
(high fiving) for going first.
– You got this. – Ahhh. (exhales)
– Alright. – So, I just start climbing? – What type of communication, for example? I feel like I’m dying, help me, please. What should I be saying between myself and the belayer? – Yeah, for sure. When the climber’s ready to get goin’, they’re gonna say– – On belay. – The belayer, if they
think everything looks good, they’ve double checked the system, they say, “You are on belay.” – Climb? – Climbing, yeah. – Their belayer is still happy
with how everything looks, they say, “Climb on.” – I’m goin’. And I’m using my legs.
– Go Elena. Oh, yeah.
– Step up. – Yes.
– I pray that I look that graceful up there. So, I know my arms look impressive, but they’re actually quite weak. So, how am I gonna be successful climbing? – So, you’re actually in luck. Climbing is more about your legs then it is about your arms. I like to tell people that they should try and stand up more then
they should pull up. – You know what, guys, I
think I’m just gonna make a life of it right here. – Standing up up the face of a climb is gonna be easier to do
for a longer period of time then trying to just pull
your way up the climb. – Oh, I don’t know how far I’m gonna go. – Climb on. – You sure about that?
– I’m sure. – You can do it.
– You got this, Colin. – Huh.
– Hey, Colin, can you take a big, deep breath in through your nose for me?
(inhaling deeply) (exhaling)
And out through your mouth. (exhaling) Do you feel nice and relaxed? – Do I? Not, no, not in the least. – Yeah, you’re doing so well.
– There you go. – Okay, I did it. (cheering)
(applauding) – So, I feel surprisingly comfortable going with the up. The up is the good. It is the down section that I’m sweating. – [Anna] Woo hoo! – Yeah, so lowering, you wanna be in a good body position. So, good body position
is kinda making your body into a big L shape. So, putting your feet
flat against the wall, having your legs out in front of you. And then, if you need
to hold on to something, you don’t wanna try and down climb. You can just hold on to the rope. – Oh, this is the scary part. – Yeah, and then just kinda walk backwards down the wall as your belayer gives a little bit of
slack and lowers you down. – It’s that easy. – Okay. – I’m done. I did what you asked of me!
(laughing) – If you’re up on the
wall, and you get scared or you just need to take a break, or you’re at the top, you
are going to say, “Take.” – Take it all. – [Mark] I’ve got ya. – Take it all.
(laughing) – The nice thing is that you climbed up and you were in control of that. And then, once you’re lowering back down, the belayer’s in control. So, all you gotta do is like kinda sit down on your harness and relax. Yeah, see the rope will
stretch a little bit. – Okay. – That’s ’cause it’s a dynamic rope. It’s supposed to do that. And then, you’ll just walk
backwards as I lower you down. – Oh, cool, that’s not
as horrible as I thought, but I was only two feet off the ground, so.
(laughing) – I don’t know that the
giving up of the control is the calming portion for me.
(laughing) – It’s all about trust. – Climbing is for fun. It’s not imperative that you reach the top on your first time. It’s all about trying new
things, challenging yourself. What are you gonna ask me
before you start climbing? – Why are we doing this? (laughing) – ‘Cause it’s fun and we wanna
challenge ourselves. (laughs) – This is fun and we
wanna challenge ourselves. – Yes!
– You go, girl. (bell ringing)
– I think you already did it. You’re done.
– I’m done, I rang it! We’re good, you guys. Belay on? – Your belay is on.
(rock music) – I’m climbing. – [Kaya] Climb on, Anna. – Climb on, Anna. – Climb on, Anna.
– Climb on, Anna. – [Elena] Got this, girl. – Okay, hoo ooh. – [Kaya] Anna, can you see the bell? – Go to the bell.
– Follow the bell. – I’m going to the bell. Got to the bell!
(bell ringing) (cheering) – Had I known there was a bell. – How do you go down? – I gotcha. Now, you’re gonna sit back,
all your weight on the rope. And bring your feet straight
out in front of you. – Woo hoo!
(laughing) – You got it, girl. – And say, “Ready to lower.” – [Anna] Ready to lower. – [Kaya] Lowering. – [Anna] Ahhhh, okay. – [Kaya] Now, you’re just gonna walk your feet.
– Yeah! – There you go.
– Down the wall, nice. (cheering) – Turns out, Anna was less
scared than the both of us. – Okay.
(laughing) Okay. – Yeah!
(applauding) – [Kaya] Ooh, nice, there it is. Then you can say– – Belay off. – Your belay is off. – Yes, you’re the best.
(high fiving) (laughing)
– Good job. – So proud of you, girl. – (inhales) Hmm. – That happened. We did that.
– That did happen. – I am very impressed.
– I cannot believe that we did that. – I can’t believe that you
guys were holding out on me that you were also scared. – Yeah, the whole time. – The whole–
– Terrified. – Every second of it.
– Yup. – I appreciate it.
– Yeah. – I appreciate it.
– But you know what? – That’s what friends are for. – We did it. – We did, together. – Feeling good about it.
– That felt good, right? – Oh, oh, oh.
– What? – I have a small surprise for you, guys. – What you got, girl? – I may have made some sandwiches. We have hummus and hot dogs on pita. – (laughs) What? – Courtesy of talking
to your mother, Barb. – Barb. (sighs) – And we have, yup, just
a lot of peanut butter in between bread. – Oh, my gosh.
– It’s a small thank you for helping me get over my fears. – Awww.
– Yeah, hot dogs and pitas.
– Cheers. – Mmm, just like mom used to make.

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