Whether it be scaling a rock face to find a vantage point, descending into an abyss whilst hunting for treasure, or escaping up a tree or whilst being pursued by a wild boar, climbing is an invaluable skill for the freelance adventurer.
Luckily for me, there are plenty of climbing walls within an hour’s drive of my house. Also luckily for me, I know a wonderful man who knows how to climb and has agree to help teach me – Daz, of Caveman Press.
Unluckily for me, I am soon to turn 26, have limited experience of climbing and am not exactly built for the sport. Down at the climbing wall, you’ll struggle to find anybody who isn’t a middle aged veteran of 30 years, an obsessed young person who started at the age of 4, or a hollow-boned teenager who has yet to learn their physical limitations. And all of them are…wiry.
Yet the strength involved in this sport/skill is simply out of this world. Good climbers can, by PINCHING the tiniest protrusion (often with a single knuckle on just a few fingers), suspend themselves from the ground, whilst gracefully bringing their feet above their head and extending their other arm to snatch at another, equally invisible ‘hold’.
If I hadn’t seen people doing these things with my own eyes, I would be convinced that such acts are the stuff of myth and legend, or achievable by a select few. Yet feats like these seem relatively commonplace down in Reading, which leads me to conclude that soon I too will be gifted with monkey-like agility.
Until then, I shall bumble thusly: