Outdoor Pursuits (OP) does an amazing job of bringing adventure seeking students to their door. They have a wide variety of trips from a summit series to beginner camping on Marsh lawn. I was stoked when I got the chance to catch the bus to Planet Granite with OP for an evening of climbing. On Thursday nights for $15 any student has the chance to experience climbing for the first time or improve their skills! For me, every time I get a chance to climb I am beyond excited.
We drove the forty minutes into Portland to Planet Granite. At Planet Granite, the rock walls were absolutely insane. There are three different levels with top roping and lead climbing walls all the way up to the ceiling. The are also bouldering walls around the back half of the second and third floor of the gym. Planet Granite even has saunas to chill in, a bonus after climbing . When bouldering, it is a different kind of feeling. Student Hayden Martinez said, “Climbing is the feeling of being off the ground, but you are supporting your body weight at the same time.”
Climbing is a mental and physical sport, and you have to be willing to trust yourself. Being able to boulder was incredible. I would assess different routes and see which ones I could attempt. I prefer to start with a few lower level routes then find one or two routes that are beyond my skill level. Once I found those more difficult routes, I spent the evening attempting those.
Each time you climb, you get a little bit further up the wall. It helps when there is plenty of breaks to chill on the matt in between. It is really cool when your climbing buddies come over and try the route you are working on. Each person has a different style of climbing, but it is helpful to watch other people climb routes you are working on. By the end of the night, my arms ached, but in good, I-have-had-a-successful-night-of-climbing way.
Climbing is a sport everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. It is a personal sport that you can do with a group of people. Having other OP climbing enthusiasts there was great because the people with more experienced taught me how to get better. Student Nora Harbison finds climbing exciting. “I like going up high and feeling the adrenaline,” she said. “I like how meditative of a sport it is for me to get out of my head and push myself.”
If anyone out there has not had the chance to go climbing with Outdoor Pursuits, I highly recommend signing up for their next climb. Climbing is a fun, rewarding sport that pushes one to their limits.