Which Is Better - Climbing Or Rappelling?Yesterday, a beautiful day in the mid-80s with a breeze that picked up as the day wore on, we went to a popular local climbing area. To our utter surprise, we had it completely to ourselves for almost 6 hours. We had three lines set up for top roping on a 100 foot ascent. There were several routes and some climbers who knew the routes were with us.
I'd been in the gym during the winter - the holds are attached to the fake rock walls. Its fun, but it's not rock and it's not outdoors. When you get outdoors and face a rock, you face a different mental challenge. You don't have only the challenge of finding the route, you have the challenge of getting over the fact that you are climbing a massive rock.
Once the gear is checked and you approach the rock, the first foothold is almost obvious, but you start to caress the rock to find the best handhold. The rock is cool and hard and reinforces the point that wrong moves, well, they hurt. But you love the feel of the rock beneath your fingers and the mix of anxiety and excitement at the beginning of a climb. You find that first hand hold, place your weight on your foot and move up the rock. Your other foot is on and your looking for the next foot hold and continuously looking at and caressing the rock. Your focus so strong that when you take a break you are farther up the rock than you thought. Secure on a shelf, you rest your arms and take a look around - over the treetops, to the river below. Beautiful!
You know, however, that you must answer the call to climb to the top, so you turn and start again. Moving a little at a time, finding the crack for the toe, the overhang for your hand, the offset for your foot, any way to inch up the rock. Your breath is coming in gasps as you reach for the carabiner that marks the top of the climb.
Your spirit soars, the birds circling overhead are so close you think you can touch them, too. Instead you call down to your bela
We all took turns, challenging ourselves to climb - each at their own level. At the end of the day, however, we all scrambled to the top by another route and set up to rappel, individually to the ground.
You're at the top, 100 feet above the ground tied in, but there is only you, the rope and your gear now. No bela
I can't say one is better than the other. The accomplishment of climbing - the thrill of rappelling , pretty equal to me. Each is different, each rewarding.