I’ve been going to the climbing gym about once a week with my friend Kerri for the last few years after starting most of a decade ago. Climbing at places like Coyote or Vertical Reality is a lot of fun and a good workout, but I’ve always wanted to go climbing on "real rocks".
A couple of weeks ago I asked my friend Robert from work if he’d take us climbing in the Gatineau Hills sometime. He said he’d be happy to, so we arranged to meet up with him and his son this past Sunday to go climbing on the Eardley Escarpment near Luskville.
I picked Kerri up Sunday morning and we met up with Robert and his son in Tunney’s Pasture and drove to one of the rock faces on the escarpment. After a short hike in through a farmer’s field along an access path and a scramble through some boulders, we arrived at the base of the rock face.
Robert’s son sport climbed up one of the routes, which involved him clipping carabineers into anchor points bolted to the rocks and climbing to the top. At the top he fed the rope through a pair of permanently installed rings and then descended on the rope.
Kerri tied in and made her way to the top of the cliff in short order while I belayed her. (Belaying someone basically means you’re taking up the slack in the rope as they climb using a belaying device so they don’t fall too far if they lose contact with the rock and lowering them when they’ve finished climbing.)
I went next and followed a slightly different route at the bottom that avoided a small oak tree that was growing in a slightly inconvenient location. Eventually the route I was following converged with the route Kerri followed and I made it to the top. After posing for a few pictures and admiring the view, Kerri lowered me to the base.
While we were climbing this route, Robert and his son set up a second rope around the corner. Kerri and I took turns attacking this route. It was a different type of route from the first one, with an inside corner and a small stream of water trickling down it that made things slippery in a couple of places. I brought my camera up with me and took a couple of pictures from the top.
We tried one more route that was more challenging than the first two. Though none of us made it all the way the top, we were very happy with how far we did get up it. (The picture at the top of this entry was taken on this route.)
I can’t wait to go again!
I’ll post more pictures in my gallery soon.