Scaling overhanging rock faces is a scary but exciting experience whose thrill lies between the fear of falling onto rough rocks lying a long way down and the satisfaction of getting perched on a summit like a conqueror.
Rock climbing is a way of cultivating bravely and an experience that tests commitment to dreams. Growing up in a highly outdoorsy family, I have rich memories of how my brother and I used to go camping, hiking, and mountain biking. I learned tying knots, using the belay device, and climbing during my membership at the Vertical Endeavors club. Despite having climbing skills, I have never pursued bold rock climbing or mountaineering activities. My continually growing academic commitments and joys of socializing have barred me from intensive climbing. However, I have always wished to feel the thrill of rock climbing at Boqueron in Peru’s foothills, an experience that recently awakened my liking for climbing.
After canceling the rock-climbing trip for uncountable times, my friends and I finally embarked on a dramatic rock climbing activity in Peru foothills last fortnight. My admiration for this experience was driven by the combination of its spectacular 100ft waterfall and the high rocks that seem to loom into the sky. The majority of the team were my friends, whom I encountered in Vertical Endeavors. Some had become experienced climbers while the rest of us could only re-narrate our earlier climbing experience. At first, I felt cold fear running through my nerves, causing my body to shake. The waterfall was thundering so loudly as if ridiculing my spontaneous fear. For a moment, I looked up at the rocks ascending steeply ahead of us and then followed the two climbers who were already making their way up the slope. Convincingly, I thought to myself that I had endured riskier terrain in the past, and in any case, this was my long awaited adventure.
The initial part was easy, and we quickly gained ground, but the hugged rocks above us were a clear indication of the challenging terrain ahead. The pack of climbers was reassuring, and all went well until we reached a most challenging section I was yet to encounter yet with long and steep stretches. After making through the third boulder, I peered down and realized how tough the climb was about to get. Some of my friends were getting stuck, and the waterfall was drowning our conversations. Tom, who was among the last climbers, slipped and slid about a meter back, which shook me to the core when I imagined anyone falling off the cliff because the long drop and huge boulders below would only leave one wracking in pain with broken bones, if not dead. As soon as Tom got back on track and signaled us that he was okay, Alex quickly pulled a climbing rope out of his backpack and rolled it down for other climbers to grab at knots and tough spots. Tom had made everyone panic and slow down, but we now knew it was time to concentrate a teamwork spirit to reach the summit.
We were all determined to conquer the cliff and its bold climbing route. Those with a more extended experience climbing lead us up, slowly and cautiously. As we approached the end of the ridge, I felt a great relief. The falling water view was terrific, but rocks that sprouted and joined the water channel below us were scary and forced one to avoid looking down. After reaching the top, my friends were excited and hilariously joked about each other’s struggles. I stood on one rock, looking down at the falling water and the channel leading to the Aguaytia River as I thought about my climbing days. The experience brought me great satisfaction and reignited my interest in rock climbing. Next summer, we are headed for the Hueco Tanks in Texas.