Saturday, October 20, 2012

Climbing and Swilling Salsa in Acadia.

Otter Cliffs in Acadia, Maine.

SMC has a thriving outdoors culture. We're skiers, hikers, climbers, and kayakers, and it's all pretty much facilitated by our awesome Wilderness Program. And along with all the day trips that are offered on the weekends, WP also offers longer trips over some of the breaks, and last weekend, Boates and I got to go on a four-day climbing trip to Acadia, Maine.

Boates, sendin' it.
Most of the people on the trip already knew each other beforehand. There were three instructors and five participants, as well Eben, one of the guys who runs stuff at the WP. Of the five participants, four of us already knew each other because we're all in the Instructor Training Program at the moment, so the group blended really well (which is sort of helpful in eight-hour van rides). We left on Friday at one in the afternoon and got there late at night, but luckily Eben had left ahead of us and set up camp when it was still light out. And for those who don't know (I didn't until recently), a ton of Acadia National Park is on Mount Desert Island. So, like, we saw a ton of stars. Cause we were camping on an Island.

The first day of climbing, we went to Precipice Cliffs. Now, I had been climbing before, but only like, once. And never outside. So in order to be able to safely function and, you know, do things in this environment, I got a crash-course in how to belay, where to tie in, and a little bit of climbing technique. To be honest, it was a little overwhelming, but a TON of fun. That first day, I only did three climbs, but I did a bunch of belaying and I felt pretty accomplished.

Unfortunately, Sunday of our trip was too rainy to climb. But we went for a hike instead, and not climbing allowed us to sleep in for an extra hour, during which everyone but Boates and I woke up and wondered if we were still alive. I've been told that my spirit animal might be a sloth, and it's moments like these when that idea is reinforced for me. Also, almost forgot to mention. I swilled a jar of salsa, which means I cleaned it by adding water, mixing it up and drinking the contents. 'Twas pretty epic.

Meghan rappeling.

Monday, our second and final day of climbing, we went hard. We climbed Otter Cliffs, which is normally a pretty busy site, but wasn't since it was a weekday. I got eight climbs in when my goal was five, and I sent a 5-8 (climbed a high-intermediate route without slipping / falling), which was sweet. It was also different because the climbs we set up were mostly top rope, where you rappel from the top down and then climb back up, whereas on Saturday our climbs were led, so an instructor climbed up to set the anchor, and we climbed from the bottom. So that was really cool, because it further diversified my already awesome first climbing experience.

It was such a great weekend, and now I can't wait to keep climbing (hopefully hitting up Petra Cliffs soon, where SMC students get a $40 year-long pass). We were a sad to leave, but happy to shower, although I wouldn't have minded one more night sleeping in our stink because it was just that much fun :p 'Til next year!

Thanks for reading! Photo credit goes to Meghan Lynch and Andie Gemme.

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