Saturday morning this past weekend Betsy and Lauren (fellow Wilderness Instructors) and I took a group of Saint Mike's students down to Falls of Lana for an intro to rock climbing day. Like most WP trips (hiking, paddling, biking, etc.) we met early in the morning around the fireplace in Alliot Hall, where we checked in, made sure gear was sorted, and then piled in the van for the drive down Route 7 (Falls of Lana is in the Middlebury area).
It was a bit of a cloudy day, but rain held off until the mid-to-late afternoon. We started the morning by setting a couple of routes to the right of the main wall (a short hike up from the state campground). After establishing belay and lowering techniques, everyone took turns climbing each route and belaying one another (don't ask me the names of these routes, not too sure about that).
We took a brief lunch at the top of the cliff (which had a great view of Lake Dunmore and the state park below), and then moved down the wall (climbers left) to set two more climbs for the afternoon. Since we were already at the top of the cliff, Betsy (our SPI-certified student instructor) set a releasable rappel and everyone took a turn descending back to the base of the climb (pictured). We climbed until it rained (and a little beyond that, actually) before taking down the climbs, coiling the rope, and trekking back to the van.
It was a solid group of participants that day, a memorable intro rock trip for sure! Some people are understandably shy their first few times out, but every participant on this excursion was engaged and excited to climb; we had a great time taking them out. If you'd like to sign up for a climbing program (or any program for that matter) visit the Wilderness program office on the second floor of Alliot Hall! It's right across the knight-card office.
Hopefully see you out in the field!
Thanks for reading.