Rock climbing is not a sport for the faint of heart – sheer rock faces, jaw dropping heights, and the fear of falling. And it’s the fear that keeps the curious from ever trying it.
Rock climbing gyms have become a popular alternative for curious thrill seekers looking to learn more about the sport and practice in a safe space. If you’re looking to cast your fears aside, try visiting Metro Rock Rock Climbing Center in Everett for an introductory climbing lesson. I recently signed up for the 90-minute Basic Top Rope Climber class, which included instruction on basic climbing and all climbing gear.
Matt, our instructor for the evening, carefully guided us through the basics of climbing safety including tying knots and using the belay carabiner – a device designed to create friction on the climbing ropes. After we tied our knots, we practiced belaying, which is the process of placing tension on the ropes to assist the climber in the event of a fall. We also learned about checking climbing equipment for proper use and safety and communicating effectively with our climbing partner.
Matt’s approach to instruction was humorous and fun (all the while stressing safety), which I found both comforting and encouraging. Once we practiced tying knots and belaying, we hit the walls, taking turns climbing and belaying for the rest of the evening.
- Safety First – Keep in mind that the experience isn’t just about yourself – it’s also about your partner and ensuring that you’re both able to watch out for one another and enjoy yourselves at the same time.
- Go with a Buddy or Meet Someone New – It’s hard to try some things by yourself, but don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of other first time climbers at MetroRock and an equal number of people looking for climbing partners.
- Multiple Programs for All Levels – From beginners to experienced climbers to children’s programming and yoga classes (yes, climbers need flexibility too), Metrorock offers something for everyone. Be sure to check out their detailed program section for more information.
- Park or Take the T – There is plenty of onsite parking available at the Everett location. You also have the option of taking the free MetroRock shuttle to and from the Wellington T station. I opted to take the T on the night of my visit, and it was incredibly easy.
- Learn Something – In addition to the climbing basics, I learned something new about myself: I’m tenacious.
Cristy is a Boston-based blogger in constant pursuit of fun activities in the city. Read more of her work at bostonurbansafari.blogspot.com.