Yes, Peaches I said what I said. 😁 Welcome back to my blog! I’d like to thank everyone for the support, comments, views and likes so far. I’m really humbled that my blog is well rated which is motivating.
Okay, back to business. Are you looking for a fun/new activity to do this December holiday with your family, friends, lover or colleagues? I got you! Indoor rock climbing it is. It’s very safe and within Nairobi city hence less of a hustle.
Ever just sat down by yourself yearning for something new, novelty-seeking like taking risks and chances, basically anything that will lure that adrenaline rush?; confessions of an adrenaline junkie. Admittedly, I’ve been into exploring with a great impetus for discovery. I loathe monotony because lately, I get bored too fast. You feel me right?
Alright! So my friend Farhana and I decided to do something new, spontaneous and exciting that none of us has ever done before. I mean, I’m totally fine with anything exciting even if it means trying to get ourselves swallowed by an anaconda just to see if it’ll spit us back out alive. I kid, but yes, I’m extremely spontaneous. Finally, we decided to go for BlueSky’s indoor rock climbing at Diamond Plaza. I dressed up a little sporty in tights, green & black checked shirt and tied my scarf in a turban (basic af) because I had a bad hair day which wasn’t going to stop me from going out. I was hyped for Bluesky rock gym that Thursday evening at Diamond Plaza on 6th floor. The rock climbing gym is open from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm Monday -Friday, Saturday 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Sunday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Entering the BlueSky indoor rock climbing and bouldering gym, I was amazed to see the vertical tall walls 6.5m high attached with multi-sized colorful boulders which looked like colorful plasticine thrown on walls sorta like a kid’s playground but it’s more of an adult play ground with warning signs everywhere. Looks can be deceiving because those rocks are cute to look at but actually coarse and intact. Thankfully, the floors are padded which gave me security and full confidence in trying it. I surveyed the area to see if it’s safe while I waited for my rock climbing squad for us to get started.
Some walls however, were inclined in an obtuse angle which made me wonder how one is able to climb it. Interestingly, there were many white folks climbing their way up that wall on extremely small and big boulders without any harness. It looked so easy until I tried it!
A few minutes later, Farhana arrived with her pal. We did a quick introduction; her name is Jackie. Usually, I’m not really good with names (bad habit) but her amiable and captivating personality made it stick in my memory. We kept our bags on the gym shelves. The paying counter had so many harnesses hanged on top and sneakers placed on shelves which are for rental at a cost of Kshs. 400. We paid Kshs. 800 except for Jackie who had to pay Kshs. 1200 because she needed the sneakers.
Since it was our first time, we were all hyping each other, “We can do this, let’s do this!” One of the instructors assisted us with wearing the harnesses tight on our waists as for newbies, we needed the rope clipped on our harnesses for her to be able to belay us. The rope is attached to an anchor at the top of the wall which elongates all the way to the instructor’s harness firmly clipped to belay the climbers.
Immediately, we started with the warm up rock wall which is for total newbies just to give basic beginner instructions on how to climb. We all did well; that was as easy as ABC. Basically, you clip the rope to your harness, start climbing with your strongest foot (mine is right) so right foot on the rock, choose a rock color as a guideline to follow while climbing and pushing yourself up to hold the next rock of the same color with your hand as you climb working with your legs and hands as long as you stick to one right rock color. When you reach at the top, you abseil by holding the rope with your feet against the wall slightly stretching out your back as the instructor belays you slowly to make it dynamic while you rappel down to the padded floor. ‘What a piece of cake!’ I thought.
We felt overly confident after that warm up like Mc Gregor on the boxing ring deceiving his loyal fans for a definite win. That wall was 6.5m tall fam! It looked scary as hell looking up but I talked myself out from succumbing to the little fear that it was irrational. Everyone else was doing it therefore it was motivating. Actually, I was avoiding going first just incase I’d chicken out plus that way, I gathered my confidence seeing my fellow first timers doing it so confidently.
The boulders are ranked with their own numbers and sizes other than colors. It’s more like levels. I felt as if we were in a virtual live video game and the instructor belaying us was controlling us; three game players on level one! We started with the lowest blue rock rated 5.7 – 5.9. Following the blue rock colors made it feel so intense when pushing myself and stretching to hold the boulders climbing all the way up.
Surprisingly, I climbed smoothly and faster that I was questioning my stamina. On finally reaching the top, I looked down to see my friends cheering me, a feeling of gratification like Sir George Everest as though I had climbed Mount Everest, rappelling down with so much confidence.
We alternated in climbing as we encouraged each other when stuck and helping each other find the colors shouting, “On your right, yes, you’re almost there, don’t lose hope, you can do it! Not that foot it’s on your other foot, Go! Go! Go! Yassss!!!” I have to agree that it was lit! Farhana and Jackie were very zestful and cheerful which makes them the ultimate squad to climb with!
Moving onto the next level! The work out was getting more intense. We started running out of energy pushing each other to go next, “No, you go first I’ll climb the next round!” I used my evidently sore hands as a legit excuse to take a break. That’s not easy at all! You’d think we had a prize after that intense work out session because of how determined we were to climb ‘all’ rock levels.
As we continued climbing, we started cheating. None of us was really following the rock color pattern while climbing. “I’m color blind! It’s not my fault,” Jackie pulled our legs when she was called out for not following the instructions. That was hilarious though that we all became color blind henceforth. Our pace was getting slower, we were low on energy wishing that we had carried glucose to give us a healthy sugar rush or any sort of energy booster – bummer! At that point we were all extremely exhausted! I could not feel my legs! My hands were sore!
Just to try out a higher tougher level 5.11 b, I didn’t believe that I could not even bring my right foot to step on the first boulder. It was impossible! That’s when I knew that my body had surrendered and was sending signals to my brain to completely shut down to sleep or rest. I did the latter of course. Farhana was GONE! Jackie’s strength was commendable. She tried climbing two steps on the bigger one although she got stuck and eventually had to surrender too!It’s a wrap! We gave each other a tap on the back for the job well done, thanked the instructor, collected our bags and left for the cafetaria. At that point we just wanted to eat, drink and sleep!
Wishing you a happy holidays with family and friends. If you ever decide to go to Bluesky rock & boulder climbing, do have a fun and safe climbing! Cheers peaches!
Have you been to rock climbing before? How was your experience? Do you plan on doing it? What are your fears?