Climbing to a Happy Life

Woodford County High School students set out to crush some rocks

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Climbing to a Happy Life

Riley Gardner, Staff Reporter

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Climbing is a sport that provides opportunities that allow you to really learn a lot about yourself and grow as a person. When you’ve got something ahead of you, you know it’s possible to get up, but you just have to figure out how. Sometimes it takes many more tries than I’d like to admit, but perseverance is just another part of the journey. Climbing is a human jigsaw puzzle; you’ve got to make every handhold fit just right, and once you do, you solve that problem with the rewarding feeling you get from completing something you’ve tried countless other times to do. It’s a joyous feeling that I hope everyone can have at least once in their life.

This past Sunday, March 24th, 2019, I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time—I went rock climbing outdoors. I’d been climbing in an indoor gym for a few months and had been wanting to take the next step. The pictures below tell of this experience.

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  • After the drive to Morehead we get out of the truck, grab our gear, and set a course to the rock face.

    Photo by Riley Gardner.

  • Once on location we warm up by climbing some boulders near the wall. Boulders are rock problems that are generally about 15 feet tall. Because of this height there are not safety ropes. in a normal climbing gym there are safety mats but in nature climbers spot each other.

    Photo by Riley Gardner.

  • Mason Coburn is below Brian Clarige to catch him and break his fall should he slip.

    Photo by Riley Gardner.

  • View from the top of the rock face looking out over Morehead.

    Photo by Riley Gardner.

  • Mason Coburn and Brian Claridge set up the ropes up top for us to then belay.

    Photo by Riley Gardner.

  • I look up at the wall and start my climb.

    Photo by Brian Claridge.

  • I finish the first section of the rock problem by mantling up onto the rock.

    Photo by Brian Claridge.

  • I take a deep breath and begin my climb up the crack.

    Photo by Brian Claridge.

  • To climb up this crack, I put my hands in and press my legs against the right wall so that I can keep body tension and continue moving upward.

    Photo by Brian Claridge.

  • I'm almost all the way up the crack and have nearly finished the 80-foot problem.

    Photo by Brian Claridge.

  • Here I am belaying Brian Claridge. This way, if he falls, I have a way of stopping his fall and he will be unharmed.

    Photo by Mason Coburn.

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