A Multi-pitch Climb Story
By Emma Echelmeier
One day in the middle of August, I was invited to come along on an amazing climbing trip, which consisted of a long route that would altogether gain about 1,000 feet.
A multi-pitch climb is incredibly tedious compared to a one-pitch climb. You must trade off belayers and climbers, and often you are only connected to the tall rock by your own strap. We had to plan methodically and deliberately for our trip.
I was ecstatic. The next morning, we grabbed snacks and headed to the rock climbing shed for our gear. We nearly emptied out that shed. Specific carabiners, tools, straps, and belay devices were hanging all around my harness, as well as extra carabiners and straps for emergencies. I also had my helmet, shoes, and backpack full of snacks all strapped onto me. We were all prepared.
We showed up to the site, taking in the huge rock we were attempting to scale in one day. Our group crossed a creek and started the climb to the base of the route. The routes were confusing, as there was no signage or information. Trusting what we had read on the internet about this climb, we started at a spot that looked like a belay area.
The start was slow, as we could not see any bolts jutting out from the rock, and my friend climbed very high. Eventually, we got the system going and all four of us were on the rock, spread out in partners of belayers and climbers. The bolts were so sparse that there were only two that we actually clipped into, and in the end, we made it over 100 feet up the rock.
The process was tiring. Our bodies ached from being clipped into the rock for most of the day, the bright sun made us sweat, and the combination of dirt made us look rugged. We all unclipped and climbed about 10 more feet to a rock that jutted out and acted as a ledge for our tired bodies to rest on. We ate snacks, took pictures, and laughed at the situation we were in.
After resting a while, we headed back down. We saw some more bolts above us, but the slant of the rock had become much steeper at this point, and we decided it was best to come down. I remember all of us agreeing that even though nothing went according to plan, we all still had a great day. We came out looking for an adventure, and that sure was what we got. Although we were all a little bummed, we realized we were extremely ambitious, and we all still had a great time.
When we all got to the bottom, our bodies ached. We gathered the gear and made the trek back to the car. I wouldn’t say we were defeated, but exhausted. I really hope to go back soon and find the correct route to climb, hopefully with the same group.