Climbing at Interstate

Taylors Falls Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Climbers on another route

Climbers flock to Interstate Park to climb the basalt walls along the river.  I have always wanted to climb here, but don't have climbing friends that set top ropes.  Fortunately Vertical Endeavors, a local climbing gym, was offering a community education program for beginners.  Even though I've climbed before, its been a couple of years and I was greatly out of climbing shape.  I signed up for the June class, but was the only one so the class was cancelled.  Instead I was booked into the August class, so I've been looking forward to this all summer.  Of course, that wasn't enough to encourage me to get in better shape.

I invited a friend to go along to watch and hang out when I wasn't climbing.  In groups like this, you often are sitting.

Lindsey going up
  She took pictures for me (yay!).  We went through the usual how-to's and I was the only one in the class who climbed before (a possible give away was that I owned my own harness, shoes, belay device, and chalk bag).  As such, the group volunteered me to climb first.  It has been very rainy here lately, and the rocks were just dripping water.  Basalt is slippery as it is, and even more so when wet!  But I took a stab at the first route - Rose Bush, I think it was.  The first 5-10 feet were wet, slippery rocks and it was really hard to get a good hand or foot hold.  I got up about 20 feet and then demonstrated the proper way to fall ;)  Just kidding.  But I really did fall.  And that was good because it showed the others that the guide belaying really would catch you.
so far so good
  I let the others try.  One girl was a natural and just climbed right up.  The guide offered to have me belay the others if we wanted, but most of our group was content to sit and watch the others, which was fine with me. 

I let everyone have a go, then I tried the first route again.  This time I made it up.  It took awhile, but I made all 80 feet of it.  Even the small overhang.  I was proud!  Just think what I could do if I was in better shape!  We then tackled the second route - I don't remember the name.  Again, Lindsey made it look easy.  I got partway up, slipped, got my finger caught in a hold and pinched my finger on one hand plus ripped out a blister on the other hand.

second route, take 2 - I look like a real climber!
  So I was lowered to get a bandaid.  After lunch, I tried again.  I did get farther up, but then I ripped out on my other hand.  I was tired and sore and my fingers hurt, so I called it a day.  I had my fun.  I was disappointed that I didn't make it up the second wall, but really, with me being so out of shape and not having climbed in a couple years, I was okay with what I did.  Hopefully it gives me motiviation to get back in shape and climb again next summer!  Until then, maybe I'll get back to the rock gym for some practice. 

Climbers do need to fill out a free climbing permit, and only climbers are supposed to be along the wall, but you can pop over for a quick peek if you are ever here.  Some of those guys are amazing!  One family was visiting from Colorado and all three kids were climbing - I'm pretty sure they were all under 10, too.

Um...where do I go from here?
 

Today happened to be geology in the park day and it was swarming with people!  There were lots of little booths set up for (families, mostly) to learn about geology and the park.  There was even a little scavenger hunt on the pothole trail.  The best part was that they offered free rock climbing to the generagl public!  They were set up on the shorter, 40 foot walls.  People were allowed one free climb but the waiting line was pretty long.  I think they only had one guy belaying (also Vertical Endeavors).  Maybe our guide joined up to help when we were done.  It was a very popular day at the park.  So much so, that they even had a parking lot attendant!  I'm glad we got there early. 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Climbers on another route
Climbers on another route
Lindsey going up
Lindsey going up
so far so good
so far so good
second route, take 2 - I look like…
second route, take 2 - I look lik…
Um...where do I go from here?
Um...where do I go from here?
getting tied in
getting tied in
here I go
here I go
eek, my feet are slipping
eek, my feet are slipping
I fell
I fell
route 1 on right, route 2 on left
route 1 on right, route 2 on left
quick rest up here
quick rest up here
just have to get over this small o…
just have to get over this small …
I did it!  Only a few more feet to…
I did it! Only a few more feet t…
On to the second route
On to the second route
lots of cracks, but cant find a g…
lots of cracks, but can't find a …
hanging on to the wall for dear li…
hanging on to the wall for dear l…
free climbing today!
free climbing today!
This is filled with water/ice in w…
This is filled with water/ice in …
now it is dry
now it is dry
Taylors Falls
photo by: alyssa_ob