You've Got to Climb That Rock

I've heard plenty of travelers complain about the noise, the dirt and the chaos in Lima. True, it is a big city and it is far from clean or organized but if that's all you see here, then you're definitely missing out on something!

Consider the geographical location of Lima: to the west you have the Pacific Ocean which is great for any kind of water sports and especially surfing and if you drive one or two hours to the east you'll find yourself in the foothills of the Andes. (Plus there are some nice little beach towns to the north and south as well but that's not where I'm headed with this). I like surfing, don't get me wrong, but I don't think I'll ever be as passionate about ocean based sports (except for sailing maybe) as I am for mountain centered sports. By now, I pretty much got the hang of hiking, trekking and camping but I really wanted add another discipline to my roster: rock climbing.

Now, I've tried rock climbing before (i.e. in Colorado) but my fear of heights always got in the way of me getting any good at it really. So, I decided it was time to deal with it and check out the climbing community here in Lima. I treated myself to some climbing lessons at Base Camp Peru where I quickly made friends with other climbers (and I also improved my technique a bit of course). On the weekends, we headed out to Canchacalla, about two hours east of Lima, for some "escalada en roca" (climbing on rocks, as opposed to "escalada en palestra" which is indoor rock climbing).

Climbing in Peru I didn't only learn to climb but also learned a lot of Spanish climbing terms. Escalada, cuerda, via, palestra, arnés, pared, asegurar, libre and many more. My all time favorite Spanish climbing term is the one for climbing shoes: "pies de gato" (which literally means cat's feet) or "gatos" (which simply means cats). I guess it means that you're supposed to climb those rocks as smoothly as a cat... :)

climbing a trad route
with my friend Rayner

lunch break

lunch break with a view :)
spider woman ;)
getting through the travers
Canchacalla - beautiful place
do I really want to go up there?!
nice walls and green valley
our safety system

scared, scared, scared - but still smiling :)
happy to be going down

cleaning up the ropes and other gear
dirty, bruised and scratched climbers legs


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