Rock Climbing and Old Age

Some of you might have wondered about the two landscape photos on my Floral Friday post.  Those photos were taken on a Via Ferrata Climb at Nelson Rocks in West Virginia on Wednesday.

Lookout on the way to Nelson Rocks

My 49th birthday was Tuesday, and hubs got me a new camera (which I actually have had for a month or so, since he got it early), that I had been wanting to take on a climb.  A friend agreed to go with me on this crazy adventure, and so, off we went.

My friend Carrie, who is a really good sport…

I’ve done this climb once before three years ago at the age of 46, and I loved it.  It was thrilling and beautiful, and I expected nothing less the second time around.  But the second time around, I’m three years older, a little slower and not quite as strong.

One of the things I like about rock climbing is the mental effort it takes.  Just enough to push all other worries out of your mind, but not so taxing that it’s exhausting.  But now I had a great camera to take pictures with, and I wasn’t prepared for juggling worrying about my footing with worrying about my camera, and getting the photos I wanted.  By the time we crossed the bridge, which is a little over halfway, I felt like a puddle of jelly.  My friend, who had reservations at the beginning of the climb, turned out to be very agile and nimble.

The View as we Climbed the first wall…

The view on the way up the first wall was beautiful.  We were a little early for the reds, but the yellows and golds painted the countryside in magnificent colors.

The Notch

This is the notch in the rock that creates a 180 degree turn.  You can see on the left the rung in the rock.  The difficulty in this maneuver was the fact that you couldn’t see all the rungs to reach for them.

The other side…

Once through the notch and around to the other side, you can see the other fin of shale rising out of the earth.  This was our next destination.

The Bridge

And we were to get there by crossing a bridge…

It’s a loooong way!

Carrie decided to go first.  By the time I started to cross, though, the wind picked up.  And by the time I got to the end, it was buffeting something fierce.  I wanted a picture from the middle of the bridge, but I was too chicken with all the swaying that was going on.

The Summit

This was the summit, which you reach by hiking at the end of the climb.  A great reward for hanging in there.

We made it!

My hair was going crazy, and I didn’t realize that until I looked at some of my photos where my hair is in the picture.  Live and learn….

The Road that Leads to Home…

This was the hike down after reaching the summit.  The first 30 minutes or so is very steep, until it flattens out.  It was a great day, and I would like to do it again and am considering a climb in the snow, which my oldest says he might just do with me.  Good thing, I might need someone to push, pull or otherwise drag me.  We’ll see…

This entry was posted in aging, Beauty, Beauty in the world, Nelson Rocks, Photography, Post of the Day, postaday, Rock Climbing, Via Ferrata and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Rock Climbing and Old Age

  1. The view. The view. The view from up there! Oh the view! I have never done rock climbing and I think my limbs might turn to jelly. But good job Arnel! Way to go and thanks for sharing these hard-earned shots. (btw, I have always thought you were in your 30s. Seriously :D) Must be all that climbing and mountain top experiences! Happy Belated Birthday to you! Hugs xx Sharon

    • Thank you! HA HA thanks for the compliment too, but the gray hair is finally coming in–and fast! Since I’m almost 50, I doubt I will color but you never know…The climb was fun. The guide talked about his favorite time to climb being in the snow! Then when I thought about it, I started considering it. Maybe this winter. And maybe if I keep doing it, it’ll get easier??? 🙂

  2. Colline says:

    Stunning views! Make the climb worth it I am sure.

  3. Pat Bailey says:

    I think you like living on the edge just a little. I love your story and understand the need to always push our limits.

    • Maybe a little. 🙂 But I really like activities that get me away from what’s causing me angst. And rock climbing really does that. There is no way to worry about life when you have to focus on not falling! For me, it’s the perfect answer.

  4. Dounia says:

    Great post with gorgeous photos – it looks like an amazing climb!

    • The guide told us there are only two others in the states, and this one is the prettiest. The one in Kentucky is crazy hard. The one in Utah is fun, but not as pretty. I’m lucky to live so close to this one.

  5. terry1954 says:

    i have never rock climbed, but i can vision what you saw and breathe in the fresh air…….

    • If it’s a Via Ferrata, it’s not as hard as free climbing. And it forces me to get out of my own head, even if it’s only for a few hours. Long enough to get a new perspective. 🙂

  6. Lynne Ayers says:

    Oh, I admire you Arnel – this is something I could never do – I might still wonder about my desire to go skydiving … but I could never go rock climbing … strange perhaps but in rock climbing I would be afraid (no, I’d be terrified) of falling whereas in skydiving I would be committing to the fall … course, at this stage I’d only consider doing it tandem, not solo. Ah, it sits on my bucket list and will probably stay there.

  7. Oh Arnel, these are beautiful. You are a much braver woman than I! Just the pics make me dizzy, but what a joy and accomplishment. Your photos are spectacular and at 48, you look about 25 which is also spectacular. I kind of like your hair in an uproar! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your trip.

  8. Hiking Mama says:

    Absolutely gorgeous views! What a fun adventure 🙂

  9. Awesome place, awesome photos, awesome you!!! You are my new hero because we are close to the same age, but I could never do what you do :). Your boys must think you are the coolest Mom on the earth! I keep looking at the pictures over and over again because they are so spectacular. Oh, and happy belated birthday by the way :).

  10. Kathleen says:

    You are amazing! I think you would like skydiving. It is a wonderful, quiet escape.

  11. denizb33 says:

    Awesome! That rope bridge would have had me quivering in fear…

    • Deniz, that rope bridge is the scariest part for me. The guide didn’t think so though. I really wanted a photo from the middle, but I was too chicken to let go long enough to snap the photo! It was too windy. Maybe another day when it’s more calm.

  12. The photos were excellent, as I have come to expect from you… the view would indeed make the trip worth it.

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