BRX Climbs Some REAL Rock

By Stephen Mead

The BRXers took it to the rock on July 4th and had a great time. The day before, they traveled to Base Camp and used the low ropes challenge course to help them come together as a group. There was much cheering and some great teamwork displayed. When asked what they learned from this experience, they responded with “when we use our strengths together, we can accomplish so much more than we can individually.” They then used the climbing tower to practice for their trip to the rock and to teach those interested in learning how to belay. Over half of the group was checked off to be able to belay safely and correctly. It is very exciting to see BRXers belaying BRXers.

Yesterday was a tremendous success with folks having fun and cheering one other on. At the hardest climb, which we have dubbed “The Humbler,” the energy went from good to electric when one Expeditioner made it to the crux end beyond. I likened it to being at a sporting event when the crowd is all focused and trying to will their team to victory. This was the first time that a BRXer has made it to the top of this particular climb. It was also exciting that another Expeditioner was belaying them for their history-making climb.

There are three climbs set up at this location. One allows for most participants to have success in getting to the top. It can be climbed in a number of ways, so climbers can test out making it slightly harder or easier. The next climb has two crux points and then finishes with a very aesthetic dihedral. This climb has a lower success rate as far as getting to the top, but provides lots of fun and a different experience than climb one. The third climb is "The Humbler,” where climbers have a great time but will rarely complete a third of it.

After climbing, the group drove back to Base Camp and played ultimate frisbee with several Base Campers during Free Time. They also stayed for the Fourth of July dinner and firework display.

July 6th is Survival Day. They will be spending time learning primitive skills, such as cordage, fire by friction, and carving a wooden spoon. They will also be practicing survival skills, and navigation skills. Tonight they will be very lucky to be joined by Phil and Rachel, managers of GRP’s sustainable agriculture project, for a harvest dinner. This is always a fun night for them and has the group in a wonderfully festive space with music and singing.