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Friday, August 20, 2010

Rock Climbing with Ceasar Melendez

If you can indoor rock climb, this does not make rock climbing outdoors a cinch. I can climb up the man made walls. It’s almost like they were made for us, the foot and arm holds are placed so perfectly between each other. Just little stepping stones to the top. So I saw that you can outdoor rock climb in Boquete. Couldn’t be that much different. Indoor or outdoor they still have the most important component in common: rocks and climbing. My guide, Ceasar Melendez, had my complete confidence. He is ranked 6th in Central America for rock climbing. My only question was where do I sign, coach? Ceasar free climbed up the wall like a spider that was running from a shoe ready to swat it. Except he ha grace, and added some neat tricks along the way. Hanging arial at one point, gracefully, not even shaking. Only I was. And yes, all while free climbing. Insane. But Proven to be safe for those that have the strength and talent. He set up the course so I could get to the top. I left my Cinderella fantasy behind and squashed my size eight foot into my new kicks for the day. Harness on, clapped my hands with chalk (special effects were necessary today) and approached the rock formation that was leftover from a volcanic eruption. I didn’t expect to be able to hold myself in an arial position, or climb up backwards, or even climb quickly to to the top, but after Ceasar’s star performance, it looked easy. I started out with my hand placement, followed by my legs on the rocks, then I contemplated my next move as I hung high, two feet off the rock. I soon realized my forearms were in the break room. I came back down to the ground to get them back in the game. They agreed, and I went again. Made an improvement this time, three feet off the ground, and my trembling subsided, a little. I would have rather climbed through the wall to make a sleeping platform, then up the wall at this point. Until Ceasar got me through it with encouragement. A challenge to get to the top. But worth it to pull out my imaginary bell, say ring-a-ling and rappel on down. It was exhilarating, in the end. The cost is 40 dollars a person, to climb for four hours. So worth the climb, even if you don't make it more than two feet off the ground.

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