The words On Belay may seem foreign, as they did to me the first time I heard them, but this common command is essential when in comes to rock climbing. From first timers to advanced climbers, Summit County offers something for everyone. Learn the “ropes” or take your experience to the next level with the Breckenridge Recreation Center at one of several climbing locations around Summit County.
Visiting from California, Jodi Hudepohl learns how to tie a figure eight knot around her harness to begin her first climb here in Colorado. Photo by Misty Powell
Heather Zuhl begins her first climb ever off of Swan Mountain Rd, where many beginners go to learn. Photo by Misty Powell
Heather is belayed down with a flustered look on her face after completing her first climb. Most beginners tend to get pumped out quickly, using too much of their upper body instead of their feet and technique. When beginning, you will get advise like “Just stand up! Use your feet!” and “Keep your hips into the wall.” Photo by Misty Powell
: Brent La Fleur matches hands leading a 5.10 sport climb at Haus Rock between Keystone and Montezuma. His intense look clues us in on it being a very difficult and scary part of the climb, as does the copious amounts (but not too much!) of chalk on his fingers helping him grip. Photo by Misty Powell
Technique is extremely helpful when there are no ‘hands’ or ‘feet’ available. Here, Becca gets into position for something of a ‘layback’ move. Photo by Misty Powell
There is something romantic about climbing into the sun, upwards towards the heavens. Though it also adds a level of difficulty in not being able to see the rock well. Rebecca Paiz handles it well, top roping a 5.9 at Haus Rock. Photo by Misty Powell
Those first few climbs seem much harder due to inexperience. The climber believes there is so little to hold onto and stand upon. Here, Jodi is searching for a hand hold to climb a beginner route. Photo by Misty Powell
Cassie Stauch belays Sam Chambers down after a successful top rope climb at Haus Rock. Photo by Misty Powell
Chalk flies around backlit Brent. Climbers must be intensely focused on the rock, as seen here with Brent so enraptured, often times not taking the time to look around or even down. Photo by Misty Powell
: The feelings of accomplishment and relief are evident after reaching the top of a difficult climb, and accompanied here by a congratulatory high five! Photo by Misty Powell
If you are interested in learning to climb or take your abilities to the next level, head over to the Breckenridge Recreation Center. The Rec Center offers classes on their rock climbing wall or on location at Swan Mountain for beginner classes, Montezuma for intermediate classes or Independence Pass for advanced classes. If you are interested in advanced classes, contact Matt Parker directly before scheduling a class at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in need of rock climbing gear, head over to Mountain Outfitters and they can assist you and answer any questions you may have.