Rock climbing in Orford National Park, Quebec

But why, oh why, would you want to climb a wall??!

The beautiful Elvira! What a climber she is!

Father and daughter on the wall.

This climbing thing is tiring1

It's so great to now have 3 more belayers!

Mikael is so beautiful to watch on a wall!

Showing the girls how to climb a 5.13!

My step-brother is an awesome rock climber that knows this area like the back of his pocket. He actually bolted many routes there himself. A few years ago, on a rock climbing trip to Mexico, he met a badass rock climber named Elvira, and the rest is history! We got to meet her for the first time and I got to practice my very basic and rusty Spanish! 

We had an interesting discussion on how rock climbing is a discipline more than a sport... how you need to learn to fail with grace (or not!), how frustrating it can be a lot of the time. It's quite different than a sport like mountain biking for instance, where you can have fun without too much experience. The fun factor is through the roof, you smile, you yoo-hoo your way down a trail... yes, there is a learning curve and you can always get better and someday, you feel like you suck at it, but rock climbing is a different beast... I guess it takes a bit of a masochist streak...! It takes incredible passion and dedication to feel like you are actually getting better... If, like me, you've been climbing sporadically for 20 years, it's hard to feel like you are actually getting somewhere with it... Most days, I feel like I am fighting with gravity... but sometimes, you link a few (sort of) graceful moves and it feels exhilarating, you figure out that sequence you've been trying for a while and there's that sense of achievement, of feeling that your body is a tool more than an empediment.

On another interesting note, we always say that when we don't climb regularly, we loose strength (finger strength, forearms strenght, etc.). Well, my very smart step-brother and his friend created a way to measure this (with the Wii fit scale and a finger board among other tools) and discovered that we do not loose strenght, but simply endurance. He compared endurance to dust. He said that if you don't sweep your room 3-4 times a week, dust accumulates. Endurance is like that. In two weeks, you've lost most of it. If you leave your house for two weeks and come back, don't be surprise if there is dust everywhere! Whereas strenght doesn't go away in a few months (unless you are on bed rest!).

It was such a treat to climb with these two! We are looking forward to other outings!