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Outdoor Recreation: Climbing at King’s Bluff

Posted by on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in Athletics, College Life, Extracurriculars, General Information, Student Life.

One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to get away for a day and go outside! I don’t just mean reading a book while basking in the sun. I mean good ol’ hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and above all (pun intended!) climbing!

I have the fortune of being an Outdoor Recreation Program trip coordinator, meaning that I get to lead undergraduates, graduate students, and Vanderbilt faculty and staff on various sorts of trips. While I “specialize” in rock climbing, I also lead backpacking, flatwater kayaking, and flatwater canoeing trips! (I’m working on my whitewater skills!)

This past Sunday, I was one of a plethora of trip coordinators on a beginner-advanced climbing trip to King’s Bluff located in Clarksville, TN.

Here’s how it goes:

  • 8:30am — wake up and rush over to the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) and prepare gear and lunch options for the trip
  • 9:00am — participants arrive, greet them and tell them to make their lunch and find a harness, shoes, and a helmet  (Lunch is the best on ORC trips: sandwiches with avocado, cheese, deli meat selection, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and hummus! + chips, apples, and cookies. Yum.)
  • 9:30am — circle of introductions. “Hi my name is Una. I’m a junior at Vandy studing Biology and French. I’m a trip coordinator for you guys today and my climbing experience is that I started here at the ORC and never stopped. I like it a lot and go as often as possible”
  • 10am — head out to Clarksville!
  • 11am-4pm — CLIMB!!!!

We split up into two groups today since there were so many of us (21 all together!). We set up several 5.5s, 5.6s, and 5.7s with one or two 5.8s and 5.9s. By the end of the day, everyone’s always beat and tired. One of the other trip coordinators, Blake, managed to set up a 5.12a (very hard!) at the end of the day, which was cool for the participants and other trip coordinators to see. I tried it, but man were those hold sharp!

We go back around 5:45pm, and some of us headed over to Moe’s for some Tex-Mex.

All in all, GREAT day!

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