A couple weekends ago we had our first outdoor climb of the season. It was a gloriously beautiful day and even though we arrived pretty early in the morning, the cliffs at Great Falls started filling up quickly. Luckily we ran into an instructor we know from Sportrock and he tipped us off to a slightly hidden spot he’d climbed the day before. It had a nice sandy patch at the bottom and the 50-60′ rock face was so varied that we managed to devise at least 3 or 4 separate routes from our single top-rope anchor point. After climbing the wall several times I scrambled halfway up to a sturdy ledge next to the route for some photos. Carolyn showed up a little after noon, and made a couple great sends with her new climbing gear! Some of her family and friends from Cleveland were out at the park with us as well, and after the climbing we all hiked back to the picnic area to grill some brats and enjoy the afternoon.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. – John Muir, Our National Parks (1901)