No, this is not a four-story block of cheese. It is an indoor climbing tower and the center piece of our latest Boy Scout adventure. About 20 adults and scouts spent Saturday night locked into this facility climbing, rappelling, and learning knots, verbal signals, and safety guidelines. My arms are killing me.
Here you can see David rappelling down from the fourth floor. "Rappelling" means you are in control of your own descent, unlike when you climb belayed by a person on the ground. We learned how to belay a person too. I was surprised they let me belay someone after only five minutes training. But the "grigri" (I am not making this stuff up, like usual) is a simple descent-control device and somewhat error proof. I hope you are impressed with my new lingo. I'm trying to use all my new words in one paragraph. Superkalafragalisticexbialadocious.
You have to learn to speak good climbing if you want to be hip like the guys that work there. You can imagine. Remember the laid-back turtle in Finding Nemo? There you go. To be safe (and cool) you use verbal calls to communicate between climber and belayer. For example, when the climber begins his ascent he says "Climbing" and the belayer responds "Climb on", which means "I'm like, awake dude, and holding your rope so you don't die".
I slept for about an hour, which is always delightful. We all went to Denny's for a 6:00 AM breakfast before coming home Sunday morning. During breakfast I looked over from the adult table at David sitting with three of his friends. They were mixing Splenda, salt, milk, syrup, and who knows what else into a glass of water. Then, of course, David drank it to gasps of astonishment and roars of laughter. Oh, the simple pleasures enjoyed by the sixth grade male species. Climb on.