Straps are pulled and tightened, buckles are fastened and helmets are
installed. Within minutes, everything is ready. The commands are given
and affirmed, and finally, the climber is scaling a wall of challenge.
This is my story of the scariest climb Iíve experienced so far. I was
down in the dumps, sitting on a bench in the barn, jealously watching
other kids ascend the climbing wall at Camp Orkila. But soon, I was
all set to reach my goal: climb to the top of the wall. I got the commands
covered immediately. Wishing self-luck, I started to go.
It seemed about thirty to forty-five feet high, from bottom to top.
I gripped the first handhold, then swung my legs around, searching for
footholds. Having found some, I proceeded to continue my rise.
The first signs of badgering took effect at about sixteen feet. The
handholds were out of reach, until I had acquired another foothold.
Unfortunately, the nearest ones were near knee height, and getting on
them would squeeze me like an accordion. I had to let go a few times
due to anxiety, and although I knew Iíd hang where I was, not fall to
a likely death, the swinging movement and my case of acrophobia (fear
of heights) seemed to mix, and I was terrified to death.
By now, I was frightened beyond belief.
Hearing shouts of advice and peeps of encouragement, I looked back
at the people below and told them to pipe down, íEy, what did I say?!
I said no encouragement at all, people! Suddenly, I had a rush
of determination, and it was all I needed. Eyeing the pinnacle of the
wall, I said, partly to myself and partly to the onlookers, I am gonna
do this, even if it takes me all day!!
With that, I took the accordion risk and grabbed a handhold, and put
both my feet on footholds. I climbed carefully, semi-endlessly keeping
up the test. Now this is much better, I thought as I darted up the wall
like a lemur. The hand- and footholds were easier to hang on to; they
were set in an alternating line. As I neared the peak., I grinned enthusiastically
at the insane reality: I was gonna get there.
Twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty. FORTY-FIVE!!!! I extended
my arm and gently slammed my hand onto the wooden beam, just above the
upper edge of the wall. Yells and wild cheers erupted from the benches
on my section of the wall. Yaaaahhoohooohooowwee! I was going a touch
With the mission accomplished, I was lowered down to the earth. Receiving
tons of praise, I difficultly dislodged the harness and helmet and ran
to sit down, hurriedly declining more high-fives from the other students.
Believe me, I didnít need any more congratís. I was self-proud enough.
Youíve heard my point of view of the Camp Orkila climbing wall. It
is nightmarish and victorious, all the same. You could climb it, could
combat your fears. If you have never scaled it, I suggest you try. In
a special way, everyone can do it!