#235: Go Rock Climbing on a Mountain

the last climb

the last climb

LOCATION: Queen Creek Canyon. Queen Creek, AZ

This is part of my Arizona Trip series. This is the start of the series.

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I had climbed in a rock gym several times before and knew I was hooked. While out in Utah canyoneering, I knew I really wanted to rock climb. Canyoneering didn’t require any UP climbing, so I was unable to really know what it was like. Rappelling is amazing though, so climbing up should be too, and I was right!

I decided to visit my friend Becky with a free flight voucher from Southwest Airlines. She lives in Arizona and in a great spot for rock climbing. We both had it on our list, so we decided to complete this adventure together. I found a really great company called Rappel Arizona to work with. They were the cheapest and also the best facility. Some places said that they wouldn’t allow self assisted rappels (something Becky really wanted to do) but Rappel AZ would allow it and provide a really great time.

We met our guides, at a gas station outside of the rock site and followed them in. They were around our age and seemed like nice guys. We made it to the site and had a small hike in. The hike in was around a gun range, which seemed kind of scary and dangerous to be hiking into, but obviously none of us were shot. Once we got into the canyon area we had a small hike down to our first climbing site. A wall that was straight up. I was used to the climbing gyms that have prominent hand and foot holds. I couldn’t see anything on this wall that I could grab or place my foot on. Ryan asked us to trust them though, and we did. After Ryan set the guide lines up, it was time to climb. They continued to guide us on available places for our hands and feet if we had trouble. It was much easier than I thought! For not seeing anything to grab, your hands and feet can really hold you up on barely anything. The trick is to keep your knees in and push with your toes.

Our next wall was a crack. You basically climb up the crack and up to the top. It was a lot of fun trying the crack climb because you wedge your hands in to hold yourself. I really enjoyed this one.

Queen Creek Canyon rock climbing

Queen Creek Canyon rock climbing

We then hiked over to our last climbing sight. It was a large rock jetted out into the valley with a small cave inside to rappel from. We rappelled down a few times and hiked back up to the top. Becky really enjoyed the rappel and I was glad I could find a company that would allow us to do that. After the rappels, it was time to climb to the top. The climb was relatively easy, but it was to a small point at the top that was kind of scary to get to. I managed to make it up there, but was frightened the whole time. It was the first time I was actually scared the whole day, but I trusted our guides that we would be fine.

Rappelling down

Rappelling down

Our climbs were completed and it was time to hike out of the canyon and back to our cars. I would say the entire experience was nothing short of amazing. The guides took plenty of photos for us with my personal camera and we had great conversation the entire time. They offered their numbers so that if we ever want to climb out there, or anywhere, they would manage to take us on an adventure. We left the climb with a great guide service, and also new friends. I can’t recommend Rappel AZ more!

* Thank you Becky for accompanying me on this adventure. Thank you Logan and Ryan for being the most awesome guides and for taking tons of pictures for us.

Logan, Ryan, Becky and me after our climbs

Logan, Ryan, Becky and me after our climbs

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: What an awesome experience! I would do this again in a heartbeat.

HOW TO DO THIS: Rappel Arizona offers lots of rock climbing, canyoneering and zip line adventures. www.rappelaz.com

Seriously, Southwest Airlines is the best! www.southwest.com

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