Outdoor Adventures: Wall Climbing With One Axe Pursuits in the Heart of Ontario - Toronto Teacher Mom

Outdoor Adventures: Wall Climbing With One Axe Pursuits in the Heart of Ontario

Sunday, October 05, 2014

After a summer full of family fun, you would think my kids would show their undying gratitude for all of the amazing experiences made possible thanks to my husband and I. From an afternoon at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and a day at Canada's Wonderland to a trip to Ripley's Aquarium and not one, but two afternoons at Medieval Times, we managed to sneak in lots of memorable outings. And this doesn't include our last-minute weekend getaway up north or our staycation at the Eaton Chelsea hotel. So can someone please tell me why, oh why do my darling children manage to drive me up the wall with their constant bickering and arguing? Can't they just get along, for crying out loud? It was the least I could do to salvage my sanity by taking up an offer to escape get out of the house and try out some real wall climbing. You know, the kind that requires special safety gear while dangling 20 feet above ground amidst the peace and quiet of Mother Nature's backyard.


The extent of my wall climbing experience to date can be summed up by a handful of attempts on a mobile wall-climbing apparatus with conveniently placed grips to guide your way to the top. My first attempt was nearly 12 years ago and it was an adequate intro to the sport. But it left me wanting a more difficult challenge, a true outdoor climbing experience that would require strength of mind and body. And so I made the hour-long trek to the limestone cliffs of Halton's Rattlesnake Point where I had participated in the 5 Peaks Trail Race earlier this summer. It was here that I could finally cross one off my bucket list. My fear of heights would have to take a back seat as I learned how to properly knot my ropes and how to belay from a wall climbing expert from One Axe Pursuits.


With Jay from Mississauga Life as my climbing partner, I took on the four easier courses without too much difficulty. Thanks for not letting me plummet to my death, Jay!


These first four courses had their own little challenges but we were welcome to attempt them more than once to find different or easier routes.


Now, I already showed that wall who's the boss so I decided to give the wall a break and re-energize with a banana and some nuts. And it's a good thing I did. The next set of courses were... well, just have a look for yourself:


All I kept thinking to myself was how much easier the climb would be if the wall was upside down. At any rate, I made an honest attempt but didn't get very far. My body was tired and the slight drizzle was dampening my spirits. After about three hours in, I decided to call it quits but not before attempting a newly anchored course. Aside from a large jutting rock near the base of the wall, I could surely make my way up a fair distance. Or so I thought. With a lingering impatience to avoid more rain and be on my way, I tried to grasp at a rock ledge without having secured my footing and as a result fell about four feet to the ground. [The thing about outdoor rock climbing is that the ropes that are used are dynamic, meaning that they are stretchy in order to absorb force during a fall. As such, it is extremely important that, for the first ten feet, the belayer keeps the rope extremely taut. Of course, I'm sure my belayer wasn't anticipating that I would make such a lame attempt and fall so early on.] But have no fear! My tush cushioned the fall. And quite frankly, it wasn't the distance of the fall that posed a problem. It was where I landed:


After about 100 burs, a minor scratch and ten minutes later, I decided to hang up my helmet and call it a day. The good thing about the entire experience was that I was able to gain a better understanding of safety protocol, knot-tying and belaying technique as well as conquer my fear of heights in the midst of the beautiful outdoors. It was more than just a physical challenge and the sense of accomplishment was the ultimate reward. Our guide was very thorough in his instructions and made sure everyone participated safely.

For those who do not have climbing gear, One Axe Pursuits provides all that you need. You will just need to let them know your shoe size beforehand to ensure they have climbing shoes in your size. If you're looking to plan an outdoor experience in the Heart of Ontario, visit Nature Unexpected. You will find a wealth of information on paddling, climbing, hiking, camping, cycling and skiing. And don't forget to check out the latest Nature Unexpected Special Offers. I found two One Axe Pursuits offers that look interesting:

Also, don't forget to check out the 2014 Red, White & True Canadian Heritage Passport to save over $400 on incredible Canadian experiences. Who knows? You might find something that will help you save your own sanity.

Disclosure: This post, which highlights just one of many outdoor experiences in Hamilton Halton Brant, was facilitated by a complimentary experience. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Wowza. I would love to try that!! Crazy challenging.

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    1. It sure was a challenge but it was a lot of fun. Tom Cruise/Ethan Hunt - Eat your heart out!

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  2. You are my new hero! lol I've always wanted to do this! Thanks for sharing, it sounds like you learned alot about yourself and climbing!

    RAFFLECOPTER NAME is Anne Taylor

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    1. Thanks, Anne! If you do end up trying it, I'd love to know how it goes. Cheers!

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  3. that looked like it was so straight up, I wouldnt be able to do it.

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  4. that is definitely on my bucket list! amazing

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  5. Oh I would SO do this! Looks and sounds like it as awesome!

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  6. What an amazing adventure. Hubby would love to try this but I think I would just watch him

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  7. https://twitter.com/wizzydr1/status/524928909071355905

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  8. amazing and well done ty for sharing

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  9. This looks like fun, although I don't think I could do this!!!

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  10. Wow!! This looks like a lot of fun!! Do you mind if I add it to my Bucket List?? Thanks for the post!!

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  11. We've done a lot of hiking at Rattlesnake point, but never any rock climbing. I think it's great that if needed, all the gear can be provided. Gives me something to consider doing when we go next summer....

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  12. OK...you are braver than me. My fear of heights would not allow me to even think about trying this.
    (Dbbei W)

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  13. Wow! That looks like a lot of fun! Maybe I'll try this one day!!

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  14. One day I will do this with my boys. I'll just have to wait until they are old enough. :)

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  15. Wow that must have been quite an experience. how fun

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  16. Kids love adventures...and their parents love to watch them.

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  17. When my boys are old enough, I'm bringing them here.

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  18. I cant wait to take my son rock climbing. He would have such a blast

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  19. Still looks super fun. Came here thinking I hadnt commented how much I want to go roock climbing.. realized I already did. Doh

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  20. I would love to try this, getting my husband to do it would be difficult

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  21. This looks like such a thrill! I will definitely check out One Axe Pursuits.

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  22. Looks like so much fun and for profi.

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  23. wow looks like a great place , i don't think i could force myself to do that , your braver than i :) Treen Goodwin rafflecopter name !

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  24. real actual rock climbing?! that looks so cool! minus the burrs of course

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