Belayer: The Other Half of a Crag Climber

I’m Clueless to the climbing sport, I solely trust on the referrals of friends of people who can help migi. And I’m very thankful to always being led to wonderful people: Yahman, JJ, Dodong, and other staff in Vertigo Gym.
Then earlier today (Not counting the “root climbing” in Danao, Bohol last summer), Migi had his 1st outdoor rock climbing experience. And, I learned that though climbing is a solo sport, a very big part of the success, and most of all the fun of the journey (and above all things – your safety), is of the “belayer.” 

Big thanks to Enie Yonson, who was referred by friends and internet, for making Migi want more of it! πŸ™‚ (Though, I’m not sure with the others :).)

If you want to try outdoor rock climbing in Poog or Cantabaco, Toledo, Cebu, Philippines (or mountain / nature trekking / camping), you can contact guide ENIE YONSON at (0948) 712 4875. πŸ™‚

OPeak: It’s Not Lonely at the Top

We’d been a few times to Osmena Peak, Mantalungon, Dalaguete with friends; and, they were always in a good weather. But when we finally brought the kids with us, the weather decided to act up. @.@

(Default pre-climb feeding program at Maria’s Batchoy.)

We took the usual route to OPeak: parked at the Barangay Hall, then walk through a farm which was muddy because it was raining before we got there. 

There’s actually a parallel road to this farm which cars can pass thru. So the kids felt pranked when they realized it. πŸ™‚
Meg kept saying about the trek, “Papa, it looks easy on The Lord of the Rings.” 
The trek got trickier when winds was really strong as we got nearer to the peak. Mati was really scared, but Migi and Meg wanted to continue to the peak.

We can tell who among the 3 is most like me. πŸ™‚ 

So we split. Mark got the 2 kids up, while I got down with Mati back to the registration building. 

(First ascent.)


Mati was grumpy. I guess both from frustration and being scared of the strong winds.
After 15 minutes, Mark with the 2 kids arrived. 
When the sky looks a bit clearer, we tried hard convincing Mati to trek again to the peak. 
So this happened, second ascent. πŸ™‚ No time to care about the photobomber; we just want to get done with it before weather decided to be crazier. 

Mati was still not happy because he only got there once while Migi and Meg did it twice. Oh well! It’s definitely NOT lonely at the top because the kids don’t care.
More photos:
We’re more relaxed on the 2nd trek, so Meg was asking me to take photos of her which she can upload to her facebook. @.@ I was happy to oblige.
MUDventure. 

The Climber “Soccer Mom”

When I saw Migi already starting to wear out, and complained of pains and discomforts after 2 hours of climbing, I realized that being a “soccer mom” is not an easy thing. Seriously, how do you motivate a kid and at the same time shelter him from harshness?
(Photo from Vertigo Gym. Spot me!)

Among all the sports that Migi get into, it’s the climbing that I have the chance to get more involve as he needs to be “chaperoned” in going to the gym. So Last weekend’s Vertigo Cup climbing competition was my first time to see Migi competes. Though, he joins tournament / competition from time to time, I never got to witness any of them. So I don’t really know what happens when there’s a competition, and what to do.
So Here are my “soccer mom” lessons from that climbing event:
1. To be a mother or a father? 
I read somewhere that kids who are raised by mothers tend to be less aggressive because mother, by nature, are more protective and more forgiving. I don’t know how true is this but being a mother, yes, I am more forgiving and less pushy.
I noticed that Migi has high tolerance for pain, and I think this is somehow what gives him advantage in sports. (I remember that he once chipped off his toenail in a tennis game. He did not complain until I saw it the following day that it’s falling off. Gross! I brought him to ER where a surgeon cleaned it up.) So I know that when he started voicing out that he’s in pain, I know that it was real pain. Plus he was already climbing for more than 2 hours, which he’s not used to. His climbing sessions usually end in 2hrs.
SO SHOULD I PUSH OR GIVE HIM A PAT ON HIS BACK for a good job, and go home?!? 
The mother in me just really want to pack things up, and then feed him his favorite dimsum. It was just some silly competition after all. 
On the other hand, I could hear Mark’s voice saying “Maayo gali wala ka gipanganak sa panahon sa gubat.”
It’s probably a disservice to Migi if I would not let him push one more time. So I let my ALPHA female ruled, turned cold-hearted and tell him “you are still alive. You rest then try one more route.” πŸ™‚
2. If being a mother or a father would not work, bring in SUGAR.
Being a first time “soccer mom,” I did not anticipate the “down” times. I did not know how to cheer up the boy, how to aid his discomforts. 
Thankfully, I remembered my being a support crew in long-distance races. When people is down, just pump them with sugar! πŸ™‚ 
So when he felt tired, I buy sprite. When he complained of painful hands, I distract him with tab gadget since I had no liniment.
3. It’s you against the wall, the scorecard, and most of all YOU.

Migi usually comes home with a medal from his competitions, tennis / table tennis / chess / archery, but I always thought it’s a fluke. I mean there are not really a lot of kids who play chess, right? He might just be the one joining thus the medals.
But I kinda underestimated him. He is competitive in a way that he did not put much attention to any other climbers. He was mainly concerned with the wall, the routes, and his score card. 
Day 1 of competition was that there were 12 or 16 routes to climb. And they were given 4 hours to climb as many of the routes. Scores of each route depends on difficulty level. Day 2 was only 1 route for everyone to climb (each category has their own route) for limited time. So in a way, climbing competition is kinda design to make you focus on your own scorecard than anybody else’s. 
When he got his score card, he said something like “I come here to compete with all the routes!”
So when he started to wear out and wanted to quit, and reasoned out because the other participants were also getting tired, I would just remind him that he’s competing with the routes on the wall and not with the “tired climbers”. Somehow, it would trick him to try one more route. 
—-
I really do hope that that attitude was not a fluke. And, I hope we or others would not influence him to think otherwise. πŸ™‚
Anyhow, I’m thankful to climbing as it finally gave me the chance to be a “soccer mom.” 
On a serious note, I’m thankful to climbing as it was my chance to learn more about my 1st bebeboy. He was only 4-month old when I got pregnant again so it has always been so hard to give him my full attention since he was a baby. Until he got old and being the eldest, there’s a feeling in me that he can always find a way to survive so he’s always like the low priority when it comes to who needs looking after. So among my kids, he is that one who would take more time before I can connect with him or get into.

Photos of Day 2 from Mark’s cam:

(Let me gloat that among all the climbers in all categories, he’s the only one who “tap up,” being able to reach the “finish line” of the route.)
(With his 8-12 category mates Sam & Mozart. They’re all my favorite especially Sam. She’s so feisty!)
With the whole gang, organizers and participants.

Leg 2 of Vertigo Cup climbing will be this October in case you want to test your limit agains the wall. πŸ™‚