Climbing At DMC – Justin Tschinkel, Climbing Instructor and Counselor
Every afternoon participants in DMC’s climbing program leave campus and travel a short distance to one of the many climbing locations in the surrounding San Juan National Forest. On some days, climbers would scale “X Rock”, or master their skills at Durango’s premier rock climbing gym, or rappel down the canyons of Cascade Creek, or free climb boulders at Turtle Lake. All climbers have received instruction in the use of ropes, knot tying, commands, belaying of other climbers, and rappelling.
An important aspect of climbing is that it allows campers to set and achieve personal goals in a non-competitive setting. Our climbing groups work together to learn the skills and also ensure each person’s safety by following climbing guidelines. Often other campers would cheer climbers as they overcame particularly challenging sections. Along with mastering new skills, climbing also contains a distinct fear factor. Encouraged by other campers and staff, many climbers were able to push themselves through climbs they did not believe themselves capable of achieving.
So far we have had the biggest and most skilled climber group DMC has ever seen. Yesterday we did a 100-foot rappel and all ten kids in the group did the rappel without hesitation and had big smiles on their faces the entire time. We are going to cap off this weeks climbing program with a cool climb at East Animas, which is the premier climbing area in Durango. It is going to be a good test of everyone’s climbing skills and should be quite the adventure for this very talented group of individuals.
This has been a quick update of everything climbing we do here at DMC and will continue to keep you guys updated as camp continues to climb on!