It must have been over 15 years since I last did some proper rock climbing but that drought ended last Sunday when I went to ‘Run Out’ which is in Nishi Kokobunji. I didn’t really know what to expect as I’d never done any indoor climbing before and was a little disappointed when I saw the place as I had expected a tower building of some sort.
Little did I know that once inside this wasn’t to be like the climbing towers which I encountered all those years ago at cub scout camp. They were a doddle compared to these which had various gradients with colour-coded routes of varying difficulty. I just could not follow such things as I have always just made-up my route as I’ve gone along.
As some of you will know I am no stranger to heights having done a skydive and three bungy jumps (which I don’t really like to talk about!!) but that certainly didn’t stop me from bricking it a little when I had to let go of the rope and descend. Some of the climbs were managed by an auto-belay device which helps you climb alone and retracts itself at the top and when you let go or fall your life is in its hands as it slowly lets you down.
All in all, 2500 yen (about £11) for three hours including instruction, shoes and the harness belt thing was good value although with the majority of the instruction being in Japanese it made it a little bit scarier as I had no idea whether I was grasping all the essential information. I remember going rafting up in Nagatoro on the Arakawa in Chichibu-tama National Park, Saitama, a couple of years back and being afraid that I would miss a very important, if not life threatening, instruction by simply not being able to understand it. Luckily I lived to tell that tale and this one too.