Climbing Sweet Dreams
I remember many years ago, my cousins Mark and Colin would appear carrying bags heavier than me. They would show me pictures of them camping in a tent, suspended by ropes, hanging off the side of a cliff. I remember thinking, 'I could never do that'.
Only a year ago, I spent three days mountain biking through the Blue Mountains and repeatedly stopped to gaze at the big cliffs towering hundreds of meters high. I remember thinking, 'I could never do that'. (view "Rolling through the Blue Mountains")
Shortly after, I met James. He approached me at the climbing gym and initiated a conversation; at the time I remember thinking, 'I don't recognise him, but we must have met him'. In reality, aside from belonging to the same Facebook group, we did not know each other. Over the next 10 months, this would change.
From the beginning, it was obvious that James and I had at least one thing in common, our love for the mountains. It didn't take long for us find further commonalities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, and the desire to fill our weekends full of amazing adventures.
Over time, we worked together, supporting each other's climbing knowledge and ability and more importantly, developed the trust required to put one's life into the hands of the other. We took a few courses, watched plenty of videos, and practiced whenever we could. In late 2017, on one of our regular visits to the Blue Mountains, we sat on a ledge overlooking those cliffs which earlier in the year seemed out of our reach, and said, 'we're going to do that'.
So on 10 June 2018, James and I set out to climb the 120m Sweet Dreams, the most popular multi-pitch route in the Blue Mountains. Although a relatively easy climb, we felt accomplished and excited to have entered into a whole new world of outdoor adventure. And at the end, we gazed at those intimidating cliffs off into the distance and said, 'what's next?'