Plan to make high school memories with friends

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Spencer Massicot

Teen Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Having fun with friends, especially in our high school years, is a big part of us growing up, and a lot of those memories will be remembered for a long time.

A lot of my teachers tell us this as well. They think that when teenagers can drive, it opens up so many opportunities for them to go try something new with some of their best friends. They can take a day to go explore and make more memories.

A few weeks ago, some friends invited me to go rock climbing in Mission Gorge, San Diego County. We played online car games all the way there. We got there in the morning and met the people who would be taking us on the tour and teaching us the basics of rock climbing.

We started out by stretching and doing some yoga to get our bodies loose, so we didn’t cramp up on the rock. One of the people in charge gave us some herbal oils to rub all over our bodies because she believed it helped us get closer to nature. For the whole day and some of the following day I smelled like a pine tree and it would not go away.

After the yoga, we began our hike up to the rock walls. We walked for about a mile through the regional park until we got to the entrance to the mountain hiking trails. We went up one and immediately were faced with a series of switchbacks seemingly endless. After a while of slowly sloping up, we got to a part where we went off of a path and climbed over small boulders and were walking right on the edge of a big drop-off from the mountain.

We finally got to the top to see a set of three different paths up the wall. Our instructor climbed up each of them without any ropes while attaching hooks and ropes to the walls. We reviewed how to tie the knots and what to do while on the wall, and then it was time to climb. There is a sort of technique to rock climbing, as we all found out after being stuck hanging from the wall for awhile.

Once I got to the top of the first, and easiest, wall I was able to look out over the whole park. The view was incredible and I was really regretting not climbing with my phone to take a picture.

Coming down from the wall was probably the scariest part. We had to come over the edge of the cliff and sit like we were in a chair. We had to lean all the way back and rappel down. The instructor at the bottom was holding the rope and using a rope and pulley system to help us rappel down.

We moved to another wall, medium in difficulty. In this one, we had to lodge ourselves in a crevasse in the wall. We had to use our arms to hold us in place while we moved our legs higher and higher. When I got to the top of this one, my friend who was climbing after me was at the top of the first wall and we had a little conversation before coming down.

After everyone was down from the second wall, we had lunch on a little rock that edged out over the cliff. After lunch our instructor told us that it was time for the hardest of the walls. Looking up at the final wall, I saw almost nothing to grab onto – it seemed like a vertical wall that only spider man could get up.

After a while we were all successful and were told that we had all graduated from the introduction to rock climbing class. We made our way down the mountain the way we came up. I think the way down was harder because the rocks lining the path and the piles of dirt made it really slippery and everyone fell a couple of times, me the most though.

Once we finally got down and back to the car, we were allowed to rub some more herbal oils on ourselves to make us smell a little better for the ride home. On the way back we played some more games and we stopped for dinner. It was such a fun day and really makes me want to spend most of the summer seeing my friends and doing some really fun stuff.

My advice to everyone is that you should spend this next summer making memories with your friends because we don’t have many summer vacations left.

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Spencer Massicot