Rock Climbing has been my passion since I was a kid. I can remember my excitement when I would see a tall, colorful rock wall. Getting suited up, my parents cheering me on as I climbed higher and higher, it laid the foundation for my love of it today. It started at state fairs and grew once I found out about rock climbing gyms.
After my last active-duty station in Hawaii, I was lucky enough to continue living there. While in Hawaii, I have made climbing friends that took my climbing to the next level. We explored climbing both at indoor gyms and out in nature.
One of my favorite places to climb is at a mountainside known as Mokuleia (“Mokes” for short). This mountainside has a variety of different routes, the biggest selection on the island. It is beautiful! If you head towards the western most point of the island of Oahu there is a beautiful stretch of beach on one side of the road and on the other, almost hidden amongst the tall grass, is a trail. The hiking trail is deceptive, and it gets steep very quickly with a few big rocks to climb before you even get to the real climbing spot. Even though the hike to the climbing spot is only about a quarter of a mile, the elevation increase of 600ft makes for a very steep incline; it is beautiful but a killer hike.
Our saying is “Sundays are for climbing” and every Sunday my friends and I meet up at this friendly coffee shop. After climbing, we sometimes head to the beach and chill out, soaking our feet in the water. It is a nice little respite for our spent muscles before heading home.
One of my favorite things about climbing is that although you might not always get a route on the first go, you can clearly see your improvement. Progress with climbing is more tangible than some other goals in life, actually getting to see that you reached that next hand hold or that it was easier this time around. Climbing gives me a feeling of accomplishment and a feeling of “I did that.” It really is a confidence boost.