For the past week, Bethel College has been on Spring Break. For me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was pretty stressed, getting a little burnt out, and just ready for a nice, long break. Most of my friends had exciting weeks planned – at least half of them were going on the Choir Tour to the Pacific Northwest (details of which can be read on this blog), the tennis team visited the Southeast, a couple of my modmates went skiing in Colorado, and a handful of other friends took roadtrips to California, Colorado, and San Antonio. My Spring Break started at approximately 6pm on Friday, when a caravan of 3 vehicles left the BC parking lot to drive to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas for 3 days of rock climbing, camping, and cooking outdoors.
Our group of 13 individuals contained mostly Bethel students, but two KU students and one K-State at Salina graduate were also present. We arrived at the ranch at about 2am on Saturday, pitched tents by the light of the nearly full moon, and slept for a few hours before waking up again at about 8:30 for a quick oatmeal breakfast. We climbed all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with other climbers on Spring Break, several of which our group knew from the Wichita Climbing Gym. 5 members of our group stayed at the Ranch for the entire week, but the rest of us drove home on Monday night, arriving back at Bethel at about 1:30am Tuesday morning.
I’m not the most experienced rock climber ever; I stuck mostly with 5.7 – 5.9 graded routes (the routes go all the way up to 5.15b, the hardest climb in the world), which put me right about in the middle of our group. Rock climbing involves a LOT of trust – trust in your belayer to catch you if you fall off the rock face, trust in your own fingers and feet to get the job done, and trust in yourself to not have a height-induced panic attack. Rock climbing is a really great self-esteem boost – there’s just something about scaling a 50-70’ vertical rock face using only the strength in one’s hands and legs that just makes one feel invincible. All in all, it was a really great trip for our group. The weather was beautiful, we made friends with students that we may not have otherwise talked to, built and strengthened friendships, wore ourselves out, and started Spring Break off with a bang.