Over winter break, a few friends and I went on an adventure to crawl around on some boulders in Rocktown, Georgia. It was my second-ever climbing trip on real outdoor rocks, the first time without any ropes, and deeefinitely my first time camping in winter. I wasn't prepared for how ice-cold the rocks would be, or the thin layer of snow that blanketed our campsite when we came back to it that first evening and struggled to build our fire, but suffering through all that still didn't diminish the beautiful scenery and amazing experience of getting back to nature. And we weren't the only crazy ones camping; one guy from a neighboring site brought us over a steaming ember in his bare hands to help us start our fire! Maybe he saw us eyeing his big roaring one with jealousy.
I think my favorite thing about rock climbing is how it brings people together. I didn't know three of the four people who embarked on the trip with me, but by the end we had bonded over rubbing our hands raw during the day and burrowing in our sleeping bags at night. The first afternoon, we even met a group of other climbers from Gainesville (!!) of all places who became extra friends for the day and helped us on various problems.
Of course, I couldn't resist taking a few photos.
Serious thanks to Will and Sarah for organizing the trip!! And Annie and Meredith for being cool and fun :)
If you're thinking of going to Rocktown, do it.