This was not my first top-roping rodeo at the indoor rock-climbing center Vertical eXcape, 1315 N. Royal Ave. But it might as well have been.
Since my last visit, my climbing and belaying certifications had expired, and I’d forgotten how to safely scale walls, making this a re-test drive.
Filling out the online waiver before walking through the door kept my sign-in process simple. I paid the fellow behind the counter and received climbing shoes.
Following a 20-minute safety video, another man entered the orientation room and doled out harnesses to me and three friends. Geared up, we stepped into the 32-foot-tall gym.
We were free to race up the auto-belay paths after exhibiting our new knowledge of carabiners — the metal piece that clips rope to harness — and rappelling down the wall.
Upstairs we bouldered, which is low climbing without ropes and my favorite activity in the gym. The objective? Follow a route delineated by colored tape for a combined physical and mental challenge.
Not only was VX a great workout, but it was a lovely bonding experience complete with teamwork exercises and mild embarrassment.
While I’ll probably never be anything more than a recreational climber, Vertical eXcape can expect me to return often enough to keep training up-to-date.
For more information on Vertical eXcape, call 812-479-6887 or visit evansville.verticalexcape.com.