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Climbing outdoors: Deception Crags.

Finally, after climbing indoors for almost a year, I made it "outside". It was my goal for this summer to go outside and get a feeling of "real rock climbing", and see how much different it was from climbing in the gyms. It was....fun!

After taking my "lead climbing" class at Edgeworks climbing gym in Tacoma, I couldn't wait to test my skills and everything I learned in the "real life". Still being relatively new to climbing, I needed something that would fit my climbing level. A friend of mine suggested Deception Crags ( also known as Exit 38 ) located in part along Horse State Park trail.

Deception Crags climbing area is very popular because it's a short drive from Seattle on I-90, it has scenic views of the valley and some of the best routes in the state. And by "the best routes" ( what mostly mattered to me), I mean moderate sport climbs from 5.5 to 5.11 (the lowest grades given to climbing routes that concisely describe the difficulty and danger of climbing the routes).

I hope, I don't have to emphasise how important it is to have an experienced and knowledgeable mentor (climbing mentor that is). My friends helped me choose the appropriate routes, challenging me slowly ( but steadily ) from the easiest to more difficult, showed a few new techniques and tricks, and introduced me to their friends-"crag rats" / "hard core climbers".

So now, you know how easy ( and fast) it is to move from gym environment to outdoors. Though, you can rely solely on your friends ( or Youtube) to learn how to climb, I intend to take more classes, as I've noticed that it worked better for me. Remember, climbing (just like many other outdoor activities) is all about practice...and fun ( well, at least for me)!

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