Obviously the first thing is safety. Andy outfitted Katie with a helmet, harness and climbing shoes. After an in depth safety talk, Hershey explained that one thing in rock climbing that not everyone takes the time to work on, is footwork. Andy first took Katie to what climbers call a "slab". It's an easy climb with an incline. Starting out climbing on a slab helps a climber learn to balance over their feet. What a beginner climbers learns on a slab will help when they move on to steeper climbs.
The big thing Andy taught Katie before she started climbing is that it's about shifting your body weight between your feet. It actually doesn't take much upper body strength to climb, especially on a slab. Climbers use their hands mostly for balance. Once Katie got to the top of the slab, Andy talked her through leaning into the harness and walking back down the rocks.
Hershey said slab climbing comes really natural to some people and some people just can't get it. Katie did great!
Climbing is also a lot like chess, Hershey said. You have to plan it out several moves ahead to make it work well.
After the slab, Andy took Katie on a harder climb and then Andy taught Katie to repel off the top of a rock.
Check out the video of the first climb and the web extra videos from the second climb and repelling.
For more information on Coopers Rock Climbing Guides click here.