The high ropes and zip line are a highlight to many kids in the spring and summer, and this year I got to take part in the training. The training was four days long and involved a lot hands on work but also had some class room parts that we discussed as well.
The first thing we worked on was reviewing how to belay someone on the rock wall and the high ropes. This took up a couple hours of the morning because it needed to be seen by Echo that each one of us could properly belay someone on the elements.
The next thing we learned was how to tie knots. The most common knots we tie at the high ropes course is the double figure eight knot and the fishermen’s knot. We also learned how to tie the alpine butterfly which is another knot we use along with double figure eight and the fisherman’s knot at the rock wall. We spent quite a bit of time learning how to tie each of these knots properly and efficiently.
Since we learned all of the class room work like tying knots and learning how friction plays a role in both the rock wall and the high ropes it was now time to learn how to set them up. Learning how to set up the rock wall was a matter of watching how and doing. Each of us spent time in a rotation learning how to set up and to take down. The high ropes was a little trickier to set up. All of us had to show on the ground how to set up the cable pulley successfully with everything else attached, because when you’re thirty feet up it is really hard to tell someone who is trying to learn the set up what they are doing wrong.
Another thing that goes along with the high ropes set up is learning how to climb without someone belaying you. How do you do that? In order to climb without a bilayer we learned how to use lobster claws and a cable pulley which allows us to climb up the poles of the high ropes course safely. The few times we learned how to use them we climbed on belay to make sure nothing went wrong.
The last day of training consisted of Zip Line training. When being Zip lined trained we learned how to safely send people down the Zip line. We also learned how to deal with different scenarios. We all got a turn learning how to rescue people on the Zip Line if anything were to go wrong.
The four days were very tiring but in my opinion were well worth it. Getting high ropes, rock wall, and zip line trained was a highlight of my time at camp. We all learned so much and all of us who got trained got to use our skills a lot throughout the summer and the spring. This training made me feel comfortable with heights!