Standing in the tall grass underneath El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, you think you see a blackish figure moving above you near the top of the sheer 3,000-foot cliff. You think maybe your eyes are playing tricks on you and you look again. The wind is picking up, a relief from the oppressive ninety-degree heat, yet your hair stands on end when you make out the blurry image up above. There is definitely something moving up there. More than one. You grab your binoculars and almost fall backward with disbelief. It’s a person, no two people, setting up a bivouac up there on that cliff. What?!? Are they sleeping there? You can make out colorful ropes and glistening silver carabiners and two people in climbing harnesses, walking right on the edge of the wall, contorting their bodies unnaturally in space. You think back to the days when you did Outward Bound when you were nineteen, being harnessed in, told to take a step backward into the abyss, letting go and rappelling down the cliff. What a rush. It was like none other in your life. You were scared and crying and laughing all at the same time. You cursed the instructor for making you do it, yet you loved him for giving you that experience. That’s the sort of adventure you crave in your life now that you’re a little older. Yet you don’t have the courage or knowledge to do Yosemite. Not yet anyway.
Enter Philadelphia Rock Gyms of Fishtown. Founded in 1994, this indoor rock-climbing gym was one of the first indoor climbing centers in the country. Since then it has opened five locations around the Philadelphia area. Yeah, you wouldn’t have the wind swirling around against your back, the unnatural heat, the hordes of gawkers and camera crews down below, or the adrenaline rush of doing something so scary and potentially risky. But you could learn the ropes, so to speak. Through the Rock Gym, you would join a community of Philadelphia climbers who share your passion and interest in the sport. You would participate in an indoor, safe, challenging environment that caters to all skill levels. Why not give it a whirl?
This InLiquid Benefit auction item includes a gift certificate for an intro climbing package for one participant age 16+. You never know where this experience might take you. Maybe someday you’ll be the one up on that sheer face, adjusting your carabiners, stretching your right leg at an impossible angle, checking for that minuscule foothold in the granite wall, and smiling at all those incredulous folks down below.