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Over Christmas break we went rock climbing. Albert, Shane and Anna have been climbing since about May, and we decided to visit a local rock gym called Rockreation while they were in town. There are two locations nearby: one in Costa Mesa, the other in Santa Monica. We climbed twice during this break, once in each location.

On the first day, it was just Albert, Shane, Anna and me. Agnes could not make it because of work. On the second day, about a week later, Jon brought his whole family (his parents and his siblings Jeff and Jen).  Unfortunately, Agnes could not make it again, this time because she's been feeling sick.

There are three kinds of indoor rock climbing as Rockreation: bouldering, top-rope climbing and lead climbing.  In bouldering, you never get very high off the ground, but it's good for practicing your technique.  The other benefit of bouldering is that you don't need a second person to spot you.  Top-rope climbing is what is in most of these pictures.  A rope is looped through an anchor at the top of the wall.  The climber is tied into one end.  At the other end, a second person takes up the extra rope through a belaying device that helps prevent the climber from falling.  In lead climbing, the rope is not connected to the top of the wall.  Instead, the climber hooks it in at various anchor points along the way.  None of us have passed the required safety test for lead climbing.

Each of the top-rope climbs have a rating number.  The rating number is specified in two parts, which is written like this: 5.9.  The five means that it is a climb up a vertical surface (as opposed to a one, which may just be a walk along a trail).  The second number is further specification about the difficulty of the climb.  At Rockreation, all of the climbs were rated between 5.6 and 5.11.