By Meike Pummer, 26 March 2022
Having never had run an event for more than 4 people or so, the thought of being in charge of making sure the 63 people that signed up for rock craft not only had a good time but also didn’t die had me stressing for a good part of the week leading up to that weekend. Other things that have could added to the chaos was the fact that Massey Climbing Club had planned to hold their rock craft at the same place on the same day (60 people was already borderline) and the impending bad weather which Metservice couldn’t make up its mind on.
I sent more emails that I ever have before in the span of a week trying to sort out the transport and organize some leaders from the club who vaguely knew what they were doing. I felt largely underqualified for my position as climbing officer considering I had only started climbing the year before, but the amount of climbing I did over summer somewhat made up for that.
On the actual day of I avoided the carpark where everyone was meeting (the good thing about being in charge is you can delegate the stressful situations to other people to deal with) and instead went out to the bay early to set up some of the top ropes with Patrick, Nick and some of the others. This partly turned into a teaching session of rope management and anchor sessions but somehow we managed to get most of the ropes up before everyone started arriving.
Chaos ensued while everyone found somewhere to settle down and chat for a moment while we tried to make sure everyone had some of the correct gear. Eventually a teaching demo was done by Patrick (thank you!) and everyone was sent off in groups to get on the walls. We had some easier climbs set up for those who had done nothing before, and some more difficult climbs for those who had. People were climbing almost all day, and by the end of the day we had some people practicing their lead climbing which was very cool to see because I had only just learnt that over the summer and was very keen to get some others into it.
But climbing was not the only thing that happened at rock craft. Luckily the weather was on our side and many people went swimming (with the seals). There's a very cool rock which a hole that goes all the way through it which we discovered you could swim through. It's also a very good rock for climbing (without ropes) so lots of people did that as well.
All round a very good time. Don't know if I need the stress of organizing something like that again. But to get people on some 'pretty decent' wellington greywacke I would probably put myself through the stress again to get the feeling of satisfaction of seeing everyone have fun doing something I also love.