About a month ago, I started preparing by squeezing two release mechanisms (with both hands) that will be similar to the one I'll be using on Rappel Day this Thursday, 1:25 pm.
I'm up to about 30 each time I do it.
Occasionally, I also squeeze a small rubber ball.
This past Saturday, I went to Stone Age Climbing Gym, where the owners are offering free training classes to Over the Edge participants.
After being outfitted with a wait-to-knees harness, I found the whole set-up to be somewhat daunting and quite scary:
> A 30-foot climbing wall
> A small ledge close to the top, where a staff person was perched (attached to ropes), waiting to hook us up to the rappel ropes
> Climbing options: a 25-foot shaky ladder or the wall's plastic foot- and hand-holds
I decided to feel the fear and do it anyway. I did the practice rappel three ways:
1. Climbed three feet up the wall and rappelled down from there.
2. Climbed the ladder, let the staff person haul me onto the ledge, and rappelled down
3. Climbed the ladder, hoisted myself onto the ledge successfully, and rappelled down
NEXT TIME: What you have to do once you get up there