Up North: Rock climbers take in Northland fall colors at new heights

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With fall upon the Northland a number of people are hoping to catch a glimpse of vibrant fall colors. A couple of residents in the Twin Cities found a way to peak the foliage in a more unconventional way.

For people living in major cities finding a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life is always important. For Minneapolis native Calvin Connell it’s a great feeling to get away from technology by climbing outdoors.

"It’s a fantastic feeling," Connell said while on a hike and climbing expedition at Tettegouche State Park. "We live our lives around our computers and our tech and it’s nice to get away, see these colors and listen to sounds of birds and nature. It’s fun to camp and wake up to the waves crashing against the shore.

For hikers, climbers, and campers Tettegouche makes for an outdoor enthusiast dream land. It’s one that Connell says everyone should take part in.

"For people that are interested in coming up here, I definitely say get out and explore Tettegouche. Get familiar with the area if you’re new to state parks and rock climbing."

Connell added, "if you’re interested in rock climbing, get to the gyms, talk to some people, get involved in your local communities so you can have some partners and friends that can teach you how to do it. Tettegouche is my favorite state park, there is so much great land here to enjoy."

Even thrill seekers with minimum experience can enjoy mother nature and rock climbing. Rachel Chmielinski, also of the Twin Cities, has only been belaying outdoors for one year and has been improving every day.

"I’m fairly slow and I don’t think that’s an issue at all," Chmielinski said. "A lot of the fun comes from just all the different moves that you make. It’s kind of a puzzle, a puzzle that you can get to solve with your body."

Some pieces off that puzzle include a lot of different types of ropes, hooks, and gear to make the job easier.

"We are all doing this by ourselves so we can get a couple different routes in." Holding her gear Chmielinski explained, "this is a Micro Traxion and a combination of a Micro Traxion and a ascender. They’re going to be for capturing your progress as you go up the rope."

Peak colors in the Northland are still expected to last into this weekend.