The Cayman Islands wouldn’t be the first location you’d think of if you were planning a climbing expedition. After all, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman are almost as flat as billiard tables.
But then we come to Cayman Brac. It is famous for its bluff that runs up to a peak of about 140 feet at the eastern tip, featuring myriad caves to which islanders head when hurricanes are in the area.
A small band of resident climbers has only recently come to appreciate the opportunity that the Brac bluff offers, and as a result, they are trying to get the word out to the local community, and maybe encourage others to become interested in climbing.
Angel Robledo, originally from São Paulo, Brazil, and a seasoned climber, is one such fan of Cayman Brac’s craggy topographical beauty. She is planning an expedition to Alaska and is therefore holding a fundraiser at Coconut Joe’s on April 11 to raise money for the trip and to support the Cayman Islands Humane Society.
“I didn’t grow up in a mountainous area,” Robledo says, “and so I didn’t know anything about climbing until I began trying it on my travels, starting around 2009.”
“We have world-class climbing right next door to us, but only a few people know about it. While I was over in Cayman Brac, I met six more climbers from Colorado who were on the island specifically to climb the bluff.
“Climbing has changed my life, and I would love to share it with the community,” she adds.
The event at Coconut Joe’s will include videos and a slide show of Robledo’s climbing experience in Cayman Brac, as well as her expeditions to the Himalayan Mountains.
There will also be a live auction later in the evening, and the proceeds will be split 50/50 between the Alaska trip and the Humane Society.
Robledo is hoping that a number of people will come out to support the fundraiser and learn more about climbing.
“I used to go to train at Kings Gym, but they only had a little [rock climbing] wall,” she says. “However, the owner has just bought a big wall that he will be launching in a few weeks. I have already volunteered my time on the launching day to teach and introduce kids to climbing. It’s the best age to start.”
This event is being held at Coconut Joe’s on April 11, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. For more information on the evening and the Alaska expedition, check out the Facebook page under “Cheers to the Summit – Alaska Expedition.”