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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 55

Today's post: more rocks.  Climbing is a passion as well as an art out here. I'm in awe of those who scale the heights like little spider people. Years ago, I took a mountaineering class with the Sierra Club. One component was to use only a rope (no harness, chalk, or clips) and practice basic rappelling/belaying skills in the event you must use a rope to get down off of a cliff, etc.  We all climbed up a series of boulders to prepare rappelling down a steep face. I was in the last group to come down. Going up was fun and easy - even with my short legs.  Our ages varied greatly. Back then, I was the youngster in the group... I watched as each person rappelled down thinking, "If she/he can do this, so can I....." Well, my partner didn't have me belayed properly so I had to pull myself up and over the curved rock face to refigure the roping and start again - three times. On the third try, I was so tired and so scared I just wanted DOWN. And down I went. Zip! Folks in the group said they had never seen someone's face turn so white so fast. My butt and inner thigh where the rope was looped had a nice rope burn. I haven't had the inclination since. If I can't scramble down with my own feet and hands or scoot down on my rear end, I'm not going up....  Kudos to those who got over the fear with trustworthy and skilled partners cheering them on.

This is my son. His first real climb. Since this day (which was only months ago), he has gradually purchased his own gear - good climbing shoes, his own harness, chalk bag, some carabiners..... And has even made several first ascents. All thanks to someone who took the time to show him the joy of it all by doing it right. Thanks Todd.

Hugging rocks. Good for the soul.....

© Diana Shay Diehl / Joshua Tree National Park


Anonymous said...

Feel free to delete this but I'm pretty sure you meant to convey that your son enjoys rappelling rather than repelling, though as teenagers they're certainly capable of doing both.

Diana said...

Good grief...thanks for pointing that out. Fixed it. Kind of like walking around with spinach hanging on your front teeth and no one mentions it :-/ That's what I get for a hasty post.... I appreciate you taking the time to read them and...your candor.