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skin, originally uploaded by monkey_pushover_tree.

So I went climbing… again 😀 Have to say the more I do it, the more I know that I love it. There really is just something to knowing that you alone, got yourself up a piece of rock. There is just that great sense of achievement to it.

I didn’t have the digital this time, so only shot film (iso 800). I didn’t take that many photos, but got a few. This is Gaby on “Skin (21)” at Illawong. The guide describes the place as “A pleasant little south facing crag overlooking Still Creek and the Woronora River.” Rob took a shot of the place to see how pleasant the place is, take a look a this shot.

To be fair, it’s not really that bad a place and with hindsight it’s okay. The climb Skin got us all. So, this means that we are all have to go back and try and complete it. It was also just one of those climbing days. As Rob kept saying, “A bad day at the crag is better than being in the office”.

To give you an idea of how bad it was, it started with the first climb “Butt Ugly, with Gravy”. Which was really quite butt ugly. What didn’t help was that the climb and the protection went right…none of us could see the route right. There was good holds to the left, so Gaby went that way…and stayed going that way. There is only natural protection this way.

At this time I was belaying him. As a belayer, your job is arrest the fall of a falling climber, and some other stuff. The other thing you have to be aware of the amount of rope out. That means thinking about if the climber falls how far they are going to fall. There are also calls that a climber makes; “watch me” means really sketchy here might fall, really watch me.

Now as gaby was climbing, through no protection I had to really think about catching him if he was going to fall. So I really did, to the point where if the climber fell, he was going to hit the deck. So, to prevent it I had to think what was it that I was going to do should this happen. Now I could run to the right hoping to pull in rope at the same time. There was also the ledge and drop behind me; so this means that I could jump off and pull in the rope. That means I’m falling and the climber is…and that may just have worked.

So there I was ready to jump off the ledge to catch the falling climber, between the two of us, there should be enough rope to stop the climber from decking… maybe. That was may plan for that whole climb. It’s the only time I’ve really been scared as belayer and really really really aware of what is going on around me. It was really one of those moments where you can see a day to go shit in the blink of the eye.

I still love it though…


~ by monkeypushovertree on October 10, 2007.

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