Sunday, September 06, 2009

Oh Holy Crap!

In a brief follow-up to a previous post where I describe my manly moment during an unexpected, small fall during rock climbing, I would like to point out that another such incident has occurred and I took it much better than the first occurrence. Given, this time I knew I was going to be descending, but I was not prepared for the rate at which it happened.

At the top of the 30ft wall, it was time to head back down and I pushed away from the wall as usual when suddenly I began rocketing towards the ground at a speed which I can only describe as terminal velocity. It took me slightly off guard as I had been about to land on the wall for a second push and I was aiming for a particularly good spot to do so when suddenly said spot shot up and out of view. Rather than a small hitch in the rope this time, the person belaying was simply trying out a slightly more elevated position for the rope to try and avoid any start/stop, jerky motions that tend to happen when lowering someone. He was successful.

Rather than the high-pitched, scream of terror I assumed would happen in such an event, I let out an ever so slightly less embarrassing cry of "oh holy crap!" or something along those lines, but I DID manage to do it in my regular voice, if at a much higher volume than normal.

Some of us found this whole event pretty entertaining.

When I successfully landed unharmed, I had to admit that the sheer speed of the descent was pretty thrilling. Rappelling at a rapid clip is one of my favorite parts of climbing, after all. And I'd not mind doing it again but I think the actual thrill came from the fact that for a few short seconds I thought I was actually falling and - upon landing - the joy of still being alive was pretty exceptional. I don't think it could be replicated by warning me that I'm going to be let down fast and it would always have to come as a surprise, with the obvious downside that the potential for a girly-scream would still be lurking just below the surface; ever-present.

1 comment:

ryan said...

i say again, you were nowhere near terminal velocity. only headed that direction. (rapidly)