Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hanging On A Cliff

A rock climber I am not, but today I got to play the part for a friend.  Emilie, too modest to say so, is a rock climbing goddess in these neck of the woods and also a guide.  She has been guiding for years, but is taking an exam this weekend to bring her up a notch in the guiding world.   Lately, she has been taking her husband and owner of Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides out to practice the skills she will be tested on.  However, he is off guiding in France, so I told her I'd be her "dummy."

She needed to lower me over a rock wall and practice her "knot pass."  I'm not sure what that means, but I was game.  Hanging sixty feet in the air, I waited.  
This exercise didn't take too long since she needs to accomplish this in less than five minutes. She did it in four.  After she was through, she lowered me down and I untied myself from the harness and walked back up to her.  

The next task was going to take much longer because there were a few things she had to practice before she would do her "Rescue Mission" on me.  She lowered me again on a 5.9 climb that is appropriately named, "Live, Free or Die."  Emilie worked on her knots, lifted and lowered me three meters and patiently I waited dangling over the cliff. 
(Mom, please don't pay attention to the lack of helmet)

Hanging there I contemplated many things.  For instance, the peregrine we heard in the distance...I wondered if it was going to swoop down and poke me in the eye.  I thought about having to go to the bathroom since my harness was a little too large for me, shifting around and wreaking havoc on my innards.  I was thinking about why she would have to rescue me in the first place, probably because I would be dehydrated and have low blood sugar which would cause me to faint, turning me into a true dangling dummy.

Alas, Emilie came to my rescue!  
She passed the trial exam with flying colors today, completing the "Rescue Mission" ten minutes before the 45 minute cut off.  Way to go Emilie!  I hope your skills this weekend are just as good as they were today, except for the whipping me in the face with the rope part. ;)


David said...

Sounds like it was a good day!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering where your helmet was until I saw your note to MOM. No more rescues w/out a helmet!