Tuesday, June 29, 2004

whimpering in fear

i went up to donner peak over the weekend to do some climbing, and to take a mountaineering class.

we took off early friday morning in order to have a full day, and were on the rock by 10:30.

the climbing up there is all granite slab stuff, and my slab skills are pretty much non-existant. add to that rock that heats up in the sun and you've got a nice set-up for scaring the crap out of yourself.

which is what i did.

i was up above the forth clip, trying to get over a slightly bulgy section in wall (i've circled it in the picture); the only feet were these horrible little nubbins and the hands were a couple of super-sharp little crimpers (the french word for crimpers is 'crispettes', which i think is a perfect description). i started to try to move up, and my feet lost their grip, so i bellyflopped on the rock, hoping desperately that the extra surface area would keep me from sliding back down the bulge, grating large portions of my tender skin off in the process.

as soon i was splayed out on the rock i could feel myself beginning to slide backwards, and i KNEW i was going to fall, and i knew i was going to leave a bunch of flesh up there as a nasty surprise for the next climber.

somehow i managed, in the midst of my hperventilating desperation, to get enough of a foot to flop myself, millimeter by millimeter, a little further up the wall, to a better hold.

not one of my more graceful climbs, and the tips of my fingers were worn almost through from being dragged across the rock so many times, which made the rest of the day kind of painful. wah.


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