Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"Nobody has so many friends that he can afford to lose one." - Cactus Ed
A close friend of mine took a nasty fall while rock climbing last week, and is extremely lucky to be alive. It is a miracle, in fact. Funny how you might not believe in miracles until something happens that is inexplicable except in uncertain terms. This is one of those cases.
The report said she fell 80 ft. In her words, it was a miscommunication. She thought she was on belay, and she wasn't. When she shifted her weight to the system, the system did not resist and she took a deep breath and hit the ground, sustaining incredible injuries.
I quit climbing several years ago after some scary experiences on the wall. I didn't feel like I had enough knowledge or the technical mastery to be safe. But my friend certainly did, and this is the scary part. It could have been my brother, or any one of my close friends who excel in climbing and pursue bold ascents confidently and safely. Even the best have momentary lapses, and in climbing this can be enough to ruin your day.
Keep climbing and doing whatever it is that you do out there in the world. But goddammit be careful.