a gem I found in my archives...
I had about an hour to kill last night before I had to be at YoungLife, so I decided to go check out a climbing area I had heard rumours of. Evidently, before the era of indoor climbing gyms, some climbers living in San Diego wanted a place they could practice without driving out of the city limits. Enter I-15 Glue-Ons...
The I-15 Glue-Ons is an urban climbing wall consisting of a freeway overpass and it's support wall, along with a bunch of rocks and a few climbing bolts attached to the it.
What I found was even better than I had anticipated. The ENTIRE wall is adorned with fabulous full-color graffiti, edge to edge. And since the taggers have been there more recently then the climbers, even the rocks glued to the wall are painted over. When I was climbing I was pressed up against a wall that was tagged up about 15 high, and the wall spanned about 50 yards. The climbing was hard, the holds small, the wall completely vertical, and the experience beautiful. Next time I will be sure to take some pictures and post them up!
This is our beloved ladder. We love it so much, in fact, that we have decided to leave it in the middle of our lounge for over a week, just to ensure that everyone can have the joy of experiencing it equally.
Love the ladder, feel the ladder, experience the ladder, but don't put the ladder away!
from last night...
So I went out again yesterday and this time we brought someone with gear. Ropes. Ropes let you climb higher, more vertical, and a lot crazier than without. So, I climbed higher, more vertical, and a lot crazier than last week.
Repelling was a blast. There is something about standing backwards on the edge of a 25 foot cliff and letting your body fall backwards. It was soo much fun, then when we repelled to the bottom, we got to ascend to the top. And do it over and over again for about 3 hours. The guys in the pictures are my friend Ben Kotnick, and his brother Dan. Dan is a very knowledgeable and safety conscience climber, which was great for my piece of mind, since this was my first experience with belaying, repelling, and toproping. Yahoo!
Other than the feel of climbing, my most vivid memory from yesterday was when Dan was explaining the braking method for repelling. He was showing me how to hold the rope in order to brake. As we are standing on the edge of the cliff he said, "This is your braking hand, if you let go of the rope with your hand, you will perish." Not, "Don't let go of this rope because you will get hurt". No, it was "...you will perish". I didn't let go of the rope!
This is an account written by Shawn Passwaters regarding one of our adventures...
04.01.05 "What a bunch of jerks." Ryan and I were walking off the last hole of a very boring disc golf course and it was his decisive manner which caught my attention. I'm used to him being generally positive about his disc golf experiences, so this statement caught me rather unawares.
"Who do ya' mean?"
"Those guys. I just waved and said hi and they just totally blew me off without even looking at me."
I told him that I've found most disc golfers exclusive and predominantly, arrogant nerds and just as we were about to launch into a really great rant, Ryan noticed an MP3 player sitting beside a lamppost. I told him it would really suck to lose my MP3 player and he wondered aloud if it might belong to the last group we passed. We didn't like their behavior, but no one deserves to lose their MP3 player. We had already backed out when the group walked up to their cars, so I rolled my window down to yell to them.
They're apparently deaf or incredibly apathetic about talking, choosing to communicate by waving their hands about in a vicious, hurried manner. "I'm such a jerk," Ryan mumbles. "You are," I say, "but what's your point?" "Dude, they're deaf." I could see his reasoning. We had just spent the entire walk to the car casting disparaging remarks to the wind regarding this group and now we find out they're deaf. "Dude, you are a jerk," I say as we both start laughing nervously at our own callousness.
I should have just driven away at this point, but as I watched them pack up their cars, signing to one another the entire time, I started babbling without missing a beat. My hand shoots up and I'm waving and words are pouring from my mouth. Why am I asking this guy if he's lost an MP3 player? He motions to his ear that he can't hear me and I say louder while making the universal hand-cupping motion for headphones over my ears, "Did you lose an MP3 player?" I point to the lamppost and he obediently grabs the MP3 player and starts back towards our truck. I stop him like he's the idiot, waving him off and yelling, "They're not yours?" No, he shakes his head and then it hits me...the entire group is deaf.
I've just asked a deaf man if he's lost his MP3 player.
I can feel my stomach churning with a nauseated embarrassment. I wave to him weakly and mouth that I'm so sorry as I skulk away with my head barely showing over the top of the dashboard of the truck. "I'm the biggest jerk in the world." I hear Ryan's near-hysterical laughter, then I notice that I'm laughing, but it's the laughter of a man who sees the irony of laughter in the face of death, but can't fathom his own demise. It's a fool's laughter and it frightens me, but it feels oddly comforting.
I've just asked a deaf man if he's lost his MP3 player.
"Dude, don't sweat it," Ryan croaks out amid his dying laughter, "it's not like he can tell any of his friends about this."
"How do you figure?" I say.
"Get it? He can't tell anyone."
"Your're sooo burning in a special place in Hell for that one."
Much of my early childhood was spent running around the beach at Face Rock in Bandon, Oregon. We would go and stay at a cabin there two or three times a year for long weekends, and other occasions. I can remember exploring the tidepools, finding huge starfish, odd sea anemones, and lots of crabs. We used to skimboard along the coast-line for hours and hours until we were too tired to run anymore, and there were many other activities we would find. Among the many things we did was rock climbing. There were numerous boulders, as you can see, just sitting about in the sand waiting to be conquered. My parents knew very well that telling me not to climb would be somewhat similar to telling me not to breathe, it just wouldn't hold up. So with a word of caution, they sent us off to climb, climb, and climb some more. I believe that climbing those rocks was the most fun I ever had at the beach. I can remember climbing 10, 15, and even up to 25 feet up to the top of a rock, then turning around only to realize I had NO IDEA how to get down. I will even admit that sometimes it scared me so bad I cried! If you know me, then you would know that crying is not something that happens often, so I was REALLY scared to force water from my eyes!
This is the view from the deck of our cabin.
Now I am 23 years old. I haven't been to the cabin for about three years, and I have been dealing with this itch to climb stuff. At first I could suffice it by climbing up trees at the disc golf course to fetch discs out of branches. But I have wanted more. I WANT ROCK! The idea of climbing with gear has always allured me. With ropes you can go higher, and more vertical than with ambition alone. However, gear is VERY expensive, and I am a poor young man living on a missionaries salary with a car that breaks down incessantly. So I compromised, this past January, I bought my first pair of real climbing shoes. I got a pair of Five-Ten Mojave's for about $70, which was a good deal because they retail around $110. Due to spring at work, and various other complications, I haven't had a chance to use them yet. Until this weekend! On saturday I decided I had had enough, I was going to go climb something. I called up Dan Q. and we headed out to Santee to play on some boulders. With just shoes and a chalkbag you can do a form of climbing called Bouldering. It is almost always done no higher than 15 feet up, you start at the bottom of a boulder, and make it as difficult on yourself as possible to climb up. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes or more just to get up 10 feet. In fact, Dan and I worked on one route for about 45 minutes before finally deciding it was a bit above our current skill level, and moving on. So Dan and I had a good time, but I forgot to take my camera.
On Sunday, I got bored in the morning, and felt a need to go back out and stick to some more rocks. I called a bunch of my friends and finally found one that could go. So we headed out and this time I brought the camera...
I have blisters on the tips of my fingers, and my toes are in a lot of pain, but I wouldn't trade it for anything right now!
I know I just put this picture up in black and white, but I couldn't stand not showing the full color picture as well. I love this shot with the rock wall, sky and trees.
I ignored the flashes of lightning all around me. They either had your number on them or they didn't.
J.D. Salinger, For Esme - With Love and Squalor