day 9. reverb 10
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
Satya: I’m not an avid partier, it’s just never been my thing. So I’m going to twist this prompt, and talk about when I was socked off a rock this year.
It was early summer in the Shawangunks. My coworker and I decided to go rockclimbing on our day off. She’s semi-professional; it was my second time ever. When we finally got there and were ready to go it was 11am, so we(she!) picked Shockley’s Ceiling as a great 1-hour pre-lunch warm up. (Historical note: Shockley’s ceiling was made famous by men doing the climb naked in the 1960s…)
So my coworker did the leading and route finding while I followed and cleaned up. (Cleaning up means I removed the life saving metal tochkeys J lodged into the rock crevices as I climbed beyond them.) I’d never done the cleaning before… and needless to say one of the tochkeys got stuck and I spent about 20 minutes and most of my energy in an awkward contortion trying to remove it. So when I finally decided to give up, it was too late. The hardest part of the route–the actual rock ceiling– was next, but my arms were burnt out. I lost my grip, slipped and fell away from the wall, swinging into the nothingness hundreds of feet above the ground. I couldn’t go down because I was tethered in, but I couldn’t get back to the wall either to try again. My coworker was to far up ahead to hear me shout, so I could only wait. Which was fine (in a suspended in mid-air kind of way) because I was convinced I nothing bad could happen. With all my weight pulling on the rope that was attached (to a rock? a tree? something sturdy!) higher up, there was no slack in the rope to allow me to be dropped to my death. Or so I thought.
After maybe 30 minutes or so of being suspended, without any warning, I DID drop. Fast. And I started screaming, powerless to my freefall. And then I was jerked to a painful (but lifesaving and wedgie creating) halt.
Needless to say my previous self-assurace everthing would be okay was dashed.
Eventually…because J is a climbing genius, she figured it out, reverse climbed back down the side of the cliff, got me to a belay station on the side of the cliff (where i stayed happily and safely) while she worked her magic removing the tochkey and getting us safely to solid ground. But it was neither easy or quick. When we finally touched down and looked at out watch the pre-lunch 1 hour jaunt had become an EIGHT hour resucue mission! So while not exactly a party…it was surely enough shenanigans for a good long while.