Monday, February 07, 2005

Weekend of natural deselection

This past weekend was full of what most other people might consider repeated attempts at getting ourselves killed. It started with drive over to the Queen Creek area for a day of climbing. (Although it was delayed a bit after a broken deadbold lock caused me to be locked in a friends apartment, but that's a different story. Overall, my climbing has gone to pot. I did a couple of 5.9s and 5.10s, leading a couple of the nines, but I was dead after that, with both arms completely pumped out. Drake then decided he wanted to put up a zipline, using his 300ft static line which he owns for that exact purpose. This was my first zipline experience,and it was all that's cracked up to be. Fun times were had.

     Luke leading a wicked                       Zipline on Saturday

Sunday morning then, we all got in my jeep, and headed to McDowel mountains. We found a spot hidden in some trees where we took off the top and doors of the jeep and had a couple of hours of fun checking out the area. I wore my seat belt, as I should since I'm driving, while the others preffered to ride on the outside, holding on to the roll cage. Eventually we got to a spot where Mark and Luke wanted to do some trad climbing, so Drake and I continued on our way after dropping them off. Now and expert at zipline, I endeavored to help Drake put up the biggest line yet.

This time, the route we chose was to long to simply span with our 300ft, so we had to link it 196ft dynamic climbing rope. The entire process of stringing the rope and getting it as tight as possible took a couple of hours, and many trips running up to the top of the mountain. The dynamic rope caused a lot of sagging in the line, which would sometimed require you to use the bouncyness of the line to jump of trees as you zipped by. We had quite the number of spectators by the time we had the line up. My main lesson of the day was that I still suck "throwing myself off a cliff," as Drakes stated it, when I have to clip in to rope at your feet going over high edge. The picture speaks for itself.

                                                      Zipline on Sunday                                            Drake zipping down

                Awkwardly throwing                     Me zipping down the line
             myself off a mountain


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