FreezeFest V - Sandthrax - Dec 30, 2006 - 4
...and dynos into the crack (with a sling from above).
Aaron and Hank had upclimbed this final section the day before.
Aaron and I are together strolling. He warns me about letting my guard
down too early. There is more business ahead. Spiderman and Dave
finally get to stretch their legs and blitz the lower canyon. Aaron
and I follow and the bottom drops out of our stroll. A 30 foot high
blimp-shaped bombay hole underneath us. An easy angled stem at an
exposed constriction does not reduce the seriousness. It is a funny
spot. The wall taking our feet is bathed in sunshine. The first since
we entered the canyon. The reflection of the sun prevents one from
seeing the dark drop just below. You could be 3 feet off the ground
for all you can tell. You know better. Nothing to do but focus on the
moves. Exactly what you're supposed to do. It's easy with blinders on.
Another silo 60 feet up and around the corner,the gradual descent to
the ground. Aaron and I stop a few feet up and look down at our
smiling pals, at difficulties end. Then we come down, after prolonging
the feeling. We plan our trip toward Trail Canyon, if the other group
is not back and wait for Hank and Buck to finish and stroll into camp,
meeting the Trail Canyon crew in one of life's perfect timing moments.
Both groups are just electrified, as we all seem to be walking on air.
Stories fly. It is too bad the Steve and his crew must leave. The
skits and campfire that night were extra special.
I thank Hank and Dave for prodding me into going. Steve for making
it that much safer. To Aaron, for climbing up with that rope and
making sure I have no stories, but good ones, to share with his
mother. Bucky for his cool and calm and Rob for being there, in case
anything had gone poorly. I'll go anywhere with you guys.
Bucky joins the split-pants freedom club. No commandos here!
Bucky approaching the final tough upclimb...
...and showing good form while doing it.
|Nearing the end, the deep, final silo.
|Bucky climbing past the last silo.
To myself, I asked the question why I was so pleased with the
descent. Always an exhilarating feeling, this time is was even
stronger. Certainly the history of the place was a part of it. But
there was more to it. I was forced to face the fact that it was partly
because it is a known and feared canyon. If it had been a unknown
canyon, in the corner of Escalante, would I have been as high? High,
yes, but perhaps not as much. The day revealed a lot of flaws. These
type days and places always seem to. Another, and very good, reason to
visit them. My fear, my incompetency and now my vanity, as I wear the
feather in my cap. It embarrasses and well it should. Confession is
good for the soul. Sandthrax is a dangerous place to allow self
deception. The place demands honesty.
Dave and Hank seemed to know I needed to go before I did. I told
them that I was thrilled with the experience, but in no rush to go
back, perhaps ever. They both laughed a derisive laugh at me and said
"You're going back!" Here it is a week later, as I write this and I
know they are right. I think about Stevee and Tom and Corbin and Roy
and Wade and Jud and Murray and several others, who haven't been and I
wish to share this place with them. All the people I have bonded with
before, stemming out between two high rock walls. I also have two 15
foot sections, one vertical, one horizontal that I wish to do in
better style, but mostly I will go back to "dance" in there again. The
joyful dance of mind and body moving as one.
|Back to a peaceful night at camp.
Freeze Fest Five - Main Page =+= Chambers +=+ Limbo =+=
Escape from Shenanigans
Sandthrax 1 =+=
Sandthrax 2 =+=
Sandthrax 3 =+=
Hard Day +=+
Black Hole +=+
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