Rock Climbing in San Francisco

My fingers clung to the rock above me. My feet balanced precariously on the edges of mini-boulders. I looked up at the wall of rock, seeing too many feet to go to reach the top and no rock within easy reach for either my feet or my hands to move any further. I looked below me. Oh no, I had looked below me! I was further up in the air than I thought, and my legs became immobile with fear. I wasn’t going up and I wasn’t about to come down.

“You’re fine,” my belay-buddy called up to me, trying to be helpful.

Right, I’m hanging off of the side of the mountain with nowhere to go. I’m real fine, I thought. What I said was, “yeah, I know”. I looked back at the wall in front of me. If I could pull my leg up to the rock where my right hand was digging in, then I could boost myself up to grab the rock above me. I shifted my weight. My foot came loose. I tried to pull up with my hand but it too fell.

“I’ve got you,” belay-buddy called, as I fell backwards. I dangled in mid-air, my left foot still on the rock wall but held in place only by the strength of the rope and my friend down below. “You gonna try and grab back on?” he asked.

I looked at the wall again. It was so many feet to go. It just wasn’t going to happen this time around. “No, go ahead and lower me down,” I sighed. The mountain had won.

Okay, so it wasn’t quite a mountain. And I was hanging in mid-air above springy mattress pads. Maybe I’m not quite as tough as I’d like to pretend. But I’m tougher than the rock wall, I’m sure of it, so I’m going back to the rock climbing gym again tomorrow to show that indoor mountain what this desert girl is made of.

2 Comments so far

  1. James (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 6:43 am

    Hope you have better luck next time, eventually the rock will win but with practice you can return to conquer it.


  2. Kathryn (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    Thanks James … I went back to the rocky gym today and I got to the top of one of the taller walls. It wasn’t a hard climb, but this was this moment of elation upon reaching the top … of course, then I went to a more challenging wall and the mountain won again, but that’s how we get better right?

    Has anyone been to the rock gym in Berkeley? I’m wondering how it compares to Mission Cliffs here?



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