Time to come Clean.
This might be entertaining to y'all but I assure you.. at the time, it was dead serious for a newby climber the likes of me.
So, we have this piece of swiss cheese rock that was once ocean floor up about 2500' feet nowadays.. She's called Goat Rock. The boyscouts, the dayhikers, and the Rock Climbers all use this thing.. it is the year 1988.
I am a really.. really dumb(I am still dumb) kid, a year out of High School .Just beginning to get the hang of wearing a pack and walking around without complaining about everything.
There is a veritable crowd around the base of Goat Rock that day.
Practice Climbs up it face, maybe 200 feet... I dunno exactly but, If you fall, your dead.
Anyways I decided, quite arbitraily, to FREEclimb up and into one of the many caves dotting the face of the rock, maybe 100 feet up.
At first it was easy.. I am thinking I am such the stud. Those silly Guys/Gals with those ropes and safety belays.. HA! I will show them. I manage to reach the last pitch just below my target cave.. maybe 10 feet remain.
I find I can just reach the only remaining handhold but there is sand in it and my grip is not too sure.
Okay... I scoop out the unseen sand well above my head and regrip the hold. I pull myself up half way and realize there is nowhere to plant my feet.. I keep pulling on my SINGLE handhold.. my feet are dangling in midair now just as I find I cannot find a foothold and there is nowhere to plant my free hand. "Slightly" uncomfortable Now I begin to let myself back down.. I cannot find the foothold I had only second before. There is just smooth rock.
My hand begins to sweat.
I chance a look down and beyond my dangling feet I see a man looking up from at least 100 feet away with a very concerned look on his face..
This makes my hand sweat even worse!
I am losing my grip and beginning to feel real panic for the first time. I kick off my tennis shoes and socks to start searching the rock with my bare feet for a hold.. any hold.
After what seemed like an hour, but was most likely seconds, I find a purchase.
Beginning my climb down I remember the sweat pouring out of me and thinking "Traitor!" about my physical reaction. I reached the bottom and the guy I had seen was there and tells me "I thought you were a gonner there.." replying: I know... So did I!
Pride Comes Before A Fall - Hetchy
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