Monday, October 24, 2005

Linville Gorge

Having not climbed a multi pitch route before I was nervous. Not nervous in the shaking and quaking sense, but nervous in the learning something new category, something really new category. After climbing up a fairly easy 5.4 section about 220 feet high we reached a large ledge (where the pics are from). I say we reached the ledge but really Brent reached it about 45 minutes earlier. See, multipitch climbing has a weird combination on togetherness and lonelyness. I was technically on the same climb as he but after the first 15 minutes of climbing he disappeared from sight until I reached him over an hour later. My only connection with him was the rope, extending upward into the rock. And so I sat, alone, looking out at the beautiful Linville gorge.
After climbing up to where Brent was on the ledge I took a break on safety belay while Brent climbed up through a narrow corner and again disappeared from sight. Another 40 minutes and I began climbing. The first 35 feet were well protected in the tight corner but as I reached the apex where the rock formation came together I had no choice but to venture out onto the edge. As I moved my hands and feet carefully beyond the protected corner the wind pulled hard at my clothing. I went from 35 feet up to over 350 feet above the canyon floor in just a minute. This was the epitomy of the climbing experience, to step beyond your comfort zone.
The view was tremendous! I continued over the rock to the next belay ledge and an hour later hiked out. What a great day.


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