Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Sorry about the strange setup on the pics. This was a scan out of my wife's and my scrapbook. Anyway, let me tell you what is happening in these photos. Here we have caught on film one of my most stupid moments. I was climbing the route that is on the southeast corner of the boulder that is at mouth of the trail that opens up onto the bluff line. The lower draws had already been cleaned from the route so that we were running a top rope off of a draw near the top of the route. Just above this last draw was a small shelf, then another 5-6 feet higher was the top. These were in the early climbing days when I did not know much about it. Looking back, we were probably supposed to either set a top rope, or there were some chains up there somewhere out of view that we should have used, or something like that. Anyway, when I got up there I decided to unclip the last draw and let it slide down the rope to my brother on the ground (in the background of the bottom photo) so that we would not have to abandon it. I did not realize how dangerous a decision this was until I started trying to climb the remainder of the way to the top. It was kind of sketchy, especially considering the possible fall. I could hear my brother on the ground saying, "What is he doing!?" and I remember thinking, "This is not good! That was a bad idea! If you fall you'll probably land on that rock and injure yourself really bad, if you don't die!" Very nervously, cautiously, and slowly crawled closer to the top where my dad was offering me an outstretched hand to help me up and over. I'm pretty sure everyone there knew what an mindless think I had just done. I mostly remember what my brother said afterward. I remember him saying that you can be a good climber, but one mistake is all it takes. If I had fallen, that would have been the end of my climbing, if paralized from a fall then the end of a very active life, or worse, the end of life itself. And not as a cliche, but I really mean it when I say that I thank God that he is merciful DESPITE my stupidity. I have not made a stupid mistake like this since. I think ahead now and take calculated risks so that the danger is minimal. We climbers have to be careful. One stupid decision is all it takes. So lets climb smarter and have a good time. *Photos by Gary Barnoskie
|Photo Location:||North_America: United_States: Arkansas: Boston_Mountain_Range: Fern_Climbing_Area|