It was my very first climbing outing ever. My father and I have been life long climbing partners, although, to accompany us on this mesmerizing day, was the likes of two of my dad's friends from Ottawa. They didn't matter to me much, not then anyway. I was actually going to climb!
We arrived at the top of the climb, on scheduel, 40 minutes from the car, shouldes aching from carrying the heavy gear, we were finally near the point of being free from the likes of the gound, captivated by nature, gravity, now an enemy.
Being that we were at the top of the route, me must first rappel down, to the base of the climb, and then top rope upwards from here, being belayed from the top of the climb. My father then removed his 'Rapping from Trees Kit' from the Mountain Equipment Co-op bag, and had begun administrating the large plastic coated cable around the mighty timber. From this cable were two DMM carabiners, in which the two ropes passed through, one end of one rope, being directed to the belayer, while the other to the climber, one end of the opposite rope leading solely to the climber, whilst he rappels downward, using his friendly bucket.
But alas! I am not the first to venture into this wonderful world of climbing yet more the last. First to try the route was my father claiming the route to be: "Ah, way too easy!" (only to be scowered with replies from the belayer; "I felt that rope getting tight more than once there Bob!"). Second to climb the route was my fathers belayer, Mark (friend from Ottawa), now being belayed by my father. Mark, claimed the route to be: "Easy, but some trickiness seems to creep into it somewhere along that crack there!" (I respond; "I'll fix that crack, just you wait and see when metoliusmunchkin flashes this thing!" [laughs]). Phillip is next (Mark's son). I sense much fear in young Phillip (my age) as he is tense rapping from the 70 foot cliff. He snarles and growls heavily at his father, now the belayer. Once hauling himself to the top he states: "No problem!" (as he wipes the large beads of sweat forming upon his red brow). My turn! I rappel unexpertly from the top of the cliff, trying as hard as I could not to seem as a beginner, cracking jokes on the way down to the ground. Once there, the climbing commenced.
I hopped upon the route eagerly, as if to break a new climbing record, my anxiety grew. Every hold, slip, curse, is now etched within my conciousness, paying only the most extravagent attentions to detail. Hand jamming, and knee barring, all new techniques learned the night before, reading the climbing books for beginners (I would be prepared for this climb!). The route was surprisingly durty, mostly due to the lack of sunlight that hits the site of the rockface (the rock is usually most, turning mere dust, into a light mud that covers the surface of all the surrounding area). I thought constantly of the victorious cheers that may arrise upon my ascention of the route, although, in scending the route, there were none. Just smiles and looks that seemed to say; "Thank God, he's alive!"
And thus a great climb, for one beginner climber, recognised only by the peronality of that which has climbed it, comes to an end. The ever lasting tale of the fun filled 'The Poison Ivy Mudslide'!