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This is a question Relief

Last week, I thought we'd run over and killed something. After steeling myself to get out and find the body of somebody's beloved pet, I found we'd squished a bin bag. When has something turned out not as grim as you first thought?

(, Thu 20 Dec 2012, 12:38)
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When youíre rock climbing itís very important to know where your hands and feet are. Not only in relation to yourself, usually to be found at the end of your arms and legs, but in relation to the various bumps, crevices and knobs that one needs to stay on the rock. You donít want to be doing the equivalent thinking thereís one more step on a flight of stairs when the outcome can be quite serious.

So when I made a lunge for the hold that I thought was there and found nothing but smooth rock, the old heart started to beat a little faster, and perception began to slow down. Not only had I misjudged the hold, but the move had put me off balance and out of shape. I wasnít sure what was around me, and I couldnít pull my face away from the rock to find out. I had enough time to shout ďtightĒ to my buddy before my foot slipped from the one good hold and I began a process that we climbers call ďFalling OffĒ.

Falling isnít just peeling away from the rock, free falling into the jagged rocks below. There are a number of stages.

First, thereís The Slide. This is where the climber tries to become a gecko and somehow stick themselves to the rock by hugging it. This never works, but it does give the climber time to think about things. How high am I? How sharp are the rocks below? How old is this rope? Is my partner paying attention or rolling a fag? I donít remember there being this much slack in the rope? Those last two bits of protection where a bit dodgy, but the third one might hold.

Once you pick up enough speed you hit something and get bounced off the rock face, this is bad because now you can accelerate as Newton intended. You enter the second part of the fall, The Blur, youíre not really sure whatís happening, but you do know that death is in a hurry to meet you and youíre not going to keep him waiting for long.

When youíve travelled past your protection, taken all of the slack out of the rope, your protection holds, youíve not hit the deck yet anyway, then your equipment comes into play. In a move thatís only slightly preferable to being smashed to pieces on lumps of Gabbro you violently decelerate with 98% of the force being transmitted via the climbing harness to your testicles. Luckily you donít get long to mourn the loss of your bollocks because itís already time for the next stage in the fall, ďThe SlamĒ. One way or another that momentum has to be got rid of and this often involves a rapid swing and a very sudden stop as you meet your old friend the rock face again.

Fall complete, if allís gone well, you can sit at the bottom of the climb bruised, bleeding and shaking, high on adrenalin and endorphins, feeling relieved as a mofo.
(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 13:49, closed)
You fat handed twat.

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 14:03, closed)
We donít all have the advantage of a prehensile chin

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 14:07, closed)
People climb my chin for sport.

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 14:21, closed)
It must be relief
now that you realize you are too fucking old and inept to do anything more strenuous than shamble on down to your local for a pint.
(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 15:10, closed)
All true.

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 16:34, closed)
Got the tshirt
Just one tiny difference in my case, in that all was not quite well:

Got a free helicopter ride out of it, but the spinal board meant I couldn't look out of the window.

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 21:07, closed)
I curse the spinal board and their arbitrary decisions regarding windows.
*shakes fist*
(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 21:28, closed)
At least you got a nice day for it.

(, Fri 28 Dec 2012, 21:48, closed)
You should get a better belay.
Someone who pays attention, and only gives you as much slack as you need.
(, Sat 29 Dec 2012, 18:49, closed)

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