|Back in the day|
Here I am tying off to the nearest object- a '97 Ford F250 4WD that- imagine!!- was right at the top of the cliff when I stopped to check it out! How convenient. Note that I'm tying off in triplicate here:
|Tying off to a Ford F250|
One of the new items I have is a 300' Bluewater static rope. I've always used either company ropes or my own dynamic climbing rope and have never had my own rope. Well, now I do.
|Tossing a brand-new rope off a cliff|
First thing I needed to do was re-acquaint myself with my ascenders. Here I'm hanging off of them while getting ready to switch over to my descender (a Black Diamond ATC). This was early in the game- later on, I was using my new Petzl Shunt in combination with the ascenders to give me 3 ways of attaching to the rope. I also have a helmet and it'll be coming out next time I'm out here.
|On The Rope Again (Older, Wiser, Fatter, Grayer)|
After I got used to being on the rope again, I started using the Shunt in combination with the ATC and liked the way it worked. If you rig the shunt below the ATC, you have to hold it open to go down the rope. If you let go- say a rock hits you in the head- the shunt grabs the rope and stops the descent. I tested it several times and it did great. In fact, there's so much friction on the rope, between the thick static line, ATC, and shunt that I have to feed the rope in order to descend.
|At The Top!|
In the above shot, I'm at the top of the little cliff, having used the ascenders to climb up. In fact, we were there for 2 hours and I never went over the top in the traditional manner- I used the ascenders to climb, switched over to the rappelling gear, descended, and repeated.
At one point, Georgia and I were talking at the bottom and both said "I smell a skunk!" G walked out a few steps and here came Pepe walking along the base of the cliff. We persuaded him to take another path.
After a couple of climbs and rappels, we called it a day. I was happy with the new gear and will definitely be back to this little cliff (and the overhang next to it), to test some more gear.
|The Boys Climbed a Bit, Too|
Tomorrow's Easter- or more properly- Resurrection Sunday. Maybe it'll rain.