Stuck In A Crack In The Arizona Hills


A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go bouldering. What the heck was that I was thinking. Ok, I got the nerve to ask him what it was. I thought it was throwing rocks or something. It is the process of mountain climbing without ropes. Sure, sounds exciting I told him, off we went to climb a mountain. The drive over was uneventful and my friend talked about holding into cracks with your fingers to pull yourself up. Now I’m freaking out a little and not sure I want to do this crazy thing. We arrived at the mountain and off we went. This is just wonderful, hiking like when I was back in Maine. We came to a wall and started climbing up the vertical crack. My friend, the pro, was ahead of me and explaining how to climb this crack. You put one foot on the wall to your left and the other foot on the right side and walk yourself up. We maneuvered up the wall, about 20 feet and my hip starts to cramp. The other side starts to cramping so I call up to my friend for assistance. He tells me to put both legs on one side of the wall and lean back on the other wall to let the cramp relieve. Ok, things feeling better here so I move on up the wall to the top of this vertical crack. The next move is a horizontal crack but still going up. I move my way up this with only small handholds for my fingertips. I’m now realizing that if going up is this hard, then going down is going to be impossible. My heart skipped a beat at this moment and I locked down the claws so tight. That was it, not moving another inch. I hollered to my friend again for assistance. I guess the fact that I looked over to another ridge and two climbers were at the same height as we were, but with ropes. I was done, not moving another inch. Bring the helicopter because this boy wasn’t going down the same way he came. My friend came back down this crack and was holding at the previous vertical crack we climbed. He said ok come down and I will catch you if you start slipping. I made it down ok and worked myself back to  the ground. You make decisions in your life that sometimes are right or wrong. This one here was just wrong.


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