Friday 18 September 2015

Me vs Climbing Up a Wall

Back in the day...
Since having kids, Husband and I have not been able to get out rock climbing anywhere near to as often as we’d like.  Back in the glory days we climbed indoors at least twice a week, outdoors whenever we could, and had rock-hard climbing physiques. (Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, and more wishful thinking than actual truth)

My oldest on the wall
While my oldest is finally starting to enjoy climbing, and is able to follow basic safety directions when the mood strikes her, the youngest (who just turned two) may as well be a lemming looking for the nearest cliff to jump off of. His desire to do whatever it is he’s doing knows no bounds and the only way to have him acknowledge you is to scream “CAKE” at which point he may look in your direction briefly. Not ideal when he’s heading off into the rattlesnake-infested bush while you’re halfway up a rock face trying to get his attention.
My smallest climber

So when both kids went away for two weeks to hang out with grandparents, Husband and I figured we’d take the opportunity to get some climbing in. In theory, this sounds good. In practice, it could’ve gone more smoothly.

First, we had to put the trip off for the first week the kids were away because of my unfortunate encounter with the step stool who was being kind of a dick sitting in the middle of my kitchen. My toe didn’t allow me to put my regular shoes on, let alone the foot prisons that are climbing shoes. (As I write this weeks later, my toe still aches. Fucking step stool.)

We finally headed out to the bluffs after work one afternoon, when my toe said it was ok. It was a nice day….in OUR town.  The weather at the wall (a few towns over) was a little more suspect. There were gloomy looking clouds but no rain, so we set off.

For some reason that I’m having problems rationalizing now, I went first up the trail. And by trail, I mean goat track. An overgrown, bushy, grassy, goat track.

Now, I was intellectually aware that snakes existed in Skaha park, but I’d never seen one and therefore I imagined that they wouldn’t dare come out to ruin my happy place. Not true. Snakes are assholes, and I swear they take some kind of macabre pleasure in coming out to ruin my day.
Just as I was about to put my foot down on the path, the slithery bastard went shooting out from under the tuft of grass I was going to step on, and rocketed off the path and into the underbrush.

I had a heart attack.

Once I had recovered from that heart attack, I got curious and peered into the bush to see what kind of snake it was, because, you know, stupidity. Jerk had a rattle. I was pretty much ruined for the rest of the hike, and Husband had to take the lead. I wanted a stick. A big one.

But we pressed on because we’d come all this way, and besides, the snake was back there and I wasn’t going back there again. Ever. This would make the trip home…difficult, but this was a problem for future-me.

And then it started to rain. And then it started to rain more. And then the thunder came.

Me: Honey, maybe this isn’t the best time to climb a rock face with a bunch of metal gear strapped to your mid-section, you know, given the thunder storm developing immediately over us?

Husband: It’ll be fine.

Me: Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the same line of reasoning everyone uses just before things become not fine.

Husband: It’ll be fine.
And up he went.

Luckily by this point the worst of the storm had moved beside rather than directly over us, however it was still perhaps the most intense thunder I’ve ever heard. It was almost constant, with only 30 seconds or so between rumbles. This gave the impression of climbing in a war zone, with bombs going off around us regularly.

The sun in the background is a total lie.
I'm also aware selfie sticks are ridiculous, but this
is the only way to successfully capture this view.
Please forgive me.
We both eventually made it up and down the climbs without suffering an untimely death due to lightening strike, and managed to avoid snake bites for the duration of the trip. The weather eventually granted us quarter, and it turned into a reasonably nice evening. 

That said, Husband’s pants were not so lucky. Their life ended right there on the mountain when he, though some feat of gymnastic prowess, managed to tear the ass out of his pants. 

I chose to be kind and didn’t make him get out to fill up the gas tank at the gas station on the way home. I did, however, forget his pin code and locked out his credit card.

It was a good trip.

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