Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Having a Great Fall (of sorts)

The Prescott Area Artists' Studio Tour was a nice success. We had a lot of people visit over the three days of the tour and more than a few of them went home with some art! It was great sharing my space with Anne Legge. She took over one of my work benches to create some new pieces while I completed a few smaller paintings at my easel. The best part of the weekend came when Megan and then Sarah took over my plein air set up to work. Megan actually sold one of her paintings of an ant (Behind her in the photo. I should have bought it myself! The rest are priceless and will not be available at any price!) I wasn't sure that I'd like having so many people in the studio, but it turned out great. I will definitely plan on doing this again next year. Thanks Mountain Artist Guild for putting this together!

The following weekend I got the chance to go on a rock climbing trip with my good friend and long time climbing partner, Mark (in photo above). We went to Red Rock Conservation Area near Las Vegas for three days to climb some moderately long, fairly easy routes. Well, even if the climbing is "easy", things can still get a little crazy. A couple of hundred feet up our first climb I was nearing the end of the second pitch (roughly 170 feet or so) when a foothold broke sending me on a 30 foot fall down the face. I yelled a cuss word as one is apt to do in these situations, then everything slowed down for a moment and I told myself to close my eyes and wait for the rope to catch me. The gear and Mark held the fall, however, one of my hiking shoes that was hanging on my harness for the hike down broke off and fell down the cliff. I scraped my right elbow pretty good, too. Full of adrenalin, I sorted things out and went back up to finish the pitch. I got to where the hold broke and still had to go further (risking a bigger fall!) to get to the next anchor.

We climbed two more pitches and decided to rappel down the route back to the base. On the way down the rope went into a crack below us and got stuck. We worked on that thing for quite a while before deciding to cut it and get out of there before night came. We never found my lost shoe, so I was forced to do the hour and half hike out barefoot. I have fairly tough feet and there was no way I was going to wear my tight climbing shoes out. It just goes to show that you can do nearly everything right and still have the s**t hit the fan. The rest of the weekend wasn't quite so eventful, just a lot of good climbing with lots of air beneath our feet! Thanks Mark for the catch and good times!


Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Yikes, Bill! You're too good a painter to lose. Careful on those rocks.

Bill Cramer said...

It was just one of those things, Michael. Funny thing was the hold that broke was pretty big. It was a real shock that it gave way and confirms one of my main reasons why I no longer climb long routes unroped. See you in Sedona (mmm, good sandstone climbing there, but I guess we have to work).