Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Helmet Situation.

Time to bring a little humor to the blog.

These past few months my blog has been a bit of a downer for me. I was super upset about the Duncan situation. I don't want climbing arguments or enemies.

I thought I'd tell a little story about me climbing in Australia.

I went to Australia to visit a good friend and climb the amazing sandstone in the Grampians.

After traveling and climbing in Tasmaina, Sydney and the Blue Mountains, my good friend Garrett and I headed down to a Southern area known as the Grampians. We climbed a bunch and had some good laughs but sadly Garrett had to go back to Sydney to work while I was to stay on and climb for a few more weeks by myself. Now normally this is fine in a world class area. Usually there are other climbers to hangout with and people to spot you on your projects. However for some reason the area was completely empty.

Stapleton campground was a ghost town. So each day I'd head out to the boulders and climb until I was wasted then come back to eat until it got so dark that I'd have to sit in my tent reading or watching movies on my 2" ipod.

Finally after a couple weeks a family rolled in on a camping trip. They had two preteen girls and a Dad who worked in the Australian film business. So I quickly latched on to them. I was in need of human contact and this family was my salvation.

As we were sitting around their lantern on the second night of their trip. They asked me what I was doing in the Grampians. I explained I was climbing/bouldering. Having never heard of bouldering before they asked me to explain it. So I said the usual; climbing with no ropes not very high.

(It's funny, the minute you tell someone you climb with no ropes they get this look like they're talking to a crazy person. Some sort of Dan Osman daredevil.)

Well they of course pictured me freesoloing the Tapia Wall. I was very tempted to leave that image in their minds. But sadly I explained climbing not that high as in four feet above my pad caused my legs to shake uncontrollably.

Their next question was whether I wore a helmet while doing this "bouldering" thing. I explained that no one wears a helmet and that there isn't a high danger of hitting ones head with rocks or falling on to it.

They looked at me skeptically but went along with it. I think they thought anyone hardcore enough to spend weeks climbing by themselves probably knew what they were talking about.

The next day as I prepared to go out bouldering I told them they should come along to the campground boulders which were a short walk from our campsite.

Again they expressed concern about my lack of safety equipment but I reassured them it would be fine.

As we neared the boulders I could hear a large group ahead of us. I was a little excited to have some other people to climb with. Then turning the corner I was in shock. There was a group of 20 boulderers all climbing and all wearing helmets.

My new friends turned to me in disbelief.

I'd lost their trust and I'd lost their respect. I was just another cocky kid trying to build himself up as some adventure hard man.

That night I ate alone staring in the dark across at their campsite. They played board games while I ate cold beans out of a can. I wanted to run across and explain it was just a freak occurrence. But the moment was lost. I was tempted to drive into town and buy a helmet just to make peace. But I'm not sure it would of helped.

The End.

Well kiddies. Only 20 some odd days until I'm done the 180 day challenge. Then some much needed rest.

Oh and if you're climbing with redheaded giants be sure to look up cause they can grown angry and toss down small boulders that a helmet would be the only thing to protect you.

Till next time.