The Value of Friends…and climbing gear

Just like many of you, I find it more fun to cache with somebody. Besides having an extra pair of eyes and an extra half brain to help me (go ahead and pause to make sure you read “half brain” right, I’ll wait…………..), it also provides conversation and somebody to discuss possible ideas for where the frustratingly hard yet simple hide is at. Sometimes, it can actually be of more help than that.

I can be a bit of a daredevil, willing to go after something when somebody else is hesitating. I think TC and 8601 have long since picked up on it and discovered that they can sit back and relax while I waste my energy going after something. But, to go along with that is a slight fear of heights, especially when I’m near a drop-off like a ledge. I also like having escape routes. So, while going after a cache in North Lincoln with them, and two others, I found myself in an odd predicament.

The cache was up high, and there were plenty of large branches to climb on. As TC very smartly began looking at a way to attach the climbing rope to best get him up there, I quickly grabbed a branch and began climbing. I got to a point where I could just reach up and open the cache to get the stuff out. It was after doing that that the anxiety kicked in. Not because I was high, but because of how I was positioned. I was in a bad spot, without much foot placement, and the nearest branch was too far away for me to grab onto. I found that getting back down wouldn’t be so simple. And I started to worry. As TC and 8601 were walking back to get a spot to rest, and the other two were down below watching, I began asking for help. TC and 8601 turned around and began to walk back. By the time they got to the tree, I had put the log back into the cache and was holding on. My foot wasn’t in the best place either, wedged in to the little spot I had to stand on. TC got the rope up to me and both him and 8601 helped guide my foot has I blindly tried to get back down. Embarrassed, I went and sat down as TC went to work.

In no time at all, TC had the rope set, a safety helmet on (he’s always been more safety concious than I am) and was beginning to work his way up the same way I did. The difference was that he had something to help him if he slipped. Quickly signing the log, 8601 helped hold the rope as he came back down and they packed up. All while I sat off to the side P.O.’ed that I let that get to me. It wasn’t like I was too high up, I just took it too fast instead of making sure I had a simple way back down. As a kid, I would have bounced up and back down no problem, without any care. It’s amazing how moments like this make you think.

We got the cache log. I apologized for freaking out, much to a little laughter. I’ve climbed things several times since then, but have learned the value of having TC’s climbing gear with me when I do.

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