Climbing the wall

Jun 12, 2004

NPR told me about a short film yesterday, so I clicked through and found a clip of Psicobloc. Anna watched this with me, and was just as intrigued as me by the climbers slipping from the cliff wall and plunging into the ocean below. Anna and I recently watched climbers in the Chapel Hill recreation center, where there is an indoor climbing wall.

On our honeymoon in Maine, Erin and I took climbing lessons on a seaside cliff, and then nursed our sore muscles in the giant tub back at the bed-and-breakfast in Bar Harbor.

Once in Cleveland, when my father and brothers were visiting, we went to a climbing gym on the East side. I remember this as a happy time together, laughing as each of us struggled up the toeholds and hand crannies. “Use your legs more,” our guide told us.

In Vanuatu, when Dad and Dot and Nick visited, we trekked on the island of Ambrym, up to the active volcanoes and then down the steep, cinder-sided slopes. At one point, we came to a cliff where the hardened lava flow dropped 30 feet, and our only way down was, well, down. Tom Spangler (a fellow Paama PCV) fashioned climbing harnesses from the few ropes we had, and I rappeled down first, braced by seven or eight of my hiking companions. I was giddy from nervousness and exhilaration.

Anton Zuiker

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