I wanted to jump, but eyeing a rusted bolt from the 1970s scared me into submission. My toes curled in my shoes trying to stand on dime width-edges. Clutching desperately to in-cut underclings, my arms flared with fatigue, nails digging desperately into the smoothed granite. 6 feet above my stance a sloped ledge beckoned, promising safety and respite from falling and failure. Three pieces of rusted protection left by the stone masters were all that kept me from ripping 70 feet into the middle of space and swinging sideways toward a granite column below.
“Oh come on!” I thought staring at the ledge.
I couldn't move. Frozen by my overactive imagination, I lost focus, feeling the fear of broken gear and ropes that ended with me in the hospital or worse.
“Maybe we really should have replaced the bolts!” Kevin Jorgeson called up in a feeble attempt to make me laugh.
"Not helping!" I yelled.
Drawing a deep breath, I crouched low and spring-boarded toward the ledge.
I hate being the one to test gear.
(check out the full story in my journal)