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Once


Original Post
Ross Swanson · · Pinewood Springs · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 2,000

I was showing my daughters SO (significant others) my old climbing shoes to see if any fit, and I was saying these shoes were Beth's (my spouse) but "she stopped climbing, afraid of the exposure, you know heights" and he said "Yeah, you only live once, right!" I paused and had to think about it, but said "Yeah, sure."

I realized a minute later  that no, some of us live more than once, I've had my share of close calls. 

Sean Haynes · · Los Angeles · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 107
Ross Swanson wrote:

I was showing my daughters SO my old climbing shoes to see if any fit, and I was saying these shoes were Beth's (my spouse) but "she stopped climbing, afraid of the exposure, you know heights" and he said "Yeah, you only live once, right!" I paused and had to think about it, but said "Yeah, sure."

I realized a minute later  that no, some of us live more than once, I've had my share of close calls. 

That's interesting to think about. 

I imagine you have some close calls you could share. Care to? 

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 867

I can vouch for Ross.  I saw him use up one of his nine lives.


Hope you are well, Ross.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735

It's an interesting way of using "you only live once" line... Usually it is used to justify DOING something fun, not stopping it.

But yes, some of us are using those 9 lives at a faster rate than others.

Seth Monteleone · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 46

Why is there a Supertopo thread on MP?

Justin Compton · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 785

Ross,

Remember when part of the anchor blew out on us on the Kor Route on Cathedral Wall?  And the next anchor on the partially attached flake that moved closer to the edge when I weighted it? My life flashed before my eyes twice that day...  

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 135
Ross Swanson · · Pinewood Springs · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 2,000

Had just moved to Colorado and was rapping off Lumpy Ridge Sundance in the rain, went to back up sling around a tree when Mike my partner said its okay not too, "That I rapped on this last week." First on rap I started down slowly, about 6 feet down the system jolted me with a thump, not looking up I heard Mike, "hold on a minute", then, "okay, go on". I got to the next station and waited, when Mike joined me I noticed in the dim light and rain he was pale, said that the sling around the tree had broke, that a knot above the rings had lodged in a tree root, and he had quickly clipped his anchor to the rap rings.

--

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Not sure how many lives I have used up but I am pretty sure a few of them are gone. I did fall asleep one night and my blood sugar dropped low and I woke up over 48 hours later delusional and finally realized what was going on and could not walk so had to crawl to the kitchen where I drank and entire 2 litter soft drank. Not sure I may have lost a few lives on that one I should have died, it took me a couple weeks before I fully recovered from that one and could think straight... still wonder if I ever fully recovered or just learned to deal with it as the new normal.

Ross Swanson · · Pinewood Springs · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 2,000

Bugaboo Spire descent, got bad advice that we could rap the route, working our way down with rope getting stuck several times we missed rapping on to the east face, this is where in the ascent the route traverses left on to the east face before regaining the ridge again. Rapping down the blank face we came to a large ledge where we tried to stick it out for the night. But the cold was too much and I needed to keep moving so I rapped down the blank face in the dark looking for any feature I could set a belay to, then with only a few feet of rope left I spied a one foot wide dinner plate, put a sling around it and nut on the side, and yelled off belay. 

Below the anchor was more blank rock, but since I remembered on the ascent, the traverse and next pitch up was only two pitches long, we should be able to regain the route below. Even tho I could see nothing but darkness below me. Well Todd was pretty happy to hear me say off belay but when he came down to join me his enthusiasm quickly turned to real concern since were now at a hanging belay with unknown blackness below us. The next rap put us back on the route and we made it down just as dawn broke.

Ross Swanson · · Pinewood Springs · Joined Jul 2001 · Points: 2,000

Ice climbing back east ~1980's White Oak Canyon near Old Rag, by myself I arrive and see the best lines are taken by several parties. My plan to hike to top of the flow, set top system and rap down then climb back up with an ascender. While climbing on the fragile ice, I made several difficult moves over a bulge and decide to rest on the ascender. The rope I was using was well worn and was iced up and water had dripped on the ascender freezing it. When I leaned back I slid down the rope a warp speed and came to the knot I put at the bottom to weigh the rope down, but with stretch I decked on a ramp, my head whipping back with a loud bang as my helmet hit, and felt my lungs touch. People came running over and I could hear them talking, "He's dead." I couldn't breath even tho I was trying my best to inhale. Then I thought if I try to exhale maybe I could complete the breathing cycle and be able to inhale, this worked. I borrowed a ski pole and hobbled back to my car. 

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Pinedale, WY · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 215

Was skiing the backside of a peak in the Winds, very remote and I was by myself. I was skiing the steep part of the glacier (~47*?), slipped and fell 400 feet to the flats. No helmet, woke up not knowing who I was, where I was, etc. At the time, I wasn’t so much thinking “holy crap I almost died”, but it hit me hard as I was hiking out. That got me thinking about risk and how much I’m willing to accept. Risk tolerance is a hard conversation to have with yourself, and is a hard line to draw.

Again, the next summer, I and a friend were climbing in the Winds on a more remote side of Squaretop. After 400ft of scrambling, we rope up and my partner leads off. 70ft up, a hold breaks and he comes flying back down to rest basically at my feet. I saw HIS life flash before my eyes. 14 hours later, 12 miles out, 3 creek crossings, we get to the car and drive to a hospital, only to find out how close he actually came to staying there on that mountain. I remember the very real thought of possibly having to leave my friend there to go get help, not knowing if he’d still “be there” when I returned. I’ll never forget seeing him fall.

I think the longer you climb, the more of these stories you accumulate. It comes with the territory. The more risk you’re willing to assume, the higher consequences you must be willing to face. The only thing we can do is manage risk so that it doesn’t overwhelm us.

Some good stories here. Hearing Jack Tackle talk about his partner breaking his leg (on Hunter if I remember right) blows my mind. Leaving someone there on a remote wall in the Alaska Range to go get help was, I’m sure, an incredibly hard thing to do.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

Any of my nine lives I’ve lost was due to being stupid and cocky but didn’t have anything to do with climbing.

 I almost managed to kill my wife last summer though. We got to the top of a route on Crane Mountain. I set us up to rappel and went down about 20 feet. My wife, Kathy yells down that her rappel device is wrong. I Batman back up to the ledge to find out its wrong, deadly wrong. She corrected the mistake after I explained to her she was right. I felt horrible, kinda sick to my stomach but Kathy nonchalantly said she knew to check if I rigged the rappel wrong and she knew how to fix it.. just like I taught me :( 

 I hope that situation took one of my nine lives not hers.. even though I probably don’t have many left.

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
ViperScale . wrote:

Not sure how many lives I have used up but I am pretty sure a few of them are gone. I did fall asleep one night and my blood sugar dropped low and I woke up over 48 hours later delusional and finally realized what was going on and could not walk so had to crawl to the kitchen where I drank and entire 2 litter soft drank. Not sure I may have lost a few lives on that one I should have died, it took me a couple weeks before I fully recovered from that one and could think straight... still wonder if I ever fully recovered or just learned to deal with it as the new normal.

Damn! This is nuts. Glad your body could compensate that long. I imagine your glicogen stores were zeroed out by then!  Crazy. 

Mobes Mobesely · · Granite island · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

Jumping the parents minivan off a nice local launch in high school times and actually avoiding head on collision with another car because we were so high off the ground. No damage besides mental baggage all around.

As for climbing... I went to go do some hard, all day climb with some hot climbing lady(who would be leading the hard), we hiked a solid hour to the base and started getting racked up only to find I had only one climbing shoe. our plan changed quick.

Ian Machen · · Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi , Japan · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 35

Fell while leading pitch 11-ish of Royal Arches (I know, stupid mistake caused it) and had a total sheath sever of my rope. Hung by the end watching the core work it's way through and slowly getting further away from my harness. A quick lower onto a small ledge and some helpful nearby parties averted an epic. 

Chad Miller · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 150

Ive been clinically dead twice, so I’ve lived more than once. The rest of you just had near misses.

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
Chad Miller wrote:

Ive been clinically dead twice, so I’ve lived more than once. The rest of you just had near misses.

This deserves more explanation. 

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
Scottmx426 wrote:

This deserves more explanation. 

His heart stopped beating 2 different times so he was clinically dead but they were able to restart it before 4 mins and he is biological dead from permanent brain damage etc.

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
ViperScale . wrote:

His heart stopped beating 2 different times so he was clinically dead but they were able to restart it before 4 mins and he is biological dead from permanent brain damage etc.

Thank you. Im aware of the basics but was imagining there’s at least one good story behind TWO incidents with a “full arrest!”  Glad you both made it ok. Viper, not sure if you’re being sarcastic with the suggestion he is biologically dead though.  

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240
Scottmx426 wrote:

Thank you. Im aware of the basics but was imagining there’s at least one good story behind TWO incidents with a “full arrest!”  Glad you both made it ok. Viper, not sure if you’re being sarcastic with the suggestion he is biologically dead though.  

I said before he became biologically dead!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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