Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Away

A perk of my old job was that I'd occasionally get sent to events with quasi-celebrities of the outdoors world. One weekend I was packed off to an ice climbing seminar to learn a bit about the sport, and after the weekend all I can really tell you about ice climbing is that it's about as exciting as ice fishing. But our group of wannabe  ice climbers was paired up with a famous older climber who'd put up a lot of routes around the world, and it was fun to hear his stories and look at his old photos. The afternoon we went ice climbing I was standing next to him at the base of the waterfall while two other guys we didn't know setup the ropes and tossed them down. A woman in our group pointed out that none of us knew these guys setting the ropes, and maybe we ought to inspect their work before climbing. But our world famous guide said, "I've personally inspected all these ropes; it's very safe." But the thing is, he'd been standing next to me for the past half-hour talking about Harry Potter or something, and I know for a fact he never went up and looked at anything. It's a small miracle he set all those huge lines in Patagonia and the Himalayas. I just made sure I was never the first one on any of the ropes that weekend.

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