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Escalante 3


        ESCALANTE
SPRING 16        






I have lost my cool and am afraid.

This 5.2 rated downclimb through several hundred meters of canyon narrows was expected to be easier. After ungracefully managing several problems i get stuck on the wall. Lack of chimneying experience has quickly tired me. It does not help that wet muddy shoes do not stick well to the rock.

Letting myself fall into the opaque pool below i sink 2 heads underwater...not touching bottom. The water is frigid and shocks me alert. Making out for the bank to retrieve my pack i am refused access ― pushed back into the water by the slippery mud slope. Head keeps going under...i feel and look like a panicked fledging bird...this is not a swim but a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Having finally made it to the pool’s other end i claw myself out of it. Hypothermia quickly sets in: uncontrollable shaking and shivering; clattering teeth, with field of vision subject to the same staccato; body muscles in spasms that rapidly tetanize, refusing to obey. Thoughts jumbled up, cannot think straight. It is dark and cold. Blowing through the narrows the wind brings in a stench that hits me long before i turn a corner and climb over the decomposing corpses of 2 heads of cattle stuck between the walls. A revulsing sight and smell that does nothing to help my confused mental.

These are narrows of hell and i am in trouble: how many more climbing problems above frigid pools that i will be in no state of properly negotiating?
I have lost my cool and am afraid.






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