May 9, 2008

Rock Climbing

On Monday Donald took Sue and us to his rock climbing gym, where he frequents every Monday and Thursday. We had a great time, and we met up with one of Don's colleagues, Merrill Liechty, from Drexel University. Merrill brought his entire family and made a Family Home Evening out of the event.
Here we find Livia in belaying position (belaying Merrill's daughter, Annabelle), as well as striking a pose on the wall. She was following the blue path on this particular climb. Even though she is a beginner, she made it to the top on almost all of her climbs (as did Annabelle).

Don and Merrill are not only men of poise and super-human strength, but also possess a complete absence of acrophobia

Annabelle and Livia watch in amazement as Merrill overcomes gravity and reaches the summit. Annabelle suggested that they "say a prayer for Daddy". So Livia prayed with her and he made it to the top.

Though this picture didn't turn out all that clear, up high on the walls are Miles, Annabelle, and Merrill. They decided to have a family gathering at the top. A slightly better picture can be seen here.

And here I am practicing some bouldering. I have a harness on, but no supporting ropes. In reality I'm only a few feet off the ground, and there are some thick pads underneath to support my fall. The purpose of bouldering is not to climb up the wall, but rather to traverse it. Since I'm so close to the wall, this is not nearly as dangerous as free soloing, which is exciting but can also be fatal.

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