Sunday, October 3rd, 2004

Lost World and An Inspiration

I spent Saturday afternoon at Lost World climbing with Slate and Erik. It was overcast and drizzled a little, so we ran laps on Peaceful Warrior (5.10d, thin crack) and Green Monster (5.12a, sport, I had to hang on this one) that are on an overhanging wall sheltered from the rain. I returned to Lost World again with Allen on Sunday. We, swinging leads, started on the 4 pitch sport climb Pangaea (5.10c). There are 19 and 17 bolts in the first two long pitches (~180′). This climb would be classic even by Yosemite standards. After we came down, Allen ran laps on Peaceful Warrior and Green Monster and I top roped. That’s all the climbing I did over the weekend, but my report isn’t really about climbing — It’s about a friend of ours, Melissa.

She was planning to go climbing on Sunday with a friend of hers, but that friend had to bail last minute. Not wanting to stay in the house, she called Allen and I when we were on our way to Lost World. I gave her direction to the climbing area, but wasn’t sure if we would see her there because even with the help of the guidebook and my direction, the approach is still not that easy to find. So I was really impressed when I heard her from below while I was leading the 2nd pitch of Pangaea . By the time we finished the climb and rappelled down to the ground, she had been waiting for almost two hours. She cheerfully dismissed my sorrow for her long wait by saying that she was having a good time reading her book and playing with her dog.

We then found out that she got in an car accident on her way up. Nobody was hurt, but her headlights were damaged. Because of that she had to leave early so that she could get back home (an 1 hour drive) in light. She described this situation to us with a smile.

After Allen led Peaceful Warrior , she top roped it. Unfortunately, before she even reached the top, it was already time for her to leave due to the steep hike out. She came down without finishing the climb.

I felt extremely sorry for her that she drove a long way to get here, got in an accident, had a damage in her car, and only got chance to do 2/3 of a climb. However, she was very relaxed about it and the whole time when she was with us, she was being nothing but fun. Her cheerful and relaxed attitude earned my great admiration. Not many people, men or women, can be so cool about what life has to offer! People, myself included, sometimes get so caught up in our losses and gains. If the gain does not justify our losses, we get regretful and depressed and drag everyone around down with us. I just hope that by writing this down, I’ll remember Melissa next time when I find myself in such a situation.

There she is, colorful like a spring flower.
And here is Allen, almost blending in with the rock. This is on Peaceful Warrior.