Recently, I took a wrong turn – a lot of times I mean this metaphorically, but this time I mean it quite literally. I was nearly what’s called, “cliffed out” meaning, you’ve gone too far up to go down, and there is no feasible way further. I wasn’t aware how surprisingly easy this was to do. We had been planning to do a relatively easy hike up Babel. The picture above shows the last bit of scramble at the back of the peak. Looks relatively easy right? Probably why we should have taken that route. One moment we were on the right track, then a single wrong turn put us about twenty meters out of sight of a fairly easy scramble up the mountain.
For over two hours, we ended up free climbing, no equipment whatsoever, the back face of a completely opposite mountain. I’ve never been fond of heights, but the question arose from my climbing partner about three quarters through the climb after I called up to ask her how it looked. All she did was shake her head and look down at me. “Raff,what do you want to do?” My right foot was supporting my weight on about a three inch shelf of rock, and that’s when I looked down. Up until this point, I had been solely focused on the rock in front of me and above me – and suddenly I’m 100 feet in the air and there is no way I can possibly climb down. For what felt like hours, I clung to the rock in front of me, completely frozen with the sight of what was below me. But no way down meant only one option.
“Up we go.”
The experience is definitely what I call Type 2 fun. During the climb, there was a point where I actually really thought that I might not make it out of this circumstance fully in tact. I was unable to think of anything but how stupid the decision had been to continue down a path we weren’t entirely sure of.
But when we finally pulled ourselves over the top – holy fuck. That view. That’s when everything became overwhelmingly worthwhile.