Friday, March 2, 2012
The easiest way to set a rope is by walking around to the top of the cliff and building an anchor. It is, however, rare to find a climb that can be protected from above. Climbers will typically climb a route and haul their rope with them forgoing the need to access the top. But, climbers typically don't climb with partners trying to run away or insight utter chaos. Such is the case in the world of adventure therapy.
When I was told I would be leading another group students back down to Saint George on a week long climbing itinerary I reminded them that I would not be tying into the rope at all. I would not climb a single route or belay a single student. I would set every rope from the top and supervise the students belaying themselves. This would keep me free from the obligations a climber faces while on a route and most importantly I would never be climbing on the wall in case the student belaying me decides to show me who is really in charge and untie from the rope and suddenly NOT belay me.
When Drew, my supervisor, wanted to see it done I said, "hop in." With that the motley crew of reluctant students in need of a behavioral intervention and my reluctant boss in need of a little insight piled in the white van with me for another week in the field.