One Friday

 

One Friday, Friday the 13th was close to being my last. It’s the silly things, often, the infrastructure, not the actual climbing that has caused most accidents in my history. Friday the 13th, black Friday, not that I am superstitious in any way, touch wood, hey come on that’s a joke, that this incident occurred and I wrote this poem to relay the story, a true story.
We were out at Godzone, on the wall right of the Cauldron 15m 20, hey that’s a great climb, we did that back in 1996. Anyway Mal goes up top and sets a top rope over this route to the right, rock just looked great, nice orangey sandstone, with a couple of pockets up a bit. The Cauldron starts on a ledge, the 2nd tier, the ledge being about, 10 meters up and 1 meter wide where the bottom belay was. I got pretty comfy on the belay lying down and enjoying the show…..

 

Fallen Friday
There’s a story to be told about a Friday of note
On a scorching summers day with me and this bloke
Out for a rock climb well what else do you do
On this doomed day of creation for it’s the 13th to boot
 
Not content with the existing, new routes are the go
So a Top Rope is set up on an impossible slope
The belay is precarious some ten metres up
On a two foot ledge next to a tree for luck
 
We will scorer this vertical for a way to the top
Searching for imperfections in this great bit of rock
Sandstone it is with a touch of quartz
Probably some ironstone a mixture of sorts
 
There’s a wind-blown pocket some meters up
If I could just reach the sucker I’m sure I’d get up
But smo…..oooth it is this orange wall
I might get a finger there but I’m not that tall
 
Me mate he’s pretty tall he may find a way
For sure as hell I might as well belay
So I take up my spot horizontal on the ledge
Quite cosy and content with a rock under me head
 
Use the twig like tree with a sling thrown around
To hold me steady should me mate fall to the ground
Well he’s up an on the rock on this virgin piece of land
An ancient tribute untouched by human hand
 
The first moves pretty cool around about a 15 or so
For those of you who don’t know well that means it’s easy as you go
The next bits a little tricky probably a 28 or so
Gotta guess at that one cause we never did get to know
 
Well me mates he's a swinging flapping and a screaming
Could have filled a billy with the sweat he was streaming
ROoooooooooCK came the yell BLOODY rocks me bum
Great huge boulders as big as me chum
 
Like mighty great dice they came tumbling down
In some mystical time warp in slow-motion big and round
The first clipped the wall and bounced over the ledge
The second hit the tree and smashed me right leg  
 
Then it followed its mate down over the ledge
Tumbling down the valley and finally stopped dead
Here’s me delirious and feeling pretty sore
Still holding the rope a lifeline to be sure
 
For my friends a dangling wondering about his plight
Death gripping the crimper hopeful that I was all right
Being skilled at the task Id locked of the belay
Before even thinking about my unfortunate way
 
The rock had fallen right between my legs
Catching the right one spread eagled on the ledge
A few more inches and my voice would have changed
Reaching new heights in the frequency range
 
Gathering my senses and ignoring the pain
I yells to me mate that sure wasn’t rain
I’ve got you locked off if you want to come down
Yells on belay, on belay, with a blurry eyed frown
 
With hesitation a plenty his death grip is loosened
I lower him gently to the ledge of salvation
A moment to relax for we are both safe
To consider our stupidity nearly loosing the race
 
A poorly laid anchor that had moved too much
Because of our swinging and dangling trying to climb the crux
The pain was coming the leg stiffening up
Time to pack up the gear and head back on up
 
Taking it slowly I hobbled to the top
We reached the vehicle grateful it was not now hot
A near death experience maybe it was not
For we live to climb another day thankful of our lot
 
BJ 15/12/2002
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