Sunday, November 23, 2008

I still can't believe that he went over the edge...

My friend Brian and I have been on many adventures together. We have hike in just about every part of the mountains surrounding Orem and Provo. When it is just me and him we often go on adventures that others wouldn't want to come on. For example when we went camping up on the base of Timp in early Spring. His sister said we were crazy and that it was too cold. We just looked at each other and smiled and commented how it wasn't going to be nearly as bad as the time before. Oct of 07 we backpacked up Slide Canyon and we almost died. It rained and rained until we got high enough and then it snowed and snowed. I have never been so close to hypothermia in my life. Needless to say, we push our limits when we are together.

Yesterday I went on a repelling trip with Brian and a couple other friends. Brian is getting married soon and so it is important for us to have a few last adventures before he leaves the world of singlehood. There is a cliff up Dry Canyon that has been my favorite cliff for a long time. I have wanted to repel off of it as long as I can remember. I decided that this is where we needed to go. I asked Brian what equipment he had and he told me that he had a 60 meter rope and a harness. So I told him I would borrow all the other equipment that we needed.

As we met in the parking lot and started the hike up I noticed that his backpack wasn't as big as I thought it would need to be to hold a sixty meter rope, but seeing as this man was the best outdoors man I knew, I didn't worry. We hiked to the top of the 150 foot cliff. And Brian started setting up. When he finally got his rope out I told him that I didn't think it was long enough. He hooked it on anyway and threw it over the side. It was hard to tell from leaning over the edge how far the rope went down, but I knew it didn't go to the bottom. We decide the rope was probably a 30 meter rope rather than a 60 meter rope. We pulled the rope back up and tied a smaller rope on the end to see if that would make it long enough. After throwing both ropes tied together over the edge it was still hard to tell if it made it to the bottom, but we didn't think that it did.

This is the Cliff that Brian went down

Question: What would you do in this situation? Would you unhook the ropes and find a smaller cliff to repel? That was my thought (which is what the rest of us ended up doing later). There were plenty of cliffs close by. All of us who aren't Brian might choose that option. Brian, he took the path less traveled, and it made all the difference.

This is the cliff the rest of us went over. It was much smaller.

Brian decided he was going anyway, and I wasn't about to stop him. He was shaking a little as he backed over the edge of an 150 foot cliff with ropes that were probably about 125 feet combined. After he was half way down and decided he wasn't going to make it with the rope where it was. So he anchored himself to a bolt on the cliff and had us unhook the rope and drop it too him. He then anchored the rope from there, but he had to double the rope up so that he could retrieve the rope after he was down. This made so he had to anchor himself in one more time and repeat the process before he made it to the bottom.

First let me say that I was blown away by the extent of Brian's skill in getting himself down safely and retrieving his equipment. But the thing that impressed me the most was Brian's audacity to go over the edge. Brian was so confident that he knew that whatever happened after he went over the edge he could deal with it. He did have quite a bit of equipment strapped to him - he wanted to be prepared. Still, he went over the edge!

I think if I had more of Brian's confidence and attitude in my life then I could do so much more with my life. I think most of us are so afraid to go over the edge. We are so afraid to take chances that we don't know how they will end. Brian probably wasn't sure how he was going to get to the bottom when he backed over the edge, but he knew whatever happened he would deal with it and succeed. I hope that someday I can be as amazing as Brian. I hope that someday I can have the guts to take risks that are worth taking. I hope that I can get better at taking a step or two into the darkness only to find that the way is lighted for a step or two. Until then I am glad I have friends like Brian who show me that it can be done and it is worth doing.


Andrew and/or Jenny said...

First of all, Jenny says that if she were Brian's fiancee she would be a little concerned that he threw his life over the edge two weeks before our wedding. I however, understand at least some of the need to push your limits. As far as risk-taking is concerned, I also hope to have the courage to take risks that are worth taking- I just highly doubt the 150 ft. repel with 125 ft. rope is a risk worth taking. On second thought, I think the real problem is probably that I have been married for 3 years and have mellowed out a little too much. Maybe I should go repelling this weekend . . .

Jamie Taylor said...

Tsk, tsk, I was THERE watching all the action and all I got for it was lumped into the "couple other friends" group ;) Kidding, that was a fun adventure. My legs are more sore than they've ever been and that's your fault ;) but I still had a blast with you.

Robyn said...

Jared, I think that you have taken more risks then you give yourself credit for. I think that you will do just fine in the moving into the darkness once you set your mind to it and just move. You have a talent for being able to do anything you want as long as you tell yourself that you can. I am excited to see your next "leap" of faith.

Jeff said...

Brian is pretty hardcore. He's kind of unstoppable.