Registration now OPEN for the 2012 Homo Climbtastic Convention

Wanna come to the largest queer climbing event in the world, at one of the nation’s best sport climbing destinations?  It’s July 26-29, in Fayetteville, West Virginia.  BE THERE OR BE SQUARE.

STEP 1. REGISTER NOW!  LIKE NOW NOW!

Fill out the registration form.  There’s no deposit, and you can fill it out even if you’re not sure if you’re coming.  Make sure you see the confirmation page–if you don’t fill out all the required questions, it’ll take you back to the form, and the unfilled, required questions will be highlighted in red.  If we run out of space for anything… people who registered earlier win.  Even if you’re a maybe, click that link and register.

STEP 2. RESERVE YOUR SPACE AT THE CAMPGROUND… SOONISH

Book under the “Alex Rowland” reservation by calling Nancy at Cantrell’s.  Cantrell’s offers tent camping, rustic bungalows, and fancy-pants cabins.  To make a reservation call 304-574-2500 or 800-470-7238.  They’re holding space for us with no deposit, but not forever… cabins book up much earlier than tent sites.  There IS a deposit to reserve your spot at Cantrell’s.

Experience Southern sandstone and other rock-hard bodies carved by God!

Then What?

Expect to get an e-mail from me (Rowland) within a week or two.  If you don’t get one, shoot me an e-mail.

About the Accommodations

If you’re interested in a cabin, check out the page listing the options with a roof, and note that the on-site cabins are the bungalows, the Deluxe Amish Cabins, the Country Cabin, and the Barn Loft-style Cabin.

Tent camping is $8 a night, so with a 50% deposit, you’re facing the loss of $20 if you end up not making it.  So go ahead and book the damn thing if you’re camping.  Plus I’m guessing Nancy will let you upgrade to a cabin if you decide to get all fancy-pants later.

Split up equally, the bungalows will run about $12 a night, and the cabins about $25. The cabins have air conditioning.

But it’s in the South!

Damn straight!

Dagummit!

We get lots of e-mails from anxious yankees, terrified of rain, Southerners, humidity, and Burt Reynolds.  Well, we can’t promise you Burt Reynolds.  But we can promise you a lake to cool off in about ten feet from the climbing, food so good it’s escandalo, the hijinks of the Homo Climbtastic leaders and members, aaaaaaand world class sport routes (with plenty of trad routes to keep those with high ankled shoes occupied).

If you’re wondering how it is that a small town in West Virginia is so good at playing host to a queer climbing convention, well, there’s only one way to find out.

See you at the New.

Homo Climbtastic: Like North Korea, but less democratic

This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to write for years, but haven’t gotten around to because it’s somewhat arcane.  But I’m unemployed now, and I have a lot of time on my hands for laundry, porn, and writing about arcane things. (My clean-up rags have never been so fresh!)  It’s about the belief that HC is an umbrella group for all queer climbing in all the world, or the expectation that it should be so.

Photos of Kim Jong Il is kind of our thing now.

Although a few outside of HC may have suggested otherwise, Homo Climbtastic has never had any control over the other queer climbing groups out there.  They’ve also never had any control over us.  Some of you may think, “well, duh,” but on a somewhat regular basis, people refer to the local clubs as being “branches” of HC, or mention starting another “branch” of HC.  Or they ask us (at HC) to get a local club to do something, or they ask a local club’s leaders to make us do something.

We’re all independent of each other.  If I were to call up Kris at ClimbMax Colorado, and had delusions of grandeur about our power, it would go something like this:

“Hey Kris!”
“Hi Alex!”
“Hey Kris, if you could throw an HC event sometime next month in Colorado, that would be great. Also, there’s some changes I want you to make to your web site, and can you make me a sandwich?”
“How about I teabag you and spike this football into your nuts?”

I’ve wondered where this confusion stemmed from, as it predates our linking to the other clubs, or the ambassador system, but perhaps those bolster the myth, so I’ll clarify those too.  The ambassadors are simply people we trust to relay important information or to whom we can send people interested in another club.  The links are a non-exhaustive list of clubs we recommend for queer climbers, each with a targeted geographical area, user group, or scope that may be smaller or larger than our own.

The HC dictators have yet to agree on a single purpose for the club, so their individual contributions are probably the best expressions of the various reasons why it exists.  By some criteria, HC may appear to have emerged as a de-facto umbrella group for queer-friendly outdoor climbers (and friends), but as far as I can tell, that status has been simply the collateral damage of what we actually intend to do, which is bring together people we think are awesome.  We don’t do anything to try and dutifully represent all who call themselves queer climbers.  Should we?  Dunno.  But we’re not.  It would be too much work, and half of us don’t even have jobs.

This hasn’t jibed with the occasional donkey-nut lickers who think an organization named “Homo Climbtastic”, as some kind of Grand Representative of All That Is Queer Climbing, should clean up its act, be responsible, stop using phrases like “donkey-nut lickers”, stop posting photos of Ashton Kutcher on the toilet, and stop placing commas outside of quotation marks.

I'm watching you!

Well, we’re not changing, we’re not an umbrella group, and as Miss Kelly Gray has oft expounded, even if our obnoxious behavior meant that it would just be the eight of us sharing a cabin in West Virginia, we’d do it, cause it’d still be the shit.  (And yes, regarding the dutifully flaming messages about our grammar, this actually happens.)  You’ll have about as much luck with us as flaming Porter Jarrard to re-equip one of the hundreds of routes he bolted thirty years ago. (Also happens!  “You want it fixed? You go do it.”)

Nor will you get any further with the local clubs, whose organizers don’t devote several hours a week to volunteering just to get mouthed off at by strangers (happens!) about membership fees (happens!) or not teaching enough people for free (happens!) or not loaning out their equipment (happens!).

Where these people come from, I don’t know. They’re probably the same people on my condo unit’s HOA board who harass me for parking in an unmarked space.

“I’m not blocking anyone in.”
“You can be towed.”
“Is anyone in a ten unit complex actually going to call to have their neighbor towed on a Friday night? Don’t they have lives?”
“Any of the residents can call to have you towed.”
“There’s like ten people who live here. I’m a resident, does that mean I can call to have you towed?”
“I’m legally parked, the HOA board already agreed on who can park where.”
“I’m going to run to replace you on the HOA board with the single platform that anyone with the spare time to blow running for a spot on an HOA board should not be on an HOA board.”

My complex is bright enough to be seen from space, but not from anywhere else, so I'm pretty sure these security lights are here to make it easier to watch my own kidnapping and murder.

Somehow, perhaps because they’re used to being in neighborhoods with HOAs, student bodies with student body representatives, and so on, borderline personality disordered people have become complacent with the idea that if they show up, that means they can run the place.  They’re probably used to running the place, because nobody bothers running against them to decide what day the communal refrigerator gets cleaned out (people have died for this!).

This isn’t to say that we don’t solicit feedback; I’ll politely inform you, for example, that the budget just didn’t allow for strippers this year, or that we’re still working on t-shirts.  So don’t let our hateful rants scare you away from throwing your ideas into the suggestion hopper.  Except for ideas about how we can move the convention to someplace closer to you. If I put the time I put into HC working a minimum wage job, I could fly to Malorka, so please, please no more of those.  If I die from another stress-induced Las Vegas chocotini incident, my availability to plan subsequent conventions will be greatly diminished, limited to me becoming a ghost and haunting other people into doing it.  And the convention would still probably end up being in West Virginia, because the person who found “PLAN THE NEXT HC CONVENTION” written in blood on their bathroom mirror would probably just assume that’s where my dead self wanted it to be.

All we’re trying to communicate is that the reason we’ve done such a terrible job at being an umbrella group is because we’re… not an umbrella group.

But we love your constructive criticism.  And hell, we love the flaming too, because there’s nothing more fun on the dictator email listserv than passing around hate mail and lol’ing about it.

Now get off the comment threads and go remove “climbing” as an interest from your OK Cupid profile.

Introducing: Poser Captcha

I’m just gonna be the a-hole on this one: climbing in a gym is gym climbing. Without further context, “I love climbing” or “I’m going climbing” or “I’m climbing on Wednesday” means you will be exposed to sunlight and the stuff you’ll be climbing on will be the product of geology.

The worst offenders in this category are people on online dating web sites.  Like OK Cupid, which is famous for their zillions of personality profiling “match questions.”  I’ve answered 236, and I still keep getting people who think flag burning should be outlawed.

You know I'm not quite sure why I didn't click perverts instead. I really would know better than anyone else on this.

So guys on OK Cupid or whatever buttsecks finding dating web site message to say, “I LOOOOOOVE CLIMBING!”

This is when you ask, “what kind of climbing”, and it all falls apart. Because in the gym, there aren’t multiple kinds of climbing, there is only one kind of climbing, where there’s a rope running up to the top and you’re wearing athletic shorts and socks in your shoes and climbing gloves (note: Julio can pull off athletic shorts, because they are athletic short-shorts, and the indentation of his penis is visibly large enough to create a veil of shame with enough mass that time slows down and light bends around it, but the chances are very, very high that you are not Julio).

Although I’m usually not a prescriptive grammarian, if you’re going to climb at the gym, “I’m going to climb at the gym” is the superior nomenclature. Because to us, when you refer to gym climbing as simply “climbing”, it’s as though we’re saying, “we’re gonna take our Harleys up the interstate” and you say, “I love biking! I own an 18 speed Trek! I, too, take it on the road from time to time.”

But even that isn’t an appropriate analogy, because biking (as in bicycling) is still cool. So maybe a more appropriate analogy would be, “I’m trying to decide whether I like a single speed for mountain biking or not,” and you replying, “well I love being able to adjust the friction in my spin class, so I would highly recommend that feature!”

Not that the people in spin class couldn’t totally kick my ass at spin class. They did. I was well short of whatever it was those people were spinning. Just like there may be some German girl who can crush all your climbing gym projects and offer you struedel afterwards. But if you put her on the Orb, she’d probably fall three feet, hit her head on the dirt, and start crying and demanding why there isn’t 200 square feet of padding. But then again, maybe not. Maybe I’m just trying to make Ann feel better about getting demolished by someone too callous to even offer her a 2nd place struedel. But by gosh, there is something absolutely special about taking 5.12 gym climbers outside for the first time. And by special, I mean retarded. And by retarded, I mean you’re amazing and you can do anything! Except climb outside, apparently.

I thought I had taken enough X for the techno music, but was it enough for the disco ball?

Now, there are those who have presented very compelling reasons why gym climbing is a sport that deserves recognition as its own inherent institution. And to them, I say, your photo of you on a 5.14 gym climb will be discarded by the editors of the Patagonia catalog for a picture of some fat jerk on a 5.8 top-roping outside and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it. It is literally easier to collect the money to pay someone to judge your Klingon costume than it is to collect the money to pay someone to judge your gym climbing. You will find more opponents in Scrabble, Street Fighter II, and putting together castles out of popsicle sticks.

So, I am calling for an end to this tolerance of anyone referring to gym climbing as though it’s anything but a training device and a cruel impostor of actual climbing, A) because it’s just irritating, and B) because it’s fostered a massive delusion on gay dating web sites, which should be legally required to have a javascript mechanism double check people who click climbing as an interest with a test question:

“Do you know what lead climbing even is?”
“Have you ever worn a helmet because rocks were hitting you in the head?”
“Are your routes ever marked with anything besides tape or neon colors?”

A kind of captcha for posers. Poser Captcha.

This was by far the least offensive of the captchas on google image search. You try it.

Poser Captcha could really be extended to all sorts of things. Want to indicate an interest in biking?

“Do you even own a bike?”
“You don’t. Be honest.”
“Are you able to even take the wheel off of a bike?”
“When someone buzzes you on the roadway, do you smash their rearview mirror with your bike lock before or after photographing their license plate and uploading it to facebook?”

Comment thread idea: Poser Captchas for your own interest areas!

Clipping “In Direct”

Three climbers clipped into an anchor point respectively using a clove hitch (left) and figure eights on a bight (middle and right).

So I see a lot of ‘mos and non-‘mos alike doing some weird shit when they attach themselves to anchors, and while most of it’s alright, some of it’s inefficient and some even downright dangerous. Today I will discuss one of the most common of the dangerous situations, which is when a climber climbs above an anchor point that he or she is attached to using a static low-stretch sling. You might think this would be an uncommon situation, but it can happen quite easily and could have disastrous consequences. Common examples include:

- You clip in directly to a crux bolt on an overhanging sport route to rest. Then you forget about having clipped in directly to the bolt, call “on belay,” and launch for that big dyno without unclipping. This can be really dangerous!

- You clip directly into an anchor point near your feet while standing on a ledge to take pictures, to rappel, or to setup a top rope. Then you slip and fall over the edge.

- You clip in directly to an anchor at the top of a single-pitch sport route or anywhere on a multi-pitch route and climb above the anchor to reposition yourself in a better stance or to make room for your partner. Then a hold unexpectedly breaks and you fall onto your anchor point.

Dean M. and I in the belay station for "Hard Left" and "Hemisphere" in the Red -- I am clove hitched to a large biner attached directly to the rappel chains. Falling from here if the chains and rope were taut would be approximately factor 1.5 - 2.0, as there is 3 feet of "rope" out and I would be falling 5-6 feet.

“So what if I fall a few feet,” you might ask. The answer: You can break bones or snap carabiners from a fall of even a few feet. Even if the total distance you fall in these scenarios is, for example, 4 feet (on a standard 2-foot sling), this produces a maximum fall factor of 4ft / 2ft = 2.0 — the highest possible in normal climbing activities — and corresponds to ~16kN of impact force for a 160lb climber using any sort of low-stretch tether (a Dyneema or Spectra sling or quickdraw, or even a PAS or daisychain), in theory. 16kN will rip out your last piece of gear or break a cross-loaded biner, but these are the least of your worries — such forces can cause internal injuries, and, in a multipitch setting when climbing directly off of the belay, have the potential to destroy your anchor and send you and your partner hurtling into the abyss.

Sound incredible? Check out this drop-test video by DMM, which demonstrates what physics geeks and savvy climbers have known to be true for a long time: http://www.dmmclimbing.com/video.asp?id=5 — falling onto static low-stretch material can be disastrous, and not just in theory. Just a 12 inch, factor 1.0 fall onto a Dyneema quickdraw produced a maximum impact force of 12.5 kN — that’s going to hurt!

What could happen when a carabiner receives cross-loading forces.

How can one deal with this potential danger? The old school answer is simple: Never climb above your anchor point for any reason, or more precisely, never let slack develop between you and the anchor point. This remains sounds advice if it were always followed.

New school thought offers an equally simple but greatly improved answer: Tie in with the rope. Peak impact forces in climbing falls usually are mitigated by several factors afforded by the climbing rope, including material stretch (lead ropes are dynamic) and knot tightening at the tie-in point in the event of a fall. When you are directly connected to an anchor point with a static low-stretch sling, however, these force-reducing properties in your safety net are largely absent.

The simplest way to regain these properties would be to tie into the anchor with the rope. This can be accomplished by simply using the rope attached to your harness to clip into the anchor point using a clove hitch or a figure-8 on a bight. This method of clipping in covers many common scenarios such as belaying on a multipitch route or working near a cliff edge where you could take a fall. New school thought would argue that there is no reason to use a short, unadjustable tether in such circumstances; this is also when I most often witness ‘mos and non-‘mos alike clipping into the anchor with a Spectra or Dyneema sling. I always use the rope instead of a sling to attach myself to the anchor when I can.

For scenarios when you must use a sling to connect to an anchor point (preparing to rappel or to clean the draws at the top of a sport route), in addition to following the old school advice of never fall from above your anchor point, you can improve your safety margin by replacing your Dyneema or Spectra tether with a nylon sling, which is stretchier.

Stretchiness is relative. For climbers, the lead rope usually is the stretchiest material available, but if that’s not available for tethering (e.g., you’re preparing to rappel), nylon is stretchier than Dyneema or Spectra, and DMM’s drop tests show an improvement in terms of slightly lower impact forces when falling onto a nylon sling.

Although replacing your Dyneema or Spectra tether with a nylon one will reduce impact forces, those forces can still be high enough to be very unpleasant at best in the case of a true factor 2 fall. However, in conjunction with being vigilant about not allowing slack to develop in your tether, using a nylon sling is a good compromise. I prefer to use a nylon tether to attach to anchor points and save my Dyneema and Spectra slings for quickdraws and for extending my gear placements.

Rowland using a nylon sling to clip in while belaying near a cliff edge in the New River Gorge. There is no slack between Alex and the anchor point, reducing his potential fall factor.

Quitcherjerb!

So I did what all great climbers do when they’re running short on money: I quit my job.

“Anything else lined up?” everyone asks.

No.  Nothin’.  My God, should I have not ignored those 500 invites to LinkedIn that I got? I could be like, so linked in right now!  I could be spamming tens of thousands of acquaintances of acquaintances my resume!  And they could be spamming theirs to me!  And we could all spam each other!  And I could spam people who aren’t on LinkedIn with invites for me to be their first friend on LinkedIn!

Ok, so I left on far better terms than this, and I was able to pee whenever I wanted, but I just couldn't not use this.

So I take solace in the typical things people take solace in during times of unemployment.  Mostly, “at least I’m not some poor child in Mauritania,” and “if those people at the Red can live on $100 a month, I can handle this!”

The solace doesn’t last long.  What if I don’t want to loot through Miguel’s dirtbagger/left-behind/freegan box for the half empty jar of pesto?  What if I like my 4G cell plan, my Grindr Xtra, my pork butt?  I don’t wanna be a copy writer for an SEO contractor!  I’m too pretty to depend on winning ABS Nationals to have enough gas money to get me to the next box of half-empty pesto!  I can’t even win ABS Nationals!  The Gay Games aren’t until like 2014, they probably aren’t awarding money, climbing probably won’t be included, and Mikey or Timmy might show up!  And then I’d be stuck in Cleveland, whose only idea of a tourist attraction is the Gay Games!  Maybe Cleveland’s great, I’ve never been.  But I’m too old to get back on the pole!

So, to avoid the search for a new job, I’ve been devoting myself to the great distractions of reworking the Homo Climbtastic web site and planning for the next convention.  This, however, brings its own frustrations.

First, planning the conventions involves a lot of talking to potential attendees, and if there’s one rule of talking to potential attendees, it’s that the more they want to talk to you, the exponentially less likely they are to actually come.  Second rule is that somehow, someway, the HC web site or facebook group or our reputation or something does a magical job of scaring away the “masc dudes seeking other st8 acting guys to just chill with”.  It’s an amazing phenomenon, but also poorly understood.  You probably wonder how it is that the people who show up are who they are, and somehow there’s a certain element missing.  Where did they go?

Well, usually, the conversation loosely follows them asking me if there are attractive masculine guys there, and me saying,

“yes, but if that’s the only reason you’re coming, the people there will probably laugh at you, crush your projects, and joke about rubbing their groins down with chalk and teabagging you.  and that’s just the women.”  (i would use the phrase “cis women”, but they just get confused and i don’t feel like explaining it.)

and then they say, “oh that’s cool.  so lots of hot guys?”

“yes.”

“what’s the climbing like?”

“like, stiff 5.10 i guess.”

and then it’s something about how they’re really better at kayaking or fishing or monster truck rallying or whatever but they just bought one of those hand squeezey things at the athletic store and they think if they use it everyday they totally might be totally able to go, cause, you know, that’s all that’s holding them back from 5.10, their lack of resolve to use that little hand squeezy thing on a more regular basis.

First I'm gonna teabag you, then I'm gonna spike this football into your nuts!

so after the brief thought that i’ll never get that hour of my life back, i turn to trying to improve this free-ish wordpress web site, which led to the recent concern on the Homo Climbtastic Facebook comment boards about me boldly removing the page devoted to photos of hot shirtless climbers in HC.

“WHY?” asked Timmy.  “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?”  He even posted it twice, and I’m not sure if it was to express his intense dissatisfaction, or because his IPad posted it twice, which would make sense, because his IPad is gayer than he is.  (And by “gayer”, I’m not referring to anachronistic notions of being effeminate, but simply to the desire to suck cock like a packed blunt.)

Anyfuck (I’m co-opting Kelly’s phrase) I know I’m being hypocritical, cause I know I go to Lah Fitness and do my little roman chair exercises and crunches on the inflatable ball and such, but it’s just that sometimes, when I see pictures advertising gay sporting whatever…

I've been waiting for the moment I could break out the poses that don't need one hand to hold the iphone! And yeah I'd fuck the one in the middle too. Sue me.

…I just wanna die.

I’m not saying that I don’t want to be able to walk into the mall and see Rafael Nadal in his underwear and stop in front of the poster for about five minutes having a mind wank, in fact, I think that’s exactly how I want it to remain.  What I want to forestall is the homo world’s trending into this strange territory where gay men keep seeking and getting modeling gigs, getting paid minimum wage, and listing their Facebook occupation as “model” because some creepster photographed them all day for about 5% of what a stripper would make if they kept the g-string on.  Someone needs to step in and tell these poor children on the ab machines that the only way to make money simply by being a good looking man (after discounting the cost of roids and the gym membership) is by either working the pole or selling real estate.  And the market for real estate is not rebounding, if these emails I keep getting from my agents about how it’s definitely rebounding are any indication.

I suppose I could be swayed if Timmy took some photos that were so provocative that I just couldn’t not post them.

Apologies to those who’ve only known me since 2011–seems I haven’t been myself, and I’m sorry for only letting you experience the docile simulacrum. (I should have taken the absence of haters as a warning sign!)  It just took me a hot minute to remember how to chalk my groin.  Welcome to 2012, mother fuckers!

Bowser y'all!

There Was An Accident! Or Something! Oh My God!

So I was out climbing at Reimer’s Ranch in Austin, minding my own business and belaying my friend Jini (if you don’t know Jini, you need to get your happy ass to Austin as quickly as possible and hang out with her.  You owe it to yourself, and I’m not even fucking kidding you) when all of a sudden, I saw a flash out of my left eye and heard a loud THUD.  I was belaying someone, though, so I had no fucking idea what had just happened.  Because I am that focused on making sure people as awesome as Jini are on a tight belay.  Yeah, I know.  I expected less of me as a belayer, too.

Well, it turns out this dude was at the anchors of the climb immediately to our left, and through some freak accident his belayer wasn’t actually on belay.  Or something, ’cause he let go and fell sixty fucking feet.  Evidently he landed on his feet and did some kind of fucking ninja roll or whatever, that shit was fucking insane and even though I didn’t see it (I was belaying Jini, you’ll recall from earlier in our convo) I’m sure it must have looked fucking amazing.  And he landed on his back.  Or something, but again I didn’t really see that part.  I heard that if he had let his head fall just another inch, he would’ve been talking funny for the rest of his life.  Or maybe it was a half-inch, anyway you get my drift.  Dude that shit was life threatening.

No way that guy wasn't a fucking ninja with the way he came down and rolled. Well, anyway, that's what I heard. I was giving Jini a catch.

Anyfuck, I lowered Jini down (she was pretty shaken…I guess she actually saw the whole thing happen since she wasn’t belaying anyone and was able to focus) and turned my attention to the accident.

What I saw was ten people staring at a good looking guy who was shaking his head and trying to figure out if he was hurt or not.  I remember thinking “shit, he’s not gonna’ climb anymore today which means that shirt’s not coming off” ’cause I’m selfish like that and he was actually kinda’ hot.  I also saw his belayer, who was much worse for wear.  The realization that she’d come very close to being responsible for another person’s death had very clearly set in.  Her hands were red and blistered from trying to grab the rope in a desperate effort to stop his descent (which she did, at the very last second, perhaps saving him…but who fucking knows.)  Did I mention he was on top-rope?  Not that it should make any difference, but we all know it does.

So I thought about belaying for the rest of the day.  I thought about the ramifications of giving someone a “catch”, and how frequenly…especially when that person is on top-rope…we lose focus on the climber and talk to our friends, or reach back to grab a drink of water, or even get so involved in laughing and joking with each-other that we forget for a second that we hold another person’s life in our hands.  And how sometimes that second of inattention could intersect with the climber missing a key hold.  Or something.  I’ll repeat:  I have no idea if that’s what caused this accident, I was catching Jini (I totes love her, y’all have to meet her!) but this is the kind of shit I think about when I hear about accidents like this.  Anyway, it was totally serious and I wish I could convey how important it is to belay attentively, no matter what…but some of you mother fuckers are gonna’ do what you wanna’ do, and that’s fine.  You will not be catching me while you’re doing it, or any of my friends.  Don’t think I’m not watching, either, ’cause I’m totally shallow and judgmental like that, you can ask anyone.

Anyway then a second thing happened.  Remember that game that we used to play when we were kids?  The one where one person told another person something and you had to whisper what you heard to the next person until the last person said out loud something that in no way even closely resembled what the first person said?  Yeah, that happened.  As we walked to different walls and talked to people, everybody had heard about the accident, and everybody had a different story.  The belayer wasn’t paying attention, the climber shit himself and some got on the rope which ate through and caused the fall, the belayer had a recalled “Grigri of Death”…everybody had a different story.  So hot.

I didn’t think about that part too much.  Climbers are gossipy.  That’s why Austin is awesome…if you’re a douche, chances are everybody in town knows about it and doesn’t want to climb with you anymore.  And all of the people with really low self-esteems will want to fuck you.  Just remember it’s a double-edged sword, ya’ douche bag.

So, in conclusion, some shit happened at Reimers in Austin and I didn’t really see it even though I was standing right fucking there because Jini was climbing (that girl is a national treasure…) and I was paying attention to that.  But it happened, and somebody got dropped.  He lived but didn’t take off his shirt, which still kind if irks me, but I’m glad he’s alive to take off his shirt another day.  Also, in a similar but un-related vein (since I have no idea how the accident happened), the business of belaying is quite serious, and failure to perform your duty properly could lead to someone else’s death.

This is Jini, being awesome, which is totally her "neutral" setting, and she only fluctuates between "kind of awesome" and "Holy Fuck that's awesome".

Yay Climbing!