Thursday, May 19, 2016

Horse Play Canyon

John turned five recently, so I felt that it was 'bout damn time he learned how to do some high stemming. So on May 19th, 2016, we did a lap through Horse Play Canyon.

This toddler-friendly canyon contains a few wimpy sections of stemming, each slightly higher than the last. I'm angry at myself for not bringing along the local Kindergarten class. I'll never be the mentor I want to be at this rate! *sigh*

The first section of stemming was slanted, so we couldn't tell how high we were. 10 feet? 50 feet? Meh, whatever. I lowered John, then he told me where Dad won't get stuck, then I downclimbed.

We took a break at the halfway point. There I taught John how to smoke a cigar, and warned him about what kind of women to avoid. You know, any man can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.

Soon we headed into an annoyingly tight section. I chose to go high while John stayed low. He soon lost a shoe in the ultra-tight crack below. He is tiny, weighing only 37 pounds, but still couldn't reach retrieve his shoe. I contemplated making him walk back to the truck without it to help him build some character, but figured we wouldn't get back to camp in time to teach him about scotch.

Instead, I removed my helmet, went completely upside-down in the crack and just barely retrieved the shoe with the tip of my middle finger.

With shoes and helmets back in place we stemmed to a properly high spot, where men go to be men, about 25 feet off the deck. We stemmed horizontally to a wider spot. John slipped and swung (on belay) cleanly below me. I pulled him back up. His stemming form instantly improved and much hair grew on both of our chests.

We stemmed out further then I lowered him to the floor. I downclimbed, then we headed into a spectacular subway section followed by a surreal hallway. A fine reward for our efforts.

We hiked back to the trailhead where Child Protective Services was waiting to take him into custody. They said something about his safety and well being. Whatever.

I sure will miss John. That kid (now a man) is rad. Our truck-to-truck time was 5h 45m.

If you look closely, you can see John in the slot below.

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