Sunday, March 30, 2008
Rock Climbing under the Bridge
There is a nice outcropping of rock by a bridge over the Androscoggin River and A and his friends like to climb there.
Even though there is still ice on the river, the rock is dry and it didn't take long for the climbers to get down to their t-shirts today.
I've had an awful lot of good times sitting on rocks watching this kid climb.
It was just about 3 years ago that he went for his first outdoor climb. He had spotted a cliff from my parents' living room window and wanted to climb it. We learned that the cliff was on a mountain called "Ragged Jack" and my father went to the town office to ascertain the landowner so that we could ask permission to climb. Permission was granted and Archie and I navigated our way up to the base of the cliff. He had a very limited amount of equipment, a little understanding of the mechanics and a great deal of desire. I sat on a rock while he climbed and read Freedom of the Hills and wondered if maybe a good mother wouldn't be letting her 14 year old do this.
A few weeks later, we went to some experts and he had a few days with a rock climbing guide, we purchased all the safest equipment and the rest is his life story. He climbs almost every day year round and has for the last three years. He has taught many of his friends to climb and hopes to make climbing his entire life once the pesky business of high school is finished.
Watching him climb is one of my greatest pleasures. On the rock, he exemplifies poetry, grace, strength, and concentration.