Friday, January 6

Life is much better ...

Than the movies. Or, "A series of unfortunate events".

I met my colleague (F.) and his partner in the Blue Mountains, to climb. I was incredibly psyched by this trip, because as most people would know, I am a wuss when it comes to leading, and as such I really needed the practice. My colleague's partner (let's call him T.), is a very good climber, at least by my standard (not very high, but still). He also weighs 54 kg and is about 1.75+ meters tall. Hence, he has everything going for him. Damn! F. on the other hand, outweighs him by 28kg, and I guess all those 28 kgs are muscle - you will see soon why I'm talking weights here.

You may remember F. as my new-found beginner climber. I do enjoy introducing people to climbing, and I always say that if somebody long ago took the trouble to show me how to climb, I should do the same for other people. Anyway, F. had everything going for him, being a colleague and very fit and also, from a latin american country - can practice my Spanish!

And so we met on the first of January. We climbed a bit then and everything seemed to be going smoothly. I had my first lead with a very bouldery start. The feeling between the three of us seemed to be quite cool and it looked like we were going to have a blast.

And then we got to the campsite and realized that one of the tents (a 2-person tent), in which I was supposed to sleep, got stolen. And so, suddenly the three of us were sharing a 4 person tent. Not bad, plenty of space, but definitely and invasion from my part on their privacy. Damn!

The second day went by just fine, with all of us, especially F., being a bit more grumpy. The plan was for F. to climb as many routes as possible on the third day, and for T. and I to do a 10 pitch sports climb (FIVE STARS in the guide book, 345 m!!!!!!) on the fourth day, and then leave on the fifth day.

In the third day, we climbed some cracks (I do hate them), and then T. decided he was going to climb this face that only had bolts in it but the bolts had no bolt hangers. Normally nowadays people buy the bolt hangers and put them in, but in times of emergency it always works if you tie a sling with a crab. Anyway, the route was very easy (an australian 13, which is like a 4b, 6a if we count how hard the routes in the blue mountains are) and T. started climbing it. While he was climbing, we were talking cock about how he shouldn't fall in case the bolts are rusty and he will fall on us and die etc. Anyway, he climbs the route and puts a top rope on the anchor (two rings with a chain between them). I lower him down.

F. starts to yell at him that the route was not safe and that T. should not have climbed it etc. I tell him to relax cause T. was safe all the time. At which point he tells me in a very agressive manner to "Shut the fuck up". I move away from the area because I want to give them some space to let it all out. They continue to argue and then F. slaps T. over the head (thank god for helmets). At this point F. starts to pack his stuff up and leaves us with all the gear.
This leaving thing will continue throughout the day. As he is leaving, he tells me that "the trip is over" and that "he will leave stuff at the camp for us".

T. and I are shaken by the whole affair and spend about an hour at the base of the wall. I then clean up the route and we proceed the looong trek to camp. Seven kilometers from the parking lot, and about 2 km from the crag to the parking lot. Full gear on for the both of us, as F. left us everything. After trekking for a while, and almost reaching the gas station that was 5km from camp, F. drives past and asks us if we want to take our laptops from the car. He gives us two options, he literally says: "you have two options, either take them now, or I leave them in the tent". Seeing how stuff got stolen, we decide to take the laptops out of the car.

Eventually we reach camp. He had left everything. Literally T. and I were left to somehow carry 60kg of stuff to Adelaide, 1,300 km from the blue mountains. The stuff he left included a four person tent, stove and pots, clothes, books I had lent him three months earlier and where somehow in the car. He left no food, but we had four granola bars, a bag of banana chips, a small parcel of almonds. I had 28% left on my phone battery. And we had absolutely no idea how to get back to Adelaide.

But we did get back. The next day we packed everything. I still don't know how it fit. It didn't actually fit all, but my backpack was 70l and it could take a lot. Thank god for that.

We still had three extra bags between us, which weighed 3, 6, and 9 respectively. A climber (may he climb 8c!!) offered to drive us to the train station, thus saving us the 5 km trek. From there we took the train to Sydney. We tried to get a train to Adelaide, but for that you need one month prior booking. The guy at the ticket office actually laughed at us: "where do you think you're going?!" In the end we bought a plane ticket for the next day at 6am. We sort of walked around Sydney looking for food. We spent the night in a McDonald's near the airport and arrived in Adelaide yesterday. Our checked-in bags weighed 29 and 27 kg respectively. It is not much if you don't have to carry it, I guess.

I am still incredibly shaken by all this and trying to process it in any way I can - hence this blog post. What I forgot to say is that F. even called T.'s family in the states, to tell them that T. is doing risky dangerous stuff. Imagine, getting a call like that in the middle of the night.

Motherfucker. Sleezeball. Asshole. Bastard..
I have never felt that i will totally erase somebody from my memory, like I feel now.


dor said...


RME said...

Wow. That's a heck of an adventure. :-(

san said...

F n T are what? Close friends or what? Whatsupp w his outburst? Gosh!

san said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
claudia said...

Yeah, one heck of an adventure hahha

ionuca said...

Wow, that guy is an asshole! Unfortunately, there are a lot of crappy people like him out there. Even worse is that they think they are right in everything they do and that there's nothing wrong with their behaviour... idiots!

claudia said...

@ionuca - you are perfectly right; i think that it is absolutely pointless to confront him because this is exactly what he will say. motherfucker.