Mystery of The Rock

I lie on my back looking up at the clear blue sky. The heat from ‘The Rock’ soaks my body and eases the wind chill from me. My arms relax.

I'd made it.

The Rock had been my constant obsession from childhood. Ever since it claimed my father.

I lived under it, I watched it and studied its moods, its curves, its shadows. I knew The Rock and it owed me a father.

I had needed to know two things.

Why had my father fallen to his death from this climb, 30 years ago? He was experienced and had climbed incredible mountains. What happened here?

And why were there no stories of The Rock ever having been conquered?

I trained, practiced, studied, travelled and climbed all around the world. Every big climb known, I did. Even Everest, I knocked the bastard off. Now I was home and had climbed The Rock alone as a special tribute to my father. No one knew I was here.

And here I am, on The Rock, and the horrible truth I now knew.

The climb plan was about the hanging climb, the last 5 metres. A section where every handgrip was back over my head, always body hanging. Hell on my arms and no room for gear.

Like my father, we had now both discovered the reason why there were no stories of the rock ever being conquered. Why no one knew what happened to his father.

Why he fell.

The very top of the climb, the cusp of the crown was beautifully rounded, a curve of about a full arm stretch, a no retreat zone. No way to get back down over the curve, not without gear.

My gear was hanging on my father’s pin, just 6 metres below me.

There was no way down, but to fall.

Alone, I lie here and watch a small cloud drift by.

© 2012 Under cover agent

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