Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gunksfest 2011: The Return...

I can't believe it's been a whole year!  I am feeling soooo much better than I was about 362 days ago!!!   Ha!  I'm still not 100%, but have been feeling much, much better in the past 10 days.  Running Reach the Beach really got my body and mind back in balance.  Now, it's time to see if climbing will continue to be a part of my life!

I'm heading back to the Motherland and the scene of the accident - The Shawangunk mountains (a.k.a. - The Gunks).  As many of you know, I grew up 10 miles from the Gunks, and I absolutely love it there.  It's a special place and I'm really looking forward to spending the weekend with family and friends there.  I'm planning to rope up for some easy climbing and hope the weather cooperates.  I know many people think I'm crazy to consider climbing again.  The engineer in me can rationalize it.  The climbing addict can rationalize it as well.  The family man in me thinks I'm an idiot, but 2 out of 3 wins every time.  Besides, engineers are fairly intelligent people :-).  

The engineer in me rationalizes that the accident was due to multiple mistakes.  It was not due to a fall or equipment failure.  It was simply due to miscommunication (or lack of communication).  I won't re-live the event again, but I do believe deliberate communication and double checking everything can avoid a similar event.  I will grant you that climbing accidents will continue to happen, but so will car accidents.  Is it a necessary risk - no, there's nothing necessary about it.  I do enjoy it though, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to hang up my rack yet.  Technically, I did climb two pitches on top rope back in early May, but it really didn't simulate much of anything.  My leg was still not healed fully, and I was very tentative.  This time will be different (at least physically).

I'm so excited about the weekend that I have the Element almost fully packed and it's only Wednesday!  I'm bringing a crib to my sister as well, so the E is loaded to the gills.  The CT Climbers and Mountaineers will be in full attendance.  I organize a trip to the Gunks at this time each year.  We are returning to the winery where we used to have some great weekends.  The former Rivendell Winery is now Robibero Family Vineyards, and we're excited about returning there.  We have a wine tasting planned for Friday evening, and a big dinner and bonfire for Saturday night.  I'm so excited that this anniversary will be shared with so many family and friends.

I don't know if I'll go climb the specific route that I fell on.  It's not that important to me.  I just want to enjoy a day at the Gunks with Charlotte and be with my friends.   I guess that's about it.  Then, it'll be time to move on ...

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by the winery and join me for a drink this weekend!

All the best,

Steve

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