Sunday, August 23, 2015

Climbing and Falling

Image result for angelIt is with very sad news that our climbing community has lost one of our own doing what she loved.
On Friday Aug 21, Jessica McErlean died while climbing at Flatrock. I know very little of the accident and I didn't know Jessica.

This is what I do know. Climbing is more than just a sport, it is a way of being. There are few things that are as exhilarating and humbling at the same time. Climbing forces you to know yourself and look at yourself realistically. Our climbing partners see us at our best and our worst. A true bond is forged as we trust one another with our lives. Everyone who climbs knows what it is like to be on the sharp end of the rope and this is a common bond we all share.

My thought go out to Jess and her family as no one can be prepared for such devastating news. Jess's climbing partners have just witnessed something unspeakable. Be gentle with them. I have witnessed many horrible sights and situations. I have the training, experience and maturity to deal with these situations. No one could have been prepared for what they experienced.

To the rock climbing community in general, trying to make sense of this is difficult. Bad things happen to good people. Planes crash, cancer kills and the innocent get murdered. There is no reason, nothing makes sense. Jessica had a horrible accident and we may never know what the cause of it was. The details may help avoid future accidents but right now, they are secondary. Our community is hurting and the closer you were to Jess, the harder it is.

From the bottom of my heart, my sincerest condolences to Jessica's parents and family, to Jessica's climbing partners (her other family) and to all of those of you who have been touched by this accident.