Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rescue Rappel Training with Grandpa

These photos are from a beautiful October day in Joshua Tree National Park.  Climbing at the Cathouse area (easy access to the cars, as it was a rainy weekend) where we saw a cloudy but rain free day on Saturday with the Kids.  The 5.6 route called SideStep proved to a slight challenge for the kids, but they proved they were "Smelsser Offspring" as they made quick work of it while mom, Erin (Smelsser) Walls waited her turn.

While it looks like it was a top rope, Morgan (age 8) was actually trailing a rope for the next climber, back clipping at each bolt, while Grandpa held the other end of the trailing rope.  Keeping each boy from swinging off of the 5.6 portion of the route, he guided both Kellen (6) and brother Morgan (pictured) as Jim belayed from above.  Anchoring each child at the top, Jim then belayed Grandpa up after each one.

Here's how Grandpa decided to get them down.  Tandem Rappel.   First attempt with Kellan makes it clear the sling could be longer.

When he went back up to get Morgan, Steve brought a longer sling and that made Morgan's rap down a little more stable.

Grandpa had better train them well, because these boys were tearing up the rock.  Oh yea... and there's one more right behind them.  He would have been right up there with his brothers, had dad not held him down. He had the best seat in the house for sure.

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