Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jeff Mikaelian's adventure story

This summer I decided to get into a few new sports, Longboarding and Canyoneering. Afterwards I started wondering what the hell I was thinking of taking on some Extreme sports at my age. So we won't talk about my Longboarding, my fellow cube-mates saw what happened with that and was not too pretty.

This spring a friend was telling me about the slot canyons she was doing and said “ yeah it's really fun you should come, bring a harness if you have one”. So I packed up the old harness and belay device Matt Young gave me and headed to Capitol Reef National Park for my first big canyoneering adventure.

On the first day, Malia decides we will do Cassidy Arch, which a spectacular arch on a slickrock plateau. We get there and she sets up the anchor to a Juniper tree and throws the rope into the arch. Then informs me I go first and its a 140 foot free rappel into a seemingly bottomless abyss! I then inform her that I have NEVER rappelled before in my life.

As I am crawling backwards over the edge I start to thinking to myself that this maybe isn't the best place to rappel for the first time. While I am parked there with my butt hanging out into space and contemplating chickening out, I hear a bunch of tourists yelling to me “its easy, go for it”. I was scared enough and did not really need a bunch of people watching me.

Finally I started down and was soon hanging in the middle of a large sandstone alcove, right then I knew that I was hooked on a new sport. Not until I told my story to my fellow Gearheads was I informed how sketchy it was rappelling for the first time on a single 8 mm line.

But it was not over yet, this hike consisted of 5 rappels. On the third rap we were dropping into another alcove through another arch. As I was trying to get over the lip of the alcove gracefully, I slipped and slammed on the sandstone edge on my left side.

I thought I looked like a beater, but after we both were down, Malia complimented me and said at least you did not let go with your right hand. Only then did it sink in that if I had let go I would be dead. I have since done two more canyons and have only freaked out on one of them.




Blogger *MILLY* said...

YEAH JEFF! Use up that vacation time and get out and use the gear we sell! Great story!

9/27/2007 8:35 AM

Blogger *MILLY* said...

YEAH JEFF! sweet story....always love hearing your stories. Use up that vacation time and use the gear we sell!

9/27/2007 8:36 AM

Blogger powstash said...

The kung fu death grip saves the day! Great adventure story Jeff, thanks for posting it.

I'm still curious to hear about the longboarding flail....hehe

9/27/2007 9:25 AM


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