Sunday, February 26, 2012
There have been many times we have joined in on adventure courses to learn and share so that our wild place skills then become even just a little sharper. This was the case with quite a few days of technical ice climbing some many winters back. The lessons gleaned from time and instruction upon frozen vertical terrain and waterfalls, can be very usefully included with other mountaineering skills. Being among those who enjoy this popular way to adventure was such great fun too. We trained in larger groups and then with a more seasoned climber in teams of two. While there to practice, I could not help but ponder much when resting and observing what was unfolding during those intriguing cold days out - the energy, the excitement, and the enhancement of skills. There always seems to be one person or climbing pair in particular, who quietly stand out among their peers, whose experience and skills demonstrate a real confidence and potent sureness of intention, motivation, and motion. I took a longer time to watch this team, and the one who was leading most of the increasingly difficult routes, as there was much to take in. That ice climber, more of an ice dancer, moved so gracefully all across those frozen faces of water. What struck me most though was so subtle, yet so powerful, not just of the accomplished ease of this persons' climbing - but his ability to focus, that settling in of attention & concentration, for only what was right in front of him, for only what was to come next... Because just before, and each time this ice dancer began, you could see, and on occasion slightly hear, this climber gently make two taps together of those so sharp ice axes... Two taps with something leashed to muscles of the hands, arms, shoulders, and heart; two taps then to focus upon that small world of frozen crystals; two taps to quiet the rest of the world out for a time; with a kind of sound like you might hear just before meditating... Yes, there was something significantly, elegantly, simple about that ice climbers' tapping two times. I so enjoyed the sound, and then so appreciated what was then to come next... At a later time, on a different adventure climb of ice, for the experience of it, and maybe to draw upon what I had observed that time before, I tried this approach myself. In the moments before I began, and as I looked longingly up at that frozen waterfall, I took my ice axes and gently tapped them twice together. Two taps for reflecting upon what that ice dancer taught me that day; two taps towards practicing my own intentions, focus, and concentration. Two taps..... DSD
My gratitude for being able to share your images my Friends.