Good Days at Table Rock (Climbing)

For our next trip into the great outdoors, we again engaged Michael of the Climbing Place to be our guide on a 2-day family expedition to Table Rock,

Good Days at Table Rock

For our next trip into the great outdoors, we again engaged Michael of the Climbing Place to be our guide on a 2-day family expedition to Table Rock, NC. Getting there was quite the thrill, as it involved a 12-mile drive up an unpaved road.

On the first day, the whole family came along, along with Michael's grand-daughter, Nadia [who, having started climbing before she could walk, quite frankly can wax the lot of us].

The second day was just Dad, James, Michael and Nadia, and it turned out to be something special. Just after lunch, Michael's eagle-eye spotted some “booty”, a passive protection device that had been left behind by some Boy Scouts the day before.

The laws of climbing are clear: if you find some equipment up on the rock and there's nobody around to claim it, then assuming you can remove it from wherever it might be stuck, it's yours! Thus the name: booty!

This particular piece, a <A HREF=“http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/rockclimbing/pro_stoppers.html” TARGET=“_blank”>Black Diamond Stopper</A>, is a wedge that fits into a crack and locks itself into place with a slight camming action induced by the curves of the edges. James and Nadia had great fun climbing up, setting the piece into a crack, and then using a quickdraw (2 carabiners attached by a loop of webbing) to hook into it and hang from it.

However, eventually Nadia locked the stopper in so tight that she couldn't remove it. James proceeded to climb up, reach around behind the stopper (from above, down into the crack), and yank UP on it using the cable loop to remove it.

Thus, it became his first piece of booty, and he proudly carried it off!

While I was belaying Nadia, James decided to climb up to a little ledge. It made for a nice picture, until you zoom out and see just how high he “free solo'd” – and without a helmet, as well!

Back in the car, James shows off his “booty”. And in the last image, Nadia shows off hers. Down girl!