Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mansorela: Loose Rocks, Reggae

It is hard to comprehend this beauty.

I am, unofficially, one of the most useless climbers to climb with. My belaying skills are sketchy. When it’s my turn to climb, I get so scared that I overgrip all the way up a route (provided that I finish it). It seems that my courage is limited to a range between two and eight feet, with a 12-inch crash pad underneath.

The sight of this rock face made us hold our breath.

When I arrived at Mansorela last weekend, it seemed that my courage got a bit of a boost. It was like getting the third vial for tooth extraction. On all the routes I attempted, I climbed with sheer courage until the third clip. By then, the courage brought by adrenaline dropped like a free-falling rock, unrestrained by air drag and freely propelled by gravity.

Mervil sets up a 5.11d route near a river. The sound of water slamming against rock is still one of the purest notes.

But the most important thing is that I made myself look brave in some of the photos because we had our friend Lilay. She has a keen understanding of the connection between landscape and human emotions. She is able to find the perfect angle to capture the interlock of our courage and fear as we find our way up on a rock that was a complete stranger to us.

Lor got hooked up with this move. Slab routes always promise an imminent scraping of the skin.

We experienced a slight drizzle of loose rocks and dust in many of the routes because those are newly established route that were only climbed a few times.

Just as there are Knights who Say Ni, there are also toll keepers that say Moo.

When the universe "exploded," it left shrapnels all over its deck.

The night prior, we turned off the lights and listened to Space Oddity. Hence, the usual belay call was replaced with "Ground Control to Major Tom."

It is hard to control something as primal as fear. But when you manage your breathing, it just dis-a-fears. Yes, our trip was chunked with lame jokes.

I told them about some guy in the city who got caught growing weed. He argued that the evidence was planted.

Photos by Jo, Lilay, Jerald, and Lor. Kudos to Mervil for his quiet leadership.

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