Fab Friend and I went climbing at the weekend. She’s getting really rather good you know – she flits up the wall efficiently and sometimes rather effortlessly. I am best at coiling the rope… thanks to great tuition from ex-housemate’s boyfriend.
So anyway, I finally decided to lead a route, quite a long one but not a difficult grade, and set off grabbing green holds and hoping for the best. I was trying to project the same outward coolness that FF has, using an outside flank here, a drop knee there but it just wasn’t working… and two thirds of the route in, my feet and my hands started fighting each other. The hands would go up and the feet would drag me back down again and I was starting to wonder if I’d ever reach the top. *sniff
And this is where we realised how cool it is that we are both deaf. You see, hanging on a rope 20 metres up is normally quite an isolating experience but we could have a completely silent conversation and lipread each other with ease…even the swear words! (sorry Ma).
And so FF egged me on, told me not to give up and we were in fits of laughter at the randomness of it all, which really helped me complete the climb.
FF then tried a harder route and set off. It was all going swimmingly until she used a new sign to signal that I should pull the rope tight as she was going for a difficult move and couldn’t turn around to mouth it, except from where I was it looked she was asking me to give her move rope… so I let out loads…. whoopsee!
Bonuses of being deaf and climbing = long distance conversations
Downfalls = literally that… and um, getting dead!