Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chamonix Part 2: 3 Generations of Climbers

I would only classify one of the 3 generations you'll see here as a 'climber' - yet. That would be the lady below a.k.a. "Grandma on Belay." She takes care of everything. All we have to do is scramble up. My mom has been climbing for about 25 solid years now. I did a little bit with her way "back in the day." Work and distance from one another didn't strengthen my climbing interest as she is the only one I knew who did/does any rock climbing. And then kids came along.

But now, the kids are bigger and Gma E and J had some fun with them this trip. Here's Kendra going up in mom's capable hands. She goes up OK but doesn't like to come down. The psychology of trusting both the rope and the belay are a little beyond her reasoning yet. She was still willing to sign up for a climbing class after school for this Fall.

Rachel seems to take right to it. She's had some experience through the Spring camp trips with school and she's strong - both upper & lower body. She did it all in hiking boots too. We need to get the girl some proper climbing shoes. Gma E and J both coached her at various times and she responded really well - so proud of her.
It has been about 12/13 yrs since I was harnessed up - probably in Joshua Tree. But I made it. Almost to the top. The bit of sloping/overhang rock at the top did me in - I don't have the upper body strength for it. Right now. Maybe I'll start working on it? I had a great time and hope to do it again. Great family activity.

No - mom didn't belay me. As Rachel said "Gma would need a sack of potatoes to belay mom." J was my belay :). A "sack of potatoes" would be an extra anchor provided to the person on belay in the event the climber weighs more or similar to the belay(er) and the experience of the belay(er).
We had a lot of fun that week. I will eventually post the rest of the trip. We had a great time crossing the glacier from France to Italy via gondolas and I need to post those pics.
Since that time, we got cleaned up and welcomed Bart's sister to our household for a couple weeks, adding a trip in to Wengen for 5 days, a visit from a former work colleague and friend of mine from CA, the first day of Middle school for Rachel, a day-trip to Colmar, France, first day of 3rd grade for Kendra, a day trip to Luzern and to top it off, a raging sinus cold that fortunately only lasted about 4 days. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to take sis-in-law to Luzern today.
At times, I have twinges about the Blog. I haven't been able to "get over here" much lately. Worst track record since I started 3 years ago outside of long trips incommunicado (Rachel's taking Spanish as an elective so I'm going to brush up! - hah). But - as I read other favorite Blogs of mine, I realize that we all seem to be going through a busy season. And it seems the weather really impacts the regularity of posting. When it's snowin' outside, what else do I have to do?
I am also preoccupied with the fact Rachel is taking public transit to school. Bart has taken the bus/train as far as he can in the mornings just to get her comfy with it. She's done really well. I still can't picture my little 10, almost 11 year old , riding the train and then city bus to school. But she is. And we are fortunate to live in a place to allow her this degree of learning and independence. My sisters and I did it. We lived to tell about it (Mom, did you know Deb & Kris would run up the 'down' stairs of the escalator in front of the big entry of Weinstocks on J St. while waiting for the bus? Just thought you should know...) and it (independence) seems to have served us well.
There are other stories. But if I relive them, I might not let her take the bus anymore!!!! Ha Ha
So goes our life and perhaps, I may get a chance to post again before the weekend. Maybe.


Sarah said...

Awesome rock climbing! Very, very impressive.

Makila said...

Um, the rock climbing freaks me out! I can't believe you all do that! Wow. Your mom looks like a superstar. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, All you kids come down from that mountain! Right now!
Hear me?

Hugs an kisses
Mom, Gramma, GreatGMA)

Susan said...

Wow, I am so impressed! Great shots of you all on the rocks.

MOM E said...

What a thrill this was...and you chose some good pics...climbing shots are always difficult due to the angle. (Makes for big "bums") And K..your Mother is not bigger than J and I've kept him from crashing to the ground for years!