Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Climbing Fergie with Snakes

Ferguson Canyon is one of the only canyons that allow dogs around here, so we've been up there to rock climb quite a few times.
(me and Duvi enjoying shade and the view of the city)

After we unloaded our gear out of the car and put our packs on, a few ladies approached us and gave us warning of a rattle snake in the middle of the trail at the top of the hill. She said, "I wasn't even thinking about the fact that it is rattle snake season." Hm. Nor I.  Now, I'm not afraid of drowning, I'm not as afraid of heights as I used to be. I don't fear spiders or bugs. Large animals of prey keep me on my toes when i'm in the woods, but I still hike and climb and camp. Snakes on the other hand..... Snakes absolutely terrify me. They are my one greatest fear. My husband is a brave man who used to be a little boy slathered in snakes. He has no fear of snakes. I try to convince him to find us a different crag to climb. I am absolutely astonished that he thinks it is fine for us to continue our plan up this narrow dirt trail that happens to have a rattle snake in the middle of it.
(Salt Lake City valley)

As we hike up the trail my body is going through tiny convulsions and I am trying very hard not to cry. My fear had totally taken over my body and mind. All the while, La-dee-da-Landon is jovial as he looks over the Salt Lake Valley and talks about the crag up ahead, "encouraging" me to, "learn to take control of your emotions," and "face your fears." I tell him that if he or Duvick or I get bit by a rattle snake I will never trust him again.

a side story:
we went climbing Saturday and on our hike out, we decided to divert from the trail and ford the river (which has previously been absolutely roaring, but has finally died down) just to see how much time it would cut off of our hike. we usually have to take a trail beside the river deeper into the canyon to cross a foot bridge and then hike back the way we came on the opposite side of the river to get to these neat multi-pitch climbs that are on top of a boulder field. anyways, we decided to attempt at a short cut. after we crossed a stream and then the main river (which was so fun and so wonderful to cool off our hot feet!), we followed a trail through the woods that very quickly identified itself as a moose trail. "This is probably our best chance at encountering a moose all year," I said. Landon was a little excited by the idea. "I would rather take my chances in a place that I could actually have room to run through," I worried, although Landon liked the idea of just climbing one of the trees if we see anything. I don't know how to climb trees. We walked through lush undergrowth and very mucky mud and ended up in a opening with about 12 spots in the grass where moose have bedded down. Landon insists that there surely aren't 12 moose, but rather just a few that have made several beds (he ran into a mother and baby moose on the trail in that area last month). That made me feel better, but i'm not sure if he was right. we quite literally walked into a moose den. We had climbed a 5 pitch 5.10a that day and the scariest part of the day was our hike out through the moose bedroom. 
(Landon on rappel) 

The snake must have slithered away because we never saw him. Although, I was looking for snakes during the remainder of our hike to the cliffs. When I reached the top of the climbs I even looked around to make sure there was no snake nestled next to the anchors before I secured myself to them. And I was listening for rattles our entire hike out, never hearing a thing.

I hate snakes. Landon thinks that we need to befriend a few and keep them as pets for the great benefit of helping me overcome my fears. I wish he would leave this particular fear of mine alone.

1 comment:

Brooke Hereth said...

OMG SNAKES! dont even tlk about it :)