Sunday, April 27, 2008
Last weekend Denver's Cub Scout troop had a rock climbing outing on the climbing wall at Homer High School. Climbing walls aren't that unusual anymore, but what made this fun was that the person who runs climbing instruction on this wall is a real climber. "Fuzzy" is the guy in charge (he is belaying for Aurora in this picture--the one holding the red rope), and one look at his hands and you can tell that he is the real thing. Rough does not even begin to describe them; tatters might be more accurate. He is a tiny whip of a man, with fuzzy hair and a misshapen face which just might be from a climbing accident. The kids got to climb 2 or 3 times each during the hour (and they were generous enough to let my daughter climb, even though she is not a Cub Scout!). Near the end Fuzzy asked me if I wanted to climb. I jumped at the chance and felt pretty comfortable on the wall considering I haven't climbed in the 15 years since college. When Fuzzy did the final climb of the day, though, it made everyone else look like bumbling 2-year-olds. He chose a route up using only one color of rock outcrops and he lunged from one rock to the next. While speed is not always the hallmark of a good climber, Fuzzy looked quite at home zipping up to the ceiling in less than 2 minutes despite being a 50-something guy. Next time I see Fuzzy I'll get a picture of his hands; they are works of art.