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Dancing Again
Trip Report

Dancing Again


Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Wyoming, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.59060°N / 104.715°W

Object Title: Dancing Again

Date Climbed/Hiked: Sep 18, 2004


Page By: mbrackin

Created/Edited: Sep 20, 2004 /

Object ID: 169222

Hits: 2503 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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At age 52, and having quit climbing 10 years ago, I had a lot of doubts about climbing again. Had the years of smoking and drinking taken too much of a toll? Was I to old, as a fellow teacher suggested?

So I quit, and I started an exercise program, and six months later I was awake at 4 am drinking a last sip of coffee as I waited for the morning aches and pains to subside as my friend Frank filled his water bottle with coffee, milk and sugar.

I had started climbing 28 years ago after meeting a guy named Terry Ripkyma in of all places the teachers lounge at the high school I teach in. That first climb was with Steve Gardiner, and some guy named Frank. This first climb led to other climbs and eventually lead to 4 first ascents.

As my children grew up I taught them to climb the Tower safely, but when they graduated and went to college and on to life, I quit climbing and grew fearful of death and old age. I forgot the joy of climbing.

As we started the approach I had to pause to catch my breath, and as we scrambled higher I was filled with self doubt. We reached the Leaning Column at 5:30 am and I was still alive.

As I watched Frank lead pitch after pitch I was reminded of watching my daughter dance in her dance company. So smooth, such a flow of energy. Such a joy. When I started climbing the moves started coming back. I easily climbed the crux and then lost focus and almost fell in a simple place. As each successive pitch followed I found that I could still dance. We reached the summit at 7:30 am that morning and talked of old times and old friends.

So I found that which I had lost, the joy of living. I found that morning that age is relative and I found that I could still dance. Most importantly, I found again my friend Frank.

I have been truly blessed.

Mark Brackin


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bigwallyBeautiful, Just Beautiful


Voted 10/10

Oh Mark,
This is Beautiful, just Beautiful !!!

Posted Apr 5, 2007 12:00 pm

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