Travel Diary: water.fall rappelling!!!

for those who REALLY know me, you must be grinning and shaking your head. bemused. shrugging your shoulders. not surprised.
yes, this is SO typical of me. to plunge into something i am totally clueless, go “oops!” and come out alive grinning. i mean how else do you get entertained with all the obscure out-of-this -world stories to repeat to your kids, kids’ kids and great grand kids…
for someone who has acrophobia and aquaphobia, strangely i was excited by the prospects of water abseiling, a.k.a canyoning (or canyoneering). i wanted to do it. i had to do it – even though i was balancing on stones at the edge of the waterfall in Japanese slippers and the only possible shoes i had with me was my Timberland trekking shoes that looked and felt more like KLCC {park} trekking shoes! anyway, the point is they weren’t suitable and no way was i going to get them soaking wet.
then came the impetus in a form of a pleasant looking balding man who said “i can lend you my shoes. you can take it when i come down”. that was it! my faith was sealed.
bubbling with excitement, with my new found “friend” i rushed down the waterfall to get myself strapped into what must have been the barest and largest diapers ever known to mankind with hooks and latches. after more discussions it was decided i would survive in a crocs. so mom (who is very intrepid herself and loads of fun) made a dash to the 4WD to fetch the crocs.
the rest of it was a blur … the steep and slippery hike up the waterfall, the wait, the instructions and roping me in, and finally the plunge

after about 5 metres down, i was swept to my right; losing total control, my entire body slammed the face of the rock, with my right arm and right leg taking most of the impact. the gushing water had blinded me and i was choking and swallowing what must have felt like 100s of gallons of water (but not). my lungs was bursting and my mind was racing: grab the rope. footing! footing! i was clinging on to dear life.

somehow i grabbed the secondary rope and heard the guide at the top yelling down at me: “pull the red rope. pull yourself up. the red rope. up… up… up…”
but my mind kept going footing! footing! footing! … then i made the biggest mistake, yet the best thing ever, by looking down!!! [i’m acrophobic, remember?]

holy molly s*#%. i am f#%$-ed
… but thank god for my extensive shooting training, i took charge: mind over matter.

i heard my inner-self saying :”ok. ok. calm down. think. common’ Penny, THINK!
then, as if by magic, i bent backwards till both my feet hit the wall and used my weight to push myself while aiming for a real footing 1 metre down. getting immediately into rhythm (that i never quite had in the initial 5 metres) i was on my way home, baby smooth and sleek (almost) like a pro.

the feeling? exhilarating. whooooooooaaaaaaaa!!!
can’t wait to do it again – but this time with proper shoes, please.
well, one thing is for sure. i’ll never underestimated the icy cold water, the frozen numb fingers, the sheer force and weight of water – it was like a giant rain shower multiplied by 1,000x or more – the wind, and how mother nature always wins. and more importantly i should engage the grey matter between the ear lobes more, excited or otherwise {wink}
rule #1 do not do extreme sports when you are old
rule #2 do not do extreme sports when you are unfit
rule #3 do not do extreme sports without full equipment
rule #4 (and the best) do not do extreme sports when your boss is sick leave intolerant!
seriousFYI (yeah, the girl can google wikipedia!)Abseiling can be a dangerous sport, and presents risks, especially to unsupervised or inexperienced climbers. Abseiling is, in fact, viewed by climbers as being more dangerous than climbing itself,[wikie says…] as the rope system is taking the weight of the practitioner constantly rather than only in the event of a fall. Moreover, a high percentage of mishaps classified as “climbing accidents” actually occur when abseiling.

rappelling (American English), abbing (British slang for “abseiling”), jumping (Australian slang) rap jumping (American slang), roping down, roping, seiling (Australian slang), snapling (Israeli slang), rappling (Hindi slang).


5 thoughts on “Travel Diary: water.fall rappelling!!!

  1. LOL – yeah – i abhor that phrase too. glacier itinerary? i am purely a passenger man!got rough itinerary for both Leh and Nepal – still deciding on which one and rounding up at least one “kaki”.

  2. aiyoh, please la stop using that overused phrase, unfortunately being whored and exploited to the max by the Gov linked organisations which boleh all the way…, how is it coming along…i mean yr routes and itinerary?….lol.

  3. right on to do the 85deg slope on the ice glacier to the east after the 75degs clockwise turn around the moraine and down across the gravel valley to the southern side of the small town of dzongla….lol.dont forget those crampons.

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