Sunday at Taylors Falls, I had a chance to practice the old school technique of a waist tie-in. None of you have ever seen this used, I am sure. And it is the way I started rock climbing. You take the rope, wrap it around your waist about 4 to 6 times. And tie a bowline on a bight. Then you climb. It discourages “takes” and hangdogging to figure out a route. With a rope around your waist, you pretty much don’t want to hang on the rope. You just want to get up and then down as quickly as you can.
Two guys started talking to me while I was supposed to be belaying Lisa. “Hey,” Lisa yelled down to me, “Could I get a belay here? Could you stop the chit chat?”
Of course, I ignored Lisa so I could finish talking to these two guys. (How rude is that? She interrupted me while I was talking to someone else. Excuuuuse me! I don’t have to pay attention every minute while I am belaying her. Gee whiz. How demanding.)
Back to these two guys – Max & Yvonne. They asked if we were giving belays as part of a state park program. Then they asked if there was a charge like $5 per belay. I said the price was $5 per belay or 5 belays for $15. So, when Lisa finished her climb – remember her, she was the climber I was supposed to be belaying? – I told them I’d give them belays. I did not mis-represent myself as a state employee (are you listening Tim Paw.?) So, of course, I didn’t charge them. But, to get us back on topic, I did tie them into the rope with a waist tie-in. And they climbed the rock in their dress shoes. And were very happy. As were their friends. Except for their wives. Who said, “We will never hear the end of this.” And Lisa, who said when she got down to the bottom, “I can’t leave you alone for 5 minutes.” C’est la vie.