Abseiling! Or rappeling. Some would say crazy. Anyhoo, many of you have already seen these pics but I am not too proud to share. This weekend I took a "Rope 1" class. This is a primer class for tactical rescue using ropes and such. So at 8am Saturday morning, after a hearty breakfast at the local diner, I was down at the fire hall for the classroom part. That lasted about 3-1/2 hours. Then we broke into 3 groups and worked with instructors on various elements such as knots, rigging, technique, and mostly safety. 8am Sunday we were back at it doing it for real. Here are a few pictures. The 5 story parking garage we were abseiling down. It may not look that high. But when you get up on that wall and start leaning back, and that rope stretches a bit, and there is nothing but air under you... We do use a static kern mantle with doesn't stretch much but still. A view of me going down. Notice the fellow on the groud who is belaying me. Should something happen he can pull the rope tight to arrest my decent. We actually practiced that later in the day. I had to let go of the rope, put my hands on my helmet, and let my belay man control the descent. I think my belay man freaked a bit when I inverted on him (my head was below my feet). He seemed to freeze for a moment. Pretty funny. A good (I think) side view of me. The harness I am wearing (all 24 of us actually) I made out of a piece of webbing. It's like a flat rope. Using some overhand and square knots I built it up to support my thighs and back. Then a carabiner is attached as well as the belay plate. The rope snakes through the belay plate to create friction as seen in the next pic. Up close and personal. Me belaying a mother and daughter who went down together just for fun. The shadow on the wall shows part of the belay plate nicely I think. These pics only show a fraction of the whole event. All in all a fun two days. Hopefully I can take the more advanced class where things really get interesting. Time will tell. Edit: more pics and such on my blog.