Greg tells the tale of a close call, his best day ever and why living in the moment is the only real option for happiness.
Sweet Voodoo was my last climb of the day. It was time to clean the route and head back to Canmore after spending three beautiful days in the Jasper area climbing at The Watchtower. The raging creek was drowning out all thoughts except the ones needed to safely clean the anchor. I've cleaned anchors many times so everything was second nature and going smoothly as always. I had inspected the system, untied my backup and was ready to get lowered when something in my brain registered a flaw at that very last moment.
I don't know what made my hand grab onto the ropes. I didn't see what the issue was, something just felt wrong. I wasn't terrified or remotely scared, even though the only plausible outcome of the error I made should have been me hitting the ground 30 Meters below. I became overwhelmed by a dark image of Irene and Nicole having to deal with the horror of the whole ordeal. As I was trying to unravel what had just happened, I realized that I just got a second chance.
Watchtower creek in all it's glory.
A couple weeks later I received a message from a friend that the Watchtower Creek was being ravaged by a wild fire. The crag we fell in love with years ago, which shaped us as climbers and route builders and had almost witnessed the end of me was going through a transformation of its own; from beautiful lush forest to moonscape. As I imagined the view of burned trees I felt sorry for all those who did not have the chance to experience this place in all its lush glory but I felt privileged to have the memories and the photos of this most beautiful place.
Aaron taking in the moment.
As the days go by, most events slowly fade into the past. Since the moment Irene lowered me gently to the ground and I gave both my girls a big hug, I have been trying to find the meaning to what happened. Seeing the news footage of Watchtower Creek in flames put things in perspective and reminded me of what most of us tend to forget; nothing is forever. We need to appreciate every moment, every day, because they all count. Living The Dream is not just about dreaming but about making every day the best day ever, because one day it will be our last.
Rusty reminding me that every day is the best day.