The UAW strike effectively shut down campus, leaving me with an absurd amount of free time, so I decided to take a personal day and do a solo trip to my favourite hike in the Big Sur. This time, the river water was much more frigid and it was also much less windy but overall, the views were just as stunning as the first time around. I also ran into lots of wildlife: a family of deer, a bunny, and some feline that I couldn’t really identify.
However, this trip was far less smooth than my first trek here. I visited the beach again and this time, I decided to try my hand at climbing the vertical rock face to try and get a sick view of the ocean. This was an enormous mistake. I was about halfway up the cliff (some 10 feet off the ground) when my right handhold crumbled and I instantly thought, “oh my God I’m actually fucked.”
By some dumb luck, I landed on a lower outcrop and only sustained some scrapes and cuts all over my left arm, right hand, and left leg. I didn’t bring any first aid on this hike because I had always fancied this route as a very safe hike. Moreover, I still had to climb back down to the beach from the outcrop, which was an incredibly harrowing experience because I no longer trusted the rock at all. Suddenly, I was noticing every little crack in the cliff and my adrenaline levels were through the roof. At first, I tried abandoning all technique and butt-scooting down a diagonal decline but I quickly realized that was futile and could result in further injury. I backed up and eventually climbed down with good technique and careful placement of my feet and hands; words cannot describe the relief I felt when I landed back on the beach.
I could have easily been severely injured or even killed, depending on how I fell, and I was incredibly lucky that I landed on that outcrop. Next time I climb a vertical cliff face not explicitly marked for climbing without any kind of safety gear, I promise I’ll double-check the integrity of the rock before climbing up 😉
tags: hiking - Andrew Molera State Park - Big Sur - California - United States