I recently began attending local caving meetings. Cavers are a unique group of people. Their meetings have little structure. They just wanted to play on ropes. I met the cavers at a local park on a Wednesday evening. We began throwing ropes up in trees. Soon ropes hung down from several tree branches. They informed me they were practicing ascending ropes. In vertical caving a very important skill is the ability to ascend a rope after you have rappelled. I honestly think my new found hobby of canyoneering and recent interest in caving are strongly related to the fact that I really like playing with ropes.


Learning to ascend a rope was quite the experience. You need several pieces of technical equipment and fair amount of physical strength. The most common ascending process is called “frogging”. This involves a chest ascender, hand ascender, and a foot loop. These pieces of equipment are attached to your harness. Once you have the equipment in place you connect to the rope and in the motion of a frog you stand up and sit down repeatedly inching the ascenders up the rope as you go. This process is quite physical and rather exhausting. But as with most things it becomes easier the more you do it.


Life is much like ascending a rope. It is hard work and is easier when you acquire the right tools. Taking advice from someone who has been through it before it makes it easier to learn as well. I have been slowly inching my way up the rope of life over the course of the past few years. I have learned much and I hope to continue to acquire new tools and new mentors to assist me and teach me how to be successful in life. Eventually I will ascend the rope to the top! Inch  by inch we all can work our way to the top acquire better skills along the way and talk to people who may know how to do things you’ve never done before. Keep walking to victory.



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