Rappelling is an instance that has greatly affected my life. Rappelling is the method of descending a shear face of cliff by means of a double rope passed under the thigh and over the opposite shoulder. I was about to go on a great rappelling trip with six of my closest friends. The group had decided that it would be best to stay at a park near the cliffs. Staying near the cliffs meant that we would be able to rappel for a longer time. The trip was not the first of any of my friends. We had each been to the cliffs multiple times and felt very comfortable. Once we arrived at the park, there was a five-mile hike to the cliffs. We gathered our gear one piece at a time and began to prepare ourselves for the short hike. Fifteen minutes after arriving, we were off to the cliffs.
Soon after we left the parking lot, we encountered a few other hikers. They were there also going to the cliffs to spend the day rappelling. After one hour of hiking in and out of valleys, we finally made it to the cliffs. As soon as we got there, my friends began to tie all of the gear up and secure it for a safe day of rappelling. As the most senior of all my friends, I went behind them to ensure all of the gear was setup correctly. Meanwhile, my friends were taking a break. During their break, they saw the other group as they came out of the dense tree line to the opening of the cliff. My friends then watched them tie all of their gear up and came back with a weird report. They said that they did not think that the other group knew what they were doing. I replied with a smart answer and went along securing our ropes.
After a few hours of great rappelling, my friends and I suddenly heard this nearby gut wrenched scream; it sounded like a haunted house for a minute. First, I began to look around. I could not figure out where the scream had come from. I then thought to myself, it had to be the other group. Secondly, I spotted a couple yelling for help so I took off in their direction. Halfway there I realized that it was the other group. Evidently, one of their friends had slipped and fallen off the edge of the cliff and he had been hurt badly. Once I saw what had happened I sent the fastest runner to the road to get help while I had someone else help me. After the runner had started, I gathered the two groups to act as one. We had to get to the base of the cliff safely and keep the injured person alive. Those were my thoughts and I am sure that is what the rest were thinking.
I was the first to the bottom and I then began to do a basic assessment. I stabilized the injured and instructed the rest of the group how to assist me. The rescue helicopter at last showed up. It felt like it was forever but it was only 2 hours. The paramedics then took over and congratulated me on my efforts. They told me I did a great job, they said normally if someone falls of the cliffs they do not live. Their words sent chills up my spine and I knew I did a good job. I was able to save a perfect strangers life just because I had been in the area.
Finally, both groups began to pack out solemnly and began the long hike back to the parking lot. I felt this hike was great. The hike allowed all of my friends and me to calm down. We began talking about what would have happened if we were not there. I quickly stopped that talk and answered we should not think about what would have happened but what has happened. We had just saved some strangers life. That thought alone put a hush over my friends. I learned rappelling could be a number of things. It could mean loosing a close friend, having a poor self-esteem or just hanging from a cliff. Therefore, rappelling has taught me many different things. The main thing that rappelling has taught me though is if I put my mind to it I am able to do anything!