01 June 2012

me and my knife

Scott bought me a knife for Mother’s Day. When he handed it to me I smirked and said that it was dumb. Little did I know that it would come in handy in the coming weeks, and that I would develop a bond with this blade.

It was a chilled, calm night that we decided to go on a night rappel. The surroundings were beautiful and serene; I was surprised at how much more beautiful the canyon was in the moonlight.
I watched and took pictures as Nate, Dallen, and Scott rappelled alongside the waterfall, each being careful and taking their time. Scott finally came down to take my place at the camera, telling me I would regret it if I didn’t go on at least one rappel.

I hiked back up to the top, got hooked in, and made my way down the mountain. Step by step I took my time placing my feet. About halfway down, I paused and turned my head, looking at the neon green rope that was below me. I kept descending, and when I tried to turn my head back I felt a tug at my scalp. “this couldn’t be happening to me right now.” I panicked, trying to figure my way out of the reality. Through the corner of my eye, I looked at my gear and saw a wad of my long brown locks interwoven in the figure eight. I screamed out to Scott, and promptly began to go through the ways I was going to die if I didn’t get help.

I quickly snapped out of my panic when I felt my rope slipping a little bit more, causing more hair to be fed into the gear. Shaky, yet fully aware, I double wrapped the rope around me to keep it from slipping, took off my leather glove with my teeth to hold it in my mouth, and with my free hand, took the knife off my harness and starting sawing away at my precious hair.

When I was finally down, Scott took the knife, unhooked my gear (stashing my wad of cut and mangled hair too), and I staggered along the side of the river trying to find a place to sit down. There I broke down, worried about the haircut I was going to need, and from the overload of stress I had just experienced.

From those that saw this occur and from where I know I was cutting it off, I should’ve had a big spot on the side of my head. Yet, all it did was thin out my hair on one side.

Lesson learned: always put your hair up on any rappel. And bring a knife, even if your husband gives it to you for Mother’s day to make you mad.


  1. holy moly. this was the most intense post I've read yet! shoot erika rae! glad to hear you still have your long hair!! and that you are alive. (:

  2. you are a true mountain woman now erika! i wasn't even there, yet i know scott is even more proud to have you as a wife now! ;)