Rock Climbing + Suspension = Best Birthday Ever!

Reminiscent of the recently posted cliff suspension in Guatemala, Solja and the Ephemme Performance crew (Brett Perkins, Anne Ott, Mike Dimas, and Neil Kohanski — Anomaly in Echo Park, LA/CA) helped celebrate Neil’s 30th birthday with some suspension-rigged rock climbing. From Solja’s IAM page:

It is a decent hike up a fairly wide trail 3/4 of the way to the fall, then things get significantly more adventurous. Portions of the trail are about as wide as a single foot with a steep slope down toward the rocky ravine below. Mike Dimas, Annetastic, Ishmail22 (Neil), and I hurriedly hiked to the waterfall point hoping to beat the setting of the sun. The hills get pretty cold when the sun goes down and it makes it a lot harder to see the hooks and the surrounding skin. I had hoped to rig the equipment over some overhanging tree branches, but it turned out to be a little less advantageous than I remembered. The tree that was firmly rooted into the cliff side didn’t quite clear enough of the rocky wall to allow a good free suspension.

There were no viable trees across the gorge to run a line to or from, so a new plan was developed: Neil would rappel down the rocks by the hooks in his back and suspend in the open hollow at the end of the falls. It was roughly 50 feet to the shallow pooling water below, he would need to go about 30 feet below us to reach a free hanging point.

He rappelled the rock face two times, forwards and backwards, but found facing away from the rocks was the most comfortable. He hung below us for a while before the light started to fade beyond the point of being able to monitor his safety and consciousness. We brought him back up and loaded up the gear. The return trip was a little quicker, we all scrambled up the hillside following some small animal trails. It required an intense use of all four limbs, holding on to rocks and roots along the way to avoid falling backwards. Neil remarked that he had no discomfort or pain in the hike up and that the two large hooks we used was quite nice contrasted with the 4 smaller ones he had always done in the past.

More pictures continue after the break.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

12 thoughts on “Rock Climbing + Suspension = Best Birthday Ever!

  1. Gorgeous, and what a way to celebrate your birthday! You recent suspension posts have all been really awesome! Please continue!

  2. Sounds like he had a fantastic time. I’m glad for him.

    Can someone explain to me the attraction for suspension, for those who “get” it? I see so many entries about it, but I don’t quite understand the attraction (like, I’m sure, my parents just don’t understand the attraction for tattoos & piercings have for me ;) ).


  3. I personally have never done a suspension- yet- but it does appeal to me on many levels- still I have to wonder how similar each person’s story would be?.. perhaps I would be surprised on that one.

    for me rituals such as this are about a mind body connection.
    these pix are beautiful- what a way to mark a milestone..

  4. What an amazing birthday that must have been. Sure beats the suspension I did on my birthday last year! I can only imagine how awesome it would be to rock climb AND suspend. Great post

  5. wow, beautiful!the landscape is amazing..and his smile at the end makes it all the better!

  6. I did have an amazing time. I only wish the sun didn’t set so early! Brett, Annie, and Mike Dimas were awesome and really helped make the experience that much better!!! Wow! Stay tuned for the last suspension we did in the Eaton Canyon waterfall!!! That was INCREDIBLE!!!

    Later Y’ALL…

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