Friday, September 24, 2010

Then you jump back down to the rooftops

Albuquerque does not have many tall buildings in the downtown area. But there are a few. One of them, the New Mexico Bank and Trust, better known as the Gold Building (because it is on Gold Avenue) is 14 stories tall. This morning there was a Special Olympics charity event called Over the Edge which allowed certain people to rappel down the building. One of my coworkers was fortunate enough to do it. We closed the office for about an hour this morning and the five of us, and his wife, went to cheer him on. He strapped on a special climbing harness and a helmet and, after a practice rappel from the two story garage next door, he went up to the rooftop, while we watched from the street.

They rappelled off the building two at a time. He is on the left at the rooftop getting ready to jump off backwards. That is supposed to be the hardest part. Once you go off, the rest is easy, or so they say. There are spotters at the bottom holding the ropes and special safety devices to ensure the climbers are safe on the way down.
My coworker used to rock climb as a youth so I'll bet this was a piece of cake for him. He began getting into the groove, jumping off and releasing the rope
 until he began going down too fast and the safety catch on the ropes stopped him short about thirty feet up.
 By the time he could get the release to open, the other rappeller had caught up with him. I told him afterwards that I'll bet he just wanted to spend more time up there because he was coming down so fast. lol. Here they are trying not to break the windows. Our guy is wearing the black shirt.

I took my camera with me this morning, intending to photograph the event with closeups of their terrified faces, hehee, but unfortunately, my camera was not working for me. For some reason, it will turn on and the screen is black and then I can't turn it off. Uh, oh!  so I could only get these pictures from my cellphone. One of the other girls took a video of the event but it is still on her phone. It really looked like great fun.
Would you do it, given the chance? I think I would!

Then you jump back down to the rooftops - song: It ain't Easy, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM


Breathe said...

I used to rock climb too and rappelling from great heights is a blast. How do you get to be one of the lucky ones?

I like "free rappelling" which is when there is no wall at all. Ridiculously fun.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Money! A donation of $1,000 it looks like.

It looks like it's been happening in many of the cities around the US: St. Louis, Raleigh, Las Vegas (51 stories!!), NY, Denver.
Look up the Special Olympics website for a city near you.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I did a little rappeling as well in my younger days and that would have been a hoot to do.