Rock Climbing at Niagara Escarpment; Remembering My Gay Friends

Today, after climbing at Kelso, I sat in my car in the parking lot to log the routes I had lead with traditional gear in the climbing guide book that lists the climbing routes in Ontario.  Thirteen years ago, I met a gay climber through the Crag Crux Climbers group I had started in the gay community in Toronto.  He told me that I should log all the routes I had climbed, so that I would be qualified to take a training course to become an outdoor climbing instructor, in case I would decide to do so.

As I turned the pages of my guide book, I saw that I had climbed the same routes I did today thirteen and eleven years ago.  And I saw the names of the people who had belayed and seconded me.  Most of them were the gay climbers I met through Crag Crux Climbers. 

I remembered one beautiful morning, when I hiked with one of them in the woods towards the cliff, he told me that he had recently being diagnosed HIV positive.  He told me so that I would be careful as in climbing, we sometimes got our skins scraped and could be exposed to possible contact with each other’s blood.  I felt sad and moved in the same time.  He was gorgeous looking and what he said to me allowed me to see his beautiful mind.  I kept climbing with him there afterwards.  But his physical condition wouldn’t allow him to climb vigorously.  He initiated to organize social events for the group, which I wasn’t keen.  Eventually we drifted apart and lost contact.

Now I can see that I was too focused on the sport itself without giving much attention to the friendship associated with the sport.  I am going to pay more attention to my relationship with my fellow climbers.  Ultimately, it is the friends around us who make our lives more meaningful.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2008 at 7:24 pm and is filed under Canadian, Gay, My Adventures. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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