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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Reliability A couple weeks ago, I made the three-hour drive from my home in Portland to the city of Bend in central Oregon. It was a weekend getaway with some college buddies, and we did college buddy stuff. We're too mature to go out drinking all night (we did catch some live music, though), but we're not so feeble that we needed aernoon naps either. No, we spent the weekend enjoying the outdoors and the great weather that Bend has to offer. Not too far out of town is Smith Rock State Park. It's a beautiful place. A rocky butte pokes up out of the high desert floor, and the picturesque Crooked River wiggles around the butte, setting up some lovely scenery. Smith Rock is a world-class rock-climbing destina- tion. Back when I was actively climb- ing, I'd spend a lot of time there, scal- ing the routes. We didn't climb, but we hiked the Misery Ridge Trail and watched the climbers do their thing. I certainly could climb again, but as I watched everyone on this day, I was reminded of the one thing I detest about rock climbing: rappelling. Our cover this month shows a climber mid-rappel. ey're descend- ing on the rope, attached to their har- ness. I had always expected rappelling to be fun. And it is. ere's a thrill ride sense that comes with dancing down the rock face as the rope zips through your hands on the descent. But once I'd climbed, using hands and feet, with climbing gear and a climbing partner holding a rope to keep any falls short and safe (instead of life-ending), I found rap- pelling to be profoundly distressing. I say this because there is no redundancy in the system. When rappelling, you have one point of con- tact with the rope; the rope, then, has one point of contact with the rocks; your climbing partner is removed from the feedback loop, as is all protection except the one anchor at the top end of your rope. at's it. Any failure at all is oen catastrophic. Even world class Reminiscing about one of my past climbs, behind me, (Smith Rock State Park, Redmond, Oregon).

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