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Long ropes in high places

In the nineties I rappelled off the New River Gorge Bridge almost every year. "Bridge Day" in West Virginia is amazing. The mile long bridge has two of its four lanes closed for the day, and vendors set up their stalls selling everything from carbide lamps for cavers to handmade wooden furniture or live snakes.

The middle of the bridge is 876' above the river, and in a lottery, twelve teams were selected to have a spot to rappel from while base-jumpers hop off the bridge above us and pass us hurtling to the ground before they pull their chutes.

Just climbing up the ladder to the catwalk under the bridge to walk out to your rappel spot with the ground getting further and further away from you is great. The photo below was a "first" for Bridge Day in 1998. Mike and I decided to do a "tandem rappel" as we had "long" racks that we had made from our last adventure in Yosemite National Park when we did a really long rappel, so could do this apparently impossible feat with both of us going down on the same rope. Our Canadian flag flutered proudly all the way down below me. This photo is taken looking over the edge of the catwalk railing, and what looks like slightly off brocolli below us is huge trees in October!

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