Essay by dilanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2004

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Wearily I trudged up the steep and slippery side of the cliff. There were no cut steps or railings, and the trees and bushes hadn't been cut back, so I had to walk cautiously making sure I didn't trip over a root or get caught on a branch. A clearing appeared to our left which revealed a picturesque view of Welsh countryside and also showed me how immeasurably far off the ground I was - and I was only half way up. When I started the climb, abseiling seemed exciting and exhilarating but now with every step I took it seemed as if I was drawing closer to doom and disaster.

Eventually I reached the top of the cliff and saw two instructors who were wrapped and seemingly tangled in a mesh of different coloured ropes and harnesses with locks and buckles dangling here and there. There was a gate, which separated the queue from an area that had a sign with the words "Danger Zone" written on it, and to my horror, I was next.

I looked up and saw an instructor calling me over. I exchanged a nervous glance with my friend, opened the gate and walked towards him. The rock I was walking on was very slippery, as over the years it had been sanded and smoothened to form a very dangerous cliff edge. As I approached him, I looked out over the cliff and saw other mountains and cliffs hundreds of feet high and many miles wide with steep slopes and jagged tops.

When I reached the instructor, he strapped a body harness onto me, tightening it until I felt my organs re-arrange themselves. He then went on to hook a lock onto the harness and told me it could hold up to three...