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Friday Slide Show: The Beaver Street Wall Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

5 January 2018

We first learned about the Beaver Street Wall in the front seat of an ambulance. After months of recovering from a quadruple bypass that led to an amputation Dad was finally leaving Seton Hospital from an extended recuperation at St. Mary's Hospital.

We'd gone up to the room to help him get out of there but he wasn't easy to move. Tresa Black, one of the paramedics who had arrived to take him by ambulance to St. Mary's, climbed on the bed for better leverage. She was, she said, a rock climber.

We laughed.

Riding in the front seat with her through heavy traffic on 19th Avenue, we told her we write about photography. She said she wanted to get a digicam to illustrate her book on rock climbing in Northern California. That's when she told us Beaver St., in the heart of the city, was one of two places you can climb in San Francisco.

We thought that would make a great present for our nephew, who was interested in the subject, so we promised to buy her book.

It's still in print as Rock Climbing the San Francisco Bay Area.

When we'd gotten Dad settled in his new room, we asked Tresa for her autograph for our nephew's book. She laughed and wrote a nice note to him, more along the lines of "keeping climbing" rather than "don't look down."

We thought of this again a few days ago when a 4.4 quake on the Hayward fault jolted us in the middle of the night. It was a very powerful blow but there was no rolling and it was over very fast so there was no damage.

What brought Beaver St. to mind? Well, the Beaver Street Wall is not just a sheer cliff you can climb but one of the few places you can actually see a fault. Part of the San Andreas fault system, you can see the sheer faces of the two plates sliding across each other.

We photographed it in 2007 with a dSLR and a couple of digicams we were testing. And we managed to be there when climbers were navigating the face of the cliff, too.

We're a little hesitant to call it a slide show, though. We don't want to give Mother Nature any ideas.

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