センター追試験 １９９４年度 第６問 問題
It was early morning. Peter Corbett helped Mark Wellman out of his wheelchair and onto the ground. They stood before El Capitan, a huge mass of rock almost three-quarters of a mile high in California’s beautiful Yosemite Valley. It had been Mark’s dream to climb El Capitan for as long as he could remember. But how could a person without the use of his legs hope to try to climb the highest vertical cliff on earth?
Mark knew he couldn’t accomplish the climb alone, but his friend Peter, an expert rock climber, would be there to lend a helping hand. He and Mark estimated that it would take seven days to reach the top.
Peter climbed about 100 feet up and hammered a piton ― a heavy aluminum pin used by rock climbers ― into the rock. Clipping one end of a 165-foot nylon rope to the piton, he let one end of the rope fall down. Mark was wearing a harness, consisting of a belt and straps, around the upper half of his body. He caught the rope and attached it to the harness with a special instrument. This instrument would allow Mark to move upward, but would prevent him from slipping down even as much as a single inch. He next reached above his head and attached a T-shaped bar to the nylon rope, using the same kind of instrument.
When all was secured, Mark took a deep breath, pushed the T-bar up almost as far as his arms could reach, and began the first of the 7,000 pull-ups needed to reach the summit. His useless legs, protected by leather coverings specially designed by Peter, hung loosely beneath him. High above, Peter let out a cheer. “You’re on your way, pal,” he yelled down.
Before the climb began, the two men had decided that the best rate of ascent for Mark would be about six inches at a time. At midafternoon when Mark looked down, he could still see his wheelchair on the ground below. But every pull-up was another step toward fulfillment of his dream. He was climbing El Capitan at last!
For the preceding six months, Mark had trained hard: swimming, lifting weights, and working out in the gym. Seven years before, at the age of twenty-one, he had slipped on loose pebbles while mountain climbing and fallen 100 feet, injuring his backbone. The fall cost him the use of his legs, but he never lost his love of adventure or his joyful spirit. Even so, as he looked straight up the forbidding 3,593-foot rockface, he wondered if he was trying for an impossible goal. He still had 6,500 pull-ups to go, the temperature was 96 degrees, and he was bathed in sweat.
Mark wisely decided to put all this out of his mind. He had to succeed. Dozens of newspaper writers and photographers were following the progress of the climb. The whole world was watching this incredible attempt by the man who, in a wheelchair, carried on his job as naturalist and assistant supervisor of the visitors’ center in Yosemite National Park.
For the first four days the two men progressed steadily upward without incident. But on the fifth day an unbearably hot wind began to blow, and as time went by, it became stronger and stronger, causing Mark to sway violently on his rope. Suddenly a blast of wind swung him ten feet out, away from the rock. The sensation of hanging way out there in the wind, dangling in space, would have been terrifying to an ordinary person. But Mark was by no means ordinary. He kept on determinedly pushing up the T-bar and pulling himself up. Nevertheless, he had to admit that he felt a lot better when the wind finally died down and his body touched solid rock again.
Later, describing that day, Peter told reporters, “I just couldn’t get him to complain, no matter how tough it got. His hands were swollen and sore, yet he just kept right on coolly inching his way up.”
It took them one day more than they had estimated, but on July 26 at 1:45 in the afternoon, the crowd of people waiting on the summit went wild with joy as the two weary heads appeared over the rim. Mark Wellman had shown that if you set your heart and mind on a goal, no wall is too high, no dream impossible.
問１ What had Mark Wellman long desired to do?
① To accomplish one of the most difficult rock climbs in the world.
② To be the first to conquer El Capitan.
③ To climb the highest mountain in California.
④ To help his friend Peter climb El Capitan.
問２ How did Mark climb the cliff?
① He attached the rope to the harness of his wheelchair.
② He hammered in pitons so that he had something to hold on to.
③ He held on to the T-bar and Peter pulled him up.
④ He pulled himself up using a T-bar and special equipment.
問３ At what pace did the two men think Mark could climb El Capitan?
① Seven thousand feet a day.
② Seven thousand pull-ups a day.
③ Six inches for each pull-up.
④ Six inches per minute.
問４ How did Mark lose the use of his legs?
① He lost his footing and fell from the side of a mountain.
② He slipped and fell during his first attempt on El Capitan.
③ His legs were crushed by falling rocks.
④ While working out in the gym, he injured his backbone.
問５ What was the worst problem Mark had during the climb?
① A strong wind blew him away from the rock.
② He bumped against the rock several times and hurt his arms.
③ He kept slipping back several inches.
④ While dangling in space, he became terrified.
① Mark Wellman’s climb took exactly a week, just as he had estimated.
② Mark modified his wheelchair specially for mountain climbing.
③ Mark was twenty-eight when he succeeded in climbing El Capitan.
④ Mark worked as an assistant supervisor in Yosemite National Park.
⑤ Because Mark’s legs were paralyzed, he needed nothing to protect them.
⑥ Mark was well prepared for his climb both physically and mentally.
⑦ Throughout the first day, the weather stayed cool.
⑧ Mark’s legs became sore and swollen during the climb.
⑨ Newspaper reporters became interested in Mark’s climb as he neared the summit.
⓪ Mark’s accomplishment shows that a positive attitude can overcome the most difficult of challenges.
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