Thursday, June 07, 2007

First Trad Lead

So... I have been climbing for not really that long. Mostly seconding up a climb someone else lead (for those who don't understand... a lead climber takes the rope up with them, clips it into the wall (either a bolt or some device they put there) as they go... its scary and more difficult). I do lead too... when its a sport route (or pre-bolted). This last weekend I did my first trad lead!

Trad is where you take various devices (nuts, hexes, cams, tri-cams... yada yada) and find a place in the wall to put them as you go, so that if you fall, you theoretically fall to where you last placed a piece of gear. This means that you fall on something you have put there... which if you don't have the right thing, or place it badly, then you can fall allot further. Basically... its one of the scariest climbing styles, but can be one of the most rewarding (for me at least).

I have been collecting trad gear for several months now, but it is expensive, I just bought a #4 Black Diamond Camelot... and it was $80 (its pretty sweet)!!! I have seconded and cleaned gear on alot of routes lead by different people, so I could see how they placed their gear. This is a picture of the route I lead, but that's not me, its stolen from Basically... it was one of the scariest climbs I have done, even though its fairly easy. Its rated at 5.4, but that's an old school rating, so my weak self would put it at 5.7 or so. Maybe its easier, but when your freaking out, everything is harder.

I didn't fall, so I didn't get to see if my gear would have actually held. My buddy BJ went up it after me and told me that I pretty much would have died if I fell on some of the stuff I placed... good thing I didn't fall. Some of the gear was totally bomber, some was way sketchy, and some was just not ideal. Guess I need more practice... this is a huge step for me, and my climbing career though.

Oh, and we camped on top of Bed Time For Bonzo again... not a bad place to pitch a tent. The "we" was Maria, BJ, Kansas, Eric, and myself. Talk about an awesome weekend... I think I climbed 6 or 8 routes... including Party Time again, which is always fun.

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