Tuolumne, 9/5-9/7

This weekend in Tuolumne: Baby’s First Trad Lead. I wasn’t going to try this for a while longer, but when I found myself sitting with idle hands in front of literally the easiest possible single-pitch climb in the park, equipped with a borrowed rack and an all-girl backup chorus of soothing voices … I had clearly run out of excuses.

Not pictured:
Photo by Stacy Bloom. This is the least embarrassing  in a sequence that documents a rapid deterioration in facial expressions from “resolved” to “hyperventilating.”

Anyway, here I owe some big thanks to Nicole,  for spending twelve years with her arms up while I fumbled around with the first piece and for reviewing my placements; verdict: 1) decorative, 2) good, 3) marginal, 4) over-cammed, 5) okay. It’s, uh … just as well I didn’t have to build an anchor.

Other high comedy in Project Be My Own Rope Gun: Freakout-leading easy slab on Sunday I missed the only gear on the route and then, while preoccupied with wondering what 150 feet actually looks like (…), wandered an extra 15 past the anchor. The only reason I even thought to look down for it was that the girl on the route next to me happened to sneeze. Having extricated myself from this situation uninjured, I then ate shit on the walk back to the car after getting a cam stuck in some manzanita.

I have, to put it mildly, a lot to learn. The particular difficulty of this sport, of course, is that while figuratively I may have nowhere to go but up I am literally a lo-o-ong way from the ground.  So I will give it a little more of my best effort …

Zoom for a “Where’s Waldo” of more competent women— inspiration, moral support, and patient belays all weekend.

… and then I’m going to quit and try surfing.


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