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