I’m at the point in my trad climbing career that I plan trips imagining I can cruise up a line pretty quickly, with no hesitation in gear placement and no fear lingering in the back of my mind. Wrong. Totally, wrong. It’s definitely getting easier to get up big walls but when placing a piece of gear into the rock, my inner dialogue goes something like this:
“Okay, any good cracks around?”
“Eh, that one looks like it’s flared..”
“Ugh, so much choss.”
“That one over there looks good, but I can’t quite reach it..”
“How about in this undercling? … Hm, I can’t see it.”
“Oh, right there, it’s perfect.. I think a 2.5″ will work perfectly.”
…rummage through the gear on my rack and finally find a 2.5″, place it in the crack and it fits like a glove. Perfect…
“Shit, I need that for the anchor!!”
“Oh well, I’ll figure it out when I get up there.”
I admit it, I’m still a complete noob when it comes to trad climbing, but everyday that I get out and try again it seems to get easier and easier and I have learned from a lot of mistakes. I’ve been yelled at by fellow climbers for being too slow or not doing something correct and although it makes me feel like an idiot, I am learning. Being put on the spot like that makes me want to continue to learn as much as I possibly can so I can not only do the big walls that I dream about, but also help others when they take their first baby steps into the trad climbing world.
Bennett and I took a day trip to Lover’s Leap in Strawberry, CA and got on some ‘easy’ routes to practice placing gear. It can only get better from here.