Thursday, July 7, 2011

My first trad lead: "Perhaps" 5.7

 Trad climbing has seemed out of reach for a long time. The equipment needed is expensive and the skills required I always felt I didn't have. For some reason I recently have been getting invites to go by a few people and yesterday it finally worked out. Austin Davis's family has been climbing for a long time and with his recent return from his mission he had been wanting to get out. Tanner and I took him up on it and met him early to drive up to Little Cottonwood Canyon.

We headed up to the wall passing all the old remains of the quarried granite for the Salt Lake Temple. I decided I would lead the first pitch and pulled on the large rack of nuts and cams (the equipment you place in cracks to safeguard a fall). This was my first time really pulling onto a slabby granite face so there where definitely times where I felt a little gripped. The climbing was easy, but unlike what I am normally used to.

I finished my pitch and Tanner and Austin rapidly followed. We split the second pitch into two and took our time. The last bit of climbing was hard for me, it was really the first time I have felt hindered climbing by my wrists. Due to a motorcycle accident I don't have the ability to put my palms to the sky when my arms are extended, so the underclings were that much harder. I figured out a way to get by and got across. It was a fun day, and I couldn't have been happier to get my first lead under my belt.