Adventures: My First Lead Climb

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in Adventures | No Comments

I write primarily about work on this blog, but from time to time I recount fun adventures I’ve had outside the office1.

Yesterday I wrote that I’m not really a “resolutions” person when it comes to new years, but I do think intentionally about what I want to accomplish and how I’m going to do it. Over the last few months I’ve mulled over learning a new skill and decided that I wanted to dig deeper into the world of rock climbing, a sport I’ve loved for a long time. Specifically, I’ve set out to learn “trad climbing,” or, “traditional rock climbing”. I won’t go into too much detail, but the short explanation is that traditional climbing requires you to place your own anchors as you climb (as opposed to clipping into existing anchors that have been bolted into the wall)2.

Strength certainly helps when climbing, but when you’re placing your own anchors the sport becomes a big puzzle with severe consequences for putting the wrong piece in the wrong place. That sounds scary, but climbing is actually a very safe sport if you know what you’re doing and have been trained properly. Luckily, my brother is an expert climber and I’ve been slowly learning the ropes under his tutelage.

I’m proud to say that this week I led my first traditional climb.

Yours truly, making my way up what’s called a “chimney.” Notice the gear sticking out of the rock—that’s what I placed to catch me in the event of a fall.

This is my brother Cameron, a patient teacher and one of my best friends in the world.

1. You can read more about what to expect from this blog here.2. You can read more about traditional rock climbing on Wikipedia.