Leading at the Foundry on Ladies Night

I wasn’t that psyched about training on Monday night. I was still sore and tired from the weekend. However, I had arranged to meet up with a friend to do some routes, and as I’m still trying to get two sessions in a week, I dragged my ass down to the Foundry already feeling battered.

Warming up was hard. My arms hurt. My shoulders hurt. I generally hurt. After doing two 5s to try to get some blood into my arms, we moved to 6as and did two in short succession. I then tried a 6a+/b which was straightforward  – other than the fact that I was being a muppet and not reading the sequence particularly well. By the end of the route I was very pumped in my right arm, and the knuckle of my right foot was pretty sore too. Not sure why that was.

After my friend repeated the route, I decided to try the 6b that went up the same line. I worked out the sequence from the floor and identified where the crux was (right near the top) and set off. I focused on my breathing and trying to keep nice and smooth. It seemed to work, because before I knew it, I was at the crux. After a short rest on the holds, I went for it and after a high step and move out to a flat hold, I could clip and then it was a case of holding two small holds and standing up to a nice big jug to clip the chains. I was so pleased! It was the first time that I had led a 6b in about 5 years I think and I couldn’t believe how easy it felt. Granted, I was pretty pumped by the top, but I felt like I had moved well and enjoyed the sequence when climbing.

My friend tried the route, and she fell going for the crux hold. I was a bit surprised because she looked so confident right up to the point where she wasn’t. I held her fall, she had a rest and then easily completed the route.

We tried a 6a+ that we had both tried last Wednesday. I didn’t really look at the sequence, and that came back to bite me in the ass. I easily climbed the bottom section, and the crux was a case of moving through some relatively small holds to a big hold up and leftwards. I didn’t think about my feet and ended up wrong handed and wrong footed. I really wanted to lead this route clean, but I was pumped out of my box. I tried to down climb and hang off too okay holds to recover and then go up again, but my fingers and forearms were not happy. I had a short rest on the rope and then completed the climb easily. Next time I’ll get it clean!

The final hard route of the day was a 6b+ that we tried on Friday. My friend has been working the sequence for a while and I thought it looked good – it is, but I’m not sure it’s 6b+ – there are some long moves, and not too good holds to clip off of. And its pretty sequency. I started leading it and got to the second clip and went ‘No’! I switched to the 6a and took the rope to the top. We both top-roped the 6b+ and I got so confused after the small roof. The holds were really far away and I was partly scared of falling (still scared, even on a top rope) and partly I was really, really tired. Eventually I worked out a sequence, and I kinda wish I had tried the route again to wire it in, but I reckon I would have hung off the rope.

In total we did 10 climbs each and mostly in the harder grades (well, relatively). I am well pleased with myself. Karl suggested that I should try a ‘no take’ session, where I don’t shout take once. I think I’ll need to work up to that! He also suggested practicing clip falling, where as soon as I clip a bolt, I let go. This sounds like an excellent idea, and hopefully I’ll be able to find a partner who will be happy for me to go up a 6a and fall off every clip.

Some stats:

  • Warmed and cooled down on 5+/6as (2 in the Furnace and 2 in the main room)
  • Led 2 6a
  • Led 1 6a+/b
  • Led 1 6b
  • Top-roped 1 6b+
  • Led one more, but can’t remember!