My leading is improving, but slowly!

I was ambivalent about leading on Wednesday. I felt quite tired – my lower back was still very tight and my knees were hurting. However, the thought of bouldering was less appealing and I managed to convince a friend of mine to belay.

I also knew that I really should do some more clip drop practice, but not having a regular belayer means that I’m kinda unwilling to inflict it on others – the guy who held my rope when I last tried hasn’t offered again. So, instead I made a promise to myself that I would lead a 6b+ that session, even if I had to practice it on top first.

We warmed up and then got on some harder routes. I tried a 6b that I rested on last session and did it straight up. However, there is quite a long move that I felt marginal on. Essentially, I had to lock down to my waist and stand up to get another hold. It was a move that I had done before, and knew that I could make the distance, but I felt very tenuous doing it. I got to the top and lowered down, I was pretty pumped by this point and wanted a bit of a rest before moving on.

After a short rest, my friend started up a 6b+ that I had tried a couple of weeks ago. I knew where the crux was, and intended to practice it on top rope before leading it. However, when it came to my lead, there was some confusion and the rope was pulled through before I could try it on top rope. That made my decision for me and I set off.

I didn’t think that I was climbing particularly well, but I made it to the rest point and shook out. I then did part of the scary move, and made the next clip before climbing back down to the rest point. After another shake out, I started the crux sequence and nailed it. Granted, I was totally pumped and quite scared, but I did it. After lowering off, I was well pleased with myself and quite wanted to do some more routes, but it was clear that my friend wanted to boulder and as he had kindly held my rope for a while, I felt like I ought to let him.

Some stats:

  • Lead 2 6as
  • Lead 1 6a/b
  • Lead 1 6a+
  • Lead 1 6b
  • Lead 1 6b+
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