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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
What's the scariest lead that you've ever done? 18-Apr-2009 At 10:25:25 PM IdratherbeclimbingM9
>What's the scariest lead that you've ever done?

Hmm. Interesting question when I ponder on it for a while.
I don’t really know; possibly because my ‘scary yardstick’ has changed over time, and still continues to evolve.
I have had plenty of scary moments on lead over many years now, but possibly not an entire scary lead?

orwell wrote;
>and simply had to run it out

I agree that this is often a significant component within a scary lead.

Perhaps my most memorable (inasmuch as it springs readily to mind), scary lead (earlyish in my leading experience), was the first time I deliberately ran it out above gear through a blank section above pretty average pro, to get to the safety of a belay. The climb was probably the second or third lead ascent of Crack of Dawn (20m G15) at Barrenjoey but was the first time it had had the direct finish to the higher top-out applied to it, instead of trending slightly left-ish to the early top-out ledge.
I continued on (successfully), to what I considered to be the higher ‘true finish’ and thought I could achieve it, but I had cause for serious doubt along the way. I remember considering the options and believing I would hit the ground from a height I did not want to do so from, if my last piece of gear pulled, which I seriously thought was a better than even probability…, due to it being a large hex in a flared horizontal break, back in the days before slcd’s had been invented.

This experience taught me a number of things, amongst which are the following;
~ My belief in my own ability to succeed was justified.
~ My recognition of how much ‘reserve’ fuel I had in the energy-tank was valid, and still works as a pretty good gauge of same to this day.
~ A scary lead while on rope above gear is quite a different experience to a scary lead free soloing; which by the way, is an experience I had previously had to the one described above.
~ It was not a particularly hard climb nor a particularly exposed (ie long and high), climb compared to multipitch things I had previously already done(!), so it affirmed for me that hard grades / significant lines, need not be a goal for achieving a sense of satisfaction.

dr box wrote;
>hindsight makes it one of the best days of climbing

I also identify really strongly with this statement!
The ‘hook’ within that first(ish) scary lead is probably what keeps me coming back for more, … hopefully however within a manageable way!

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