Climbing at Lava Point his afternoon. I led Lava Sundae, a 5.10a route, and the toughest climb I’ve completed on lead so far on my fledgling climbing tick sheet. The crux for me was a short hand-width crack near the top that involved walking my hands as high as I could in the crack, pulling high enough to step high with my right foot with just enough smear friction to lightly pressure my left shoulder back against the adjacent rock, shimmying a couple times, lunging for a hand hold on the ledge above, and then pulling myself onto the ledge. Neat finish to the route too with some fantastic airy jug holds just below the anchor.
Photos – Left: looking south along Dream Wall from the Lava Sundae belay station. Right: me setting up an anchor on top of Lava Sundae.
Left: zoomed, me getting ready to rap off of Lava Sundae after leading it. Right: unzoomed, rappelling.
Left: Lava Sundae. Right: View west toward Rimrock Lake. Note all the smoke; lots of large fires still burning in the area after a lightning storm a couple weeks ago.
Do you have any idea how much you scare me, Josh? Or how much I admire your spirit– your desire and ability to do things like this?
It’s actually not too dangerous if you’re careful and smart with protecting yourself. “Not too dangerous” meaning I’m not going to die, but I do bleed pretty much every time I go climbing.
It can be scary though, usually right before trying a move where I know I’m either going to catch a hold or fall completely. This time out I had a ten foot fall up high before the rope caught, but falling wasn’t really that bad, just the couple seconds of thinking about falling before it happened. Probably makes the euphoria better though too when you do eventually succeed.