This Sunday Dan took some time out of his busy schedule and we went climbing. This was technically his second time climbing ever -- the first time was bouldering at Lizard's Mouth a couple months ago.
He'd picked up shoes before our last outing, and last week I'd outfitted him with a helmet and harness package. Hilariously, he was most excited about the chalk bag!
I threw the climbing gear into the back of the Porsche and we drove up Gibraltar road to West Camino Cielo and Crag Full of Dynamite. CFoD is where, just over a year ago, I'd done my very first lead, and it's an uncomplicated spot, with zero approach and routes whose top anchors you can see. However, I did not remember quite how crappy the rock was. In any case, I instructed Dan on the basics of lead and TR belaying, commands and all that good stuff, and then led "he who double-crosses me and leaves me alone, he knows nothing about Tuco, nothing", a 5.7. It was harder than I remembered, mostly because of rock quality. It seems the more experienced I get, the more perturbed I am by chossy rock. In any case, Dan jumped on it and did really really well. He had all the normal issues with not knowing how much to trust friction and how exactly to use the shoes, but he's got mad balance, and a clear head and he made it to the top. His Achilles tendons were bothering him at the end, but he totally escaped the standard beginner issue of over-gripping and pumping out. I then led up the Ecstasy of Gold, the 5.8 that's two routes to the left of Tuco, and Dan followed about half of it, with a harder start than I'd done. Pretty damnn good for a beginner.
We had a really good time. We were in the shade, and there was nobody there but us, and we took it really slow and easy. I only wish we'd taken pictures...
Moonlight Buttress, learning to love the journey
2 years ago