Wednesday, 30 November 2011

"I love lead climbing. It feels more like...climbing"

Nick has a tendency to speak his mind. Sometimes he will come out with a gem or two, the latest of which (and my favourite so far) was "live for the moment, plan for the future". Others, well...they need some clarification. I believe what Nick was trying to say is that while climbing on a bottom rope is fun and allows for pushing yourself  (a missed hold will rarely lead to any real problems) lead climbing lends a much more exposed feel. The kind that you might have experienced while climbing trees or what you might aspire to when reading magazines.

Today was spent at Oxford  Brookes' climbing wall 'Rock solid'. The intention was to get some personal climbing in and improve the team's skills, open up their awareness to the opportunities of different approaches to climbing (including bouldering) and introduce them to the concepts involved in and possibly experience some lead climbing.

For those of you new to this - it is what it sounds like. You are leading a climb. There is no protective rope in place but instead you are in fact doing the hard work of getting up the route and, because you are so generous and giving in your nature, you are dragging up a rope behind you so that someone can follow you in safety. Some find that once they start there's no turning back. For others (like myself) it's an opportunity to really appreciate the simpler things in life - like having two feet firmly on the ground.

Once again - it has to be seen to be believed so here is a Nick's eye view of his first ever lead climb. While watching listen out for a few more of Nick's little sayings and, for the climbers amongst you, can you spot* what you might think got my heart racing as the belayer?


*What's that happening at about 4 minutes?

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