Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Multi-Pitch Climb ... kind of
(No Pic Post)

Early Monday morning, I went climbing up Little Cottonwood Canyon with three of my friends. We scrambled over rocks to get at the base of a climb, I got sweaty as always, we saw what was either a rogue lizard or a baby rattlesnake, we were filled in that this would be a multi-pitch climb (I was terrified, it showed, I've sworn in the past I would never do a multi-pitch climb), and we had a super scary climb down to our eventual starting point.

I tried to keep our little group of three laughing while out of the corner of my eye I saw our friend who was leading trad struggle with the climb. Gulp. This did not bode well since he's an excellent climber and I still put myself in the beginner's category. I went second, pre-apologized for being slow because I always am, and had sweaty hands before I even started.

Right at the beginning, the climb was rough, and I wasn't used to the weight of the second rope tied to the back of my harness. I did love being belayed from the top; I felt super secure the entire time. I've cried on past climbs in scary spots, but even though this was extremely scary and hard, no tears: a small success.

I've never climbed this type of route, and I don't know quite how to describe it. Basically you followed a crack the entire time, so I was turned to one side for the majority of the climb rather than full on facing the rock. There was one spot where I literally had no footing, my feet slid every time. So I jammed my hands around a slabby rock, bear hugged it, kept telling myself out loud that I was doing a fantastic job, and somehow shimmied up like a guy climbing a banana tree but with extremely limited footing ... I'm sure I looked ridiculous. However, I made it! I was so proud of myself. The view was fantastic! Unfortunately, we couldn't do the second pitch because our friend had to get back to his wife. We self-rappelled, another first (I guess not counting when I rappelled into the auditorium at school during an assembly), and again, I was scared. However, it was super easy and pretty fun actually.

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