Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sulley's Hangout--Lead Class

Finally a stretch of nice weather, and it's time to remove one of the last obstacles to independant climbing.  We need to lead.  Heather and I take Mert back up to Sulley's Hangout, for a chance to learn some lead skills.  I'm pretty sure that I know what I'm doing, but knowing is different than doing, so here goes nothing.

It's a busy evening on this popular little crag.  People love to head up there after work while the days are long, and today is no different.  The only route we find unoccupied is a 5.9 called 'Your Other Left' 

It looks pretty easy, but I'm going to be climbing it on lead.  I'm ready for it, and we take one last conference on safety responsibilities before we start climbing.  I start climbing on a beautiful evening in North Van, and make my way handily to the top.  Set up the station, belay off, and it's Heather's turn.

Lead belaying is a bit more stressful than climbing, IMHO.  You have a significant responsibility to another person to keep them safe.  They're depending solely on your ability to manage the rope while they're exposed.  It's old hat for Heather.  She shoots up that rock like a kitty cat shot out of a cannon.  Beautiful to watch.

Sadly, this is the only climb that we got to do that evening, there were just too many people up there, so we headed back down the hill.  What a beautiful end to a day.

Lead certified and ready to go, what adventures are next?

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