Sunday we hit up Pinnacle Rock for some climbing. What made this particular trip special was that it was my first time leading anything that was even remotely legitimate.
We got to the crag at about 9am and set up a few top rope climbs. The idea would be to run a few mock-leads and then, depending on our confidence, follow it up with a few real leads.
Leading is significantly different from top rope climbing. For top rope you hike to the top and drop a rope down. Then, you go back down… and climb the rocks using the anchors that you built at the top. For leading, the rope is below you and as you climb you place anchors into the rock using the natural cracks and then clip your rope through the anchors as you climb.
There were six of us who went climbing.
In the picture below (from left to right) we have me, KiteBen, John, and Joel. On the wall we had Irene and Pete (who took all the photos.)
We set up on Third Crack. Third Crack is a comfortable 5.7+ climb with plenty of gear placement and a slight slab pitch. Whoever named it was extremely creative as it sits next to First Crack and Second Crack.
We started it off with some weird mock leading. I tied into both a top rope, and a static line which I dragged up behind me. Irene belayed me from the top rope, Pete from the static. That way, I could “lead” with the static line, but still have the security of the top rope above me. We must have looked ridiculous to any climbers who passed by.
While we worked on the mock leads, KiteBen, Joel, and John were firing away at Second Crack. Here’s a picture of KiteBen on Second Crack.
Irene and I, getting ready for some Faux Trad.
Finally, it was time for some legit leading. I went first. Notice the lack of rope above me.
That huge cam fit PERFECTLY at the top of this climb. It was textbook my friends. Textbook.
Leading went really smoothly. No catch ups, no concerns, no serious mental doubts or fears. After that climb, Joel followed and cleaned the gear, and then Irene gave it a shot.
Irene was also successful, though she scared us all when she ran out 15 feet or so without gear. Next time we’ll probably yell at her more.
We ended the day with a few final climbs… unfortunately I forget their names. There was a 5.10 face climb and a 5.6 corner climb just to the left of first crack.
Here’s Joel on the corner route.
Special thanks to Pete for all the photos. Check them all out at his site: Here.