What was your first lead? Please describe.

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 193 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Oct 31, 2011 - 09:37pm PT
Best I can 'member... First pitch of After 6. Back when it had a full tree and wasn't slippery as snot in the rain.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Oct 31, 2011 - 09:37pm PT
Galwas Crack @ Mission Gorge (San Diego). Dirty 5.9 crack with hexes! I hadn't even bought nuts yet (but I did own one cam, a #4 Camalot, that may have been used).

Jesus Nutnob your first lead was Galwas Crack!? That's pretty proud n' burly!
war

climber
Oct 31, 2011 - 09:48pm PT
someone should start the Second lead thread,
got into a stonethrowing rock fight with some old flea bags on magic mystery tour while retreating off the swallow at tahquitz

KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Oct 31, 2011 - 10:23pm PT

The first leads I recall: 1st pitch of Portent in the Pinnacles; the 2nd pitch of Munginella together with the 1st and 3rd of of Selanginella, when my partner and I ran them together to approximate a Grade III. Swinging leads on Fairview Regular, I drew the 2nd pitch, a rattly 5.8 hands, or fist (don't remember which). Cams hadn't been invented yet, so the only piece of my parsed rack was this large hex, which fell out of the crack every time I moved up; I'd snag the thing and try and get it to stick above me. In this manner, I somehow managed to get to the small pine at the stance, spent in mind and body.

1st 5.10 lead was the well named Head Rush on Lembart. Once on top we had to throw down a TR to some Brits, whose leader had become gripped out on the top bolt of Werner's.

I'd say it took me about 10 years of apprenticeship to come into his own as the Leader. I trolled thru Camp 4 one Sunday, looking for a day partner, whom I eventually met as a nice young woman from North Carolina, and basically walked her up Grack Marginal on the east side of the Apron, realizing, apparently, that I seemed to climb with a lot more focus on Lead than on a TR. Things had suddenly clicked!

From that day of the epiphany forward, I literally became a Lead Hog, and was to end up leading every pitch of every climb I made.

My guess is that if you can put it together on lead, move effectively, and get your gear, but still feel a bit anxious, you're not quite there yet. If you can't wait to getu up there and place your first piece, and feel completely at home in your environment, you've arrived. It's just one of those things. No one has to tell you you're a Leader - you just know it.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Oct 31, 2011 - 11:02pm PT
Portent for bolts, and I can't remember my first gear lead. Knapsack Crack, Pop Bottle, Grack, and Munginella were early ones, though.
F'ueco

Boulder climber
San Jose, CA
Oct 31, 2011 - 11:09pm PT
My first "lead" was a two-bolt thing on Shady Rock (Castle Rock State Park) called Slot Nos back in 1996. It was 5.9 at the time and is now considered 5.8.

My first real lead was Coyote Ugly at Pinnacles (5.9, 150' with 4 bolts and a cam placement). Now that was spicy for a first full-pitch lead in 1997.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Oct 31, 2011 - 11:18pm PT
I didn't know Holy Terror was 5.7.
That was my first solo at The Needles.

I honesty don't remember my first lead...
But it might have been a rope solo at red rocks using ascenders to self belay.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Oct 31, 2011 - 11:20pm PT
"Jesus Nutnob your first lead was Galwas Crack!? That's pretty proud n' burly!"

We don't call him Nutjob fo nuthing!
Lol
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Oct 31, 2011 - 11:23pm PT
do you still get a dozen donuts for your first lead like the ol days?

or is everybody strung out on luke warm PBR from somebody's crusty artesian sleeping bag?

what was the last thin you threw up from j box?

what did it look like coming out?

greenish brown, or mild yellow?

ever drop a deuce in somebody's bird bath?





Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
Nov 1, 2011 - 07:40am PT
Cathedral Peak. I had followed it the year before and knew the placements were good. Many sweaty palm moves later, I sat on the summit pedestal not sure whether to laugh or cry. No idea if any of the placements were good since we never tested them but it sure was an eye opener.

seth kovar

climber
Reno, NV
Nov 1, 2011 - 07:58am PT
The Perfect Lie Back is @ Woodfords
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:05am PT
My first complete lead (I had a couple of 1/2 leads where I wussed out on the way up) was "The Owl" at Mission Gorge - 1975.
Gary

climber
From the City That Dreams
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:06am PT
Criminey, seth, that was your first lead?
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:08am PT
Honestly, it was my first real lead.

Late 70's. We poured out of the school vans onto the dirt parking lot. I was given a few ropes, a rack of stoppers and hexes, and 3 or 4 "students" from our class. I was told to go take these folks up East Wall at the Leap. Marty Garrison was in charge of the class and Lars Holbeck was the other "teacher." What a hoot.

Hey, I'd read both of Royal's books. I was solid (although I did get lost on the traverse).
ExtraBlue

Ice climber
the ford VT
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:12am PT
First lead was that little mixed thing with three bolts in the amphitheater of hyalite.
I hooked all the bolts, and hung from my leashe, but made it out to the ice. When I went to place my first screw I dropped the only screw I was carrying and had to run it out to the anchor, (dead log).
It took forever, my belayer froze and I did it in super poor style but I finished it and I was a lead climber! then slowly I went down to leading ice that season, trad that spring and finally sport later the following summer.
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:16am PT
I think it was Great Northern on Lower Index Town Wall in WA in 1971. Pretty cool stuff. Really decided that climbing was IT when led the Canary Route on Castle Rock in Leavenworth the next year. Pretty stout sh#t for me in those days but I felt so good after wards I knew I was hooked.
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:26am PT
Hey, I'd read both of Royal's books. I was solid

Right??
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 1, 2011 - 08:26am PT
HA HA HA!!! Great stories here.

My first lead(s) all blend together. Myself (n00b 1) and n00bs 2,3 & 4 had a big ass expedition to Red Wall, Moscow Crack, 5.6 @ Smith Rocks in 76?

We hauled monstrous packs full of heavy old skool camping gear into the canyon and bivied under a monster Ponderosa that is still there.

We got up in the pre-dawn and struggled to the base. n00b 2, who was the "experienced" member and had a real pair of Shoenards, got about 8 feet up the first pitch and backed off.

n00bs 3 & 4 were not the least bit interested in taking over the sharp end duties. That was a LOT of pre-climb effort to be spanked away 8 feet off the ground!!

I ended up leading all 3 pitches with my funky old mountaineering boots, Swiss seat with too big leg loops sliding down and a couple not big enough hexes rattling out of the wide parts. Oh the sweet horror.....

It took us most of the day to get 4 n00bs up the thing, but I was pretty pleased with myself, and so were my semi-bold partners. I'm still impressed we survived it.

We had ARRIVED!!
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Nov 1, 2011 - 09:06am PT
Some crumbly thing in Wyoming.



I think a little poo came out.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 1, 2011 - 09:10am PT
Not sure but it might have been a big choss pile behind Desert Hot Springs.
I took my obsequious and gullible younger brothers up with Grandma's clothes
line. I would climb to a big ledge and stand there giving them a hip belay.
I'd bring one up, untie him, and toss the rope back down to the next believer.
I was 13 and they were 9. The blind leading the blinder.
I don't recall that we went to Mass the next day but we clearly should have.
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