Do you remember your first lead?


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Sport climber
Golf Wall, CO
Nov 6, 2018 - 08:06am PT
^^^^^^ HAHA!!!

Sport climber
Golf Wall, CO
Nov 6, 2018 - 08:10am PT
My first lead was in the Pinnacles. I had been toproping a couple of times with friends, then went to the Pinnacles with a different friend. He had been climbing for several months. So he was the experienced one who actually knew what to do.

We walked in to the Smiling Simian boulder. He showed me a 3 bolt route up one face and told me it was 5.7. Then he told me to lead it. It seemed strange and I told him that I thought I knew what to do. So I jumped on and survived the thing.

Then we went over to Alias Bandits Bench and he sent me up a gear route. (Back then it wasn't bolted.)

Since I lived, it seemed like the right way to learn.

Trad climber
Nov 6, 2018 - 08:11am PT
Yes, I do.
Jim Clipper

Nov 6, 2018 - 08:20am PT
Middle 10, bolts above a creek. Fell at the econd or third bolt, most likely second, (wishful remembering). Clipped a draw, got pumped, but didn't want to grab it, you know, because, style. Fell while almost clipping the rope. Landed on one foot, half crouching, on a small rock in the creek. Didn't get my shoes wet.

Couple guys, we knew, much stronger, looked over and said "Rad!"

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2018 - 03:58pm PT
*Plot twist* Mongrels ascent of Angels Fright was just last year.
Antonio Genissimo

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2018 - 02:33pm PT
My first lead was ‘After seven’ at the manure pile. I was doing my first ever roped climb with a guy who agreed to take me climbing. He was about thirty feet up and took a fall. I caught him and he asked me to lower him down. While we were looking up at the cliff trying to figure out how to get his gear back, I said “mind if I try”? He begrudgingly agreed and I finished the first pitch. The start of a fascination with climbing that still exists 43 years later
David Trujillo

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2018 - 03:31pm PT
My first lead was South Crack on Stately Pleasure Dome in Tuolumne, 1984 or 85. Also first climb with my partner Wayne Anderson. I had just bought a set of Campbell Saddle Wedge stoppers. You had to purchase cord and sling the nuts yourself. We also had a full set of Hexes.
So Wayne lead the first easy bit before the 5.8 step-over and used way too much rope and many pieces creating a bomber belay. This left me 20' or so short of the nice ledge at the end of the next pitch. We did not know about simul climbing back then so I set up a belay; 1 decent piece that only stayed in place if I leaned back on it and a couple of better than nothings and, "off belay Wayne!" His first lead, not counting the easy bit at the bottom, was the next pitch. I just handed him the rack with a grin!
Scares me more now than it did back then.
Fun times...

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 15, 2018 - 04:47pm PT
Some 5.6 at the Pinnacles. Piece of cake. I bouldered and did top-ropes at Castle Rock for several years before I did any lead climbing. After that one trip to the Pinnacles it seemed too fun and easy so I headed up to Lover's Leap to expand my horizons. I lead successively harder pitches until I had a leader fall. I made it all the way to some 5.10 thing called the Vanishing Point and took a nice thirty-footer. Then I went to Yosemite and got schooled big time on some 5.8. Right side of the Cookie. No fall but it was the hardest thing I had done to that point.

Trad climber
Little Rock and Loving It
Nov 15, 2018 - 04:54pm PT
Okay, I'll play. First lead was the first time I tied in. Goldline, EB's a few hexes and stoppers. Some .6 in the Wichita's in Oklahoma.

I was in the groove, having devoured Basic Rockcraft and Freedom of the Hills.

My partner was as green as I was. Got about 60' up and he said "shouldn't you place some protection?".

Oh, yeah; good idea. Placed a piece and finished the pitch. It was a straight in fist crack with a couple a friction moves to the belay. To his credit, he led the second pitch, which went up a layback to a relatively easy traverse under a roof.

Good times.

Trad climber
space-man from outer space
Nov 15, 2018 - 05:41pm PT
The Ronin samurai named Sakamoto Forced me to lead outer limits (5.10) for my first trad lead, then he dragged me over to separate reality(5.12) and convinced me to climb that too. Then we climbed generator crack and copper penny (both 5.10) and ate lunch with chop-stickes that he carved out of the manzinita tree. It was probably the best day of climbing I've ever had in 18 years.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 15, 2018 - 05:48pm PT
^^^^ Holy Bejeebus! Grounds for retiring and dining out on yer first day’s recounting!

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2018 - 06:16pm PT
Scares me more now than it did back then.
Fun times...

Yep pretty much my show.

Funny stories. Good thread.


Ice climber
Nov 15, 2018 - 06:34pm PT
E Face of the Third Flatiron. Easy climb, the rap off the west side was the crux.
jeff constine

Trad climber
Ao Namao
Nov 15, 2018 - 07:22pm PT
Daves Deviation to Gallwas gallop 5.9+ 1982 Tahquitz Rock.

Trad climber
Nov 15, 2018 - 07:38pm PT
rat dung ramp, Smith Rocks. 5.6. But in the day of hexes not well protected. 1975 maybe?

Social climber
Location: It's a MisterE
Nov 15, 2018 - 09:00pm PT
^^HELLO! That is hit-list worthy!

If I have ever heard of a more tantalizing tick, I can't remember what it could be...
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Nov 15, 2018 - 09:08pm PT
Disregarding, not counting climbing at Hammond Pond near Lexington Ma. in the late 60s.
Something on the Mohonk Mountain House grounds, on the House side of the Lake before climbs on the SkyTop main craig.
"Betty" (or the ugly chimney in the corner?) "Grey Face", "Lake View", "Rear Exposure"
All were done under the watchful eyes of Fritz W & Hans K.
As well as Mrs R, Krist(who would have been following, critiquing & removing pins) & her husband Wally.
I was Tor Raubenheimer's 1st rope partner.

Trad climber
Nov 17, 2018 - 05:29am PT
It was the same as the 3rd person to post - Horseman at the Gunks, pins, hammer, Goldline, mountain boots. It was Labor Day weekend 1966 or ‘67 and I distinctly remember there were only 4 cars at the Uberfall. Hard to imagine that now days!

Trad climber
Mancos, CO & Bend, OR
Nov 18, 2018 - 06:21am PT
This topic got covered before and its content is just as good as this thread.

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Nov 18, 2018 - 08:33am PT
After a few years of scrambling around in the Sierra and exploring quite a number caves, I'd learned some elementary rope work. My mentor, who had done a little bit of climbing in the early 70's, took me to Yosemite. He made sure I knew how to place a few chocks and then pointed me at Church Bowl Chimney. My first rock climb and my first lead. To me it felt just like caving, only without the headlamp and coveralls.
Messages 81 - 100 of total 108 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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