First lead of the day

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Joe White

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by Joe White » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:50 pm

Thanks DMT....that was really good to read.

Thanks for sharing :)

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by dan2see » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:46 pm

I've done only a few leads anywhere. So as a beginner, every lead experience is an uncomfortable mix of internal fears and external skills.

So I've refused some leads, even though I knew the only thing in my way was my own mind.
And I've jumped onto some leads, even though I knew my confidence was merely bravado.

Funny thing is, while I am climbing above my pro, I feel pretty good. Maybe it's because of the focus, but actually it's responsibility, and control of the situation.

As a beginner, I am still fighting my own mind. That's harder to do than anything else.
So I take a longer view: next summer I'll lead "most" of the routes I can climb. And I'll love it!

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by albanberg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:30 am

Thanks Dingus, this is really an interesting post. I really like hearing about the psychology of climbing.

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by Moni » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:34 am

I can SO relate to that. Since I rarely lead, I am an anxiety ridden mess most of the time. I do find when I do go first, I am much better. Problem is, I suck at climbing hard stuff, much less lead.

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by woodsxc » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:16 pm

Hooray for blogging about laps at the crag in the general forum.

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by Hotoven » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:35 pm

Good to hear what I always thought down in text by another climber. I'm fairly new to rock climbing, but having lead a bunch of routes, (all different levels) it is mainly a head game that you have to win to be productive. Sometimes its easier to lead stuff at your limit then it is a new route at a lower rating.

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by skier25 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Thank you for this encouragement!

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by gregorpatsch » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:39 pm

Great post DMT. I have noticed this as well…just this past weekend actually. I'm not sure if I am less scared on lead, but rather so scared that the Fear takes me to another place mentally. Fear is a useful survival mechanism, after all, and should be respected in that sense (climbers understand this better than most). For me, the Fear sets in right when I wake up on a climbing day. It urges me to bail on the climbing trip, or stay on the ground at the base of the climb, or down climb after the first few moves; all the while trying to keep me safe from the threat of falling to my death. But then I make a few more moves and I’m up there, past the point of seemingly safe return with a shitty placement below me, frozen for a minute (or 15) and the Fear gets so intense, so loud that I no longer recognize it. And then it’s gone. It’s as if the Fear went super-sonic. It’s as if it lost its usefulness and said “Alright, I tried…you’re on your own now”. And then you are left with only one quiet and real option…to climb.

It is these lessons with Fear that I find most rewarding about lead climbing.

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by Lolli » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:36 pm

I love the way you observe things while they go on, and have the words and mind to see what it is, and then put it into writing, in such a way that one sees it.
You're a great writer, Dingus.

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