One thing I love about sport and trad climbing over bouldering is that partnership you get. You can’t jump on, fall off, swap, jump on, fall, swap, jump – you get the picture – so easily and so you are that much more invested in your rope partner’s success. When they’re climbing, they trust you to catch them, to keep them safe, and you’re trusting them not to do something too risky, or dangerous.
Saturday 29th March 2019, Horseshoe Quarry
The weather for this whole week has just been magic. As I type, we’re heading closer toward golden hour and it’s just beautifully still outside, the skies are so clear, and I’ve been wearing sandals these past few days.
(I’m really, genuinely worried, actually. Is this all a symptom of global warming? Probably.)
So we headed off to Horseshoe Quarry – not the most beautiful of locations, but we knew it as we’d spent a weekend there last year, it had a short approach, and we felt pretty comfortable there.
We spent a little *too* long working out how to tie an anchor – Baz had never done it before and I was so used to trad anchors I needed to brush the cobwebs off and relearn a totally different thing. You know when you just don’t do something for ages, and you forget? Yeah that was me. And also, I’ve only done like 3 outdoor sport leads in my life, so I’m really just as new as Baz at this stuff.
After finally working out how to create an anchor (which Baz would then get a little wrong up top, but he was still totally safe so at least there’s that) and then we set off to:
totally flail on the first 5+ climb.
Very, very spaced bolts and steep climbing after the second bolt, with a ledge fall, was perhaps not the best first climb for us to try. Baz went up, tried a few times, came down. I went up, same thing. But this ain’t no inside wall, we had quickdraws up there so I bullied Baz into going up a third time, which he totally breezed, and got to the top, allowing me to flawlessly second the route with zero issues.
Isn’t it weird how fear can change your climbing completely? Especially as a new climber? This lovely little route was most definitely a 5+ with one slightly tricky move and then an easy, lovely, scrambley finish. But it had just a couple of moves above the second bolt that made us question ourselves. We both backed off something we could definitely do, and definitely did do, in the end.
Headgame is wierd. And something to work on.
Anyway, we retrieved the draws, revived our confidence, and set out on the next. This time, another 5-something in a loose-rocky corner. Bridgey climbing. My favourite. Baz breezed up, came down. I went up, feeling pretty solid, and excited to be finally doing some longer leads outside, and not really feeling that all-consuming fear. My biggest fear the whole time yesterday was about encountering spiders.
By this point we had been there more than 3 hours! 3 hours and we’d only done two routes! Pretty terrible to be honest, but it was just so nice to. be out in the sun, Baz managed to squeeze in a last 6a lead before we hopped in the car and headed back to Leeds.