I first started seriously lead climbing last Spring (March 2017). I thought it would be no big deal, just another type of climbing. However, the fear of falling was (is) petrifying! The natural state is to be afraid of taking a fall. Evolution wise that makes sense. It takes a constant effort to overcome this natural fear.
It starts out like any normal climb. Clip into the first bolt no problem. Like any good climbing beta “Just go up!” The fear just gets worse and worse. The “elvis leg” kicks in. My legs keep shaking like crazy with Elvis leg syndrome. I’m not even thinking about how I have protection on the wall or an excellent belay partner. Just like Ralphy from A Christmas Story I think to myself, “Oh fudge.”
I manage to get a quick draw on the wall. My thoughts turn from “Oh fudge” to “I am way above my last quick draw”. Immediately I grab the webbing on the quick draw and dog bone* to safety. Once clipped in I yell, “TAKE”, and only once the rope is tight do I let go of the draw.
This time I made it slightly above the protection and decided to fall instead of falling later with a larger fall.
Finally, clip into the chains. Sounds fun, right? Really depends if you are the climber or the belayer. 😉
Over the next few weeks we will tackle some common problems, and ways to slowly, but surely overcome them.
Problem 1: Mental Script
Nonexistent, just panicking.
Problem 2: Dog boning
Feels safe, but often lead to a reverse clip
Problem 3: Endurance
Only one bolt in length
Problem 4: Safe Zone engrained
Only feel safe at a clip
Ways to put this in action
Games, games, and more games!