John’s first day at the Gunks

Atop the Madame G's buttress waiting to rappel

John’s taken the belay class at the gym and climbed there twice so it was time to let him have a taste of real rock.  The way he took to the crack at the gym–executing a backstep foot jam move I’ve never actually seen before–suggested he’d be a natural, and his total lack of regard for his own body points to a future career as an off-width climber.  

He climbed Northern Pillar in style and got most of the way up Shockley’s Ceiling.  Thankfully Brien and Dave were at the belay with him when it turned out he couldn’t finish the roof.  They graciously did a partner swap and John got to finish the day on Shockley’s Without.  Since I’ve never done Shockley’s Without, he’s now one up on me.   

Add to that a couple of hairy rappels (imagine doing Madame G’s as your first ever rappel) and he had full value for the day.  On the way home he was ruminating about how he could have made it over the roof if he’d only done this or that different and I thought: a climber is born.  He’s already got a climber’s conscience too–worrying that people will see the photos and assume he made it over the roof.  I have a feeling it won’t be long before he’s making me look bad but, more importantly, he’s already making me feel good.  It’s fun to have fresh eyes and fresh enthusiasm for a long time favorite place.  

On Northern Pillar

One heck of a first rappel

Approaching the first Shockley's belay

At the first Shockley's belay.

Launching into the roof. Note the nice foot jam.

All squashed up and nowhere to go.

Dangling in space - a big surprise on your first day out.

September 4, 2010   Posted in: Gunks

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