From one of my favorite and honest climbing blogs. Our author talks about being invited along for a big wall climbing expedition despite having no big wall experience.
When we started, I was told many things: As a leader, take as much time as you need—but as soon as you get to the anchor, you need to move quickly. Have fun and trust in your support system—your team. It’s about partnerships and communication. Every skill that you acquire helps you move ahead, even if it’s only a little bit.
Everyone is afraid of big wall, I was told, and that it was okay to feel afraid. Like everything in life, it’s about doing something enough to make it less unknown. I knew how lucky I was to have someone offer to teach me, because so many have to go out and learn on their own. Ryan Kempf joked when I left and said: “You better be a badass wall climber when you get back.”
She is quite honest about her feelings of being somewhat inadequate as a contributor on this expedition and I honestly don't blame her. Your first time climbing a big wall probably shouldn't be on someone else's long and thought out expedition plans, hoping to be able to pull your weight.
Regardless of the quite normal lessons brought with inexperience, I respect the hell out of her for jumping at an opportunity that most people will never have and toughing it out. Her last note to herself actually surprised me.
Today, I picked up the notes I had been scribbling to myself. This one says: Sunday the 23rd. I am not a big wall climber. But maybe, someday, I will be.
That right there is the small glimmer of hope proves that she may get some big walls under her belt one day. I always say that climbing big walls is "building a house" type of fun...not really fun except for the planning phase and when you're done.
"But maybe, someday, I will be."....is the right attitude.