Your First Trad Lead Starts With These Steps...

Stop crying. That comes later.

You’ve prepared for this. You’re ready. You’ve spent an hour placing cams and nuts on the ground, yanking on them, questioning if they’re good, and settling on, “I guess—probably?” You’ve read John Long’s Climbing Anchors, and in a no-stress environment can easily recall some of it. You’ve been “mentored” by that guy who carries everything he needs to build a 3-1 pulley on his harness while bouldering at the gym. You’ve prepared enough that it’s turned into procrastination. Suck it up and start leading. Here’s how:

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Unsent: An Honest Guide to Your First Trad Lead

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