The Rock On Staff First Trad Lead Page
Wall Climb, V Diff, Three Cliffs Bay, Gower. "I remember getting to the top really pleased with myself for getting so much gear in. So to check if any of it was good, me and my second gave the ropes a shake. Every single piece fell out." (Luckily Duncan's gear placing skills have improved somewhat.)
Raven Gully Variation, VS, Haytor, Devon.
The Knight's Move, HVS 5a, Burbage North. "A quick lesson at the foot of the route on how to place a nut, a gibbering wreck of a climber at the top some minutes later, successfully converted from dyed in the wool boulderer to trad leader" (pictured right)
Stonnis Crack, HS 4b, Black Rocks, Cromford. (pictured below)
Central Slab Route, V Diff, Little Tryfan.
Prow Cracks, V Diff, The Roaches. "Um, something like 'twin prow cracks' at The Roaches. Diff I think. I don't have a guide to look it up" (Nice to see it sticks in the memory Anna!)
Maud's Garden, V Diff, The Roaches.
Gamma, Hard Diff, Froggatt Edge. "It was late Dec 1988. I'd just spent my Christmas money at Don Morrison's in Sheffield and bought a pair of EBs and my first harness. A basic Wild Country belt with Faces leg loops, both bright pink! It was vastly more comfy than the knotted sling I had been using. My fashion sense hasn't improved but my gear has!"
Jeffcoat's Chimney, V Diff, The Roaches.
Christmas Curry/Micah Eliminate, HS 4b, Tremadog. "I was nearing the top of the route screaming for slack and heaving a ridiculous amount of rope drag. When I looked down I realised my first go at climbing with double ropes hadn't gone too smoothly - picture a strand of DNA..."
Pooh Corner, VS 4c, Pooh Cliff, Reiff. "An apt route name for my first lead as I was nicknamed Pooh as a child." (presumably after the A. A. Milne character. At least we hope that's why...)
Tennis Shoe, HS 4a, Idwal Slabs.
The Crack, V Diff, Porth-y-Ffynnon, Pembroke. "A mate of mine soloed up next to me on a route a few grades more difficult to the V Diff I was on, in order to give me advice. This was not well received, especially when he started suggesting which piece of gear and where/how to place it. He decided the safest option was to climb away." (pictured right)
Black And Tans, S 4a,3c, The Roaches.
The Shriek Of Baghdad, HVS 5a, Farleton Crag, Cumbria. "Summer 1988, Farleton Crag, Lancashire limestone. Ahh the memories... Basically I was 11 years old and totally gripped, nearly s*** myself." (Even with the near miss, you're clearly the king of this page James.)