Some of you might recall Pablo, a bka amputee since 2009, from the Mountain Hardwear video that featured him and Matt Wilder climbing together in Boulder Canyon. Read below to find out about his first-ever trad lead!
My friend Kevin and I were looking at getting on some stuff on the Rincon Wall but ended up going to the Cadillac Crag to do Ghetto Cruiser. When we got to the crag, my buddy was racking up to lead while I was getting my stuff organized. I said I wanted to lead it and he handed everything over and was super excited to see me get it done. I’m glad that I didn’t have “the fear” on that particular day. I took off, 12 runners, a couple of quickdraws, cams from fingers to offwidth (yes I used the big one) and started plugging in gear about every 8 ft or so. About halfway up my friend reminded me to be aware of the amount of gear I was placing because I had a limited supply of runners. So I had run things out a little more (scary!). The crux was a bulge where the crack petered out and you had to make a few moves to a crappy stance where you either had to continue through to the notch or stuff gear and then pull through. I was not feeling confident about being that high above pro and I waffled around deciding if I should lower and let Kevin finish the route. He suggested I put a second piece and go for it, so I threw in another piece, and immediately thought, “Great. Now I can totally get lowered!”. Fortunately, I pulled my head out of my ass and did punched through, got to the crappy stance (it looked good from below) stuffed in another piece and reached up to a crack separating the overhang from the face and got to shake out and calm down.
From there you had to kind of traverse the crack under the overhang, which was pretty exposed, and then make a move to get into a notch where I hung out for a little bit (then I plugged a giant #5 cam). From there you finish the route by climbing Easy Street (5.3) and just run it out to the anchors on top. Scary, fun, so excited to get on another lead and lead all of next summer!!