black diamond Experience Blog

The Diary of a First Ascent

"...My stance is precarious, and I cannot retreat. With no other option, I begin the hateful task of last-resort hand-drilling a bolt of desperation, 45 feet above my last pro, with 30 pounds of rope drag, from a one-foot stance. I know I can’t last the entire length of a proper hole, so after less than a half inch, I desperately finagle a bolt wedge-deep into the shallow depression. Very carefully, I clip a sling to the hanger, and put my foot in the sling. 'If this blows,' I think to myself, 'it’ll be a 90-foot bounce down the slab.' Fighting to keep my leg from shaking with fear, I stand up, and lunge for handfuls of the low-hanging, centimeter-thick branches I know and love so well..."