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Trad is Rad? 

Tara loves rocks. And photography.

After several consecutive weeks of attempting to successfully sport climb, I opted for something a little different. I heard once that being a bolt-jockey wasn't cool anymore and in order to get in touch with my grassroots as a climber, I needed to do what they refer to as "plugging gear." Although I initially had difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of how exactly one off-sets quick draws into holes and cracks, I realized later that it was much easier with the use of these widget thingys.
Prior to my first real trad climb, I practiced my placements.


My first route was the 5.9 crack next to Heinous. It went ok (see, I did not die) so I decided that I'd hop on the 5.11 around the corner, Wartley's Revenge. For the record, I found Wartley's Revenge to be extremely run out. It took about a half an hour of nearly falling and working my Elvis leg up the route to find one of those silver clippy thingys. Oddly, there were two right next to each other at the top so I just lowered down.

The 5.9

In all seriousness, I was happy to pull off some trad sending on my first try. Placing gear is hard. That night…I dreamt about the route that made me want to learn to place gear in the first place — Palo Verde (5.12d/13a? Mixed route on the backside). Hopefully this means I'll be back there soon, or trying some harder cracks as well after lots of work. Next goal: Take some falls (how exciting!).

I used these guys instead.

I was also extremely lucky to be able to shoot some photos this weekend on a (dare I say it) NIKON. I typically am a Canon girl, however it was kind of fun to use a Nikon for the first time since my film days (Thanks Bruce!). Here are some photos:

Ooohh La La!

Greg prior to nearly pulling off Scarface, 5.14a.

Yep. Smith Rock.

Affording a camera at this point is pretty far off for me, but I really miss it.


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