Caroline on the 7a+
The next day I lead a 7a+ and before I was lowered off Caroline shouts up that she wanted to try it on lead… Eh? Grand! Two distinct crux sequences, one at the second bolt with a long move to an edge and then a rest below a small roof near the top and a stiff sequence on shallow pockets over the lip to the chains. Caroline leads up it and makes it to the chains after a few falls, working a sequence through the roof. The next day she lead it first try cleanly to the chains – Caroline’s first 7a+. Chuffed!
I was seriously impressed! (plus there was the little alarm bell somewhere in the back of my brain shouting “Get the finger out! She’s catching up!!”). The next day while walking away from a crag I stop and turn around to see Caroline stood, staring up at a 7b I had lead the day before… it was next on the list. This one was different. I remember the reachy, pumpy crux moves off slopey sidepulls through a bulging wall. I was confident that Caroline could do every individual move but to link them all cleanly on lead would be a major ask considering Caroline’s limited experience. 3rd attempt on lead and Caroline was clipping the Chains after a successful Redpoint! Buuuhhh?? 7b!!
Chuffed at the chains - not many make it to 7b at all - never mind so quickly!
We tried to work out just how many leads Caroline had ever done and it’s coming out as less than 20 sports leads EVER! With results like this from just some casual hanging and no climbing during the past year I’m getting freaked! Well the end result of these routes is that Caroline is seriously motivated for some training and some winter redpoint trips back into Europe mainland to push her limits … 7c, 8a?