The first time Tom belayed me, I cried.
We were in Potrero Chico, and I was attempting a 5.11d arête that several of our students had raved about earlier in the day.
My second day roping up with The Climbing Academy had gotten off to a chossy start. I’d volunteered to set up a top-rope for an injured student, then followed the wrong bolt line. Soon, what had begun as a 5.10 warmup became a scarily runout 5.12 off-width.
I was by no stretch of the imagination a 5.12 off-width climber. Attempting a desperate double gaston and an optimistic high foot smear, far above and left of my last bolt, I felt limestone crumble beneath my fingers.Read More