|Me and the 'Guru' Roberts!|
But today was not that kind of day. Gwyn had lead up to E4 as a sighted climber 14 years ago and today he spontaneously decided to go back 'up' into that place where you are on your own. He asked to lead (well, he TOLD me he was leading the route!) and so from that moment on my day became really exiting and truly emotional to watch my friend step up and feel his way up the rock and work out the width of the cracks from his fingers and work hard to place gear based on touch.
Gwyn is a better climber than me in terms of technique and flexibility and ultimately courage but I'm stronger at the moment, but I am confident if he continues as he is with his training the gap will shrink. His initial mindset for his lead reminded me very much of mine when I used to onsight near my physical limit with and without ropes where the analysis was mainly focused on wither one could physically climb the wall and then secondly worry about the gear. But I hassled him to death to place more gear so he wouldn't spoil my footwear.
He climbed to the top of his first trad lead as a VI set up his belay then brought up Jay. What a great day today, for Gwyn, Jay and myself. It felt more historic than when I last belayed someone doing something special up there in that magical place in the windy quarries of Llanberis. Tomorrow, I get to enjoy a morning run with a special woman then coach a person with MS in the afternoon. A good day ahead I think. It was a hard start getting settled here in Wales again but I think life in Wales is getting more real and more worth the effort... Gwyn & I want to climb Right Wall (E5 6a) on the Cromlech. I did it when I was 16 but to see Gwyn do this will be mind blowing and truly exceptional...