On our Day 2 lesson we headed up to Fun House for some mock leading. Before heading up to the base of the climb, Bayard took out the “North Conway Rock Climbs” guidebook and handed it to Ashley and I. We looked up the route to check its description, primarily what gear we would need. Ashley and I went through the gear and we put our water, food, camera in my small backpack. Bayard said to look through our backpack at the end of our climb and see what was left in it, then determine if we really needed it. I’m on “hiker mentality” and usually over-pack (just in case) and it wasn’t any different on this day. Bayard gave a solid piece of advice - climbing with a backpack as light as possible will help us go faster. He was right. I found a section on the start of Fun House to be tough, especially with a heavy pack.
At Upper Refuse there was one party already on the climb. A second party started up Black Lung then up left on Final Gesture to finish. To keep Ashley and I out of the way of the other two parties, Bayard combined the first two pitches into one, and kept to the left side (crack) of our first pitch. I found lots of good holds and kept placing gear in the crack as I went up. I found that the more gear I placed, the easier it got to figure out what to place. And what a joy it was to have all the gear organized on my harness. Made the process so much more easier and faster!
The Multi Pitch Trad Leader Course is designed for those with a background of gym climbing and sport climbing who are comfortable leading bolt protected routes. Covered are basics of Traditional protection, anchor building, lead climbing systems and multi pitch rappelling. Taught at a 2 participant to 1 guide radio. 2 days, semi-private course.
Bayard Russell has been guiding in New Hampshire since 2003. He is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor, a team leader and director of the Mountain Rescue Service, New Hampshire’s volunteer technical rescue group, and a passionate year-around, all conditions climber. In 2008, he founded Cathedral Mountain Guides.
Links of interest:
How To Move Faster & More Safely Through 3rd & 4th Class Terrain