Martin's Japan Pages

Our Man In Japan

23 February 2005

Kowai ne?

I used my harness last night and I've never been so scared. The big routes at the wall are all lead climbs, that is, you need to hook your rope into the wall at regular times. I've never done this before (when I went to Castle I did lead climbs where the rope is already there for you) but I was pretty sure I could do it. And I could. Teh first couple of anchors where easy; find an easy place to rest, pick up the rope and clip. It got more difficult as I got more tired the higher I climbed. Also I wasn;t too sure about what would happen if I fell. Now, I'm a big lad, but when I climbed with Helen we used a ground anchor so she wouldn't pulled off the ground if I fell. At teh Tokamachi wall, there are no ground anchors, just the weight of whoever is belaying you. Most of the climbers are not very big and the difference in our weights is quite big.

So, I'm three-quarters of teh way up. My arms are tired, I'm tired and I still need to make a good move before I can clip the next point. And for teh first time in six months, I'm several metres off the ground, which is scaring teh shit out of me. I tried to make teh move, but I felt like I would fall and not wanting to test my belayer too much, I resigned and gave up the climb. I'll try it again soon, but before I think I need to build my climbing stamina.

I still couldn't do the overhang route either.


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