This summer Ive put a lot of focus on practising my leading abilities. I was able to lead when I felt safe on the moves, but you cant really lead on your limit if you cant take a fall, and I couldnt.
In the beginning of the summer Ive been in Sant Leger in south France with my family and friends for two weeks. Its the best place Ive ever been to. The access to the cliff is short and the climbing is very fun! Its a totally different kind of rock than Im used to here in Sweden, much longer routes and a different kind of structure.
View of St. Léger
I had some plans about practise leading in Sant Leger. But we where a little but unlucky The first week my dad got a cold and later I also become ill. It didnt affect me so much, I had to take it easy one day. But being ill on your climbing vacation isnt fun at all you dont want to miss a single day of climbing, off course. So I wasnt happy about that.
But now to the point When dad got a cold he couldnt put up top ropes for me, which resulted in that I had no choice, I had to lead. Actually it was good because I needed the practice, but most of all I wanted to hang on a toprope, at my limit.
It didnt go so well at the beginning. I made easier sixes, but when it started to get harder I got panic.
I dont now how, but finally I started to get used to the scary feeling. And I took my first fall outdoor I didnt die. After the fall it went better.
Bille de clown 7b, St. Léger
Before this fall I had tried to climb up and let go intentionally. But that was impossible. What really happened was that dad got really angry at me because I was standing up there, scared, in a really bad mood, and cried. So we agreed that it had to take its time. I climbed my sixes until I started to feel safer, until the fall came. That was the only solution for me.
As I told you, it worked and the fear released a bit. And the last week I got to hang on a toprope, at something on my limit, really fun...
My two weeks in Sant Leger really helped me a lot. And back home in Sweden, Im still practicing leading. And its going better. I have been hanging on a local cliff Örnberget. Im usaly doing a nice 7a as a warm up, without fear. The other day I redpointed Sidharta (7c) on Örnberget. In the end of the route its far between the bolts, and there I made my longest fall so far.
Sidharta 7c, Örnberget
But I still need to practice on my leading to feel safe...