Learning: She Moves Mountains Leading Trad Clinic
Bright and early Sunday morning, I found myself groggily climbing out of bed at 4:30am, collecting my gear, and hitting the road by 5am. I headed towards eastern Oregon to Smith Rock for a full day of learning how to lead trad climbing with She Moves Mountains, a project focused on creating "an educational space for women to realize their strengths through rock climbing clinics," led by Lizzie and Carey, our instructors for the day. I figured I had three things going against me that day: (1) I'd never climbed outdoors before, (2) I'd never done any lead climbing, and (3) I hadn't climbed in 3 weeks and was out of climbing shape.
We met at 8:30am and started going over information about all the gear and then practiced placing them on wood practice cracks. We took a brief break and hiked into the park to practice placing gear in real rock, where we received feedback on our gear placement.
After a lunch break, we hiked a few minutes over to the Dihedrals where we set up to practice on Rabbit Stew and Lycopodophyta, both 5.7 trad routes. My first climb, since it was my first outdoor climb ever, I climbed Rabbit Stew on top rope and cleaned up the trad route set up to observe the placement. On my second climb, I mock lead Lycopodophyta and placed gear to the top.
It was getting towards the end of the day at this point, so we gathered the rest of the gear and hiked back up to our meeting spot near the parking lot to take one last group photo. She Moves Mountains put on such a great, informative clinic that is an excellent way to begin learning about climbing outdoors! I'd highly encourage all the ladies out there to participate in one if you ever get the chance. The energy is super positive, encouraging and uplifting, so give outdoor climbing a try!