Semi-Rad: A Few Reasons I'm Not Sending


Hey, go ahead and take. Thanks. Yeah, I seem to be falling at this same spot a lot. Why am I not sending this?


Well, for one thing, this climb is not the style of climbing I’m used to doing. The rock definitely feels a little odd. I’ve been climbing a lot of granite lately, and this is gneiss, which seems really slick to me. And polished. Oh, you don’t think so? Well, I do. Trust me, you can’t see it from the ground, but up here, it’s polished.

What’s that? Oh, I misunderstood you—it’s not that you don’t think it’s polished, it’s that you don’t think it’s gneiss. Quartz monzonite? OK, whatever it is, it’s not my style of climbing.

It’s too reachy, and I don’t like reachy climbs. I prefer ones with more technical footwork. This is also really crimpy compared to the stuff I normally climb. Also, I think my hands are the wrong size for this crack, and I can’t get a solid jam in, which means I had to layback that section, and it was pretty strenuous. Do you have pretty thick fingers? Mine are really slender, so I think I was having a hard time getting a fingerlock where everyone else does a couple moves. Really insecure for me with my hand and finger size.

The person who put this route up must have been at least 5’11”.  I can tell because I’m only 5’10” and the bolt placements are really hard to reach. I don’t know why people bolt routes like that—not everyone’s 5’11” or taller.

Yeah, I think I got started wrong when that guy in the blue jacket over there gave me bad beta. I got too far out left on my way to the first bolt, and that’s basically thrown me off ever since, and then I had to work really hard to get back on the route. I shouldn’t have listened to that guy. I mean, what does he know?

It’s really warm out here today, too. Are you hot? It’s like I haven’t been able to get enough chalk this whole time. I must have put my hand in my chalkbag a dozen times in 50 feet—have you noticed that? I was climbing in the cold all the time this winter, and I was crushing. Yeah, I had to wear a bunch of layers, but the friction was incredible. This is quite a bit different, obviously.

Aren’t you hot down there? It’s probably a lot hotter up here.

You should see this foothold I’m trying to stand on—it’s almost invisible. I can barely get a toe on it, especially in these new shoes. I thought they were going to have more of an edge than my old shoes did, but I don’t think they do. Plus, this is the first pair of shoes from this company, and I don’t think the rubber they use is as sticky as some of my other pairs.

You know what, why don’t you just lower me? Yeah, I’m sure. I’m done. I don’t really care if I finish it or not, now that I think about it. It’s really not that inspiring of a line to me, personally. And if I’m not inspired, it’s probably not going to happen.

It definitely felt harder than the guidebook said it was—not that I care. I don’t climb for numbers anyway. I don’t consider myself a grade-chaser, you know? I’m just not concerned with all that.

Cool, thanks for the belay. I’m going to take my shoes off over here.

Do I mind if you give it a try? Oh, absolutely, go for it. You’ll probably love it. I think it’s more your style, really—I think I’m just not that into it.

Brendan Leonard is a contributing editor for Climbing. He lives in his van, writes at, and is always into it.