The First Lead - Until now a usual climb for me consisted of being tied into a rope anchored in the rock far above my head, often placed by a fellow more experienced climber. A fall on this set-up is no more than a slump onto your harness, you just have to hope you’v tied in correctly and the nut holds your weight. Times change - Here (in this photo) I find myself leading the rope up the wall as I go, of course this means most of the climb occurs above the nut. Inevitably a fall from here would be a terrifying few meters - I’m told this is exhilarating, but I’m not to sure on that, hence I’m not letting go!
- Technical grade 5b sports route at Mount Pleasant in South Wales
At 29,029ft It is the highest point above sea level and sees some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. Despite this, as many as 1400 climbers (by 2004) have scaled its Ridges to reach the top since the first successful accent by Sir Edmund Hillary and his team back in 1953. We hear so many stories such as the recent success of Bonita Norris, who became the youngest British women to reach the summit, yet the glory and triumph of a summit tends to hide the darker side to this great mountain…
When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new first-class leather seats in the Mexican market, it translated its “Fly in leather” campaign literally, which meant “Fly naked” (vuela en cuero) in Spanish.