Today Marci reached a milestone in her rock climbing. Someone has to take the rope to the top and set up a safe anchor for the other climbers to use. This is called "lead climbing". As the lead climber moves up the rock, they clip their rope into anchors every 15-20 feet to keep themselves safe. However, if a lead climber falls, the rope will not catch them until they fall past the last anchor, providing a short but exhilarating ride. When done with the proper equipment, it is perfectly safe, but can be very nerve racking when you're 100 feet above the ground. In climbing terms, we say the lead climber is "on the sharp end of the rope".
For the past few weeks Marci has been practicing her knots, and anchor building skills on a jig we built in the garage. Yesterday, she put her skills to work and did the lead climb for the first time. She was cool and casual, even shrugging off an early fall to finish up like a pro. Everyone was impressed. Welcome to the sharp end, Marci!