Learning Trad at Devil’s Lake


Saturday, after a fun and wine-centered picnic at Ravinia to hear Lang Lang, Jeff and I stayed over at E&S’s. It made more sense too, since we were going together to Devil’s Lake the next morning anyway.

Eug generously agreed to teach me trad, and let us practice setting up anchors. We found some nice, easy lines in Devil’s Doorway, and I clambered onto the rock, the heavy rack of cams, nuts and draws jingling noisily on me.

It was fun – and I more fully appreciate the freeing feeling that comes with trad, versus sport climbing. With trad, I am not restricted to a specific path upwards, but can wend my way wherever offers the least resistance. That was essentially what I did on my first climb. After Eug followed me up to where I had built anchors, we coiled up the ropes and ventured even higher, eventually finding a tree from which we wrapped a sling around and rappelled off of back to the ground.

Still a terrible crack climber, but now that we are starting to amass our own trad gear, the possibilities are quite exciting!


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