We were all strong climbers, but trad climbing is a completely different beast. So, this was a bit of a shocker when the one person that was most experienced was backing out.
Fortunately my buddy and I decided that we have come too far to not at least try. We racked up and sacked up, I ended up leading point on the first pitch.
When you're starting something new - there's no changing the fact that the first step is the hardest, once you've committed you can't stop it - but - committing to it is the hardest moment to overcome.
We committed, went all in, and didn't look back.
As with most things when you do this, it ends up being something you'll never forget. The climb was challenging, but the views were absolutely incredible.
When we got to the last pitch we faced the crux... A huge jagged boulder right in the middle of the pitch, hanging out over the route. It was completely a mental obstacle, the climbing wasn't hard, but you were completely exposed.
When you start this pitch, you are looking down about 800ft and climb around this awkward and jagged boulder - completely insane.
After leading this route and conquering it.. I felt like I could fly. The summit rewarded us with incredible views and an incredible feeling of success.