So, this happened a number of weeks ago: I went climbing, and it was pretty legit. We did four pitches at The Nose at Looking Glass for a total of about 600 ft. Robb led and placed gear and I seconded and swept the route. Basically that means Robb did all the work of finding the route, and that I was on top-rope the whole time, which is less risk, and easier, than what Robb was doing. But it was still definitely difficult enough for me. A lot of the time it felt like I was supposed to be able to stick to smooth rock and climb right on up there. I mean, how many hand holds can you spot on this?
Here, I believe I'm hanging out on a ledge at the top of the first pitch.
Robb took this picture for scale.
Here's a close-up of doing a push/pull with either hand, which helps you stick your feet to the rock when there's not much of a foothold to be found.
Here I am, very happy to be on the top at last. While climbing was never strictly 'frightening', it was nerve wracking. I think we were on the rock for four hours, and just about every minute of that was spent emotionally and physically ON. The few moments I did have to rest on the odd ledge or two, I nearly fell asleep in a shut-down mode. But suffering through the climb and getting to the top sounded a lot better than giving up and turning around.
This was the payoff:
On an interesting note, shortly after I moved here last year in the fall, I hiked to the top of Looking Glass to almost the same exact spot.
Blog post about it here.