In climbing the line is everything. It is the route that the climb follows, the path one takes from the bottom to the top.

The line is created/discovered by the first person to climb it. Easier routes often have obvious lines and the extent to which one can claim the line is a creation is marginal. Some hard lines are also obvious but defy the ability of current generations to climb them. They taunt and tease, and sometimes a new piece of equipment will come along, standards will rise or a person of true vision will appear and the line will fall (i.e. it will be climbed) Other times there will not appear to be any way to climb a piece of rock. This is when creativity in climbing is unquestioned. The successful ascensonist will bring a spark of imagination with them, a new approach and suddenly everyone is doing it, eyes opened by the creation of the new line.

Finding new lines can become everything to the climber, a passion, a sickness. Sometimes worthless pieces of crud will be climbed just in order to have the new line, but it is the lines of majesty that speak to the imagination. These are the climbs that are remembered by generation after generation, these are the climbs about whom stories get told in dark corners and these are the lines that all climbers aspire to succeed on at some point in their lives.

The person who bags the line gets to name it. In naming it and in the way that they climbed it they place a part of their personality on the rock. Climbing it is like learning something about those who went before. Getting to the crux and realising that the person was tall (shit could they really reach that hold?) or that they had fingers of steel. The greatest pleasure comes when a sequence of moves calls out to you, moves you would not have thought of on your own but which appear through the logical progression of the route. You learn something.

Lines that I will never forget, in Ireland; Siren, Sarcophagus. Pis Fluch, Samson. Climbs I still dream about in Wales Cenotaph corner, Comes the Dervish, some day, some day they will be mine.