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jb2100


Oct 10, 2010, 12:04 AM
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Bouldering Difficulty Progression
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Hey so I apologize if this is a question that has been asked before. Obviously these forums are pretty extensive and searching through every thread is too time consuming.

So I've been bouldering for about a year now. Almost predominately indoors, although I do sport climb outdoors 7-8 days a month. I usually boulder at my university's indoor gym anywhere from 3-4 days a week, 2-4 hours a day. For a college student this is quite a lot, probably way too much, but I love climbing so I keep doing it. In the past year I've made (what I consider) to be decent gains and can usually flash or onsite V5's, consistently climb V6 and after a few days of projecting climb V7. I kind of feel like i'm plateauing around this level though. I'm sure I will get better but I want to know how long it takes.

So my question for all you who have been bouldering for a long time is this. How long have you been bouldering, and what grades do you do? Indoor or outdoor? What was the longest period of time it took you to move between any two particular grades?


cruxstacean


Oct 10, 2010, 1:30 PM
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jb2100 wrote:
Hey so I apologize if this is a question that has been asked before. Obviously these forums are pretty extensive and searching through every thread is too time consuming.

So I've been bouldering for about a year now. Almost predominately indoors, although I do sport climb outdoors 7-8 days a month. I usually boulder at my university's indoor gym anywhere from 3-4 days a week, 2-4 hours a day. For a college student this is quite a lot, probably way too much, but I love climbing so I keep doing it. In the past year I've made (what I consider) to be decent gains and can usually flash or onsite V5's, consistently climb V6 and after a few days of projecting climb V7. I kind of feel like i'm plateauing around this level though. I'm sure I will get better but I want to know how long it takes.

So my question for all you who have been bouldering for a long time is this. How long have you been bouldering, and what grades do you do? Indoor or outdoor? What was the longest period of time it took you to move between any two particular grades?

Sending multiple V7s with a few days work after less than a year of climbing is hella good progress...

I have been climbing for about a year and half and climb a couple grades easier than you... It doesn't really matter how fast you are progressing, just train enough but not too much and work on technique.

Out of curiosity, are problems at your gym graded unusually hard for the difficulty? Can you climb this hard at other gyms?


rhythm164


Oct 10, 2010, 2:38 PM
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Sending 7 within a year to me says that your gym sets sooooft problems, either that or you should start sending out "sponsor me" letters.


jb2100


Oct 10, 2010, 3:45 PM
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The grades at my gym vary in difficulty in relation to other gyms. I can consistently climb V6 at all the other gyms I've climbed at but because I only ever manage to hit up these gyms for a day while passing through the city or something I've not tried to project a V7 anywhere else than my home gym.

At my home gym we have a variety of routesetters, some sandbag their routes so their 5's are really like 6's, but a lot of them are easier than normal too, so really there's quite a mix. The main difference is that our gym lacks inverted walls, so when I jump on a 45 degree wall I can MAYBE pull off a V4 if I work on it for a while. To compensate for this all of our holds at my gym tend to be a lot harder to hold onto. Mostly micro-crimps. So I should have made that clearer earlier, I climb V7 difficulty on vertical to maybe a few degrees inverted, definitely not on a 45 or a cave.


cruxstacean


Oct 10, 2010, 4:41 PM
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Well good job. Don't get injured.

I would be very happy if I were you...


lithiummetalman


Oct 10, 2010, 10:54 PM
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This is what you need to do.

1. Get a crashpad
2. A beanie
3. A vehicle
4. Some buddies, g/f, dog, cat, chinchilla
5. Beer
6. Ramen
7. Roadtrip

Go to Bishop, Hueco, JT, etc

Climb hard, have fun, make good times.

Come back and report your progress!


rainman0915


Oct 18, 2010, 11:45 AM
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first of all gym climbing grades are almost always irelevent, they can be so rediculously soft that they mean nothing at all. although outdoor ratings can be more consistant they can also be very inconsistant. There are two universal ratings that are almost always different for different people and these are V-easy and V-hard. basically what im saying is that you really shouldnt be worrying about grades, just get outside and start climbing for yourself, not for grades.


spikeddem


Oct 18, 2010, 12:26 PM
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rainman0915 wrote:
first of all gym climbing grades are almost always irelevent, they can be so rediculously soft that they mean nothing at all. although outdoor ratings can be more consistant they can also be very inconsistant. There are two universal ratings that are almost always different for different people and these are V-easy and V-hard. basically what im saying is that you really shouldnt be worrying about grades, just get outside and start climbing for yourself, not for grades.

What's wrong--specifically--with climbing for grades? How is it exclusive of climbing for his motivation? How do you know what motivates him? If his motivations include climbing the hardest grades he possibly can, I don't see any problem with that.

And if he wants to do all this in the gym without bothering to touch real rock, so be it. It should be about what he get's the most enjoyment from. Sounds to me like you're actually trying to get him to climb for your reasons and not his own.


colatownkid


Oct 18, 2010, 12:39 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
rainman0915 wrote:
first of all gym climbing grades are almost always irelevent, they can be so rediculously soft that they mean nothing at all. although outdoor ratings can be more consistant they can also be very inconsistant. There are two universal ratings that are almost always different for different people and these are V-easy and V-hard. basically what im saying is that you really shouldnt be worrying about grades, just get outside and start climbing for yourself, not for grades.

What's wrong--specifically--with climbing for grades? How is it exclusive of climbing for his motivation? How do you know what motivates him? If his motivations include climbing the hardest grades he possibly can, I don't see any problem with that.

And if he wants to do all this in the gym without bothering to touch real rock, so be it. It should be about what he get's the most enjoyment from. Sounds to me like you're actually trying to get him to climb for your reasons and not his own.

Quoted for posterity as this is perhaps one of the most logical things I've read on here lately.


gerbil


Oct 18, 2010, 1:32 PM
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jb2100 wrote:
Hey so I apologize if this is a question that has been asked before. Obviously these forums are pretty extensive and searching through every thread is too time consuming.

So I've been bouldering for about a year now. Almost predominately indoors, although I do sport climb outdoors 7-8 days a month. I usually boulder at my university's indoor gym anywhere from 3-4 days a week, 2-4 hours a day. For a college student this is quite a lot, probably way too much, but I love climbing so I keep doing it. In the past year I've made (what I consider) to be decent gains and can usually flash or onsite V5's, consistently climb V6 and after a few days of projecting climb V7. I kind of feel like i'm plateauing around this level though. I'm sure I will get better but I want to know how long it takes.

So my question for all you who have been bouldering for a long time is this. How long have you been bouldering, and what grades do you do? Indoor or outdoor? What was the longest period of time it took you to move between any two particular grades?

first of all, grades don't matter. second of all, climbing in a gym doesn't count. go outside n00b


erisspirit


Oct 18, 2010, 2:09 PM
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I got stronger bouldering then I sprained my ankle. Then I got strong again and sprained my knee...

so right know I boulder reasonably poorly.


milesenoell


Oct 18, 2010, 2:23 PM
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It sounds to me like you are trying to get a sense of how far you've come and how to keep improving. Finding people knowledgeable enough to help you answer those questions will likely yield better results than trying to do it alone, although I doubt that the internet is the place.


rainman0915


Oct 18, 2010, 6:03 PM
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this is very true. although the main point of my post was to point out the inconsistancy of grades in rock climbing. but you bring up a very valid point. climb for whatever reasons you want, i may not agree with them, but thats my problem lol


eric_k


Oct 29, 2010, 2:54 PM
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I am climbing right around where you are, but it took me a few more years to get there. I am no expert, but from what I have heard talking with people stronger than me it to take it slow. Keep climbing as much as you can, but don't just jump into campus training right away especially if you have only been climbing for a year. It takes a while for your tendons to adapt to the high stresses.

My advice is start doing some injury prevention workouts. If you do a few a week you will stay injury free, injuries will slow your progress more than anything else.


major


Oct 29, 2010, 9:53 PM
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Climbing for grades is tough, precisely because of the inconsistencies in grades people give to problems. At my university wall, the guy who sets the routes sets V2s that are the same difficulty as V5s at another gym in town. However, I'm sure you're able to judge which climbs are more difficult than others, so I guess the V-whatevers don't even matter.

It sounds like you're doing great!


Stoves


Jan 31, 2011, 3:00 PM
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Hey JB can you talk a little more about your progress?
How long it took you to get into v3, v4's and etc.. ANd also how hard was the transitions and how you managed to go up the scales.
Did you use hangboards, campus, etc? Break it down sounds like you had an excellent year


Jason4


Feb 2, 2011, 3:01 PM
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For reference I've been climbing since the middle of August (about 6 months now) and have been able to get a couple of 6b+ (Font' scale) at my local gym. I tend to think that they grade pretty true as the owners climb at Fontainebleau regularly and I've heard from other very experienced climbers that they even grade them easier than most would lately.

I wouldn't say that I projected either of the recent 6b+ problems, one I got second try and the other I got first try tonight after giving it about 4 good tries on Sunday. I think I would be climbing 7a by now if I didn't have a seriously bad elbow from an accident that isn't climbing related. I don't think I'm any better than average at my local gym.


Stoves


Feb 4, 2011, 3:17 AM
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Nice Jason. Keep it up dude.
I cant wait until I start doing 6b/6b+ (v4)

There's a couple 6b/6b+ that I been projecting for weeks just for fun. I'm mid way into it.

Now how does that translates to outdoor bouldering?


spikeddem


Feb 4, 2011, 7:24 AM
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Stoves wrote:
Nice Jason. Keep it up dude.
I cant wait until I start doing 6b/6b+ (v4)

There's a couple 6b/6b+ that I been projecting for weeks just for fun. I'm mid way into it.

Now how does that translates to outdoor bouldering?
http://translate.google.com/


curt


Feb 4, 2011, 8:59 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
rainman0915 wrote:
first of all gym climbing grades are almost always irelevent, they can be so rediculously soft that they mean nothing at all. although outdoor ratings can be more consistant they can also be very inconsistant. There are two universal ratings that are almost always different for different people and these are V-easy and V-hard. basically what im saying is that you really shouldnt be worrying about grades, just get outside and start climbing for yourself, not for grades.

What's wrong--specifically--with climbing for grades

Nothing really--it's pretty much analogous to masturbating for orgasms.

Curt


kachoong


Feb 5, 2011, 7:48 AM
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curt wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
rainman0915 wrote:
first of all gym climbing grades are almost always irelevent, they can be so rediculously soft that they mean nothing at all. although outdoor ratings can be more consistant they can also be very inconsistant. There are two universal ratings that are almost always different for different people and these are V-easy and V-hard. basically what im saying is that you really shouldnt be worrying about grades, just get outside and start climbing for yourself, not for grades.

What's wrong--specifically--with climbing for grades

Nothing really--it's pretty much analogous to masturbating for orgasms.

Curt

I wonder if there are people that fake their own masturbation orgasms just to help feel better about themselves? I wonder if it occurs more indoors than outdoors?


Jason4


Feb 6, 2011, 1:24 PM
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Stoves wrote:
Nice Jason. Keep it up dude.
I cant wait until I start doing 6b/6b+ (v4)

There's a couple 6b/6b+ that I been projecting for weeks just for fun. I'm mid way into it.

Now how does that translates to outdoor bouldering?

Thanks! I've been having lots of fun with the bouldering and since I moved the Netherlands it's taken over as my only active outlet. I'm used to lots of time in the mountains at home but I didn't start climbing until I got here. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I haven't been climbing outdoors yet so I don't know how it will transfer over. I'm hoping to get to Fontainebleau next weekend before I move back to the PNW in a couple of weeks. I wish I had made the trip last fall but my climbing has improved a lot since then anyways.

The couple of 6b+ problems that I've gotten definitely suit my climbing style and so I think they are not too hard really. I have had a really hard time on other problems that take more balance or have some funny twists, high steps, or really tiny holds.

The biggest thing that I have done to help move up was to really take things down several levels of intensity when I've been hurt and to really focus on better grips on holds, cleaner hand and foot placement, and finding places to recover after the big moves. I've also started to do more training to build strength in my core and arms.


LeadZeppelin


Feb 11, 2011, 1:05 PM
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I've been climbing about 5.5 months consistently now. In the gym I'm flashing v3, can usually get v4 after a few tries, and I'll project v5s. I have to spend quite a lot of time projecting v6s.

I haven't bouldered outside a ton (have usually been sport climbing when I go out), but from what I have bouldered our gym ratings seem harder. ie, a v4 in horseshoe canyon seems easier than a v4 at our gym. But like I said I don't have enough experience outside to really say that's going to hold true.

I've gotten a lot of compliments from people I climb with that I'm getting really strong. Although, these are just nice people in general, so I don't think that's unusual. I would say I'm progressing at a normal rate. Typically anyone I climb with who is better than me has been climbing longer than me, and anyone I'm better than I've been climbing longer than them.

I remember the first time I climbed a v3. I projected this problem and was so excited when I finally got it. I didn't even notice my transition into climbing harder stuff. It was very gradual I guess. Plus I don't boulder exclusively--I also spend time sport climbing.

I try not to worry about grades too much though. I like problems that push me and if something stumps me for long enough it feels good to complete it no matter what grade the staff decided to put on it.


theextremist04


Feb 14, 2011, 1:57 PM
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The ratings at HCR vary quite a bit though; for example, Crack Ho is one of my favorite routes out there. It's rated V2, which shouldn't be hard, but it's a good bit harder than most of the V4s out there.


MasterOfKungFu


Feb 22, 2011, 8:16 PM
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I would agree on the ratings at your gym being a bit soft simply because it is a University climbing gym and the people who set the routes there are most likely students who haven't been climbing and setting long enough to really know what they are doing.
Not to take away from their ability, but they might be ego trippin'.

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