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How hard do you climb? (not what you think!)
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fiend


Sep 6, 2001, 10:26 PM
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How hard do you climb? (not what you think!)
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Ok, here's the thing. Really bothers me.

If some one asks you how hard you climb do you give your hardest:

a) outdoor onsight
b) outdoor redpoint
c) indoor onsight
d) indoor redpoint

Here's the deal, people comparing their indoor achievements to that of outdoor climbers.
They are two separate realms of climbing. Indoor grades are way beyond consistant, I've been to some gyms where climbs of the same difficulty are graded completely different, some gyms grade hard, some gyms soft. Some gyms let their climbs be graded by someone who has no idea what a 5.12a feels like.

The grading system was developed for outdoor use. Sure, Rifle is sandbaggy while the Red may be a little soft here and there but they are generally the same.

What really bothers me is people using this to boast about their ability.
It's one thing to brag about onsighting 5.12a if it was a climb like Bare Metal Teen which is the standard for all 5.12a's in the Red, I may not agree with bragging but at least you have the experience to back it up.
It's another thing altogether when some punk comes along and says 'what's the big deal? I climb 5.13s all the time.' neglecting to mention that he climbs almost exclusively at a gym where the 5.13s are grade super soft to make the clients feel hardcore.

Outdoor grades and indoor grades are not the same! If someone asks how hard you climb then you say:
5.11d onsight, 5.12b redpoint, outside, on rock, not on plastic.

Never climbed on rock? Well then make sure you mention that the 5.15g you did was plastic.

This rant has been brought to you by the letter X


Partner pianomahnn


Sep 6, 2001, 10:59 PM
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I refuse to answer those questions. I tell them I've climbed 5.fun or some smart ass thing like that. Either that or it's a 5.8 or 5.9. When I'm climbing with my friends, those are the only two grades we use. It takes the complication out of the route. No matter what the real grade is. I guess it keeps us grounded.


fiend


Sep 6, 2001, 11:04 PM
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pianomahnn, of all people, I know it bothers you when people spout about grades
Don't you find it worse when said spouting comes from gym climbs?


Partner pianomahnn


Sep 6, 2001, 11:11 PM
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Okay...I live in IL, and the VAST majority of my time is spent in an indoor gym. I don't have the luxury to get outdoors and climb because of financial restraints, and college, and the rather long trips to the crag. But, I do understand what you're talking about.

I could walk circles around almost every single person who climbs at the gym I work at. But it doesn't matter to me. If you're outdoors, and you wanna ego-up about grades, talk about outdoor grades. But if you're outdoors, and you say you're putting up 5.12s indoors, it doesn't make one s--- differense. Although certain skills are easily interchangeable, it's totally different. I mean, damn, when indoors is there a freaking tree growing out of a key hold? Your nice easy 5.10 just turned into a 12.

Blah...I love it when I see people (mainly kids) talking about what they climb. And you know what, almost every person who works at the gym will tell them, in normally nice ways, to shut up. We don't play the numbers game. If people come in and are spouting off numerals, I'll play along. "Oh yeah, I onsighted a 5.13 this weekend. And through down some nice V12s." Damn, I love playing with people. But mainly, I just show them what's up on the wall. It shuts them up real nice like.

Damnit...I sounded a little cocky on that last one. Oh well. Sometimes it just comes out.


bart


Sep 7, 2001, 11:02 AM
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I always say my indoor and outdoor grade, and because I don't like to attempt a route several times, it's always onsight (or flash). At the moment these to grades are the same, so maybe I would just say the grade, and nothing else.


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Sep 7, 2001, 11:28 AM
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I'm VERY new to this sport. Has the emphasis on what one can climb at been like this always? Or is it a recent unfortunate turn of events?


broganadams
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Sep 7, 2001, 11:52 AM
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I think you should say what you are climbing at the time. Maybe last year when you were in shape you onsighted a hard route but now you have gut and an extra 15 pounds so you don't climb as well. Outdoor and indoor is apples and oranges. I just say the number only and the person should just think of it in loose terms. Until you climb with a person you don't know how good they are and what their style is. I think a good climber is smooth and does things with out strainning and jerking around. The great climbers in history flowed. I try to flow. You know you flow when somebody says you are smooth or man you made that look easy.
Brogan

[ This Message was edited by: broganadams on 2001-09-07 11:56 ]


krillen


Sep 7, 2001, 11:57 AM
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I spout off into a giant diatribe of what I've done in the past and where, then show everyone my manhood just to back up my claims.

Sorry about that.

I haven't been in the gym in months, So I usually give and Average of my sport and trad leads. I know that no matter what I say, actions speak louder than words.

The thing about grades, is that they are totaly subjective. I have a fairly long reach and great high step, so I may get a certain route whereas I know people that are 5'2" that have WAY better skills than me that may not get finish it.

[ This Message was edited by: krillen on 2001-09-07 12:17 ]


rck_climber


Sep 7, 2001, 1:46 PM
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Although I usually climb 4 times a week, I've not climbed in a gym in at least a year, so I only give my outdoor flashes anymore and always shoot a grade or two low - I don't care what they think anyways. I climb for me, not them. The day I start to climb to prove myself to others, I'm hanging up the shoes.
Mick


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Sep 7, 2001, 4:44 PM
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In my OPPINION,

The grade someone climbs at is there is what they can onsight. Any .11 climber can WORK a .12 to death until they get the RP, and eventually get it wired. That doesn't make him a .12 climber, 'cause if he gets on a .12 that he's never been on he'll just flail around.

To ME, there are 2 grades I give when people ask me what I climb at. I answer,
"10c crack, and 11c sport or slab." The skills required are very different, and I'm UNBALANCED in my proficiancy at those skills. I know people who climb .12 crack but can't get up a hard .10 face.

What I think is funny is people who boulder and don't even own a harness, but claim to climb at .13 'cause that's the V-scale equivalent, and they've never climbed a ROUTE that's .13.

rrrADAM


victorblanco


Sep 7, 2001, 4:51 PM
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climbing is outside,period. i think you should break it into sport and trad.
sport:you climb what you can redpoint in a day consistently.
trad:again what you can free climb clean in a day.
gym routes/grades have nothing to do with the rock other than being a means to an end.


talons05


Sep 7, 2001, 5:17 PM
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Interesting point... But I think we all know how to tell our ability. If someone asks and you wonder about which one to tell them, then you are thinking to much, and worrying about what they will think. Take an average. How hard do you climb? Well, if you've climbed 60 5.8 routes, 48 5.9 routes, 18 5.10 routes, and 1 5.11c route (those are my actual numbers) then you are probably safe to say that you climb about 5.10 level. If you don't feel good enough with that, tell them about your hardest climb. "I usually climb around the 5.9 to 5.10 range, and so far, the hardest route I've snagged is a 5.11c" That's exactly what I say when someone asks me that question.


talons05


Sep 7, 2001, 5:18 PM
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Those are all on real rock, by the way. Gyms are variables due to who rates them, and the skill of a particular population area.


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