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Overrated climbs, This seems too easy!
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lars


Aug 4, 2002, 8:59 AM
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Overrated climbs, This seems too easy!
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Yesterday I climbed my hardest rated sport route yet, an 11c. I just don't feel like I have any bragging rights though. See, I did it onsight which seems kind of funky because my next hardest onsight is a 10c. The route almost felt easier than that. I am pretty sure I wasn't off route. The route is Edge of Doom at Dinosaur Rock, Nevada, and the guide says climb the left arete. I used holds on both sides of the left arete. Did climb an easier route or is it just overrated? I hear a lot about sandbagging but not about overrating. What's going on?


crackaddict


Aug 4, 2002, 3:30 PM
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It seems that this is more common in a lot of newer sport areas. I know that a Jacks Canyon in AZ it is like this. And the place is known for soft ratings.
It all depends on the first ascentionist and what they say it is.

Me, I don't really care what it is. Every area and climb is different. Some 11's I can onsight and some I can't. Just depends on the route. I just like to climb and don't really care about the rating. I am glad to climb.


jmlangford


Aug 4, 2002, 4:13 PM
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I am familiar with that climb. The Fa'er was Dan Osman so I doubt the route was sandbagged. Maybe that style of climb fits your strengths better. But I agree with crackaddict...climbing is fun, no matter if it is on a 4th class route or a 5.10+.


roughster


Aug 5, 2002, 6:27 AM
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Believe it or not, route developers often misrate routes. The is a reason for this and it is one that I personally have experienced.

I'll give you and example. This weekend I put up a new route. I jummared the route 4 times, TR'd it twice, swung a hammer (there was some REALLY loose BIG stuff) about a zillion times. I smashed my fingers multiple times, I was baking in the sun, hanging in my harness so long my kidnies started to hurt.

I spent about a half hour pushing on my drill to get in the bolts. I scrubbed it top to bottom with a wire brush, then cleaned the individual holds with a tooth brush. After about 5 hours of pure physical labor, I pulled the rope and RP'd.

I have no clue to what the climb was rated. I know I could barely lift my arms the day after though. Did that effect how hard I thought the climb was? Of course it did. Rating a climb after bolting it is VERY hard unless the rock is very clean to begin with and took very little preparing.

On top of that, many times after the initial ascent, hold slightly off route (at least from the FA'ist stand point) get cleaned and used by people. This often leads to new sequences that are often easier, since many times people will look for off route big holds to chicken out to I am not saying that maybe this was lack of forsight on the FAist part, but it does happen.

I know a few of my climbs are desperate when you follow the bolt line like I did on the FA, but if you traverse a few feet right you can get to a good series of holds. Sure you can reach over and clip the bolts at an arms length, but is that the same route I climbed??

Its a tough call not knowing the route, but route ratings change due to holds breaking and not all the times does it make it harder as well as the situations I described above.

If you felt that strongly about the rating, make sure you have the right line, and then get some friends to do it as well. Make sure they are comfortable with that grade and they LEAD it. Many times people like to downrate stuff on TR because TRing removes alot of the other aspects of lead climbing that can add to the pump. Lead it a few times if you haven't. If you and they still feel it is easier than suggested, email the Guidebook offer and propse a new rating for the next edition.

Climbing is not a science and feedback is necessary to keep things accurate.


wonder1978


Aug 5, 2002, 7:09 AM
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I think the first thing you have to consider is what kind of climber you are and what kind of route it was. Just like you, I onsighted an 11b at rumney yesterday but had to take two rests in a 10d just before. The 11b route was a face climb on small crimps while the 10d was an overhanging route with a small roof. The first one was very technical but the second was muscular. I'm 6 feet and 145pounds and I have small arms but good fingers. Its easy to understand why the first route was easier for me than the other, maybe it was the same for you.
Steve


crux_clipper


Aug 6, 2002, 1:37 AM
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like wonder1978, i'm a taller, physically weaker climber, so tend to excel in technique over brute strength. I have onsighted 5.10d/5.11a (21-22) climbs. They were not severely overhanging, rather technical face climbing. For this reason, i was able to climb well on these routes. It may be that same for you, as you may be stronger in one aspect of climbing, and the climb demanded these aspects.


elvislegs


Aug 6, 2002, 11:33 AM
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I think there's something to what roughster is saying. Especially given that Dan Osman bolted his routes STRICTLY on lead (hey the guy was a professional faller).
However, I would say that because ratings of all kinds, (wine, beer, movies, music) are subjective, there will always be routes that are nasty at.9 and those that are easy at .11a. Even from one side of my local crag area to the other you can see where the older, more climbed, routes have been down graded through the years so that newer routes are rated harder even when they seem easier. There are also sustained routes, and the famous one-move-wonder routes, a .10a sustained is way harder for me than an .11a with only one or two .11a moves in the middle of .8ish climbing. It's all subjective, it's all about your personal best. Like everyone else says, just have fun and push yourself right?


wildtrail


Aug 6, 2002, 11:57 AM
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Ah! Come to Wisconsin. Even Lynn Hill (she came here to train as she heard the rock was a challenge) was surprised. Underrated here. 5.6's at the lake can scare competent 10 leaders with ease.

Steve

[ This Message was edited by: wildtrail on 2002-08-06 11:58 ]


wildtrail


Aug 6, 2002, 12:16 PM
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I agree with you gawd.

You better write that one down. I noticed most people usually don't agree with you, but I do on this. I never care about the rating. To me, there are two ratings:

1. Can

2. Can't

And can't isn't a definite "no". More like "Can't, yet".

Steve

[ This Message was edited by: wildtrail on 2002-08-06 12:16 ]

[ This Message was edited by: wildtrail on 2002-08-06 12:38 ]


Partner missedyno


Aug 6, 2002, 4:39 PM
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i've only done one 11a in my life, but i was able to look at it and say "that's my type of climb"

otherwise i can mess around on 10's of any variety....

i think it's just whether it's your type of climb or not. i love crimpers and high steps. hate slopers...


wildtrail


Aug 6, 2002, 4:49 PM
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Despise slopers. RRRRRR!

I like anything with lots of friction and WI quartzite has none.

Oh! Well! So is life!

Steve


climbsomething


Aug 6, 2002, 5:02 PM
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Yeah, ditto to Crackaddict, Jacks is notoriously soft. While I do appreciate ratings as a rough guide for tracking my progress, it's not the be-all-end-all. Again, I am not gonna lie and say I ignore ratings, but when I am somewhere knowing the ratings are whack, I just focus even more on having fun (!!), practicing my leading skills, and of course, getting people on the ground to snap some pics of me looking studly

Hey, you can use those inflated sends as spray material to impress unwitting gym chix and dudes, eh?


lightboi


Aug 6, 2002, 5:10 PM
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Devils lake is Sandbagged.

5.10s feel like 8's after you have climbed it 384,348,483 times. It takes days to hone your feel for the super slick rock. I dont have the most current guide but the 10 year old one I have still uses the "F" grading system. I still remember leading my first F6 there, my palms are sweating just thinking about it. Most FA's were on top rope. Many of the more difficult lines ascend clean faces with no chance for trad pro. Just giving beta to all the CHI gym climbers makes me tired.

Devils Lake will teach you respect for your elders. Lead the classic lines there. Remember that its only F9. Make new friends at DL, pack up a pony keg up the ccc trail and see how many new friends you make.


wildtrail


Aug 6, 2002, 5:23 PM
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In your opinion, but I have climbed all over the country (not insinuating that you haven't) and Devil's Lake is most certainly not overrated. I've been on all types of rock, and quartzite is by far, the hardest, say 5.6 you'll find. Like I said. Some of the greats have been here and even Lynn Hill was pleasantly suprised. Did you meet her when she was here? I did. Way cool person!

Also, Josh. No offense, but you are only a year older than I am. I seriously doubt you were climbing during the "F" system. You would have been about 5 when they got rid of it considering I have an old out-of-print guidebook (Extremist's Guide to Devil's Lake New Climbs by Leo Hermacinski, circa 1985) and the Yosemite Decimal System is used in that, not the old "F" system.

I'm not trying to pick a fight here, as I surely know you are not, but Devil's Lake is far from sandbagged. I'm making an assumption that you have never climbed on granite or sandstone? Don't get mad at that question. It is assumption only. Well, if you have, you would know that a 5.9 is considerably easier on granite or sandstone than Devil's Lake quartzite. As a matter of fact, a good example the guidebooks even state. Brinton's Crack at Devil's Lake. It is a 5.6 and suprises and scares competent 5.9 leaders. That is not sandbagging. 90% of the routes at Devil's Lake are far from sandbagged. Some are easier than expected, but I have a feeling that the reason for that is the other 90%!

Steve

[ This Message was edited by: wildtrail on 2002-08-09 09:02 ]


pbjosh


Aug 9, 2002, 8:21 AM
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I agree that soft and hard ratings abound. I don't pay a ton of attention to ratings other than as a guide along with what I can see from the ground as to how I guess I might do on a route. A couple days ago I came within a hairs breath of onsighting an 11b at the local sport crag and then hiked it 2nd go. It was cool and all but shortly after that I got spanked on a 10c and was too spooked (funky 3rd clip where you could deck) to give it a second go for the day. Furthermore, I'm way more stoked about some 5.10 trad onsights that I've had at jtree and tahquitz than I am about a one move wonder 5.11 sport route. And when I finally redpoint Bearded Cabbage (argh! I finally had it worked out but never got back to it before the spring season at jtree ended) I'm going to be WAY more stoked about that!

For those that care, the 11b was Shroomin' at Williamson - sure the one move is a bit stout but overall I don't think the route is as hard as Bearded Cabbage (10c), O'Kelly Crack (10c) or Clean and Jerk (10c) at jtree, and it comes no where near stuff like Semi-tough (10d), Left Ski Track (11a) or Grit Roof (10c).

At Tahquitz I recently onsighted On The Road - 10c. Only one really hard pull off a fingertips lieback but lots of 10- climbing with awkward stances and pumpfests while placing dismally thin gear in old blade scars that might or might not hold. A way more interesting and memorable lead and something I'm way more stoked about.

josh


climbingpride


Aug 31, 2002, 10:59 PM
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I've seen afew routes get a little,only a little, harder because of the holds wearing away. But not from pro just from over use.


natec


Aug 31, 2002, 11:13 PM
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Sandbag - n/adj/vb a climb that receives a rating inappropriately low rating for the difficulty.

Several people have used the term incorrectly in this thread.

A sandbag is a route that may be graded 5.6 but sure as hell feels like 5.10.

Sorry to nitpick but your posts are confusing.

As far as ratings go. They suck. You can't really use them for much unless you are judging your progress at strictly one area.

I can lead up to 10a slabs and hand cracks in Yosemite. 10a offwidth or chimneys? You're outta your mind! There are too many variables to get concerned with ratings. The type of climb, the angle of the climb, the type of rock, your body type, the temperature that day, and last but definitely not least the FAsit and area you are climbing in.


reedstaclimber36


Sep 8, 2002, 6:57 PM
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i've had some similar experiences like yours where you could swear that you had jus topped off a 10c when you realize that the person who rated it was obviously havin a bad day and rated it as 5.11cd. i'm finding more and more new routes are being marked harder than they happen to be. So jus be true to yourself and put your mind at ease


paintinhaler


Sep 8, 2002, 7:11 PM
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"sandbagged" means?....


Partner camhead


Sep 8, 2002, 7:43 PM
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I'm a semi-professional complainer, thus probably only 10% of the climbs I do feel just like they are rated to me. All the rest are either a little too hard or a little too soft.

However, I will agree that there are places that are notoriously sandbagged (City of Rocks comes to mind), and places that are soft (Maple Canyon, certain Indian Creek climbs).

Bottom line? Throw away your guidebook, and strive for the ultimate in bragging rights: the "Ignorant Onsight." It nullifies all ratings whatsoever. Honest.


Oh, and 'sandbagged' means that a route feels harder than its rating.


overlord


Sep 9, 2002, 3:00 AM
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mybe it was just "your route"??? some routes feel like they have been custom made to fit you and you can easily climb a few grades higher.

CLIMB ON


tigerbythetail


Sep 9, 2002, 11:56 PM
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 Too easy, seemed soft and over-rated? Maybe, like others have said the route was suited to you...or you were having a good day...or you found an easier sequence...or you were off-route...or you had the necessary reach/flexibity/strength/techniqe/footwork/balance??? Who knows- enjoy and get on something harder!!!


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