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Partner camhead


Feb 6, 2002, 1:20 PM
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Well, I just thought I'd see what ya'll trad climbers thought of this.
What level are you normally comfortable climbing, AND would you do that same level if it carried an "R" rating?

I normally do up to hard 10s trad, yet when I went to City of Rocks this fall, I was poopin' myself on a 5.9R!!!

The crux move was fifty feet up, about six feet above a terrible horizontal cam placement (a tricam would have helped), and below that were just TONS of marginal placements in this godawful outward flaring crack. Oh yeah, and there was moss. Although the crux move was cake, it was just screwy to realize that if I fell, I would very likely pull gear and deck.

I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed that climb at all.

What do you think?



Partner camhead


Feb 6, 2002, 1:21 PM
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I don't know why this got placed in the beginners forum!


Partner rrrADAM


Feb 6, 2002, 1:56 PM
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I climb .10's also, but I do .9R, same as you. I don't mind the air time, but the serious potential for ground fall keeps me in the single digits. But I do enjoy the "pucker factor" of 'R' rated climbs.


rrrADAM


addiroids


Feb 6, 2002, 2:25 PM
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I lead 5.8 comfortably. I don't get on anything over 5.6 R, but that may change this summer in Tuolumne. Remember that R is a subjective rating also. The continuum of "R" is very wide and includes "less than what you want" pro to "just under X" although the later is usually listed as "R/X".

TRADitionally yours,

Addiroids


gunked


Feb 6, 2002, 2:25 PM
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Depends on the day, depends on the climb.

Depends undergarment, for that pucker-factor climb you've been dreaming about!

SORRY Couldn't resist!

There are times that I love a good runout. On my best day ever, maybe, I was leading .10's with no falls. I'd say I'm more like a .9 climber. When I'm feelin' hot that may extend, on rare occasion, to 5.9R. The problem with R routes is that they don't see as many ascents and tend to be quite loose and dusty (sometimes) as a result. Those are the leads that I can enjoy years down the line in my memories.

One climb in particular that comes to mind was Honky Tonk Woman 5.9R in the gunks. I did it, as I recall, the first week of Feb. Maybe 50 degrees in the sun? There was a half-assed nut protecting a crux move about 15-20 feet off the deck. There was a bolt about 25 ft. There wasn't anything for another 25 ft. The climb is actually somewhat of a slab climb with open-handed holds. They were all dusty being that early in the season. First time I had to use the toothbrush on lead, and I actually had one with me.

It's got to be at least 6 years since I did that lead. The facts may have changed over time. I probably remember it all wrong. It was a monumental climb for me at the time.

Hell, in twenty years, I might be looking back at 100 ft. groundfall. Regardless, of the facts, I'll cherish the climb and the memory of it.


Didn't mean to get all sappy. I love climbing!


mikedano


Feb 6, 2002, 2:29 PM
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I must say I'm not a fan of the "R." While I don't mind runout 5s and 6s, I don't want to do anything more than that (I climb about .8 trad.) The "pucker factor" is fun sometimes (love that phrase) but I'm happy with two working legs...


Partner rrrADAM


Feb 6, 2002, 3:51 PM
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Loved the "Depends" thing 'gunked'.


rrrADAM


faphantom


Feb 6, 2002, 4:23 PM
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welp, the ol' phantom has a jonesin' for "R" routes on a regular basis. Something about em just makes my insides aplaud gleefully.
I would say the variables I consider on "R" routes are the rock quality, and if the Runout is in the first 20 or 30 feet. My hardest "R" route has been an 11b/c on superb granite. Many other 11 R's on sandstone though. Oftentimes, I find that the runout section doesn't even exist on the hard section and alot of people miss out on a route because of that little letter tagged onto the end of an otherwise doable rating.Understand rubberbands?

FA Phantom


fo_d


Feb 6, 2002, 4:25 PM
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OK, I give. WTF is "R"?

Les


maculated


Feb 6, 2002, 5:14 PM
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R's an indication on topos for dangerous runout on a climb.


sizzlechest


Feb 6, 2002, 5:42 PM
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i agree with phantom sometimes i get amped on the r rating, sometimes i get scared on 5.7 r and other times i've sent a bunch of 11/11+ r's and the occasional 12 r without even noticing, take a good look at the route and prep for it mentally, it's wicked when i get in the zone


indiesummit


Feb 7, 2002, 12:59 PM
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I've made it up 11d R, and some 10s with groundfall potential -- I don't mind it as much on slab routes, but I shy away when it gets steeper, as steep climbs require strength, of which I have none. It all depends what you learn to climb, however. For example, I started leading on Oklahoma granite, which was originally bolted in a staunch traditional style, from stances or hooks. So when you grow up with runouts, you start not to even notice it after a while.

I can also say that I've had some very rewarding experiences from having to hold it together on a long runout...a caveat however, is that I rarely try to onsight (purposely anyway) anything too runout. I'm all about headpointing if the fall is potentially lethal or crippling.

Something that has helped me recently in dealing with runouts is simply finding a decent place to kind of sit back and enjoy my surroundings and the real reason I'm out there to begin with...it helps me calm down and keep things in perspective...might help you out as well some time...

Like we used to say when we were skeered,

When In Doubt, Run It Out!


[ This Message was edited by: indiesummit on 2002-02-07 13:32 ]


graniteboy


Feb 7, 2002, 11:29 PM
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I prefer the 5.9X category personally. I prefer putting up X routes as onsight solos. It keeps the riff raff off the route. Until someone comes and bolts it and claims "first ascent" anyway...
And of course, all routes are rated X if you leave the rope at home....


stroker


Feb 8, 2002, 6:40 AM
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I personally believe there are huge discrepancies in "r" ratings on routes. Some people don't possess the capability to distinguish the difference between "r" and "x" ratings. Theese ratings are, of course, as relative as decimal ratings and aid ratings. I climbed a route in the Wasatch, where my first piece of real gear was a old and rusted 1/4" bolt about 80-90 feet of the ground. I placed a #0 cam about 20' off the ground, yet this was placed behind a loose inch-thick flake. If I peeled on this route, I'm sure I would have been seriously maimed or killed. This route has a "r" rating. Why not an "x"? If the first pitch of an aid route has junk for the first 80', usually you'll find it with an A4 rating. A4 means you'll get jacked if you peel. Yet "r" is defined as a simple runout. Since my experience with some "r" routes, I've came to one conclusion. Treat all "r" routes, like "x" routes from the start. DO NOT get on these routes, unless you have the mindset to send under serious conditions. In a way, its like free climbing and aid climbing mixed in one. Lets call it "fraid climbing"!


traddad


Feb 8, 2002, 7:11 AM
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Well put, Stroker.
One should also note that ANY route becomes an "R" or even an "X" if you are inept at placing gear. I've had routes "turn into" Rs when I placed nuts without adequate runners. It's always fun to see your only piece of pro slowly rotating around the rope as it slides 30 feet down to the belayer. Use longer runners to isolate gear from "walking", double up gear in bomber placements, use screamers on iffy gear. These are all things we all know, but sometimes forget.
As for the thrill of running it out, I will have to say that I never feel more alive or focused than when I am well above my last piece. The adrenal buzz, the sharpness of perception....My palms are getting sweaty typing....time to chalk up.

Traddad


indiesummit


Feb 8, 2002, 9:15 AM
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Amen to that, brother.


Partner phylp


Feb 12, 2002, 8:45 PM
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Who was it that said "You are what you train"? In my first years of climbing/leading I onsighted lots of bolted slab R routes at grades several number grades above what I would even think about leading if it was a strenuous hand crack (5.11 vs. 5.9). I trained vertical fingery footwork intensive buildering so that's where my comfort zone was. The runouts felt kind of scary but doable because I did not "expect" to fall. Most of the time I was saying to myself "I will NOT fall on this route". Focus focus focus. It's just mental.
The old adage "The leader must not fall" is a good one for R routes. (And for Granite boy who is soloing!) Know the nature of the rock, know the nature of the route, and climb at a grade where you really feel very confident. BTW consistency has a lot to do with it too. I'm not NEARLY so cavalier about those kinds of routes now that I spend so much less time on them.


rushjunkie11


Oct 16, 2002, 6:17 PM
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Maybe it's just because i live so close to Whitesides, that or i'm just crazy/stupid.
I lead 5.10 trad no problem, i'll get on anything R rated under 5.8, and i'll free solo 5.5
Not to suicidal, just a little bit.


rockprodigy


Oct 17, 2002, 7:03 AM
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There's a lot of inconsistency with R ratings, so don't start thinking you're all that and a bag potato chips if you led something that has an R in the book. Gordon's direct in Little Cottonwood is called 11a R...why? there's a bolt at the freakin crux! Maybe it's "R" if you're stupid and you can't place gear? No, I think this was actually retro-bolted and the guidebook hasn't been updated...that's how it is at a lot of areas.

On hard R routes, I've found that 99% of the time the R is on some 5.7 part that's piss easy. The crux is usually well protected unless john bachar put up the route.


atg200


Oct 17, 2002, 7:52 AM
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i lead 8+/9- trad. i accidentally lead an 8+ X at lumpy ridge last year - i was nearly crying by the time i got to the hand jam that marks protection and easier climbing. i agree that it depends on the type of climbing - i'll lead 5.7X or 5.8R in the BH Needles because i learned on that stuff. no way i would lead a 5.7X at the gunks on the other hand.

it also depends if the climbing is unprotected or just on bad rock. i do well on bad rock, so runout climbs because people think the gear won't hold are ok for me.

in general, i lead 8+/9- and 5.7R(except at the gunks)


ambler


Oct 17, 2002, 8:08 AM
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As others have said, the R rating covers a lot of ground. Two very different examples:

* A runout above good pro, or bad pro above good pro -- so you risk a scary but survivable fall.

* Bad pro and runouts the whole way, so a ground- or ledge-fall is likely if you slip.

I'm less brave about the second, especially on steep rock that is within a few grades of my limit.


clmbnski


Oct 17, 2002, 11:58 AM
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I dont mind running it out too much if the fall is clean and the pro good. I hate running it out on loose rock because I never know if I am solid or not.


tanner


Oct 17, 2002, 9:46 PM
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When does a run out climb get a R or an X rating? Do they use such ratings in squamish because I hav't see any.


petsfed


Oct 17, 2002, 10:21 PM
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When the average climber gets tweaked by it being run out that's an R. When a solid climber gets tweaked out, that's an X. When a beginner gets tweaked out, its called a regular route.


cologman


Oct 18, 2002, 9:38 AM
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I'm with Stroker, it is not uncommon on long serious trad routes to climb under "R" conditions on ground perhaps as close to my threshold as a couple of letter grades. the decisions are certainly made personally but the Adrenalin comeswith the territory. I think I'll follow traddad and go chalk up!

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