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when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber?
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Partner neuroshock


Dec 3, 2003, 9:50 AM
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when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber?
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the "whats everybody climbing?" thread got me wondering....

i don't spray what i'm able to climb b/c (1) i don't think what i climb should generally matter to others and (2) i haven't an idea what to reply with if i did!

i have a friend who refused to call himself anything more than a 5.11 sportclimber until he had 25 5.12 redpoints under his belt. i've another who won't call himself a 5.12a sportclimber until he can onsight 5.12a's at least half the time, and at several crags.

granted, a 5.12a at one crag could pass for a 5.11c or 5.12c at a different crag, or a V6 at a boulderfield could be V3 elsewhere. but even more so, when do you call yourself an 5.?/V? climber? when you've several under your belt so you know it wasn't a fluke? when you've been able to lead/send that grade at several crags? when you're able to onsight that grade more than half the time?

what rule do you stick by?


and for those trad climbers, do you ever lump everything together and think to yourself you're generally a 5.? climber? do you think of yourself with everything broken down? (ex: 5.6 fingers, 5.8 hands, 5.4 offwidth, 5.5 chimney, 5.4 off-fingers, etc etc) or area specific? (5.# at Indian Creek, 5.? at Yosemite, 5.$ at Vedauwoo, etc)


overlord


Dec 3, 2003, 10:08 AM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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i think youre a 5.12a climber when oyu can comfortably RP most 5.12as you try. that means little or no projecting, just a few tries. since this is about "medium" difficulty long projecting doesnt really qualify you.


but, when you move up the grades, rules change. so you can call yourself a 5.14b climber if youre able to climb the grade. you can project and stuff. thats because this is the close to the current difficulty limit. if you could onsight .14b you could prbably redpoint .15a. and not a lot of climbers can do that.

thats wahts on my mind.

but its all the same to me if you can only RP 5.10 and claim you are a 5.14 climber. suit yourself.


jcinco


Dec 3, 2003, 10:12 AM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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Definitely a little different for sport versus trad.

For sport, I generally consider someone a 5.X climber when they can redpoint a route of that grade quickly (like 2nd or 3rd try).

For trad, someone who is a 5.X climber should be able to consistently onsight that grade (at least 50% of the time). Don't include offwidths in this, since almost nobody onsights OWs anywhere near the grade they normally climb.


hugepedro


Dec 3, 2003, 10:26 AM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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In my opinion, the only reason to talk numbers is for the purpose of partnering up. You need to know what your partner can actually climb, especially if it's a multi-pitch. Sport or trad, it's a safety issue. If you tell me you're a 5.x climber and we get on a multipitch that you fall all over, you're putting both of us in danger. If you say you climb 5.x then you damn well better be able to climb at that level consistently, flash or onsight, no falls, at multiple crags.

If you tell people that you climb at a level that is your redpoint level, and you don't say it's your redpoint level, then you are an insecure, numbers whore.


ambler


Dec 3, 2003, 10:33 AM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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I suppose that if you make one unqualified statement, "I'm a 5.xx climber," then 5.xx oughtta be the grade that you're currently able to lead outdoors, placing your own gear, and with a reasonably high onsight success rate (say 50% or so) regardless of general type (slab, roof, chimney...).

Depending on who you're talking to and why they care, a more qualified statement like "I toprope 5.xx in the gym, and once redpointed a 5.zz sport route, but have never tried a chimney" could be in order.


vegastradguy


Dec 3, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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as a trad climber, i had trouble calling myself a 5.8 leader until i was at a level where i could comfortably onsight most any 5.8 i came across. now, there's almost certainly 5.8's out there that i would fall all over, but in general, i can lead 5.8 face, crack, & chimney with little difficulty. i can lead 5.8 OW, but it still gives me a bit of trouble. :lol:

i'm now starting to work on 5.9, but while i can lead a 5.9 here and there, i would by no means call myself a 5.9 trad leader. until i'm proficient at a good majority of 5.9 techniques, i will designate myself as a 5.8 leader. i may say "hey, i can lead 5.8 whatever, and the occasional 5.9 handcrack, face, etc..."

hrm, i think i got my point across. i do agree that in sport, the situation is different because the approach to the climbing is different. if you can easily redpoint at a certain grade, you can probably call yourself a 5.x climber. bouldering could probably be approached the same way.


craggy


Dec 3, 2003, 12:36 PM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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You call yourself a 5.x or a Vx when you have successfully and consistently send at that level (no arbitrary number needed). This is obvious to me ... saying you are a V8 boulderer cause you sent one doesn't mean you are a V8 boulderer, sending several different kinds of V8 boulder problems though, you can safely say you are at the level V8. Onsighting/flashing a problem/route doesn't mean you are only at that level ... if you can consistently flash at a V8 boulder level than most likely you can send V10+ after multiple tries...

Also, there is no such thing as a fluke in climbing... if you send something - you sent it. It's not like you accidently, without meaning to, climbed up a wall without falling and got to the top...

But there is one thing to remember, one mans 5.12c is another mans 5.12a is another mans 5.12d - same goes for bouldering. Grades are a kind of guess really as to how hard the problem COULD be. but usually in the guide or on the internet they will let you know if it's sand-bagged or soft for the grade... I think there should be 2 grades - one for short people, one for tall... but that'll never happen.


Partner neuroshock


Dec 3, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Also, there is no such thing as a fluke in climbing... if you send something - you sent it. It's not like you accidently, without meaning to, climbed up a wall without falling and got to the top...

okay, i didn't mean fluke in that fashion. to elaborate on my meaning, if someone has done a couple "soft" 5.11a climbs (not knowing they're soft), then doing several more (which we can hope aren't all soft too) would sort out the situation a little better. there are those "really soft" climbs and a person could seek them all out, but i don't think that's much fun.

In reply to:
But there is one thing to remember, one mans 5.12c is another mans 5.12a is another mans 5.12d - same goes for bouldering. Grades are a kind of guess really as to how hard the problem COULD be. but usually in the guide or on the internet they will let you know if it's sand-bagged or soft for the grade... I think there should be 2 grades - one for short people, one for tall... but that'll never happen.

as far as the multiple grades thing, i don't think it's needed. however, being 5'11"/6'0" w/ +1/2" ape, i will say that i think shorter climbers that "climb at the same difficulty/rating level" as me are better climbers than i. they have to use all those intermediates that i cringe at and better technique or strength to pull off the same reachy move.


cfnubbler


Dec 3, 2003, 2:24 PM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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I know I'm old school, but for me, being a "5.xx climber" is synonymous with consistently (say 75%+ of the time) onsighting 5.xx.

Working a route into submission and thus redpointing 5.xx, while a worthy pursuit, does not make one a "5.xx" climber.

I also draw a huge distinction between sport and trad in this regard. For example, IMHO, if a climber consistently onsights .12a sport routes at numerous crags and on numerous types of rock, she/he is just that, a .12a sport climber. Because that level of sport climbing expertise frequently doesn't translate well to many trad routes, to be completely truthful, she/he really needs to explicitly state that she/he is a .12a sport climber.

By the same logic, a trad climber cannot rightfully claim to be a 5.11 climber until she/he consistently onsights 5.11 slabs, fingers, hands, and yes, even offwidths.

I realize that by these definitions, there aren't that many 5.11 trad and 5.12 sport climbers out there in the grand scheme of things, but I don't think that's a bad thing.

-Nubbler


laclimberchick


Dec 3, 2003, 7:19 PM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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I think that to consider your self a 5. ?/ V? climber you should be onsighting that level. Granted there will be a couple of routes of that level which you will not be able to onsight but that will always happen.So inorder to call yourself a 5.12a climber you should be onsighting almost every 12a you get on indoors or outdoors. :D


curt


Dec 3, 2003, 7:33 PM
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Re: when do you call yourself a 5.?/V? climber? [In reply to]
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Unless you provide some sort of disclaimer to your assertion of being a 5.? climber, you ought to be able to do them all the time--regardless of what type of 5.? climb you are talking about. In other words, calling yourself a 5.? climber means you are solid in that grade. A 5.? friction slab, 5.? overhang, 5.? offwidth, 5.? fingercrack or other 5.? climbing type requiring specific techniques are things you can do always do. Perhaps not with no falls 100% of the time, but you will do them. That's my definition anyway.

Curt


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