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Partner artm


Mar 20, 2002, 8:09 AM
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is Joshua Tree full of sandbags?
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I noticed on the Redrocks rating thread that quite a few climbers feel J-Tree is under rated. Since this is where I spend most of my time climbing I've been inclined to think everywhere else I've climbed is soft (excluding Yosemite).
What's Your opinion?


madscientist


Mar 20, 2002, 8:16 AM
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I have never climbed at Joshua Tree, but I bet the sandbag ratings at Vedauwoo would give it a run for its money. These climbs are generally easy to protect, so there is not a large pucker factor, but they are notoriously hard. It is not uncommon look at the description in the guidebook of a 5.8 which reads, do the short section of 5.9+ and finish on a 5.7 handcrack. Does this then average to 5.8? A little different rating system than what I am used to.

[ This Message was edited by: madscientist on 2002-03-20 08:41 ]


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 20, 2002, 8:23 AM
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I think J-Tree is right on. I have winters off, and live in Long Beach, Ca, so half my winters are spent in J-Tree.

I've been fortunate to climb all over the country, and compared to places like Yosemite, Tuolumne, Eldo, Shelf Road, Devil's Tower, The Gunks, etc... J-Tree seems right on.


The Gunks is a little stiff, but that's still my favorite place.




rrrADAM


Partner artm


Mar 20, 2002, 8:23 AM
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Hmmm......
well, since the YDS was created at Tahquitz and developed at Yosemite and Josh was the practice ground for the golden age climbers. Would it be accurate to say that these three areas comprise a "yardstick" for the YDS?


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 20, 2002, 8:59 AM
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Great point artm.


jcclimber


Mar 20, 2002, 9:04 AM
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I would say that J-Tree is right on for the most part, but I have done a good amount of routes there that certainly seemed to be sandbagged. I think that you find a few routes like that everywhere though. J-Tree's ratings are good, and I wouldn't worry about it too much. Even if they were sandbagged, then you should feel better when you travel somewhere else and climb a higher rating!

Jake out


addiroids


Mar 20, 2002, 9:50 AM
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Joshua Tree good, sport climbing bad.

I do like the "yardstick" analogy. Damn, if people are b!tching about Josh so much, I can't wait to climb in other areas and onsight 5.12's since apparently Josh is underrated by so much. I put my vote in for "right on the money".

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


fishbait


Mar 20, 2002, 10:11 AM
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Josh is usually regarded as under rated precisely because of the history involved. Artm pointed out that Josh is a "yardstick" for the YDS when in fact it was more of a "testpiece." When the YDS was new, the group of people employing it was small. The range of routes that were originally rated 5.7 for example was much larger than the typical range for 5.7 today. Some of those routes in the upper end of that older range might be 5.8 today. Also some in the lower end might be 5.6. The YDS has undergone some refinements and has since been fine tuned. The guide book written by Randy Vogel has not undergone the same refinements that the YDS has. Can you imagine how many complaints Vogel would receive if he upgraded Double Cross to 5.8 (currently 5.7)? Yosemite and Tahquitz have the same inconsistencies for the same reasons. The first ascent pioneers were not incorrectly rating the routes, they were just experimenting with a new system. The newer climbing areas in the country that have seen a greater diversity of first ascentionists and are open to grade revisions more accurately represent the true YDS. The history of these older areas has locked the ratings in place, correct or not...


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 20, 2002, 10:31 AM
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Double Cross is definately sand-bagged, and is the Route of choice when saying that J-Tree is full of sand-bags. But I still think that J-Tree ratings are right on.

I've onsighted 5.11c out there (Keep The Train Rolling on Roller Ball Rock), and that's my best anywhere else.



rrrADAM


Partner artm


Mar 20, 2002, 10:36 AM
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Double Cross a 5.8? Bwhaahahaahaaha
Yeah it is not an easy 5.7 and ToeJam should also be 5.6
Okay seriously, I see your point.
Thanks for the history lesson. This is something that has always kind of bugged me.
One of my partners is always saying "if you can climb well at Josh you can climb well nearly anywhere." and I've always questioned that statement.

[ This Message was edited by: artm on 2002-03-20 10:45 ]


jt512


Mar 20, 2002, 10:49 AM
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Joshua Tree is notoriously sandbaggy. Clean and Jerk, a 5.10c? Riiiight.

-Jay


climberchic


Mar 20, 2002, 11:21 AM
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I climbed did some routes at J-Tree for the first time this last weekend (only bouldered before) and found the ratings to be tough. I am normally about a 5.9 leader and 5.10+ follow and I found I was at best a 5.8 follow out there (most likely 5.9 before injuries).

I'm open to the possibilty that these were true ratings and every where I've climbed before has been soft. I'm from an area where ratings (at least in my circles) are EVERYTHING. I can see how ratings would go soft this way (to boost one's resume). It doesn't seem that way at Josh. Just goes to show…don’t rely too on boosting your ego with ratings. They are interpretive and your fantastic 5.10 send maybe a 5.8 send in another area.

My advice? Climb cause you love to climb instead of for validation. Otherwise your ego might get a serious smackdown if you venture outside your safety zone (like mine did )



tavs


Mar 20, 2002, 11:51 AM
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Another point to note (and adding to the "history lesson")--these places that are known as being "stiff" or "sandbagged" (Josh, Yosemite, Gunks, Cathedral in NH, Seneca, etc) are the places that were developed earliest (compared to, for example the New), when the YDS scale was, in addition to being experimented with, only went up to 5.10. This upper limit had an impact on ratings, especially as harder shite was being climbed. So, someone puts up a line, and says, wow, that was harder than any of the 5.9s I've done, but man, 5.10 is the hardest rating, and it can't be one of the hardest things out there, so I'll give it the .9.

So, when someone says, well, that .11b I did felt spot on, well, it probably is, as it was climbed/rated later on, after the scale was refined, extended, and all. But those old 5.7s, 5.8s, and so on (if they were indeed put up way back when), may indeed be way harder than a 5.7, 5.8 at a place developed later on. Take the Gunks--I defy anyone to tell me that they think the third pitch of High E feel like many other 5.6s they've climbed anywhere else!


Partner artm


Mar 20, 2002, 12:18 PM
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Ya know, I find these little history lessons really fascinating. Keep them coming folks...let's hear some more.
maybe we should re-title this thread "The history of Sandbagging at Joshua Tree"!
Jay, clean and jerk is absolutely 10c......with a nice sustained pumpy 10a/b after the crux. There's a great kneebar to rest on up there thank god!

[ This Message was edited by: artm on 2002-03-20 12:23 ]


jt512


Mar 20, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Quote:Jay, clean and jerk is absolutely 10c.

Not according to the first ascentionist, who admitted to my friend Brent that it's a 5.11, and that he intentionally gave it a sandbag rating.

-Jay


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 20, 2002, 12:30 PM
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3rd pitch of High E is an easy .6, it just has major pucker factor, which does not weigh in on the rating.




rrrADAM

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-03-27 10:56 ]


tavs


Mar 22, 2002, 6:01 AM
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Have to disagre with you there. I was following it when I climber it, and thought it was much harder climbing (not worrying about gear and all) than any .6 I've done--and most of the .6's I've done in recent memory were trad leads. Even the .6s and .7s I did at Josh were easier moves--where else have you seen a slightly overhanging face with moves off slopers that was rated 5.6? Not at any more recently developed area, I'd venture.


graniteboy


Mar 22, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Yeah, there are a few sandbags out there in Jtree. Most of the ratings are OK. I suspect that it's because the original climbing communiy out there was a bit insular, and they misrated a few things here and there.
More common than misrated climbs, I see routes out there that are "adult" routes.
Nice example: go check out "true Democracy" in the wonderlands.
Although it's 5.9; the moves are sketchy and crumbly. You finally get pro just after the crux, about 40 feet out. wooohoo.


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 22, 2002, 1:24 PM
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re: High E

I asked my wife if she thought it was hard for 5.6, and she said yes. I've done it 3 times, so maybe I have it a little wired.

Not trying to sand-bag it.



rrrADAM


maculated


Mar 22, 2002, 1:24 PM
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Hmm . . .

Wouldn't it just depend on the FA's? The stuff I was able to ascend seemed WAY too easy, especially since I've never really crack climbed before until I got there. But then I hop on a 5.10a on Hemmingway Buttress and I can't even get past the first move. Although, I will admit I'm hit or miss on 10a's and b's, I can usually work past the first couple moves.

::shrug::


jt512


Mar 22, 2002, 1:56 PM
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Overall, the ratings at J Tree are stiff, but there are exceptions. The Thin Wall, for instance, is pretty anti-sandbaged. Same with the Shorter Wall in Lost Horse. But anyone who denies that J Tree isn't a little sandbaggy overall is...well...sandbagging.

-Jay


pbjosh


Mar 22, 2002, 4:17 PM
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I don't think that Clean and Jerk is a sandbag. One or two powerful moves down low then some very easy though pumpy climbing- maybe 10a, to a no hands no effort rest to maybe some 9 climbing to the top... definitely not technically challenging for the grade, maybe just powerful.

A lot of the other climbs that are supposed to be sandbags I also thing are right on - Dogleg, Double Cross, Loose Lady, Toe Jam, Crank Queenie, etc. They may seem hard if you're not used to jtree or you're leading at your limit but as you get better and more used to them they'll seem like good challenges for the grade. In retrospect a lot of people still think Illusion Dweller and Fisticuffs are 9 or 10a. If that's the case then Dogleg, Crank Queenie and Double Cross (all of which I've heard pronounced 5.9) sure as heck aren't any harder than Vogel rates them

Not to say there aren't some great sandbags out there - Right V Crack... 10a my ass. Consensus among the guides, nomad employees and other locals I've talked to seems to be 10c. I sure didn't think it was 10a, definitely a more challenging and technical lead than Clean and Jerk, though not as steep or pumpy.

FWIW, I also totally agree that jtree, tahquitz and the valley are where the YDS was defined and should continue to be the places by which it is defined...

my $.02

..josh


pbjosh


Mar 22, 2002, 4:18 PM
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One other thought, fwiw. I've done 90% of my climbing in jtree, idyllwild and the valley. The couple of times I've been to Red Rocks I thought the ratings were very soft. I've heard the same both ways (that the valley or jtree or idyllwild is stiff or that red rocks is soft) from a lot of people...

..josh


graniteboy


Mar 22, 2002, 4:20 PM
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Now here's a proof of the pudding question;
Often, areas that have a high sandbag factor have no really "hard" rated climbs. If the local 5.12d is really 5.14a, you won't see any 5.13s to speak of.
I don't pull 5.13, but how many 5.13s are there in josh?


Partner artm


Mar 22, 2002, 4:29 PM
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there are 35 5.13 climbs ranging from A-D
according to Vogels guide book

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