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Where is the top of a sport route?

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 Gazmataz 16 Nov 2020

A few weeks ago I did Little Sod at the Cuttings. It goes up an arete which finishes at the top of the cliff. The obvious crux are a few moves half way up the climb after which you get onto a ledge from where you can reach up, stick a quick draw into the chains and call it a day.  

But...there are a few more moves to get to the top of the cliff and they're a bit tricky - probably slightly harder than the lower crux but still around the 6b grade. So what do you think? Where's the "real" end of a climb? Anyone got any other examples of sport climbs that don't end at the chains? 

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 HeMa 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

It depends on the route.

But generally speaking a sport route ends after you've clipped the chains. And AFAIK there are even routes where grappin' the chain is A-OK (some hard route in Malham, did Ondra did not tick as he didn't know that it was OK on this route), they be of a minority tough.

Obviously some retro-bolted trad routes might be different (these used to top out, but for convenience, the anchor is often below the lip). So if done properly the grade should reflect that. 

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 kristian 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

From a bolters prospective the lower off has to go in a solid bit of rock, which is often below a natural finish. The fall line also needs to be clean so the rope does no rub against edges. Sometimes the finished product is unsatisfactory so it's down to the individual to determine a logical finish.

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 1poundSOCKS 16 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

Raindogs (8a or + without the chain grab) and Frankenstein (7a+) are the ones that spring to mind.

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 Nez 16 Nov 2020
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

obviously you need to throw into the mix where you clip the belay from?? daisy chains of quickdraws dangling from the belay make a huge  difference both psychological and physically about where the route ends!!

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Bilbo Baggins 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

For me it's the moment I get the rope into the lower off but I much prefer to do that whilst hanging from a natural hold rather than hanging from the chain/bolt.  Unfortunately this is not always possible.

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 Iamgregp 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

If you've reached up, put a draw in the chains and clipped it the route is done I reckon.

That said, I do like to get myself up and into a proper clipping position for the chains, not something on the stretch a move or two below what you know is the real clipping position for the chains, but that's just preference. 

As long as you clip the chains clean it's a send in my book, anything else is a bonus.

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In reply to HeMa:

> Obviously some retro-bolted trad routes might be different (these used to top out, but for convenience, the anchor is often below the lip). So if done properly the grade should reflect that. 

Do you have to take the fall from the top onto the belay for the full tick?

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 john arran 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Do you have to take the fall from the top onto the belay for the full tick?

That was pretty much the case with Dominatrix (7c), which when it was first done didn't have a lower-off at the top, so it was usual to take the fall onto the last bolt, which was out of sight beneath the lip of the final overhang.

I remember the crux for me was reversing the hard pull over the lip after I'd topped it, as I was way too chicken to just let go!

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 cb294 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

Albatros on Gernerfels in the Frankenjura, UIAA 8- (6c+/7a ish). You climb past the last bolt at the end of the steep overhang for a couple of less overhanging meters. Instead of exiting via the grass band you traditionally just spread your wings and fly away.

No idea whether it is still done this way, has been 25 years or so since I last climbed that route.

Tempus fugit....

CB

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 GrahamD 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

In my experience,  the top of the cuttings has often made it's way to the foot of the climb.

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In reply to Gazmataz:

As a generally rule, if you can touch the lower off in control then you've finished the route, clip it hanging on to whatever you want after that. 

As said above, some routes have specific rules but these will probably be stated in the description if its something odd, if unsure ask a local.  

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 1poundSOCKS 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Nez:

> obviously you need to throw into the mix where you clip the belay from?? daisy chains of quickdraws dangling from the belay make a huge  difference both psychological and physically about where the route ends!!

Being a bit on the short side I give myself a bit of leeway if it seems obvious most people can clip from a decent hold where I can't quite reach. But equally I don't like to feel I've cheated and skipped any moves.

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 Stuart William 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I agree with that. For me it’s the point where I could comfortably put draws into the lower off. So if I’ve left the draws in and on the redpoint can clip a couple of moves lower, I’ll still then need to climb the last couple of moves to the point where I could/would have placed draws before considering it done. Although I would consider it a necessity to clip first from a hold before calling it done

Post edited at 15:34
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 Gazmataz 16 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

That is definitely why the chains are where they are, just a shame that the best moves on the climb are above the chains and so are optional

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In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I'm assuming the dislikers are wanting the lower off to be clipped from a hold on the route rather than from holding the chains?

I generally do clip from a hold but I wouldn't deny someone the tick if they've clipped the LO from holding the chains.  As long at they haven't launched at them because they can't climb up to them or shoved a quickdraw on them for the purpose of having something lower down to grab then I wouldn't worry about it too much.  There are plenty of videos of top climbers clipping the LO from holding the chains and I don't see anyone telling them they've not done the route.

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 jimtitt 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

Touch the bolt it's over.

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 Philb1950 16 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

Same with Brachiation Dance, WCJ Cornice

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 Webster 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

as i have said on similar threads, its sport, its all arbitrary. do whatever you want, as long as you are have fun. unless you are a pro and sponsorship depends on the 'validity' of your ascents...

as an aside, there are plenty of sport routes which top out, which may or may not have a bolted anchor set back for absail descent.

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 Iamgregp 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Are they French top climbers in these vids you’ve seen?

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In reply to Iamgregp:

Czech, I believe. 

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 spidermonkey09 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

That is just not the case. Belay/a draw hanging from the belay has to be clipped holding the rock bar the odd exception, Raindogs being one of them. Grabbing chains all over the place is definitely not in. 

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In reply to spidermonkey09:

Christ! Sounds like I've never actually completed a sports route in my life! I always thought the climb finished once you're at the chains and never had any qualms about grabbing them off the last holds of the climb.

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 PaulJepson 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

That route is an absolute bastard, isn't it? A sandbag by even Cuttings standards. Horrible, horrible climb. My friend and I couldn't stop laughing the whole time about how horrible and hard it was (it was a classic 'one last route' climb). I remember it being an awkward finish because you clip from a hideous undercut or something? It's up for debate on that sort of thing, and I think if it doesn't feel like you've finished then you probably haven't (sport is all arbitrary anyway). 

Shin Gi Tai (6b+) you can clip the rightmost loweroff relatively easily but arguably the crux of the route is getting over so you can clip the other one. I don't think you can claim a tick if you just clip the one and don't do the last move. 

It comes down to whoever put it up I think. There's a route on peak limestone where you clip both the loweroffs but you only get the full tick if you climb through the roof above and then fall back down onto the anchor! 

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 Al Randall 17 Nov 2020
In reply to ebdon:

It's not something that is worth worrying about and it's certainly not a yardstick that I would judge other climbers by. Sometimes the holds are so big that grabbing the chain is no easier than just standing there and clipping from natural holds.  At other times it's literally impossible to NOT grab the chain.  It's simply that I personally get more satisfaction by clipping the chain before I get hold of it and that is what I try to do every time. I wouldn't find the route very satisfactory from a quality perspective if everything was straightforward apart from the move to clip the chain (I have experienced routes like that). As others have said it's all arbitrary and at times senseless.

Al

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In reply to Al Randall:

Quite, my thoughts exactly, I think you generally know if you have 'done' a route or not or cheated through a move or two.  I've certainly done a few where the crux involed clipping the chains, but they weren't very good routes!

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 spidermonkey09 17 Nov 2020
In reply to ebdon:

Obviously its up to you what you consider a 'proper' tick or not, but clipping the chain is part of the route, just like clipping the other draws is part of the route. It might be in the wrong place which make it a bit harder but thats part of the game. Raindogs is very literally the only route I can think of where a chain grab is considered kosher, even on Frankenstein further along more people clip it properly these days. I get the feeling chain grabbing was de rigour in the 90s but it certainly isn't now and I would definitely call my mates out on it if they started doing it! It amazes me so many people think otherwise as routinely grabbing a chain and claiming the tick would get the climber laughed ateverywhere I have sport climbed; perhaps most on here are predominantly trad climbers and not aware of the prevailing ethic? No judgement at all as I am genuinely amazed! 

Post edited at 12:28
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 HeMa 17 Nov 2020
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Obviously its up to you what you consider a 'proper' tick or not, but clipping the chain is part of the route...

Ding ding, if clipping the the anchor by hanging from it is kosher, so if hanging on each draw when you clip it (or just feel like it).

And to extrapolate that to trad, means that stepping on hexes or pulling from cam slings/draws on wires is also ok.

The idea of free climbing is to get to the top without putting any weight on the protection until the route ends... by default a sport route ends after the anchor is clipped (exceptions exist, but they are not certainly the norm).

Now if the anchor clippin' is the crux of the route... well, it's a shoddy route, but unless it CLEARLY states that clippin' the anchor is OK on the guide, then you don't grap the anchor until you've clipped it.

But as was also mentioned, unless you're a pro... it really doesn't matter that much, it's all up to you.

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In reply to HeMa:

I guess this is somewhat academic anyway in a UK context as most lower offs (in the peak at least) are two bolt/ staple configuration which are not 'grabable'

I guess for me I always clip in direct with my cowstail anyway and generally don't bother with extra draws at the top so it kinda made sense to do this hanging off the chain if there was one there, I'll probably keep doing this as I cant be arsesd to clip a draw then immediately unclip it when I'm hard in! IMO it's a bit different to clipping bolts on the way up as weather you actually clip the bolts is immaterial to the 'tick' but you have to clip into the anchors! Either way it's rather academic to the punter grades I climb. Oddly enough I would never consider pulling on a draw if it was allready in at the top as I guess ive conditioned myself to this being never ok.

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 PaulJepson 17 Nov 2020
In reply to ebdon:

If you grab a draw to clip it's a dog. There's been occasion when I haven't felt comfortable enough to drag a load of slack up to clip without grabbing the draw, which is fine, but it's a dog. 

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 Iamgregp 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Interesting.  Reason I ask is a climb a lot with a French guy who reckons it's fair game to grab the chains in France.

Wonder if the view on this varies country to country?

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 GrahamD 17 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

That makes the top anchor the only compulsory one to clip, which doesn't seem right.

I was always fascinated by John Dunne's Hawaii 5 - 0 finish at Malham where you basically finish the route and just jump off.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

I climb mostly on Peak Lime where there is normally just a double bolt at the top so chain grabbing isn't an option as there isn't one.  I've not climbed extensively on french sport, what's the norm in terms of equipping at the top? Maybe if most places have a chain it's normal to grab it and most people here don't consider that OK because most of the time it's not an option anyway and we've all just got used to clipping off a hold. 

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 HeMa 17 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

By Most accounts it is so. However as has been pointed out, some routes don’t have and anchor or it’s kosher to grap the anchor. 
 

if you climb past the anchor and jump from the top. I’d also call it good. After all generally climbing is harder than clipping the anchor. 

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 Al Randall 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Interesting.  Reason I ask is a climb a lot with a French guy who reckons it's fair game to grab the chains in France.

Once upon a time the French thought it was fair game to grab everything in sight

Only joking.  Oh No wait a minute! Seriously they didn't have the same ethics as the UK.  I suspect that because their skills developed in an alpine setting where the "rules" are different. We used to jokingly call pulling on a peg "French style"

Al

Post edited at 16:29
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 Iamgregp 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Not sure.  Despite having climbed quite a few places round Europe I've never climbed in France...

Might be something to do with "French Free" climbing where it's free climbing, but pulling on the occasional draw or chains or bit of gear here and there is legit?

Edit: @Al think I wrote this just as you were writing your post!

Post edited at 16:32
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In reply to spidermonkey09:

Out of interest (and I am interested, not trying to be obtuse) what's your viewpoint on having the first bolt preclipped? While clipping the lower off from the chain or draw isn't something I regularly do (but I don't look down on others for choosing to), I often preclip the first bolt.

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 Joffy 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

The current ethics state this is fine. Look at what the pros are doing and you will often see the first bolt pre clipped, and obviously the rest with the draws in.

I think Ondra talked about having the second bolt pre clipped in a recent video and basically said it was down to how the first ascent was.

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 spidermonkey09 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Chains are widespread in the UK even if not in the Peak. They are very common in Yorkshire, for example, but you don't catch people grabbing them!

Preclipping first or second bolts is a safety issue for me rather than an ethical one. I quite often pre clip the first two regardless, although not so often in the UK as that's sometimes half the route. On RnP at the cornice I had the first 3 preclipped (so did Ben Moon!).

You don't see Ondra or Megos (or anyone else for that matter) grabbing chains at the top of their routes, not sure why the idea has any traction. Presumably because people have done it once or twice when really boxed /scared, taken the tick and weren't called out by their mates, and now it's become a habit which they are too committed to to renounce! 

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 GrahamD 18 Nov 2020
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Just watched the latest Megos video and although he doesn't grab a chain, he does clip into a long, preplaced draw.

This begs the question is the route graded for clipping at the last bolt or, as in this case, slightly below it ?  If its acceptable to say clipping the last draw is the end of the route, just how long can that draw be ?

Tricky stuff !

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 spidermonkey09 18 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Every draw is preplaced when sport climbing as you know. Sometimes the belay has to go higher than would be ideal for reasons of rock quality and that might be why the last draw is long. It might also be to make it easier to clip from a jug. Whatever it is, it makes rather less difference on a 45m pitch than it does on a 7m peak 6b!

Clearly on a 10m pitch you cant have the draw on the belay massively extended. Its classic UKC to get be interested in this minutiae though while a large number of commenters argue that using actual aid on a sport route is ok! I say that in good humour albeit somewhat wearily...

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 GrahamD 18 Nov 2020
In reply to spidermonkey09:

All in good humour,  as you say.  At my level, it's pretty academic as no one will have preplaced anything ! 

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In reply to ebdon:

I think it changed sometime in the late 80s early 90's/ When sport was relatively new here grabbing the chains seemed normal then probably someone in Sheffield ,with time on their hands,  decided it wasn't. 

Remember enjoying grabbing the chair on Poema de Roca (P1) (7a)

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 john arran 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> I think it changed sometime in the late 80s early 90's

At precisely that time, competition rules were such that grabbing the chain before clipping it was a no-no but clipping it was considered a top-out even if you hadn't yet touched the top hold, so the practice must have been pretty well established prior to that.

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 Joffy 18 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

The current comp rules for lead are even more misleading.

Although they count the holds as progress, and have to clip each quickdraw, if they can clip the anchor from lower holds it counts as a send. 

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 raussmf 18 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Sort of related...I've seen a few videos out there of people climbing in Czech where the bolts / rings are very spaced. They had hung a double extended quickdraw on the ring effectively creating an intermedaite bolt to clip. i.e. snapgate through ring, 120cm sling, snapgate, 120cm sling snapgate.

Routes would be conserably easier for most if this was standard in the UK


 

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Joffy:

No, they are not.

You clip each draw, that's a full point for each. And after clipping, the establishing yourself on the next you get awarded by .1 points.

So clip draw nr 13, you have 13 points, make the first move after that in control... whee you have 13.1 points. Make the second move, whippee 13.2 points. Topout (so clip the anchor), yer done... now matter if there are still holds above ya. But quite often the comp routes are such that clipping the anchor is not really possible, so that's a moot point (or botched up route-setting).

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to raussmf:

> Routes would be conserably easier for most if this was standard in the UK

Oh, it suddenly transforms the holds to be bigger?

Sport climbing is all about physical difficulty. So in honestly it really doesn't matter how much you daisy-chain stuff before the anchor. Now to extend the anchor (more than is needed), I'd call that cheating.

Ps. if you'd use the same bolting ethichs in UK as they do in Elbesandstein, you would be looking at one or perhaps two bolts and the anchor... And most shorter crags would just have the anchor ;). Elbesandstein is not really sport climbing per se (UK mostly is), it's climbing with bolt protection.

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 GrahamD 18 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

> Sport climbing is all about physical difficulty. So in honestly it really doesn't matter how much you daisy-chain stuff before the anchor.

Not true for us punters who lack the bottle.

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

I love the way people talk about routes being easier or harder in reference to the bolts/protection.

There was quite a few references to it on the "Bolts at Gogarth" thread, about how a difficult E(whatever) could be turned into an easier E(lower number) if this peg was put here or there or whatever.  Now, I more or less understand British trad grades take into account the seriousness of the route including protection, so the E grade would lowered if a peg is added, but that doesn't make it any easier or harder to climb, just less scary.

If you think about it, climbing up, clipping a peg and then climbing up higher is more work than just climbing!

Routes don't climb any easier or harder depending on bolts or protection, just easier or harder to commit to.  The actual moves and holds remain unchanged.

I know that what people mean, I just find it funny when people talk in those terms...   

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 spidermonkey09 18 Nov 2020

There is nothing stopping you doing this when you put the draws in routes if you want to. However, most of the time you'll just find that you're stopping every two moves to clip and getting pumped rather than carrying on to the next bolt. It certainly doesn't make it easier, and in any case most routes in the UK are pretty well bolted. As GrahamD honestly acknowledges, the limiting factor for most people is bravery rather than the actual risk of hurting yourself. 

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In reply to HeMa:

Is that an American scoring system? In IFSC comps it is the last hold controlled that is scored with the exception of the anchor as mentioned above. The draws are required to be clipped in order but this is a safety requirement and not part of the scoring system.

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 raussmf 18 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

"for most" meaning those who can tell the difference between leading and top roping.

Granted if Megos had top roped his 9C I'd still be impressed...or would I...

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 raussmf 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

Protection relates massively to mental state. By that logic soloing is as easy as top roping?

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 john arran 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

That's a very blinkered definition of difficulty you have there, taking purely the physical element into account and ignoring all else. There's more to trad climbing than physical ability, so it stands to reason that more physically challenging routes may not be the most difficult ones to lead overall.

Which is more difficult: slacklining in the park 50cm above the ground, or slacklining above a huge chasm? I think pretty much everyone would agree that, while the physical element may be identical, one of them is a far more difficult proposition than the other.

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

Assuming there's no extra wind swirling around the chasm, they're both as difficult as one another.  Yes, one is absolutely terrifying and the other not at all, but in terms of difficulty it's the same.  What's difficult is controlling your fear in order to do the chasm line.   

I agree absolutely that's a very narrow definition of "difficulty" I'm using, but surely that's exactly what you want to be able to do as a climber?  To try and separate your fear, or the perceived danger to allow yourself to be calm and collected to undertake the actual physical challenge? 

Now I'm not exactly some kind of Alex Honnold style mind master who can separate the physical challenge from the emotional fear or owt like that, but I think approaching climbing with that mindset (and therefore narrow definition) is healthy.

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to raussmf:

> Protection relates massively to mental state.

Agreed, but your mental state doesn't relate to how difficult a route is

> By that logic soloing is as easy as top roping?

No easier.  Just waaaaay more scary.

Post edited at 15:01
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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to CVI:

Actually IWC lead scoring.

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 john arran 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

> What's difficult is controlling your fear in order to do the chasm line. 

But, by your reasoning, that isn't added difficulty at all, as apparently they're both the same difficulty.

If you're looking to convince others that your very blinkered definition of the word "difficulty" is useful, it would help if you were at least consistent in its usage.

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 Joffy 18 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

Not sure what IWC is, but yeah I should have specified that I meant IFSC rules which is used for Olympics.

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to raussmf:

I can’t honestly tell If a move is harder on lead/solo/boulder/top-rope. More scary, you bet as I’m a super wuss scared of heights and with a fear of falling. But as said, they are not the part of sport climbing and even I can overcome my limitations when I’n redpointing (or headpointing) something hard. For me, it’s a matter of focus. 
 

that being said, with a Hectic work schedule, two young kids and so on, I’ve been mostly bouldering the last few years. In fact, I’ve only climbed one route this year. A somewhat sustained f7a on mostly small gear. Safe, but precise and also sustained. Which I did practice a few times on as TR solo (lack of time etc, see above). Miss iPad was telling a story to the kids for the actual lead. 

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Joffy:

Ice World Cup

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to john arran:

I am consistent in it's usage, I'm just using the word difficult to refer to the difficulty in controlling emotions as well as carrying out physical tasks. 

Now, here's the interesting bit (and this is probably the best counter to my argument, so I've no idea why I'm bringing it up!).  When we experience fear this can have some physical effects (shaking, sweating, raised pulse etc) and these effects could have an effect on our physical performance of a task (the shaking may upset our balance, the sweating makes our feet slip) but  (this bit is the crux of my point, I think) the actual task itself is constant in difficulty, it's just that our likely performance the task is likely to be negatively affected by the physical manifestations of fear.

Aaaanyway, I'm not really trying to convince anyone of anything (I gave up on that a ling time ago) I just said it makes me laugh when people talk about difficulty in those terms.  It's just a point of view and I think a quite useful one for me.  

At the end of the day it's a pointless argument as we both agree that the physical element remains the same, and your argument is that the emotional, fear controlling side of a route should be considered part of it's difficulty whereas my argument is that the fear/danger aspect is another scale.

It's almost like we need to make up a grading system with two values, one for how physically or technically difficult it is, say just the hardest move, and then another value to show serious the route is overall, what with protection and all that ;)

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> Routes don't climb any easier or harder depending on bolts or protection, just easier or harder to commit to.  The actual moves and holds remain unchanged.

But not necessarily the physicality and emotionality (if that's a word) of completing the pitch...

(If we can quickly re-open the Gogarth can of worms and even more quickly close it!)  Let's imagine I finally get on route X on Gogarth, which I've yearned to do for yonks but am shit scared of. With dodgy gear, I'll be upping and downing like the proverbial wedding night nightie, desperate to get as much gear in as possible, nose around the crux and inevitably ponder whether the world's greatest coward is gonna commit. All this is going to take quite some time, probably in a baking hot sun and the upping and downing is going to take quite a bit of physical energy. The inevitable pondering is going to take a fair bit of emotional energy too. And this is before I commit (if I commit!)

Contrast with rock up, clip something bomber and just go for it. Same holds, same moves but this time I'm only doing them once (well, hopefully!) with a fraction of the time and effort.

Big difference, surely?

Mick

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 Michael Gordon 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

This seems to be semantics as we all know it's harder to do a route with shit gear than the same route with bolts. But just to indulge it for a second, you've got to admit that climbing while fiddling in awkward gear is physically harder than doing it while slamming in bomber cams. And for the same reason, soloing can be physically easier than leading.  

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Yes

but as said in the realm of sport climbing, all these are moot points. It’s about physical difficulty. 
 

if you need to think about the quality of protection, then perhaps you’re not used to clipping bolts or the line is not really a sport line, rather a route that involved bolts as protection (Sometimes referred as sportingly bolted line).

Trad is a complete different beast. 

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 GrahamD 18 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

> Trad is a complete different beast. 

For some it isn't.  The same fear applies moving above a bolt as moving above a solid wire.

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 HeMa 18 Nov 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

The fear part is true.  But that is the nature of the game. For sport fear is irrelevant on the grade part. For trad it is (well Ok, no really even for the E-grades as real danger is the only part in that department).

Post edited at 17:54
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In reply to Iamgregp:

If you solo everything, I'll concede you have a valid point, so do you solo everything?

I think you've said you don't really trad climb, but maybe you are predominantly a soloist?

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Yes, absolutely, a massive difference. 

Like I said it's all just a point of view thing isn't it?  I agree completely with your view, I'm just like anyone else, I shit myself when things get scary and climb awfully and makes routes way harder than the holds and moves would dictate.

But equally, deep down I know that move up to a crimp and rock over onto that greasy foot is just the same whether I'm run out or right at a bolt.  And that's what I (try to) tell myself when I'm on a route (we all talk to ourselves on routes right?).

"Go on Greg, get up and make the move"

"But run out here mate, I don't think I should, what happens if I fall off it?

"Would you worry about it if you were two foot off the ground?"

"No, wouldn't even think about it"

"So go on then, you can do this, it's not even hard"

(What follows can then turn into an extended argument between me and the the other me, which is usually won by the other me when he makes the point that I can't stay here forever as I'll eventually die of thirst so I might as well die trying the move.  I hate that other guy.)

So I think it is a bit of a nuanced discussion.  Are things harder when the protection isn't as good?  Yes and no.  They do feel much more difficult but that because we make it harder on ourselves.  

EDIT:  Actually I've just thought of a really interesting climbing related psychology study.  We suspend climbers over a large drop, with a bolt quite far below them and get them to hang off a series of crimps and ask them to estimate the size of each in mm.  We then repeat the test like for like with a new group, but this time they're a foot above a soft mat.  I'll bet they feel much smaller to the "big drop" group.  I wonder by how much? 

Post edited at 18:06
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In reply to HeMa:

Ah, was talking about trad.

Obviously there are trad routes which are honorary sport routes (e.g. crucial in situ threads) and (sparsely) bolted routes which are honorary trad routes (e.g. some stuff at Riglos?) but generally best to regard sport and trad as separate entities.

For instance, to return to the OP, re new routes on Portland anyway, often the routes will finish where I decide they'll finish ('cos I bolt a lot of 'em). And that's dictated by safety.

With trad, it is what it is. As John Redhead wisely pointed out, some routes are like wild animals. And they'll have you if you let them. So don't let them.

Mick

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to TobyA:

No, but I have been called an onanist on many an occasion!

Joking aside. Hell no, I'm not saying I don't get scared!  I just think that the fear/intimidation/seriousness/scariness call it what you will are a different measure than the physical difficulty of a route, not that it should be disregarded!

Actually, that reminds me of something Gordon Stainforth wrote in his book Fiva (which is excellent, if you're reading Gordon!).  He and his brother looked at the Fiva route and thought it looked not too technically difficult so went for it, but what they didn't take into account was how serious the route could be despite the lack of technical difficulty.  

That always stuck with me.  Yes, something can be easy, but if the stakes of a f*ck up are grave although it's easy, you might want to think twice about it.

Anyway, I'm paraphrasing and Gordon will probably tell me off because that's not what he meant at all and don't drag his name into my daft reasoning

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> EDIT:  Actually I've just thought of a really interesting climbing related psychology study.  We suspend climbers over a large drop, with a bolt quite far below them and get them to hang off a series of crimps and ask them to estimate the size of each in mm.  We then repeat the test like for like with a new group, but this time they're a foot above a soft mat.  I'll bet they feel much smaller to the "big drop" group.  I wonder by how much? 

Loads. And loads. And loads.

A classic example is The Sloth. If that roof was a few feet above ground level, it would be trivial. Strong beginners would romp across it. As it is, it's the VS that thinks it's E2.

It would be hilarious to hear our in exremis internal dialogues. Often I reach a point where a steely voice suddenly emerges and overrides all else with a message which is impossible to ignore in its urgency and brevity. "Just f*cking do it!"

A classic of not so internal dialogue must be Seb's, "I'm Jerry Moffatt! I'm on a toprope!!" Only two problems with that: he wasn't Jerry... and he wasn't on a toprope.

Still, whatever works. As Nietzche said, "He who survives is in the right." But hey, what did that dude ever do on grit?

Mick

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 Iamgregp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Mick Ward:

Great post that Mick!  Made me smile that.

I'd be very embarrassed if my internal dialogue were made audible, I'd never be able climb again! 

Post edited at 18:28
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In reply to Gazmataz:

If you can reach up and stick a draw in the chains, you've definitely finished the route (well, perhaps not if you're 8 feet tall but suspect you aren't). Especially if you're stood on a ledge at the time. If someone wanted to keep the route going, they'd have placed the lower off higher but that would be potentially dangerous with the ledge in the way of a fall. A ledge which is almost at the top of the cliff is a pretty logical finishing spot. 

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In reply to john arran:

Brachiation Dance used to be like that. I think it has a bolt at the top now (not sure, didn't manage to do the last few moves the one time I tried it but think I saw a bolt).

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In reply to ebdon:

You can obviously do whatever you like but I think most people would consider that grabbing the chains or in situ draws just isn't cricket. If the holds are easy to hold anyway, you wouldn't need to grab the chains. If the holds are poor and it's hard to clip, that's just part of the route, unless it's something like Raindogs where there's an established convention of grabbing the lower off.

I don't watch many climbing videos but I suspect that if pros do it, it's for dramatic effect and on routes where the finishing holds are good (for the grade) anyway.

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In reply to ebdon:

> Oddly enough I would never consider pulling on a draw if it was allready in at the top as I guess ive conditioned myself to this being never ok.

Which just goes to show that grabbing the lower off isn't 'ok' either. Bear in mind that a lot of sport climbing is redpointing with the draws in all the way and the grades reflect that. 

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In reply to GrahamD:

> Not true for us punters who lack the bottle.

It's not about your climbing level - there are just badly bolted routes where the bolt is in the middle of a hard sequence whereas there's a perfectly good clipping hold a bit lower; as well as inadequately bolted routes where you wouldn't want to fall off before clipping say the second or third bolt but it doesn't feel right to clip stick it either as it's quite high up. I've done routes at Malham where I thought it made sense to hang a 120cm sling off the 2nd or 3rd bolt to tame the runout, rather than pre clipping.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

If you don't climb trad, don't let any trad climbers do the whole "I climb trad, I'm so hard" bullsh!t. ;-) If you are sensible and pick your routes (cracks) and can afford a decent rack of kit, you can do routes where your last bit of gear never gets far below your harness knot, and if you want you can basically arrange to be on a top rope for most of your lead. Of course there are terrifying and dangerous routes but they aren't the ones that get the majority of the ascents. 

Due to 'the current unpleasantness' I've predominantly sport climbed this summer and autumn. Nothing very impressive to good climbers but I've been really happy about how I've progressed and got more confident - and one of the biggest things for me was getting used to doing hard (for me) moves with my feet above the bolt. I suspect that falling 4 mtrs of vertical 6a with little ledges or sticky-outy bits on it is probably a less safe option than off a gently overhanging 7b also! But I do reckon, just like you say you accept in reality, that the difficulty of the route is a much more than just the pure athletic performance you need - even on sport routes, and fear isn't the only other factor.

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In reply to Gazmataz:

It always bugs me when I see the best sport climbers 'top out' at the chains 2-3 metres below the top of the cliff (like at Ceuse). I know it's probably way more effort to ab off the top than lower off the chains but how many times do you top out on these ultra hard routes? One of the best parts of climbing for me is standing on the top!

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In reply to Mick Ward:

> A classic example is The Sloth. If that roof was a few feet above ground level, it would be trivial. Strong beginners would romp across it. As it is, it's the VS that thinks it's E2.

My memory of it was moving across the roof was trivial, pulling around the around the lip and back on to the vertical was desperate! I was only seconding, but that's where I fell off. And I think it was the same day as led Saul's Crack and found it fine. I am really rubbish at roofs, well getting round the lip of roofs more I guess. An equally epic fail at that point seconding Quietus also! 

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In reply to TobyA:

Ah but Quietus doesn't just think it's E2 😁

Better comparison with Sloth is Wombat, especially as it's on the same crag. Imagine swopping their positions - the grade gap between them would definitely increase - Sloth would get soloed by everybody and their dog - Wombat would become a really intimidating roof rather than one where you can totally suss out the sequence from the ground - although of course the physical difficulty of both would be unchanged.

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 Michael Gordon 19 Nov 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> Due to 'the current unpleasantness' I've predominantly sport climbed this summer and autumn. 

I can sort of see your reasons, but balance that out in my mind with sport crags generally being more popular for their size than trad ones.

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 HeMa 19 Nov 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> ! But I do reckon, just like you say you accept in reality, that the difficulty of the route is a much more than just the pure athletic performance you need - even on sport routes, and fear isn't the only other factor.

Yes, but sport (or boulder) grading don't take "being" scared into account. (Good) Sport routes are safe to fall from, but it might not mean that it is bolted so that you're on a TR all the time. Falling and airtime are part of sport climbing. Is it scare, why yes (I'm a super wuss, which is why I prefer trad to sport... for the mobile TR as you elegantly put it... in fact I was just reminded by an old friend that she still recalls the first time we met... she was scared of falling and contemplating on trying a sport route or a trad one. I told her that sport is scary because someone else has made the decision on where the bolts are, in granite trad following cracks, you get to place as much gear as you feel you need).

If you work on the fear part (either have a look at the gazillion drills and instructions about that, or start trying harder routes where you will simply end up falling), then pretty soon (or a like never, like me) this will be less of an issue and you can start to focus on the actual physical difficulty.

You see this a huge amount on people starting the climbing (so mid f6s or easier). But when you see people trying f7s and harder, they be skippin' clips and taking huge lobs. It's a matter of getting familiar with falling. And that is the idea of sport climbing, finding your physical limit... And at that time, other head games can also start to appear, that you will need to focus on... like fear of failure (you've put so much effort in redpointing this and that, that you'll stall on the easier top section simply because you don't want to blow it... and for that reason ya do). I'm also rather weak in that department, so I pick my battles (projects) really carefully.

BTW, the same things (fear of falling, fear of failure etc.) are also found on trad (where it will make a difference in the grading for the Es), boulders (especially when you're looking into higher problems, and also if yer working on a problem) and pretty much any other climbing discipline (including indoor toproping... actually the autobelays scare the bejeesus out of me, but I have to be brave on them as I'm often climbing next to my kids (nearly 5 and 3 year olds), so that they can overcome their fears.

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I can sort of see your reasons, but balance that out in my mind with sport crags generally being more popular for their size than trad ones.

Oh nothing really to do with popularity or "danger", just what is close to me and convenient to do with the people I have been climbing with this year. And while Horseshoe can be rather busy, go across the dale and there are quarries where you are possibly going to be the only team, or or perhaps one of two teams there. Curbar and Froggatt are actually even closer to me but parking and popularity are bigger issues there.

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 PaulJepson 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

You sir, are an idiot. 

By your reasoning, a PhD is the same difficulty as a GCSE because paper weighs the same. 

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 HeMa 19 Nov 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

Tell that to the recruiter. 
 

physical difficulty is What the sport grades reflect. Fear has no effect in it. 
 

will it affect your performance, it can but that’s your problem (deal with it, or pick a better route).

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 PaulJepson 19 Nov 2020
In reply to HeMa:

If that made any sense at all and fear didn't play any role in how well you climb something, then all the pro climbers would stop clipping at the halfway point. 

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 Michael Gordon 19 Nov 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

I don't think he was making a serious point, just musing on something which amused him.

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 Iamgregp 19 Nov 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

Firstly there's no need to call me an idiot Rod.  You might now agree with my point of view but that's a bit much isn't it?

As for your analogy, I'm not quite sure that it works - maybe a better analogy in the same vein is a PhD Thesis (PhD and GCSE's are qualifications, they're not made of paper!) is worthy of the same grade regardless the font it's written in.  Some people may disagree and argue that if the font is hard to read it's not as worthy a document so deserves a lower grade, others may not.  It's a debate, much like my original point.

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 Iamgregp 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Absolutely right.

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In reply to Iamgregp:

A 'well' placed bolt can make things feel much easier!

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 climbingpixie 20 Nov 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> If you don't climb trad, don't let any trad climbers do the whole "I climb trad, I'm so hard" bullsh!t. ;-) If you are sensible and pick your routes (cracks) and can afford a decent rack of kit, you can do routes where your last bit of gear never gets far below your harness knot, and if you want you can basically arrange to be on a top rope for most of your lead.

So true. I've got to admit, before I started properly sport climbing, I used to think that trad was inherently more psychologically demanding (and thus superior). Maybe that's true when you compare trad to 'onsighting on bolts' but redpointing forced me into making moves above bolts at (or beyond) the limit of my abilities, committing to stuff and getting accustomed to taking much bigger falls. Of course, I've done plenty of scary trad where a fall would have very serious consequences but the vast majority of my trad climbing is safe, protectable and physically well within my limit.

ETA: I find redpointing itself quite stressful, even removing the stress of falling off. The build up is fine - toproping, clipsticking, going bolt to bolt - but once I have to start trying it properly I get serious RP nerves. Putting 100% effort into something and failing and again can be really draining and I rarely find I have the energy, skin or finger strength for more than 3 decent goes in a session.

Post edited at 09:00
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 rachelpearce01 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

generally, at some point, you will come across a set of chains. clip them, and call it a day.

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 CurlyStevo 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Gazmataz:

at the grade we climb its 100% clipping the lower off with one biner whilst not hanging on a bolt at all as you do it. Pre clipped is also fine but if you can't touch the lower off bolt I would say its cheating.

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 Lankyman 21 Nov 2020
In reply to rachelpearce01:

> generally, at some point, you will come across a set of chains. clip them, and call it a day.


At last - the voice of reason! This pretty much occurred on every sport route I got up.

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