/ Why can't boulderers talk properly?

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Paul Sagar - on 12 Mar 2019

So as I understand it (and I understand it correctly):

On-sight = an ascent made with no prior knowledge or experience of the route, perhaps excepting a guide book description.

Flash = an ascent made without ever having attempted the route before, but with relevant information that makes the climb easier (e.g. learnt from a previous ascensionist).

Redpoint: a clean (no falls) ascent of a route that the climber has previously attempted but not climbed cleanly; sport climbing.

Headpoint: as for a redpoint, but placing all gear on lead; trad climbing.

Dogged: made it to the top, but with falls/rests.

DNF: did not finish.

Simple, right?

And yet, I am constantly hearing boulderers claim that they "flashed" a route, when they mean "on-sighted" it. I guess some times it truly is a flash, e.g. if you just saw someone else climb it and picked up crucial beta in the process ("what a splendid heel hook!"). But often they just say "flash" when they mean "on-sight". 

Why?

Perhaps those beanie hats constrict the blood flow to their brains? Or else maybe it's that having your top off, but your wooly hat on, confuses the mind?

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Paul Sagar - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Sorry I also meant to include:

Ground up = nonsense bullshit 

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fifthsunset - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Judging from the downvotes there's a few of them in! I just want to know what the massive chalk bags are all about.

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webbo - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Maybe because on sight is term for routes not bouldering.

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Kemics - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Sounds like someone flashed your project  

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Neek - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

It's because so much of the problem is viewable from the ground that a first attempt with no prior beta is a completely different experience to trying to onsight a 20 m route where many of the moves and holds won't be visible until you reach them, hence different terminology.

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UKB Shark - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

The distinction between onsighting and flashing a problem is much less on boulder problems than routes given that you can check out most of the holds before you set off.       

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Neil Williams - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

It's "sent" that gets me.  What, did they take it down, shove it in a box, and get Yodel to lob it over the wrong person's back gate?

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derryclimbs - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

why can't climbers talk properly? to any non-climber all those terms also become irrelevant. i.e. "Why don't you just say you climbed it Paul?"

Whats the matter with boulderers having their own language, slang, dialect?

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LakesWinter on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Sick man, that post was rad. You crushed it

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john arran - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

French people can't talk properly either. They use different words for everything

... except 'weekend'

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cander - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to LakesWinter:

On a particularly shit day you just made me giggle - ta.

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slab_happy on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> What, did they take it down, shove it in a box, and get Yodel to lob it over the wrong person's back gate?

I have no objections at all to "sent", but that's a delightful turn of phrase you have there.

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Alex@home - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to john arran:

And cafe

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greg_may_ - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to john arran:

Restaurant.

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Hat Dude on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to greg_may_:

Deja Vu

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cb294 - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Not at all. In sports and alpine, ground up means that bolts (if used) or other protection was placed while climbing, not on abseil. Also, especially in multi pitch climbs, it implies that it was done in one push starting from the bottom of the climb (especially in the US).

Bizarre if used for bouldering, I agree.

CB

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cander - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Hat Dude:

I saw that coming 

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morphomouse - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

I still like to differentiate between flashing and onsighting a boulder problem. I think there's a big difference working it out on your own and being shown the exact holds/beta etc. Each to their own I guess. Agree that ground up would be odd for the same reasons given previously.

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Paul Sagar - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

So much hate for what was obviously(?) a joke post!

John Arran: I can actually speak French so I don't have a problem with what they say. Except when they start yelling "venga", when they've got their own perfectly annoying "allez" to be going along with.

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slab_happy on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to morphomouse:

I think "ground up" makes sense in bouldering if you're talking about highballs which are usually treated as routes (especially things that are usually headpointed).

Climbing something ground-up over pads is very different from rehearsing it on a toprope first, so that's a meaningful distinction.

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morphomouse - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to slab_happy:

> I think "ground up" makes sense in bouldering if you're talking about highballs which are usually treated as routes (especially things that are usually headpointed).

> Climbing something ground-up over pads is very different from rehearsing it on a toprope first, so that's a meaningful distinction.

Rehearsing anything would make it a redpoint but I take your point about highballs.

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1poundSOCKS - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to cb294:

> ground up

> Bizarre if used for bouldering, I agree.

Have you seen any videos of ground up highball attempts? A long way from using top rope practice and definitely worthy of extra style points.

EDIT: Just noticed this was already mentioned by slab happy.

Post edited at 18:09
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machine on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

All of the American isms like Beta, sending, sent and all that bollocks really grind my axe blade. What's wrong with just saying I climbed it. I blame the internet...…….. Down with all that!

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Ged Desforges - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Why can't people start sentences without the word "so"?

On sight is quite meaningless in bouldering, as you can gain so much info before setting off. 

To those still tediously going on about the word send, are you really unaware of the fact that language evolves? I don't use the phrase myself, but who gives a sh#t? Enjoy your lattes.

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Ged Desforges - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

You might need to make your jokes sound more like jokes. They sound dangerously like pompous middle aged whining blokes grumbling about people with different ways of talking. 

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Blanche DuBois - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Ged Desforges:

> You might need to make your jokes sound more like jokes. They sound dangerously like pompous middle aged whining blokes grumbling about people with different ways of talking. 

Many of the contributors (most?) to the forums are pompous middle aged whining blokes so I guess he's simply playing to his audience.  Add in a bit of misogyny and petty nationalism and that's the majority of the UKC audience covered.

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derryclimbs - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> So much hate for what was obviously(?) a joke post!

Not that obvious unfortunately. I too have been stung by starting a thread which I thought was obviously (to me) tongue and cheek about the new ClimbUK logo (or whatever it was going to be called) and got barraged with vitriol.

My "I was only joking" response didn't get much sympathy. So have a like from me

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climber34neil - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to LakesWinter:

Totally stoked I bet! Must be send season, hope he didn't dab though ( or French start) either way total wad sending king line 

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pasbury on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Why don’t you try going bouldering?

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climber34neil - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to john arran:

And baguette

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john arran - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

And, of course, any follower of G W Bush will know that there's no French word for 'entrepreneur'!

(Although, curiously, the French taxation and employment system has led to incredibly few examples of French entrepreneurialism!)

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climber34neil - on 12 Mar 2019
In reply to john arran:

Indeed, 

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Paul Sagar - on 13 Mar 2019

Just for the record, I love bouldering. 

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cb294 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to 1poundSOCKS and slab happy:

I concede the point about highballs, makes "ground up" even more of a reasonable term.

CB

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HeMa on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to cb294:

> ... ground up ...

> Bizarre if used for bouldering, I agree.

Depends... 

On stuff like this, it'll certainly mean something:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_XqoAkkIWw

On this one... not so much:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDX0h5wbxV0

And true, majority will fall somewhere in between...

Edit, late but never mind... vids make the point better. Especially the lowball one.

Post edited at 08:22
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Tim Vine: What do you call a big rock?

Audience: Boulder!

Tim Vine: *puffs chest, hands on hips* What do you call a big rock?

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Lord_ash2000 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Although technically you can "on-sight" a boulder problem, particularly longer problems outdoors it is usual to call any successful first go accent a "flash" in bouldering. 

This is because unlike routes you can often gain so much information about the problem from the ground as to be equivalent to an abseil inspection of a route. So, although I have claimed on sight's of easier problems where I have genuinely pulled on without even really looking where a problem goes it's unusual and boarding on neglegent not to at least look at the holds before setting off on anything you're likely to find even remotely difficult. 

Also on sighting doesn't really carry much value in bouldering, as you almost have to go out of your way to not gain prior knowledge, particularly if climbing in a group. So conventionally any first go accent gets called a flash even if occasionally it would be classified as on sight as the distinction is of such little importance.

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nniff - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> So much hate for what was obviously(?) a joke post!

Trouble is, it was aimed at boulderers and they are notorious for their thin skin, especially on their finger tips.

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spartacus on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to nniff:

> Trouble is, it was aimed at boulderers and they are notorious for their thin skin, especially on their finger tips.

And small genitalia.

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beardy mike - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Thank f*ck the government is in constitutional crisis and the worlds going to shit otherwise I have to get right into this debate. I mean it's right up there with world problems.

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kedvenc72 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to john arran:

and Allez!...

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apwebber - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I think boulderers see "flash" as a sub-set of "on-sight". It requires a subtle change to your definition. Whereas "on-sight" is specifically done without beta, a "flash" is merely a successful first attempt (the part about having beta is removed from the definition). So a flash can be done with or without beta. But an onsight you definitely didn't have any beta. Using this definition, every on-sight is a flash, but not every flash is on-sight.

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