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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 25
Author
Grades, Egos, and Public Exhibiton

tender branson
14-Mar-2008
11:45:41 AM
Lately Iíve been noticing some strange things at the crags. Iím not a very good climber, but I like to observe things, and I canít understand the multi month, protracted siege mentality, that has been adopted by a lot of climbers.

(Please ignore the grades used in the next sentence. Itís only an example.)

The way I feel is: why try a route graded 27 when you can't climb a 24 in any reasonable sort of style?

Climbing is all about fun. It's also very open; there's nothing to stop any weekend warrior rocking up to The ĎJura and trying Action Directe. Sure, they'll fail, but they'll still have fun. The way I see it, there's no reason not to have a go at something beyond you. Youíll probably learn something and be inspired.

What is bothering me is the way that grades and the sieging of routes are being used as a public exhibit, aimed at creating a number grade and level synonymous with the climber. There's no doubt that someone climbing on the grey slabs at Shipley looks at someone dogging the buggery out of Equaliser and thinks "Wow! that's incredible. The strength of mind and determination to climb 28 is amazing. If only I could climb that well." Truth is, the person sieging Equaliser is no better than the grey slabber, they just realise the aura surrounding hard climbing, and they use it to their advantage. They will probably never tick the climb, but itís all about being seen in the right places eh? The fact that they can't onsight 22 need not be mentioned.

Climbing is a personal and selfish activity, so if you want to try a route sixty times without success, thatís great, nobody will stop you. But surely people can see through the faÁade of the climber who is stroking his/her ego by trying again and again, but without success, a route that will make them look like a Ďstrong climberí?

Iíve noticed that such behaviour seems to occur mostly in the Ďmiddle gradesí, for want of a better term. Climbers in the lower and upper levels of performance seem to realise their limitations, and perhaps the presence of their ego, so why canít middle grade climbers? Is it that middle grade climbers sense a chance at elite performance, and so strive to achieve a certain level of performance, in an attempt to fill an empty gap somewhere in their lives?

Thoughts?

tnd
14-Mar-2008
12:09:47 PM
Best thing's to take the piss out of them by growing a beard, wearing a helmet, full trad rack and a pair of Volleys and bumbling around on it for an hour.

rodw
14-Mar-2008
12:15:18 PM
Personally I dont give a shite what others are doing...if they want to siege a hard climb to death....good on em. Note I dont siege for 3 reasons...

1/ Im lazy

2/ Im a crap climber

3/ Sieging takes time, more time sieging means less time for pub and beer.

Everyone climbs for different reasons, deal with it.

Eduardo Slabofvic
14-Mar-2008
12:37:18 PM
On 14/03/2008 tender branson wrote:
>Thoughts?
>

You might be right to some extent, but then everyone is different and has different motivations. Dogging
went through a transformation in the later 80ís when Euro style ascent style come to Oz. Prior to that it
was kind of frowned on. An ideological pointer is the term 'dogger' came from 'low down, conniving, should
be hung like a dog. A dictionary definition of ĎHangdogí.

Some people are motivated by competition and feel the need to compare themselves against others, and
the concept of grades gives a numerical value to achieve the comparison. Others may be motivated by
style, and others by the journey. There are no doubt countless more motivations.

I tend to think that we are each the product of the era in which we established ourselves in the activity of
climbing.

Donít look upon the dogger and be sickened by the public display of their ego, look upon them with the
pity and distain they deserve.

cruze
14-Mar-2008
12:38:57 PM
I think that your line of argument may have run off the rails at about the time you said "climbing is all about having fun"

It is to me.

But to some it is not about having fun. To some climbing is about scaring yourself or ticking the biggest number that you can (and preferably finding the ones that are the softest ticks) or stroking your ego by hanging off a hard route on a popular day at the Glen or South Central or over-compensating for the fact that you are short and balding and old, or combinations of these.

I also doubt that the average punter will enjoy sieging action direct. In fact, given the style of climb, I would think that the average punter would struggle making the first clip.
simey
14-Mar-2008
12:47:25 PM
On 14/03/2008 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>Donít look upon the dogger and be sickened by the public display of their ego, look upon them with the pity and distain they deserve.

Particularly if you are watching Eduardo dogging his way up some 19 at Arapiles.

Tender Branson
14-Mar-2008
12:54:48 PM
I think I should have used the word 'poser', or 'posing'...

Trying hard routes over a long time or dogging something over your head is different to the group masturbation that seems ever more popular at certain cliffs. I'm sure everyone could name a climber who is scared to fail on a 23 but will happily pose away on something five grades harder.

Climbing can sometimes transgress into a back slapping, knob pulling, circus of wanna be hard men/women, and I think that's lame.

mikl law
14-Mar-2008
12:54:52 PM
I generally try and climb routes that i should be able to get up or even flash. Once in a Blue Moon I lay siege to something and get a lot out of the process, including the occasional tick. You learn a lot of different things that seem important, but don't seem to help me much the next time I try and flash a 23.
In answer to your question, i know I'm not climbing better, just differently. I think 'beginner hardmen' get seduced by the process and think they are something special.
mikl

cruze
14-Mar-2008
1:06:03 PM
On 14/03/2008 Tender Branson wrote:
>Climbing can sometimes transgress into a back slapping, knob pulling,
>circus of wanna be hard men/women, and I think that's lame.

I suggest you leave the sandstone basin behind and travel south...
qman
14-Mar-2008
1:14:48 PM
and their buddies as the base of the crag yelling "send it" "Caammoooonn"(leighton hewit style)

;-)

tnd
14-Mar-2008
1:48:58 PM
On 14/03/2008 cruze wrote:
>...In fact, given the style of climb, I would think that the average punter
>would struggle making the first clip.

Not if they're using every sports dogger's friend, the squiddy.
dalai
14-Mar-2008
2:17:54 PM
On 14/03/2008 cruze wrote:

>I also doubt that the average punter will enjoy sieging action direct.
>In fact, given the style of climb, I would think that the average punter
>would struggle making the first clip.

Actually getting the first couple of clips shouldn't be too hard given they are reached before the climb proper starts ;-)

http://www.drtopo.com/Videos/?movieID=272

cruze
14-Mar-2008
2:26:29 PM
On 14/03/2008 dalai wrote:
>On 14/03/2008 cruze wrote:
>
>>I also doubt that the average punter will enjoy sieging action direct.
>>In fact, given the style of climb, I would think that the average punter
>>would struggle making the first clip.
>
>Actually getting the first couple of clips shouldn't be too hard given
>they are reached before the climb proper starts ;-)
>
>http://www.drtopo.com/Videos/?movieID=272

Yeah, you got me. I knew as I typed that that some smartarse would point that out - I seem to remember seeing the video a little while ago. Hey, even I have soloed to the first clip of Punks in the Gym - sounds good doesn't it?!

garbie
14-Mar-2008
4:15:57 PM
Sieging does take up a lot of time, fine if you can climb every weekend but I cant get out more than once every couple of months these days so by the time I can get back on something I've forgotten how to do it - unless I've written some notes in my guidebook which I've done a few times - pathetic I know, but better than wasting precious energy before finally remembering a sequence or trick.

My max number of tries on a route before ticking it is only 5, but that was a mere 25, my best RP grade to date. I heard of someone trying something over 100 times - a 31 (pooferator at Shipley I think). I enjoyed my 5-go siege though. You get really smooth on the moves and really improve the way you do them so you do feel like a better climber.

I wonder what the record number of tries is? Anybody tried something more than 100 times?
dalai
14-Mar-2008
4:20:52 PM
On 14/03/2008 garbie wrote:

>I wonder what the record number of tries is? Anybody tried something more
>than 100 times?

Can't recall the actual number of days, but Pollit on Punks would rate up there?

HM33
14-Mar-2008
5:07:50 PM
im sure the 100 barrier has been broken quite often.
devlin66
15-Mar-2008
12:03:44 AM
As mush as I enjoy on the onsight/flash/2nd shot there is some what of a journey in putting some serious time on a project. You experience lots of emotions and go through plenty of different weather conditions. You get really intimate with holds and sequences and the rock becomes your friend saving you from the end of the rope and your enemy resisting your touch. It drives you to train and can invade your thoughts when not at the crag. Then when you send it's all over. Another relationship that fades into the past as you move on to the next.

I know that is different to the jock down the end that yells at every move to make sure your watching as he climbs from bolt to bolt an something that is way off his level. I do believe in having one project that is two grades harder than you current redpoint and one or two that is one grade harder. It's a great way to transition to the higher grades and makes your redpoint grade feel a little easier.
widewetandslippery
15-Mar-2008
6:33:46 PM
A mate just lent me a book with a Chounaird essay. Style and ethics. Ethics means impact. Style the the way you do it. Caring about others style is like checking out others dicks at a urinal.

wallwombat
15-Mar-2008
8:32:05 PM
On 15/03/2008 widewetandslippery wrote:
> Ethics means impact. Style the the way you do it. Caring about others style is
>like checking out others dicks at a urinal.

Classic, Dave!

I didn't think it could be put better than Chouinard did. I was wrong.

I'm glad I lent you the book. I'm going to chuckle all night over that one.

dougal
15-Mar-2008
10:26:19 PM
Yeah there's always reason to discuss ethics but style can be the egos playground whether you're the wanker or the wanker looking up at the wanker wanking on about what a wanker they are.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 25
There are 25 messages in this topic.

 

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