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Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times.  Can you believe this move is only rated 5.8+?

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By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Aug 5, 2013

No doubt that's a proud move over the bulge, but you're right, Mike, it isn't 5.8+. And that's because the ratings at The Gunks are skewed. Everyone knows it, but it's a local tradition to sandbag the ratings. Anywhere else in the climbing world this "5.8+" would be rated 5.10b. Time for one of the the guidebook authors to go climb in El Dorado Canyon, Indian Creek, Vedawoo, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Squamish, Red Rocks, and/or Cathedral Ledge and get a feel for what a consensus 5.8+ (or 5.10b) is. Ask Henry Barber, Todd Swain or Lynn HIll, who traveled extensively.

By David Stowe
Aug 11, 2013

Benjamin I really think that it is what you are used to The overhang on Modern Times is definitely not 5.10. As a matter of perspective I do much of my climbing at the Gunks. On a trip a few years back to Red Rocks I found the 11.b roof pitch on Levitation to be easier than the 5.9 chimneys on Epinephrine. Those Red Rock grades are accurate, I just have much more experience and better technique on overhangs. I had waited a while when I first started leading to do Modern Time's, being intimidated by its reputation, but when I finally led it I found it to be quite reasonable. Another big difference in other places is that routes can be bolted or mixed. Very often a bolt in a convenient location makes a world of difference in how a route feels if you don't have to stop and place gear in the middle of the crux. Having been to many of the places that you named I initially found grades to be stout in those places till I became used to the rock and the climbing. I still find Cathedral to be graded stiffer than the Gunks.

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Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times. Can you believe this move is only rated 5.8+?

Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 21, 2006
On this route:
Modern Times (5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c )
Photo Of: Michael Amato
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