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Do you loathe easy routes?
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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Oct 31, 2012
Evans Aprons

My short couple years of climbing have been mostly on 6s and 8s I'd guess. It's fun, there's always people willing to climb, and I get in a lot of leads. Now I find I don't even have to think on easy routes. Alright, except Caramel Corner, there's a weird move.

My ability to place gear benefited greatly from lots of easy climbing. I could focus on learning to place gear rather being scared or pumped or whatever.

Now, I am finding more and more I don't like easy routes as much as I did. I always said I never cared to climb hard, but I think I was just being stupid.


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By chuck claude
From Flagstaff, Az
Oct 31, 2012
First climb after knee surgery <br />

My attitude is if we just did away with the ratings, would you still want to do the route. What is beautiful to one person may not be for another. I'm just looking for the "perfect" line, and its all good as I am looking.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 31, 2012
El Chorro

If I'm at a crag that I consider to be "local" to me then I make sure to do every route on the wall at some point. Moore's Wall is a great example. I do all of the routes - even the 5.3. Of course the first time I did that one it was the descent of some other route. Zoo View is still my favorite warm up anywhere, and it's 5.7 (sort of).

It's nice to know a crag like the back of your hand. It helps you be safe in bad weather and allows you to help out beginners and outsiders - especially at a place like Moore's where the first and second times you climb there can be tricky.

If I'm visiting a single pitch area I'll rarely climb anything below 5.8. If there is a classic 5.6 or 5.7 then I might do it. If it's a two or three pitch area I may choose an easy route for a rest day. I'm sure if I walked below one of the classic "easy routes" at the Gunks and no one was on it I'd give it a go.

Multi-pitch is different. Some of my best climbing days were on routes that were "easy." The Regular Route on Fairview has some 5.9 in the beginning but the rest is very easy. We took along a bottle of wine and joined the conga line and had a great time that day. Really enjoyed sharing belays with other parties that had taken the same attitude.

I definitely wanted to climb Cathedral and Tenaya when we were out there. If we had been out there for another few days I'd have probably soloed one on a day when my partner and I needed a break from each other. I certainly don't mean to say that climbing a 5.5 with a rope is "beneath me" but it seems like those routes would be busy enough and featured enough that route finding would not have been an issue.

There are definitely classics in the 5.4 to 5.6 range in NC that I want to do. Mummy-Daddy-Prow link up sounds fun and the Great Arch at Stone seems cool. But any time I've had the chance to do those I've chosen other areas with harder routes.

I think most real climbers have fun on anything and everything. They may stick to harder routes most of the time because they are driven to improve, but certainly don't consider easy routes to be "beneath them" in any way. Anyone who thinks that way should try to climb 5.5 in leather boots with a hemp rope and using a hip belay.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 31, 2012
El Chorro

Tom Howes wrote:
I would rather take my girl up a moderate trade route than send a difficult sport route any day.


+ 1. My wife climbs just hard enough so that the trad leads are interesting for me and the following is fun for her. It wouldn't be fair to compare those days to my hard onsights or redpoints, but I definitely would not enjoy climbing as much if my wife wasn't at least interested in doing it with me.


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By mission
Oct 31, 2012

I think that the quality ratings for very easy climbs can be a little exaggerated, partly because there is less competition, so I tend to not trust their classic status, especially at sport areas.

Also, unless a 5.5 route's exposure or beauty is stellar, it is difficult to imagine the route earning a lot of stars through movement, as 5.5 is still just a ladder. I don't think that this is the case for routes above 5.7, but I don't think I would warm up even on a high-star 5.5 or 5.6 unless it looked good from the ground.


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By bob branscomb
From Lander, WY
Oct 31, 2012

"The best climber is the one having the most fun."--Alex Lowe


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By Lou Hibbard
From Eagan, MN
Oct 31, 2012

Currently hurt so limited to easy but back in the day it was all about getting as much climbing in as possible.
That usually means having one target route in an area that might test the onsight. Then you do everything else in your ability in the same area to maximixe climbing to approach time.
At least this makes sense for areas like Jtree or Yosemite.
My most fun climbs were always an onsight lead that tested me a little or a lot but I pushed through it for the onsight. So I just kept working up through the grades to maximize this onsight rush chance.
Some local areas I had "climbed out" and had no choice but to be a hangdogger if I wanted to do something new.


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By John D
Oct 31, 2012

I love long "easy" routes. Routes like royal arches, alot of the flat irons, even some routes in red rocks. I love getting on something that's not super challenging and just going pitch after pitch, or even simul climbing and just enjoying the movement and the location. Finishing a flatiron route and looking over boulder is great.

I guess it is the whole experience, I do like climbing hard too, but that definitely doesn't mean that I don't enjoy a cruiser day.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 31, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

Taylor Ogden wrote:
Hard single pitch, easy/moderate multipitch.


yup


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By bearbreeder
Oct 31, 2012

one thing to keep in mind is that you often get MORE climbing in on harder routes ... it depends on the area, but out here moderate "quality" routes are often gongshows in the summer ... theres a good chance that youll get stuck behind multiple parties, many of them who have little experience leading multi on gear, and so they take forever

now there are plenty of less popular moderate multis, but the "quality" isnt as good, you may want to carry a wirebrush on lead for those here ... and the same generally holds true for cragging easier routes, theres often a TR gangbang on em

once you get into the 10+/11s and above, the traffic generally dies down considerably, as do the antics ... personally id rather get only say 6 pitches on hard stuff rather than only get 6 pitches in on a moderate multi because im stuck half the time behind multiple traffic jams and spent all day at belays ... you know its bad when a 5.8 climb that should take no more than 2-3 hours turns into a 6 hour gongshow ...


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