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Hang Dogging and Downgrading
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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Nov 1, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.
Dow Williams wrote:
I see a lot of those Gunkie types.


Didn't you climb with some Gunkie who downgraded Castleton North Face to like low/mid ten or nine plus?

General rule: if I can climb it, it's not 5.10
If I hang, it's probably a 5.7 - that is one helluva awkward grade

FLAG
By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Nov 1, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.
Richard M. Wright wrote:
In one of his videos Dave Birkett said that your level of onsight was your level of climbing. Most of us would be humbled to face that truth.


+1

The dude who taught me to climb made it clear: you climb whatever grade you can safely pull off in the rain with a backpack on. Ten years later, I'm still a proud 5.8 climber.

FLAG
By TimFromMaine
Nov 1, 2013
moment of doubt.
s.price wrote:
The engineer of the send train has a different view from all riding in the back.


Well said.

FLAG
By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Nov 1, 2013
Colonel Mustard
GabeO wrote:
That's not what I said, and not what I'm asking for. GO


In all fairness, it's a really unimportant thing you ask ;).

Sure, I've known the dog 'n fluffer. You just point, laugh, and move on with your life. NBD.

FLAG
By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Nov 1, 2013
CoR
Good thing non climbers don't come to this site. They would think we were all ego-maniacal douchebags.

FLAG
By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 1, 2013
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord
rging wrote:
Good thing non climbers don't come to this site. They would think we were all ego-maniacal douchebags.

Many climbers think that too

FLAG
By mattm
From TX
Nov 1, 2013
Grande Grotto
lucander wrote:
Didn't you climb with some Gunkie who downgraded Castleton North Face to like low/mid ten or nine plus? General rule: if I can climb it, it's not 5.10 If I hang, it's probably a 5.7 - that is one helluva awkward grade


Learned in the Gunks and then moved west after school. Returned on a fall trip climbing VERY strong for me that season. Gunks climbing is all about hanging out while you fiddle in gear. I think if you're a seasoned Gunks climber, heading west can be hard because you pretty much pull on horizontals all day long. All the vertical cracks and non-positive edges etc etc can feel WEIRD for a while. So yeah, a 5.9 Gunks climber could certainly struggle in Josh. I saw it when a friend visited from the gunk to climb with me in Squamish. He got WORKED for a few days. Going West to East is easier IMO - Not as technique driven - Pulling horizontals isn't as hard to figure out.

That said, there is truth in some grades at the Gunks being 'bagged. Part of that is, with a few exceptions, you simply don't SEE grades much below 5.7 many places. Gunks started at 5.0 and worked up so there's more distribution. The "easiest" climb at many places is probably 5.6-5.7 so the grading there is more compressed.

I think the Gunks get more in line with other areas once you get into the 10s and up. Still solid for the grade but not as much of a surprise as the 5.5-5.8 range in the Gunks.

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By Derrick W
From Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 1, 2013
Everyone agrees that different areas have different standards. Some Yosemite 5.9's would easily be considered 10's elsewhere. Because of this, people who learned to climb in different areas will have different perceptions of how hard a particular grade should feel. It's as simple as that.

For example I learned to trad climb at Seneca Rocks, where the general consensus is that the ratings are pretty stiff. So when I climb a 5.10 elsewhere and think back and compare it to all the 5.10's I have done at Seneca, I'm probably more likely to downgrade it than someone who learned to climb at RRG.

Does that make me wrong? I think not. Ratings are inherently subjective. One would expect that over time, this process would lead to a more uniform standard of the YDS.

Downgrading a route you hangdogged is just lame. If you didn't send, you have no business grading it at all, let alone downgrading it.

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By Gunkiemike
Nov 1, 2013
mattm wrote:
That said, there is truth in some grades at the Gunks being 'bagged.


While a lot of the locals here (Gunks) probably like the area's rep as having stout grades, the reality isn't in line with the historical reputation. Fully 2/3 of Gunks classics (i.e. starred routes in the guidebook) have seen their rating increased in the last 20-30 years, bringing them more in line with norms across the rest of the climbing universe. There are surely a few remaining 'bags, but nothing like it used to be.

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By Wyatt Payne
From Littleton CO
Nov 1, 2013
Big Bend (South faces in Aug Bad Idea)
Opinions are like assholes, and everyone plays their own game climbing. That said, I don't believe people have any buisness down grading any route they don't onsight on lead.

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By episteme
Nov 1, 2013
Derrick W wrote:
Downgrading a route you hangdogged is just lame. If you didn't send, you have no business grading it at all, let alone downgrading it.


+1. Well put.

FLAG
By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 1, 2013
Belay
And let's not even get into Indian Creek, where if you have big hands 5.10 feels like 5.7, and 5.11+ feels like 5.13.

FLAG
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 1, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Peter Franzen wrote:
And let's not even get into Indian Creek, where if you have big hands 5.10 feels like 5.7, and 5.11+ feels like 5.13.


There might as well not be grades at the creek. Just sizes.

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By Marek Sapkovski
Nov 1, 2013
Gunkiemike wrote:
Fully 2/3 of Gunks classics (i.e. starred routes in the guidebook) have seen their rating increased in the last 20-30 years, bringing them more in line with norms across the rest of the climbing universe.

Yeah, like Coexistence or 10,000 Restless Virgins - I've done plenty of 7a+ routes that felt easier.

Coming from France, I found Gunks to be very brutish and power-oriented, more like bouldering with a rope. Also, Gunks climbers take their + and "d" grades very seriously :)

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Nov 1, 2013
Gear
Gumby Move
Gumby Move



Sounds like something he would pull

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By Marek Sapkovski
Nov 2, 2013
apropos hang-dogging and donwgrading
apropos hang-dogging and donwgrading

FLAG
 
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 2, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Marek Sapkovski wrote:


"like"

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By Marek Sapkovski
Nov 4, 2013
I just had a "life imitates art" situation. Me and my partner went out to check out another climbing area so for the whole day I pretty much failed to get up a single route. Everything was too burly for me. At the end of the day, I walked over to a group of locals that was top roping a nice looking finger crack and they invited me to try it. For whatever reason, I just flew up it on the first try. Very much not like me.
While I am being lowered to the ground I ask
--So, what is this, like 5.8?
--No, it's 5.11+.
I was embarrassed beyond belief and spend the next ten minutes apologising that I don't think it was softly graded, that I was just surprised it was easy for me etc..

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By Joshua Reinig
Nov 6, 2013
Last pitch of The Nose!
I was so inspired by this forum, I went and hung Dog my way up one of my long term projects it is given a old school rating by the first accentionalis. Some guy named Jonny Woodward. 5.12 R.
I instantly down graded it to 5.10 it felt like good style and form!!! :)

FLAG
By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Nov 6, 2013
Mt. Agassiz
Marek Sapkovski wrote:
I just had a "life imitates art" situation. Me and my partner went out to check out another climbing area so for the whole day I pretty much failed to get up a single route. Everything was too burly for me. At the end of the day, I walked over to a group of locals that was top roping a nice looking finger crack and they invited me to try it. For whatever reason, I just flew up it on the first try. Very much not like me. While I am being lowered to the ground I ask --So, what is this, like 5.8? --No, it's 5.11+. I was embarrassed beyond belief and spend the next ten minutes apologising that I don't think it was softly graded, that I was just surprised it was easy for me etc..


Nice spray, but there's absolutely no way a 5.11+ crack felt like 5.8. Maybe they were on the wrong route?

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 6, 2013
Bucky
Joshua Reinig wrote:
I was so inspired by this forum, I went and hung Dog my way up one of my long term projects it is given a old school rating by the first accentionalis. Some guy named Jonny Woodward. 5.12 R. I instantly down graded it to 5.10 it felt like good style and form!!! :)


Yeah, it works the other way around if the FA includes Mr. Woodward and his accomplice Mr. Hensel!! Anything they grade is sure to be 'solid' by say, 2-3 letter grades.

FLAG
By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Nov 6, 2013
CoR
Joshua Reinig wrote:
I was so inspired by this forum, I went and hung Dog my way up one of my long term projects it is given a old school rating by the first accentionalis. Some guy named Jonny Woodward. 5.12 R. I instantly down graded it to 5.10 it felt like good style and form!!! :)


Hang dogging an R rate route? I can only assume you retro bolted it while hang dogging. Two wrongs, sir, do not make a right.

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By Derek Doucet
Nov 6, 2013
Colin R wrote:
Or the Gunks/Daks Crowd for that matter. Seems we've reached a tipping point for downgrading whereby people are wondering what the use of a grade system actually is when everyone is aiming to downgrade. I know some old school climbers who sandbag but do so very consistently. I know often to add like two or three letter grades to their suggestions typically. To give credit to the old school crowd, there was a time when 5.12 really meant something where only a very limited number of climbers could do it. I am ok with old school grades in areas that are known to be sandbagged/old school but they should be limited to those areas and viewed only with a sense of nostalgia. In general there should also be some consistency to the ratings if we are going to have them at all.


Anyone in particular you have in mind here, Colin? Just curious of course...

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By Richard M. Wright
From Lakewood, CO
Nov 6, 2013
While Dave Birkett's comment is a critical reality check, I don't think we need to flog ourselves for trying routes that are too hard or much too hard to onsight. Wolfgang Gullich made a nice observation in his "Sport Kletteren Heute" book. He said that for any given climb a climber is actually three climbers in one: a complete master who can leave the rope behind, a competent climber who may need the rope in the event of a fall, and a beginner who will be falling all the time. But, learning complex movement by dogging and falling are arguably the two most important changes in attitude that have advanced climbing standards. It's just important to make a reality check from time to time to see if the dogging and falling have helped.

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By Derek Doucet
Nov 6, 2013
Marek Sapkovski wrote:
Yeah, like Coexistence or 10,000 Restless Virgins - I've done plenty of 7a+ routes that felt easier. Coming from France, I found Gunks to be very brutish and power-oriented, more like bouldering with a rope. Also, Gunks climbers take their + and "d" grades very seriously :)


First, I'm not a Gunks local, though I do climb there from time to time, and I've never really noticed it to be a particularly sandbagged area. Like all areas, there are certainly exceptions of course, but I digress.

With that said, I'd like to point out that there are two ways to interpret your experience on these routes. The first is that Co-Ex and 10,000 Restless Virgins are sandbagged relative to some hypothetical standard. The second is that those 7a+ routes (which I assume were bolted?) were not in fact 7a+ relative to some hypothetical standard.

Interestingly, the former interpretation places the emphasis externally: "I struggled on this route because it's actually harder than graded". The later interpretation has an internal emphasis: "I struggled on this route because I had an off day, I'm not good/strong enough".

One of those interpretation is certainly easier to swallow for all of us egocentric climbers. I submit that the other interpretation is often more honest.

To be clear, I don't presume to know anything about you and your climbing. I'm not in any way commenting about you specifically, or the particular routes you mentioned. I'm merely using your post as an illustration, so please don't take this personally!

FLAG


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