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Hang Dogging and Downgrading
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By Stone Nude
Nov 18, 2013
When dumb people have disposable income, hilarity ...
rging wrote:
If you would do a better job resoling we would all be climbing 5.14s and not having this conversation.


THAT is some funny shit. I got that pair of Acopas to send ya, Locker. Be in touch soon.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 18, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
JCM wrote:
I think this whole thread is a bit silly, yet I am for some reason still drawn to give an opinion. Oh well, here goes. Some people upthread have suggested that you aren't qualified to offer a grade opinion if you have not sent the route, or have hangdogged on the route, etc. This, I think, if not necessarily true, and often the reverse if true. Oftentimes, if I onsight a route, I am not too sure about the grade. If it felt hard, maybe I just botched a sequence or missed something. On limit-onsights, I seem to barely remember the route afterwards...it all disappears into a blur. Conversely, on a route that is 2 number grades below your limit, you probably can't tell the difference between letters. A 5.14+ climber can't reliably tell the difference between 12a and 12b, but a 5.12 climber usually can. When working a route ("hangdogging", as the old crusties call it), you really get to know the ins and outs of a route. You learn the most efficient sequence, you think about the route a lot, you compare the difficulty to similar routes in the area...any you gain a pretty good ability to describe the routes graded difficulty, even if you haven't quite sent the thing yet. I'll put it this way: Lets say two people try a route. One person climbs several number grades higher than the route's grade, so they warm up by onsighting the route. For the other climber, the route is just at their limit. They put in 6 tries over a weekend, and come quite close to sending, but never quite make it through the exit crux. Who is likely to have a better understanding of how to grade the route? I would say the second climber, even though they didn't sent it. Of course, to flail on a route once, not even do all the moves, and then downgrade it to make yourself look big, is quite silly and should not be considered a legitimate opinion. This is kind of a dickbag move (unless it is in jest), but it doesn't seem to common a scenario.


Despite my previous posts, I agree with pretty much everything you said here. I guess my point was that if we compare two climbers of similar abilities attempting the same route - one sends, and one hangs on every bolt... it's probably the one who climbed through the entirety of the route to its finish that truly felt the difficulty of the route in its complete form. Your points are all valid though, and yes, this thread is ridiculous.

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Nov 18, 2013
To further go against the general opinion of this thread, I will offer the suggestion that, in certain circumstances and with e certain attitude, a climber who has not yet sent a route can offer a reasonable and informed suggestion that the route is soft--or even to suggest a downgrade--without being a tool.

Specifics: Let's say you try a route at or near your redpoint limit (grade-wise). You are a seasoned and well-rounded sport climber / redpointer, and you have a good understanding of what you can do, an how long it usually takes you to send a route of a certain grade. The route in question is of a grade that usually takes you 10-15 attempts to send. You are at the crag for a weekend trip, and get around to trying the route on Sunday morning. You make quick progress, find the climbing not too bad, and put in 3 goes that day. You very nearly send on your 3rd go, but unfortunately fall off at the very top when you get over-excited (with having made it that far) and botch a sequence. PUNT. You don't get another chance on the route, since the crag is far from home and you need to drive home that night, but you're still psyched because you've never made such fast progression a route of this grade. One the drive home you consider 3 possibilities: A. The hangboard training is working, B. The route just happens to suit you perfectly is some weird morpho way, or C. The grade may be soft/wrong. You suspect that Option C is the most correct one this time. In this circumstance, it would be totally acceptable for you to suggest a lower grade (so long as you aren't a dick about it), even without having sent the route. Your opinion isn't really any different, having punted off the top, than it would be if you had another day to finish off the route.

I think a lot of the people on this thread who decry "hangdogging and downgrading" don't really understand the idea of working a route. I think that they picture someone flailing on a route once on TR, and then spraying about how easy it is. I suggest that you can certainly have an understanding about the grade without sending, and to voice that opinion is fine too (again, just don't be obnoxious about it).

Nevertheless, I must admit that routes sometimes do surprise you. Moves that you thought were trivial while working a route can turn out to be sticking points that shut down redpoints. Conversely, sections that you though would be really hard on the go when first working the route can sometimes dumb down after some practice, and turn out to be NBD. So, you're opinion can never be fully. 100% solidified until you've finished the thing off...but that doesn't mean you can't be 99% sure about your grade-opinion without having sent it.

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By Jeff Ludwig
From phoenix, Az
Nov 18, 2013
You guys should climb at JTree. Some of those 5.9 face climbs are .10c now.

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Nov 18, 2013
Jeff Ludwig wrote:
You guys should climb at JTree. Some of those 5.9 face climbs are .10c now.

But that's only because the grainy pebble holds fell off. *choss*

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 19, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
#thechossfactor #undercoverchosses #truegrit

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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Nov 19, 2013
...
"If you would do a better job resoling we would all be climbing 5.14s and not having this conversation.".




That one got me going pretty good this morning!

LMAO!

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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Nov 19, 2013
My dogs got ups yo!
Bryan Hall wrote:
Maybe if the downgrading bothers you this much it's just a sign you're too concerned with the grades and what everyone else thinks. Then again, it's rock climbing, it's just a big fun meaningless game so I guess we can care as much or little about all the details as we want!


I love this "Holier than Thou" attitude. It's all just big fun you say? I'm willing to bet 99.9% of the people on this site only tell themselves this so one day we'll actually believe the shit we're shoveling. If this was all just about big fun and a meaningless game I wouldn't have lied to my wife, skipped out of work, and blew off nearly all my friends at some point because I found another belay bitch that is willing goto my project I can't stop thinking about because I missed the redpoint over the weekend. After all the hard work and obessing over it when I finally send to have some jackleg downgrade all over MP.com after they went bolt to bolt on my project, dude you can meet me in the playground at 3pm and we'll settle this dispute once and for all :)

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By J Q
Nov 19, 2013
Me again!
The holier than thou attitude seems to have a direct relationship to incompetence in climbing, which is a pretty strange phenomenon.

People can grade a route whenever they want, but if they feel the need to grade a route they haven't climbed, that need should be questioned. If you are downgrading a route that you have yet to complete, the joke is on you, but please be honest about it, so we can laugh in your face.


Things get downgraded. Things get upgraded. These changes have more of a relation to the actual climber than the climb, most of the time.


Finally, if you have a very rigid perception of what climbing is, should be, and how things have to be graded, it will hold you back from progression in the sport. The rigid definition prevents enjoyment and leads to the condition called cankerousoldtradlidite#1

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By slim
Administrator
Nov 19, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
JLP wrote:
That's just awesome. Yeah, no experience on this site, especially among folks weighing in on mid 12 and up. I have just one request - state whether you lead the climb clean or not. That's it. Word on the street is you're a top-roper who can't climb 5.12.


hmmm, i don't think you are comprehending my point. maybe if you re-read it, it will make more sense.

word on the street is that you like to run, although not very fast. love your photo albums.

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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Nov 19, 2013
"Then again, it's rock climbing, it's just a big fun meaningless game so I guess we can care as much or little about all the details as we want!"

Yep, that's exactly how the brain works, any emotion you want to feel about any given thing, you just choose it and it magically materializes.

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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Nov 19, 2013
I've said it before, so has others, 95% of the grading butt-hurz on this site can be corrected by simply taking the median, not the mean grade, as the consensus grade. You see somebody downgrade the shit out of a route? Just give it an honest grade. Bam! you've just neutralized the sandbagger without fluffing grade. But instead we get a new look front page and still neglected climbing area updates.

The real reason I'm wasting my time though, is, out of morbid curiosity, will somebody tell me who the hell is JLP? PM me.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 19, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Sup guys, I scoped out sonic youth today after projin' it up at high wire. It really doesn't look like 5.13a. I'd say it looks more like 12-. Gonna go record my opinion now. Thanks!

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By slim
Administrator
Nov 19, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
reboot wrote:
I've said it before, so has others, 95% of the grading butt-hurz on this site can be corrected by simply taking the median, not the mean grade, as the consensus grade. You see somebody downgrade the shit out of a route? Just give it an honest grade. Bam! you've just neutralized the sandbagger without fluffing grade. But instead we get a new look front page and still neglected climbing area updates. The real reason I'm wasting my time though, is, out of morbid curiosity, will somebody tell me who the hell is JLP? PM me.


i can kind of see why people get bent out of shape when they work their ass off to send something, and then see it downgrade on MP. usually, it just makes me ask myself if there was some way i could have climbed it better or if there is some other sort of explanation. there is always something that can be learned from bitter disappointment :)

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By Tex Rynold aka RBG
Jan 22, 2014
I tell you what, in Southern California Top-Rope-Hang-Dogging-Downgrading is the normal! It's incredible! And in my opinion, southern California gym climbers don't belong outside!

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By Colin R
From Ottawa, ON
Jan 28, 2014
Getting ready to top out....
In statistics outliers are often discarded because they are usually not representative of the sample and skew it beyond reason. For instance should the cost of car insurance really reflect people who drive 100 mph or should they just not be insured at all? Sometimes there isn't anything to learn other than to ignore what some yahoo thinks who is trying to get a rise out of others. I take all grades with a grain of salt, high or low. It's just some person's (or many person's) opinion which is open to bias.

Isn't it ironic that other sports don't suffer from this? No one argues how far 100 yards is in the Olympics or how much 400 pounds weighs. As much as we try to standardize things it will always be a subjective sport with people who have different strengths, body sizes, personalities, etc...

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Jan 29, 2014
Colin R wrote:
Isn't it ironic that other sports don't suffer from this?


This question got me thinking about the other outdoor sports that use a subjective rating scale. Do kayakers debate, ad nauseam, the number that should be assigned to a particular stretch of water... Class 4+ or Class 5?

I do know that you hear this sometimes from skiers..."The blues at Snowbird would be blacks anywhere else." This is sort of like the "It would be 5.8 at the Gunks" that you hear from climbers.

And then there's Lou Dawson's grading scale for ski mountaineering. Perhaps if that ever catches on, they too will have endless numerical debates.

FLAG


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