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Onsight vs Redpoint Ability
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By ROC
From Englewood, CO
Aug 5, 2012

Just curious what folks think about the difference between your onsight ability and your redpoint ability/potential. If you onsight consistently at a certain grade, what would you say would be reasonable to redpoint; one, one and half grades higher? Obviously there are infinite factors that could contribute to this difference; style, rock type, conditions, training, etc…

Go.


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By dnoB ekiM
Aug 6, 2012
Wonderstuff

ROC wrote:
Just curious what folks think about the difference between your onsight ability and your redpoint ability/potential. If you onsight consistently at a certain grade, what would you say would be reasonable to redpoint; one, one and half grades higher? Obviously there are infinite factors that could contribute to this difference; style, rock type, conditions, training, etc… Go.


One number grade seems to be pretty normal.

If you can usually onsight 11B (say ~50% of the time)...then you probably can redpoint 12b. Best onsight to best redpoint is less of a margin...maybe 2-3 letter grades.

Like anything else with climbing and grades...it varies on the person, style, location, etc.


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By Joseph Stover
From Batesville, AR
Aug 6, 2012

Depends on how much effort you allow on the redpoint attempt too. If you allow multiple days to months of work on a route, you could probably redpoint more than 1 full number grade above onsight level. But if you mean redpoint in less than 10 "clean attempts" (say, until first fall with very little top rope work), then maybe you will only be redpointing a couple letter grades above your 50% onsight ability.

This matches my own experience pretty well. I usually redpoint what I can get in a handful of tries (a couple letter grades above onsight ability), but have occasionally done harder routes (full number grade) with multiple days of work.


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By Eric Coffman
Aug 6, 2012
mountainlion

I try not to watch anyone else climb a route before me just because it may influence how I try to climb the route but I still consider it an onsight (if I see someone on the route I want to do) if I do it on my first attempt with no falls, takes, hangs.

I also thought redpoint was the first attempt after the onsight and if you succeed you redpointed it.

Trying the route multiple times that day or whenever and succeeding I thought was just called climbing the route.


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By Ben Griffin
From Durango, CO
Aug 6, 2012
Bitches get Stitchez, Golf Wall, Durango, CO

Eric Coffman wrote:
I try not to watch anyone else climb a route before me just because it may influence how I try to climb the route but I still consider it an onsight (if I see someone on the route I want to do) if I do it on my first attempt with no falls, takes, hangs. I also thought redpoint was the first attempt after the onsight and if you succeed you redpointed it. Trying the route multiple times that day or whenever and succeeding I thought was just called climbing the route.



A redpoint is when you work a route and then climb it with no falls. A flash attempt is when you have never been on a route, but you know all the beta before hand. A pink point is when your to much of a wimp to hang your own draws while leading (like everyone at rifle). I sometimes can onsight as hard as I can redpoint. There is just something about the onsight attempt that makes you go balls to the wall, while redpointing can get tiring and boring if you work on a route too long.


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By Jon H
From Boulder
Aug 6, 2012
At the matching crux

Ben Griffin's descriptions are accurate.

I'm a big pansy. When it comes to leading trad routes, I can redpoint usually 2 full number grades harder than I can onsight. On sport routes, it's a little more compressed - probably 1 number grade, as most people are reporting.


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By SMR
Aug 6, 2012

Pinkpoint? really, In sport climbing most if not all the top-end redpoints have pre-hung draws. Not only at Rifle, but also Red, VRG, Maple, Smith, Ceuse, Rodellar, etc etc etc etc.


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By Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Aug 6, 2012

SMR wrote:
Pinkpoint? really, In sport climbing most if not all the top-end redpoints have pre-hung draws. Not only at Rifle, but also Red, VRG, Maple, Smith, Ceuse, Rodellar, etc etc etc etc.


Still makes it a pink-point. A pink-point is a soft red-point.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Aug 6, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Simon Thompson wrote:
Still makes it a pink-point. A pink-point is a soft red-point.



I usally like my pink point to myself until it is hard...ha ha


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By zenetopia
Aug 6, 2012

"A redpoint is when you work a route and then climb it with no falls. A flash attempt is when you have never been on a route, but you know all the beta before hand. A pink point is when your to much of a wimp to hang your own draws while leading (like everyone at rifle). I sometimes can onsight as hard as I can redpoint. There is just something about the onsight attempt that makes you go balls to the wall, while redpointing can get tiring and boring if you work on a route too long. "

Not many sport climbers consider Pink-pointing anymore. It is a valid and accepted redpoint even if you don't hang the draws yourself &/or the route has fixed draws on it.


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By zenetopia
Aug 6, 2012

We must all be wimps! Damn Sharma & Graham for being total pussies!!


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 6, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

ROC wrote:
Just curious what folks think about the difference between your onsight ability and your redpoint ability/potential. If you onsight consistently at a certain grade, what would you say would be reasonable to redpoint; one, one and half grades higher? Obviously there are infinite factors that could contribute to this difference; style, rock type, conditions, training, etc… Go.

i think its better to work backwards. in other words, if you are normally redpointing sport routes at a certain grade, you could expect to onsight a grade lower with good confidence. Maybe 1.5 grades for trad.

for folks that say they onsight and redpoint at the same grade, i say they aren't trying hard enough routes.


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By zenetopia
Aug 6, 2012

+1


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By ROC
From Englewood, CO
Aug 6, 2012

I like the working backwards approach, although this means I need to step up my route finding ability. Just recently red pointed my hardest route in a long time. The moves weren't very difficult (after I figured out what to do) but I was miles away from the onsight because I had a tough time figuring out the feet and body position. Once I got my sequence down I sent on the next go and felt super solid.

I don't usually climb near my limit so it has been a whole new experience tying to decipher real crux moves with the pump clock ticking.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Aug 6, 2012
Stabby

If you spend a good chunk of time ruthlessly wiring a problem, you could go as high a full number grade (or more) up from more day to day style climbing. Motivation plays a big part.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 6, 2012
OTL

I TRonsight - eff pre-hung draws, my rope is pre-hung.


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By zenetopia
Aug 6, 2012

Hey, i think TRing is more difficult. Forget unclipping! I would much rather clip the rope...waaaaay easier. You TR kings are bad ass!


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Aug 6, 2012
Me and Spearhead

I think that a big part of it is what your goals are and how you train.

If you're mostly doing sketchy trad climbing where on-sighting is more critical for safety reasons you may not be able to red point that much harder than your on sight ability.

Whereas if you spend all your time cranking the gnar you could be sick strong and do some hard shit on something you've got dialed but not be used to hanging out and figuring out a route on the fly.
Just a thought.


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By JonnyGreenlee
From Evergreen, CO
Aug 6, 2012
Delicate Arch, Sturdy Arch.

To me, onsight measures my mental ability to read a climb and solve it correctly first try. A redpoint measures pure physical ability. The difference comes down to how much a climb involves either of those two aspects. Calling a redpoint a pinkpoint measures the ability prove how much of a real mountain man you are compared to dudebrah sport climbers, and as a beanie wearing bolt clipper myself I try to pretend it just doesn't exist.

Beta intensive climb on a rock type or area I am unfamiliar with? Onsight ability drops. But if the crux is an obvious powerful move, the difference between onsight and redpoint is fairly small. Obviously, projecting makes a huge difference, but I think its a bit silly to say that if I work a route 100 times over the next month and climb it that describes my redpoint ability today. Sure, I can climb 5.XXz if I work it for 6 weeks- but I consider my redpoint ability to be what I could climb today if I know all the moves.

ROC wrote:
Just curious what folks think about the difference between your onsight ability and your redpoint ability/potential. If you onsight consistently at a certain grade, what would you say would be reasonable to redpoint; one, one and half grades higher? Obviously there are infinite factors that could contribute to this difference; style, rock type, conditions, training, etc… Go.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Aug 6, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Wow do people keep track of On-sights and Redpoints today???

When I go out climbing today, I watch all sorts of super strong climbers, yelling TAKE at the first sign of difficulty. I figured most today don't play the game, at all.

But to answer the OP, the best I can.

My best on-sight was 12a... when news of that went round the Mammoth Mt climbing community, JB down rated the climb to 11d cause "Guyzo can't climb 12". ..... true story.

My best red point, a few years trying this one,. 12c/d depending on who you ask.

I have never "done" a 13.

Regular on site ability, depends on the type of stone, normal slab granite... 10d

Steep sport... 10b.

I do think that how hard you can on-site, is the benchmark of how hard you can climb.

TopRope never counts for doodly squat.... with the whole "crash and burn" removed you can really go for it.

Good topic.


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By Sirius
From Oakland, CA
Aug 6, 2012
Moving through the crux lock - now that's micro beta for you, that is.

As a weekend warrior who gets out once a month at best, redpoint climbing never appeals to me.

With so little time to climb and such a big venue to explore, it comes to feel criminal to go back to the same route twice unless it's just that good. Yosemite is too big and too awesome, and its obscurities too alluring, to keep going back to the Cookie, or any one cliff.


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By ROC
From Englewood, CO
Aug 6, 2012

Interesting comments. I have been thinking of projecting some harder (for me anyways) routes, but I think what is more appealing is to work on my onsighting and route finding/problem solving. Seems much more practical and useful all around.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 6, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

ROC wrote:
work on my onsighting and route finding/problem solving.

interesting though that redpointing harder routes, improves your onsightability on others, bc of the skill/knowledge you gain. more tools for the toolbox...


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By zenetopia
Aug 6, 2012

The majority of what i have done this season is projecting/redpointing. On other routes that i don't want to 'work' i have noticed that i am getting more & more onsights w/out even thinking about it. Redpointing for sure will help you out in the long run overall.


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By ROC
From Englewood, CO
Aug 6, 2012

Good feedback. Damn, climbing just gets better and better! Can't wait to get back out there.


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By Charles Kinbote
From Brooklyn, NY
Aug 7, 2012
On Waimea, 5.10d

About a number grade is the average for routes, I think. That's my gap for sport routes. I haven't really worked any trad routes, but I plan to this season so I'll get back to you on that.

Any thoughts from you guys on boulder flash vs. redpoint grade? I know one climber who has redpointed a boulder problem 4 V-grades harder than her best flash. Meanwhile, my best flash and redpoint grades are the same, on plastic and rock. WTF?


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