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Redpoint Limit vs. Onsight Limit?
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Feb 5, 2013
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Lately I've been curious as to my own Redpoint difficulty limit in relation to what difficulty Onsight I feel capable of. I am curious to get other climbers opinions:

What is your hardest onsight (or flash)?
What is your hardest redpoint?

For me, my hardest redpoint is about one full number grade above my hardest onsight. I am wondering if this is similar for other climbers, or if the span varies greatly. Should this be something to keep in mind when approaching new projects?
MattL
From Boulder, CO
Joined Sep 4, 2008
191 points
Feb 6, 2013
RJN
Who the fuck cares? Climb and have fun... Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Joined May 21, 2009
183 points
Feb 6, 2013
search and you shall find berl
From Seattle
Joined Apr 13, 2008
42 points
Feb 6, 2013
MattL wrote:
For me, my hardest redpoint is about one full number grade above my hardest onsight.


This is considered, by many climbers, the typical standard: 1 number grade seperation between onsight ability and redpoint ability. So, you fit into the norm.

For the sake of clarity: here, I am defining onsight ability as the level you can onsight reasonably consistently (at least 50% of time) and redpoint ability as what you can redpoint after a moderate amount of projecting (5-20 attempts). Alternatively, you could define onsight ability as your max onsight ever, and redpoint ability as max redpoint ever; these too are often about 1 number grade apart.


MattL wrote:
I am wondering if this is similar for other climbers, or if the span varies greatly.


It does vary greatly, but 1 number grade seperation is the mean. Some people are serious redpoint projecters and terrible onsighters, and have a greater seperation. Others are talented onsighters and don't project much, and have a lesser seperation.


MattL wrote:
Should this be something to keep in mind when approaching new projects?


Absolutely. This guideline is particularly useful for those climbers who don't spend much time on serious projects; many climbers simply try a route one or two times, and then move on. These climbers often don't realize what they could do if they put in some redpoint effort. As such, if you are trying to choose a good route to work on as a project, and you know what your typical onsight ability is in that area, simply add one number grade and look for a classic route of that grade.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Feb 6, 2013
Urban Surfer, Rumney.  Photo by Lee Hansche
It's about 1.5 number grades for me James Otey
From NH
Joined Mar 30, 2007
918 points
Administrator
Feb 6, 2013
It depends. At my home crag, the difference is huge. Maybe .11b onsight, .12d redpoint. When I am on a road trip, the difference is small. Maybe .11d/.12a onsight, .12a/.12b redpoint. Of course I am sure I could RP harder, .12d/.13a, but I dont spend any time doing it. I just onsight as many routes as I can and move on. No need to proj on a climbing trip. So really, I think most people could RP a full number grade above their onsight limit if they worked a climb for 40 runs, which is mostly what I do at my home crag. 20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
665 points
Feb 6, 2013
Espresso @ New Jack City
For sport climbing my OS/Flash level is typically about 11b/c. Redpoint 11d. I should probably project more, all my 11d's were second attempts but like 20kN said, I'd rather have tried a bunch of different climbs than spend an entire day of a trip on one route. T.J. Esposito
From San Diego, CA
Joined May 3, 2011
155 points
Feb 6, 2013
Cut! Sadly my flash attempt met with dismal pump-f...
1.5 number grades for me too. Rajiv Ayyangar
From Portland, ME
Joined Jun 22, 2010
234 points
Feb 6, 2013
Help! The spray, It burnez z eyez!

chuffnugget
From Bolder, CO
Joined Sep 14, 2011
22 points
Feb 6, 2013
Ryan N wrote:
Who the fuck cares? Climb and have fun...


I love it. Too many people are way too concerned with redpointing and onsighting and all that other crap. I climb to have fun, not to concern myself with whether or not I can do something in one try.
Greg Pouliot
Joined Jul 23, 2012
7 points
Feb 6, 2013
Gunking
Roughly half a number grade. JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Joined Nov 21, 2009
673 points
Feb 6, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the backgrou...
Gregory Pouliot wrote:
I love it. Too many people are way too concerned with redpointing and onsighting and all that other crap. I climb to have fun, not to concern myself with whether or not I can do something in one try.

Yawn
csproul
From Davis, CA
Joined Dec 3, 2009
109 points
Feb 6, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!
One number grade is about the standard difference, but it can depend. For nearly a decade, my OS/RP difference was only one letter grade. In that last couple years, I've gotten more into and better at redpointing, and the difference is now 3 letter grades. However, as I've gotten to be a better redpointer, I have STILL not bested my best onsights from 7 years ago, and this is not from lack of trying. camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,369 points
Feb 6, 2013
Gregory Pouliot wrote:
I love it. Too many people are way too concerned with redpointing and onsighting and all that other crap. I climb to have fun, not to concern myself with whether or not I can do something in one try.


Right, and just like you don't care, some people do, and so they start these topics. Similarly I concern myself with having steady employment and watching the real housewives of orange county, you may or may not. Being "too concerned" isn't a real thing, these are relative conditions.


That said, my onsight is about a number lower than my red point, give or take a letter.

On an unrelated note I'd be curious to see the gap in flash/onsight vs. "redpoint" grade in bouldering.
frankstoneline
Joined Apr 23, 2009
22 points
Feb 6, 2013
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Ryan N wrote:
Who the fuck cares? Climb and have fun...

Says the guy on line reading and criticizing a thread he doesn't like and has no plan in participating in?
Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,493 points
Feb 6, 2013
This thread got me thinking about trad versus sport. What is your trad onsight vs your sport onsight? or Your trad redpoint vs. sport redpoint.

My hardest redpoints have all been on trad. I think I am a little better in putting it all together on trad whereas sport for me comes down to endurance and that takes a lot of tries and effort.
mtoensing
From Boulder
Joined Feb 25, 2006
826 points
Feb 7, 2013
frankstoneline wrote:
Right, and just like you don't care, some people do, and so they start these topics. Similarly I concern myself with having steady employment and watching the real housewives of orange county, you may or may not. Being "too concerned" isn't a real thing, these are relative conditions. That said, my onsight is about a number lower than my red point, give or take a letter. On an unrelated note I'd be curious to see the gap in flash/onsight vs. "redpoint" grade in bouldering.


And I have no problem with those people who do care. I'm just sharing my sentiment with the others on this thread. I was just pointing out my experience with people who are "too concerned". It almost seemed to take the fun out of climbing for them. On a related note, I get sucked into watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey from time to time. I imagine they're quite similar to the New Jersey ones.
Greg Pouliot
Joined Jul 23, 2012
7 points
Feb 7, 2013
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
JCM wrote:
For the sake of clarity: here, I am defining onsight ability as the level you can onsight reasonably consistently (at least 50% of time)


"Consistent" onsight level is what you can do 50% of the time? Yikes!
Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Joined Mar 6, 2006
2,586 points
Feb 7, 2013
Gregory Pouliot wrote:
And I have no problem with those people who do care. I'm just sharing my sentiment with the others on this thread. I was just pointing out my experience with people who are "too concerned". It almost seemed to take the fun out of climbing for them. On a related note, I get sucked into watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey from time to time. I imagine they're quite similar to the New Jersey ones.


There are people who are certainly VERY regimented about it. I can't say it's an approach that works for me, but I guess it's where they find satisfaction. (I didn't get it until I tried lifting weights, something I had sworn was stupid and I would never do for ages, and I quite enjoyed the process)

Housewives is definitely easier to get caught up in than one would like to admit, but all of them are basically the same.
frankstoneline
Joined Apr 23, 2009
22 points
Feb 7, 2013
My onsight history is about 90% @ 11b, 50% @ 11c, and 20% @ 11d. So I'd probably say my onsight right now is about 11b/c.

I've only redpointed one 12a, and that was actually an onsight (one-move wonder, crux at the bottom...more like a boulder problem, really). There are a few other 12a/b climbs that I've gotten up but I never got around to projecting any of them (only tried each of them once).

I usually climb with my wife so usually I'm hanging draws on stuff near her limits instead of projecting near my limits. If the "one number grade" you guys are saying is a good approximation, then I should really start projecting some harder routes...I'd love to add some 12b/c climbs to my tick list.
Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
166 points
Feb 7, 2013
Ryan N wrote:
Who the fuck cares? Climb and have fun...


Clearly a lot of people care. Part of what makes climbing fun, in my opinion, is improving mentally and physically. Objective grading systems allow us to measure ourselves and our progress and threads like these are helpful to get other people's thoughts on topics like this. Sure, there's bound to be a bit of spray, but that comes with the territory. Embrace it. I'd prefer reading someone spraying on a thread over someone shitting on it.


To add: my OS/RP offset is currently 2 letters.
R.Walters
Joined Sep 27, 2006
338 points
Feb 8, 2013
I care and I'm not afraid to admit it. Mostly I care because I want to be the most well rounded climber that I can be. With that said, this is where I stand right now:

Trad: OS 11a. RP 11c (r)
Sport: OS 12d. RP 13b
Boulder: OS V9. RP V10

I've been spending more time lately trying to onsite rather than redpoint, and my boulder OS is closest to my RP because at V10 the small holds really begin to hurt my fingers. Perhaps if I found some V11's or V12's in a compression style or slopers Rather than crimpy and resistence style I would put some more effort into
redpointing boulders but my main focus these days are trad routes and slowly trying to bring my gear level closer to my sport level. I wasn't always as good at onsighting as I am now, and what got me to my current level was endurance training, and climbing in the gym. My overall power has gone down if anything, I simply am able to hold on longer while I place gear and suss out sequences, etc. Also, I open hand all holds, very rarely do I close down on anything.
ShireSmitty
From Boulda
Joined Jan 27, 2013
7 points
Administrator
Feb 9, 2013
Ian Stewart wrote:
I've only redpointed one 12a, and that was actually an onsight

You redpointed an onsight?! That is impressive. Almost as impressive as hangdoging a pinkpoint flash top rope send. Once I downclimbed a 4' boulder problem that surly would have gone at A5 for one move. I contacted the magazines about it but they decided not to print it on the basis that it would have been so awesome they would have sold out the magazine, which would have adversely affected the environment due to the large paper requirements. Climbing magazine companies are very environmentally friendly, and therefore they couldent risk it.
20 kN
From Hawaii
Joined Feb 2, 2009
665 points
Feb 11, 2013
20 kN wrote:
You redpointed an onsight?! That is impressive.


Huh? Onsights ARE redpoints...just a specific subset where the redpoint was made on the first attempt.

I have one 12a redpoint and one 12a onsight. They just happen to be the same climb...
Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
166 points


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