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v-scale vs. climbing scale
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By xxxxx
Nov 4, 2009
how do boulder ratings and climbing ratings compare? i found one chart, but it compares a v4 to a 5.12, and v4s are fairly simple for me, but there's no way any amount of hangdogging could get me up a 5.12. can anyone clear up my confusion?

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 4, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
V4 is roughly equivalent to 5.12-. But most 12a's don't have any moves as hard as V4.

If you can climb V4, you should be able to climb at least 12a. You may be an extremely high recruiter, meaning, you have really great power but no endurance. But even then if you find a short-enough 12a, with a really brief, hard crux, you should be able to do it if you work it the way you work a V4 boulder problem.

You may also be dealing with some mental challenges that are inhibiting your abilities to perform at your limit on a rope.

Another possibility is that the V4s you've done are soft.

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By xxxxx
Nov 4, 2009
do you have any suggestions for helping me get past my inhibitions when i'm on a rope? i've been working on my endurance, but i don't think that's the whole problem. i can't figure out how come i can do a v4 boulder problem, but struggle on 10d's.

i'm definitely not a high recruiter. i can't even do one pull up.

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By Dave C
From Homeless, CO
Nov 4, 2009
can you top rope a 12?

if you can, its a mental thing.

I am kinda in a similar situation, but for me its an endurance thing.

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By Daniel Trugman
From Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Nov 4, 2009
Final steps up Blanca after a snowy traverse.  Pho...
There's a pretty large disparity in difficulty between 10d and V4.

I have two guesses about what might be going on:

1) You're comparing apples to oranges. Are the climbing routes you are doing of a noticeably different style from the boulder problems? Are you climbing cracks and bouldering on jugs? Or bouldering slabby, technical problems and roping up for steep, burly overhangs? If you are stronger at the style of problems you are bouldering, it's natural that the roped routes will feel harder.

2) The boulder problems are soft for the grade or the climbing routes are sandbagged. I typically find bouldering problems in the gym, or in a newly developed area, to feel much easier than bouldering problems of the same grade in the old-school area. Roped routes also vary in difficulty from crag to crag.


If you can't do a pull-up, you are limited to V4s of a very particular style (or soft ones).

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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Nov 4, 2009
The route in it's entirety.
i've always wondered this myself. I am the opposite 'Kiamarie', perfectly capable of 11 sport and low 10 trad but can't do a v3 without projecting it for a week...

Anyone ever see an actual 5.rating vs V.rating scale?

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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 4, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice
kiamarie wrote:
how do boulder ratings and climbing ratings compare? i found one chart, but it compares a v4 to a 5.12, and v4s are fairly simple for me, but there's no way any amount of hangdogging could get me up a 5.12. can anyone clear up my confusion?


haha, it's the complete opposite for me. i can send 12a after a couple of work sessions, but v4s blow my mind.

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By Andrew Vojslavek
Nov 5, 2009
checking out the Maverick boulder in Clear Creek
As far as the whole v4, and not being able to climb 5.10, that baffles me. Just start doing laps on v0-3 you will get that endurance and power in no time.

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By JJNS
Nov 5, 2009
v0=5.10
v1=5.10+
v2=5.11
v3=5.11+
v4=5.12-
v5=5.12a/b
v6=5.12b/c
v7=5.12c/d
v8=5.13
v9=5.13a/b
v10=5.13b/c
v11=5.13c/d
v12=5.14a/b
v13=5.14b/c
v14=5.14c/d
v15=5.15

Ask yourself why V4 is simple for you. V4 is super hard and scary for some. Try and approach 5.12 with the same mental confidence you would a V4. You want to go through
all you preparations from the ground. Once you have considered all the risk factors and formulated a game plan and visualized yourself sending get on that thing and crush it. All your second guessing should be done before you start climbing. Worst case you fall safely onto your rope and learn something about the route, which you can improve next attempt.

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By xxxxx
Nov 5, 2009
i think alot of what is holding me back has to be the strength issue. i probably just need to work on muscle power and endurance. most of the boulder problems i can do are technical, but i can't even do juggy routes if they're overhung.

unless there is some super secret tip to sport climbing a 10d that no one ever told me :P

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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Nov 5, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
JJNS wrote:
v0=5.10 v1=5.10+ v2=5.11 v3=5.11+ v4=5.12- v5=5.12a/b v6=5.12b/c v7=5.12c/d v8=5.13 v9=5.13a/b v10=5.13b/c v11=5.13c/d v12=5.14a/b v13=5.14b/c v14=5.14c/d v15=5.15


JJNS, where did you get this scale? It's different than the one I'm used to seeing.

I've always thought it goes like this:

V4: 5.12-
V5: 5.12
V6: 5.12+
V7: 5.13-
V8: 5.13
V9: 5.13+
V10: 5.14-
etc...

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Nov 5, 2009
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
kiamarie wrote:
do you have any suggestions for helping me get past my inhibitions when i'm on a rope?


fall. and, i'm being serious. take falls intentionally. safe ones, of course. if/when you find yourself hesitating because you're worried about falling, set yourself up to take a safe, controlled fall.

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
Jay Knower wrote:
JJNS, where did you get this scale? It's different than the one I'm used to seeing. I've always thought it goes like this: V4: 5.12- V5: 5.12 V6: 5.12+ V7: 5.13- V8: 5.13 V9: 5.13+ V10: 5.14- etc...

i am with you jay.

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By lee hansche
Administrator
From goffstown, nh
Nov 5, 2009
getting to the last jug before the top out
I've always used a similar scale comparison and on short routes it works fine but once you get in to even somewhat long sport routes it all goes out the window...

i personally dont see the point in comparing the two scales... isnt that the reason there are two scales anyway? bouldering and route climbing are two very different diciplines which deserve their own scales so why compare them?

One thing i do find very helpful is the somewhat new-school way of breaking down sport climbs in to seperate boulder problems such as "climb a v4 opening move to a good rest then pull a v2 in to a v3, one more rest and a v6 move gaurds the anchor" something like that gives me a very clear idea af what i am up against...

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By slim
Administrator
Nov 5, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
it sounds to me like the ratings on the boulder problems you are doing are way, way off. v4 is pretty hard, and if you can pull v4 you should definitely be able to climb into the low 12 range. for me it is quite a bit easier to send a 12- than a v4 problem. it would be interesting to see the percentage of people that find climbing 12- easier than bouldering v4 and vice versa.

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By JasonT
Nov 5, 2009
MS13 Training Arete
I boulder v6 and my endurance absolutely kicks my ass on rope. I can get up a 12a by hangdogging it...no move is too hard, but as for getting it clean that endurance definitely is a major factor.

I have been working the traverses at my gym and we also have a long juggy boulder traverse as well. After only working on them for a few weeks, I can already feel the pump taking longer to set in. Like someone above me said, if you dont have traverses at your gym...get a v3 and go up it, downclimb it and repeat until you cant take it anymore. Repeat this a few times and your endurance will build.

I dont consider myself a boulderer as I only boulder to strengthen myself up for sport, so it sucks to see that many of you are totally the opposite and find bouldering extremely more difficult. Oh well, gotta get my endurance up!

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By pfwein
Nov 5, 2009
slim wrote:
it sounds to me like the ratings on the boulder problems you are doing are way, way off. v4 is pretty hard, and if you can pull v4 you should definitely be able to climb into the low 12 range. for me it is quite a bit easier to send a 12- than a v4 problem. it would be interesting to see the percentage of people that find climbing 12- easier than bouldering v4 and vice versa.


Hmmm, it's probably not useful unless you have some sort of semi-scientific poll, but I have done far more V4 boulder problems than 12- climbs. That could just be opportunity: it's a lot easier to keep trying boulder problems than to work climbs.

I agree that V4 and 12- should roughly correlate, but one difference for me is that if I'm bouldering (with a relatively safe fall) I tend to climb more dynamically and go to my physical limit; if I'm on a route (even sport) I'm pretty conservative and generally hang rather than fall. I've observed that some people don't boulder that way at all, and if anything are more conservative on a boulder than a route. That could be one partial explanation as to discrepancies (as well as just that some people have more power / some more endurance).

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By J mac
Nov 5, 2009
Zermatt
4x4s are great to increase your anerobic threshold. (Delay pump) Pick four problems that are near your limit but that you can just get almost every time. Do each of them one right after the other. Take a short rest and repeat a total of 4 times. If you do it right your pump should get the better of you in your last set.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Me, of course
In most cases and people I've run into it's mental. I can boulder V5 when I'm warmed up but really really struggle on 12a, like can't pull the moves sometimes. The Falcon Guide "Bouldering Boulder" has a comparison guide to Vermin scale vs. 5. scale that seems accurate to me. It's at home though, I'm at work, can't help ya right now.

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By JPVallone
Nov 5, 2009
Bring back the B scale, Gill was on to something, LOL

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Jay Knower wrote:
JJNS, where did you get this scale? It's different than the one I'm used to seeing. I've always thought it goes like this: V4: 5.12- V5: 5.12 V6: 5.12+ V7: 5.13- V8: 5.13 V9: 5.13+ V10: 5.14- etc...


Agree with Jay, that the above scale is what I've seen published. However, what I've observed in others is more in line with what JJNS posted. For example, most of the people I know that can climb 14- can boulder significantly harder than V10, and most people that climb 13a boulder way harder than V7. This is probably due to the recent explosion in bouldering abilities among the general community.

As for myself, I'm right on Jay's scale, or perhaps a bit worse (on the bouldering side) depending on the area sandbag factor.

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
Belay
Jay Knower wrote:
JJNS, where did you get this scale? It's different than the one I'm used to seeing. I've always thought it goes like this: V4: 5.12- V5: 5.12 V6: 5.12+ V7: 5.13- V8: 5.13 V9: 5.13+ V10: 5.14- etc...

But what is this referring to? If it's giving an approximate bouldering grade to what you'd expect the crux of a route to be, then it's off (in my opinion). For example, there's no way that the crux of The Quickening at Smith is V6-- at best, it has a V3 and a V4 crux and it goes at .12c/d. Same for Churning in the Wake-- that route is practically the very definition of a 5.13a sport climb, and there isn't anything close to a V8 move on it.

If the scale is more of an expected ability/ability comparison for an average climber, then maybe it's more accurate. I boulder V9 and I can thrutch my way up a solid 5.13 if my head is in the right place, so that works out pretty well (in my case). Likewise, my girlfriend can fight her way up most V4s and a lot of 5.12- routes (doing all the moves anyways, not necessarily leading it).

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By xxxxx
Nov 5, 2009
well, this thread is certainly making me feel good about myself. i always considered myself a major whimp for only bouldering a v4.

oh the woes of beginning climber.

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By Marc-Andre
From Squamish, B.C
Nov 5, 2009
I big part of it too is clipping and/or placing gear.... I have bouldered V10, sent V9 in 3 treis blah blah blah....... but a 5.13a trad climb kicks my ass becasue I am on the bad jams/holds and trying to fiddle in gear and clip. Same goes for clipping on sport routes.... it really increases the pump sometimes.

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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Nov 5, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Peter Franzen wrote:
But what is this referring to? If it's giving an approximate bouldering grade to what you'd expect the crux of a route to be, then it's off (in my opinion). For example, there's no way that the crux of The Quickening at Smith is V6-- at best, it has a V3 and a V4 crux and it goes at .12c/d. Same for Churning in the Wake-- that route is practically the very definition of a 5.13a sport climb, and there isn't anything close to a V8 move on it. If the scale is more of an expected ability/ability comparison for an average climber, then maybe it's more accurate. I boulder V9 and I can thrutch my way up a solid 5.13 if my head is in the right place, so that works out pretty well (in my case). Likewise, my girlfriend can fight her way up most V4s and a lot of 5.12- routes (doing all the moves anyways, not necessarily leading it).


I think it depends on the area. Many 13b's at Rumney consist of V8 boulder problems surrounded by relatively easier climbing. Parallel Universe, a popular 14a, is V10 to the first bolt, and 13a/b to the top.

Rumney seems to tend toward more powerful climbing, so the scale seems more relevant. Smith, on the other hand, is more about endurance and finger strength I think, so the V-scale is less transferable. Plus, everyone knows there are no hard moves at Smith :)

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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Nov 5, 2009
i think the comparable chart is only accurate roughly 2 grades below your limit. depending on the strength/style/technique of a person, one may boulder harder or climb stronger. however, if you are not looking at your limit, the chart is pretty accurate.

V4: 5.12-
V5: 5.12
V6: 5.12+
V7: 5.13-
V8: 5.13
V9: 5.13+
V10: 5.14-
etc...

for example, if your boulder v7 and climb 5.12, you would agree v4 is about 5.12-, and if you climb 5.12 and boulder v4, you would agree 5.11+ is about v3. just don't think you can climb 5.12 when you boulder v5 or boulder v5 when you climb 5.12.

your max strength/ability is usually one or the other, unless you are super hardcore and boulder v10+ and climb 13+. it's really hard to compare climbing and bouldering at your limit, unless you are a really well rounded climber with powerful strength, good technique, and long endurance all at once.

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