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v-scale vs. climbing scale
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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

another reason it might be hard for boulderers to send sport climbs of "equivalent difficulty" is because in hard sport climbing it is necessary not only to be able to execute all the moves, but to execute them as efficiently as possible because otherwise you'll get pumped and run out of gas. however, in bouldering (and correct me if i'm wrong as i don't boulder much) the emphasis seems to be on executing the moves by any means necessary because problems tend to be short and efficiency is not nearly as important.

for example, i've been working on a 5.12 in which i was able to "do all the moves" on the first try, going bolt to bolt, but i felt like there was no way in hell i could send it unless i found ways to execute the moves more efficiently. in fact i ended up trying a single move about 20 times in many different ways before things clicked and i figured out one that was far and away the most efficient. now i'm ready to redpoint.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Kai Huang wrote:
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. 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.


this. thank you for saying better than i did.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
Belay

Jay Knower wrote:
Plus, everyone knows there are no hard moves at Smith :)

Ha! There's actually some truth to that...


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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Nov 5, 2009

Jon Ruland wrote:
another reason it might be hard for boulderers to send sport climbs of "equivalent difficulty" is because in hard sport climbing it is necessary not only to be able to execute all the moves, but to execute them as efficiently as possible because otherwise you'll get pumped and run out of gas. however, in bouldering (and correct me if i'm wrong as i don't boulder much) the emphasis seems to be on executing the moves by any means necessary because problems tend to be short and efficiency is not nearly as important. for example, i've been working on a 5.12 in which i was able to "do all the moves" on the first try, going bolt to bolt, but i felt like there was no way in hell i could send it unless i found ways to execute the moves more efficiently. in fact i ended up trying a single move about 20 times in many different ways before things clicked and i figured out one that was far and away the most efficient. now i'm ready to redpoint.


hence the power vs technique subject. it's quite obvious when you look at beginner/intermediate climbers. a girl with good technique can climb 5.11 easy but can't boulder more than v1, or a muscle guy with powerful strength that can muscle boulder v4 but can't get up 5.11. climbing with you head and figuring out your weakness and strength can help a lot in the long run.


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By xxxxx
Nov 5, 2009

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.</quote

that makes sense. i suppose bouldering and climbing are diffucult to compare.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

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).


Great point Peter. My argument for the JJNS scale was that a climber with equal bouldering & sport climbing skill would be able to climb 14- and V12, or 5.13a and V8. But if you want a literal translation of "how hard is this move" on each scale, Jay's scale is probably better as a general refernce.

Once you get into the realm of one-move sport routes though, I think it goes out the window. If a route really only had one or two hard moves, and was 5.9 the rest of the way, I'm not convinced that V7 would warrant 5.13a or V10 would warrant 5.14.


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By abc
Nov 5, 2009

Monomaniac wrote:
If a route really only had one or two hard moves, and was 5.9 the rest of the way, I'm not convinced that V7 would warrant 5.13a or V10 would warrant 5.14.




Shelf is an example of this type of climbing, and it seems that you tend to think the routes are over-graded there, which is consistent with your above statement.

What makes you not convinced?


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Plymouth, NH
Nov 5, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Monomaniac wrote:
If a route really only had one or two hard moves, and was 5.9 the rest of the way, I'm not convinced that V7 would warrant 5.13a or V10 would warrant 5.14.


That's how we roll out here at Rumney.

V7 = Bottom Feeder = 13a.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

I think of a YDS grade as an "effort" scale. The amount of time & effort (# of burns if you will) that go into a certain route should be reflected across the grades. A person of equal skill in bouldering & sport climbing will send a 4 move V7, followed by 5.9 much faster than they will send a route like The Example. Therefore, IMO, they didn't require the same effort, and should not get the same grade.


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Plymouth, NH
Nov 5, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Monomaniac wrote:
I think of a YDS grade as an "effort" scale. The amount of time & effort (# of burns if you will) that go into a certain route should be reflected across the grades. A person of equal skill in bouldering & sport climbing will send a 4 move V7, followed by 5.9 much faster than they will send a route like The Example. Therefore, IMO, they didn't require the same effort, and should not get the same grade.


So, what if I'm terrible at endurance climbing? A long 12a is much harder for me, and requires more effort than a bouldery 13a. Does that mean I can upgrade the 12a?

If so, then scorecard, here I come!


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By Dave C
From Homeless, CO
Nov 5, 2009

I find that boulder problems playing to your strengths and weaknesses can vary drastically by grade, 2 points for me.

but then again soft grades and sandbags can do that too.


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By Dave C
From Homeless, CO
Nov 5, 2009

Jay Knower wrote:
So, what if I'm terrible at endurance climbing




my climbing life in a nutshell right there.


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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Nov 5, 2009

Monomaniac wrote:
I think of a YDS grade as an "effort" scale. The amount of time & effort (# of burns if you will) that go into a certain route should be reflected across the grades. A person of equal skill in bouldering & sport climbing will send a 4 move V7, followed by 5.9 much faster than they will send a route like The Example. Therefore, IMO, they didn't require the same effort, and should not get the same grade.



i would agree that it shouldn't get the same grade. not to argue, but it is the hardest move that counts though. if i send a 5.* route or v.* problem like that, i would still say that i send a 5.* route or v.* problem but not too proudly and specifically call out that it's a one move wonder. at least it's a good ego booster to get closer to the grade.


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By JoeValley
Nov 5, 2009

I guess my post was more of a personal interpretation of the scale. Yes I have heard that V10 is 5.14 climbing. I am not sure why this didn't occur to me last night while posting. I have a 2007 planner from climbing magazine called classic climbs. In the back there is a page with grade comparisons and a bouldering scale. This is what I was looking at when I posted last night. It's more of a chart that leaves room for interpretation. Maybe this is a better format. I couldn't find it on the net so I went with a more specific personal interpretation. Sorry if this created any confusion.

Personally I have bouldered two V6 boulder problems but have yet to cleanly lead 5.12a. I think the reason people excel at bouldering is that its easy to work out the moves when bouldering. Most times the crux isn't that high off the ground and the falls super safe. So people feel free to push themselves. I have spent the last year trying to feel safe and not scared while sport climbing so I can just climb and not visualize the whipper I am about to take. I have to say it's not an easy thing to do, for me anyway.

I have benefitted from reading Eric Horst's Training for Climbing and Arno Ilgnaer's The Rock Warrior's Way. Eric's book is really good and talks about the total package. Training, nutrition, mental training, self-assessment, accelerating recovery, and most helpful to me a section on designing your training program. Check out the part talking about mesocycles and the 4-3-2-1 training cycle. 4 weeks of skill and stamina climbing, 3 weeks of maximum power and strength, 2 weeks of anaerobic endurance, and one week of rest. The book also provides a chart in the back of the book to help follow this schedule throughout the year. Arno's book is all about the mental game and every time I read it I take something different from it and mentally feel stronger on the rock.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Nov 5, 2009
You stay away from mah pig!

Ah, this is always a confusing subject. Theorectically, route grades should reflect cumulative difficulty, while bouldering grades focus on single hardest moves (even though the YDS was originally intended to grade routes based on the hardest move of a pitch). To make it even more difficult, there are plenty of boulder problems that are also endurance-related. I.e., a linkup of a v7 into a v12 could be called a v13 or v14, so that the hardest move is not the determining factor. Endurance really adds a lot. Most solid 5.12 climbers would not be able to a series of 15 consecutive v3 moves with no rest in between.

As for the relation of v-grades to YDS grades, I think the most conservative way to look at Jay's scale in which v4=5.12-; v5=5.12; v6=5.12+, is this way:

A route graded 5.12a will almost NEVER have a move harder than v4, but it may have many moves easier than v4. I'm not sure if that makes sense of not, though.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

Jay Knower wrote:
So, what if I'm terrible at endurance climbing? A long 12a is much harder for me, and requires more effort than a bouldery 13a. Does that mean I can upgrade the 12a? If so, then scorecard, here I come!


"We did, however have to come to an arrangement with her pimp. A gentleman who goes by the name Upgrayedd. Which he spells thusly, with two D's, as he says, "for a double dose of this pimping". "

I think it means you need to work on your endurance. My example was for a well-rounded climber, with "equal" abilities at sport climbing & bouldering. Besides, this trhead is about justifying sandbags, not the other way around.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

you know, i think what it comes down to is simply:


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Plymouth, NH
Nov 5, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Monomaniac wrote:
"We did, however have to come to an arrangement with her pimp. A gentleman who goes by the name Upgrayedd. Which he spells thusly, with two D's, as he says, "for a double dose of this pimping". " I think it means you need to work on your endurance. My example was for a well-rounded climber, with "equal" abilities at sport climbing & bouldering. Besides, this trhead is about justifying sandbags, not the other way around.


Man, I knew you'd play the "train harder" card.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

Trumped only by the "whine less" card.

I wonder about the Rumney thing. I'm not aware of any implication that Rumney routes are soft, and they are mostly on the shorter/bouldery end of the spectrum. I wonder if the V-scale is a bit sandbagged out there, so what you think is a V7 is actually a bit harder. I'm definitely no expert on V grades, but I've found them to be far less consistent than YDS grades.


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By Ted Lanzano
From Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2009

I think JJNS is right on. While comparing bouldering to route grades is tough because they are so different, for me a v10 takes about as much effort as a 5.13b/c.


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By slim
Administrator
Nov 5, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

both fruit, just like you sucka. kiddin'.

i agree w/ mono about the whole total effort in the grade. that's the best thing about climbing, you always feel like you are deficient in power or endurance, or both. it takes a lot of time to try to even it all out, but you are always chasing something.


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By Rafe
Nov 5, 2009
hardman

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?



Buy or just take a look at Eric Horsts' 'Training for Climbing"

There are fairly accurate self assesment tables in there that might help you clear up reasons for failing on longer more commiting routes and sending equally if not more physically difficult boulder problems. There are lots of limiting factors you may not be aware of.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Nov 5, 2009

No wonder I don't boulder...everything starts at 5.10 in bouldering. Actually my ankles can't take the drops. OUCH!


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By J mac
Nov 5, 2009
Zermatt

For me the difference is clipping. V4 feels fairly easy for me and so does top ropping 12a. When I lead them though, figuring out when and how to clip is the tough part, usually taking multiple tries. I imagine it is must worse placing gear. (I am no where near climbing 12a on gear and will probablly never be)


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Nov 5, 2009
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

jmac wrote:
For me the difference is clipping. V4 feels fairly easy for me and so does top ropping 12a. When I lead them though, figuring out when and how to clip is the tough part, usually taking multiple tries.


Jmac, this really sounds to me like a psychological issue. I recommend that you practice finding relaxed clipping stances. You're probably getting fairly sketched out when it comes time to clip, and so you're rushing things, clipping from an inefficient position, out of balance, and overgripping. When you're toproping, every time you get to a bolt, focus on finding the most natural position to clip. You want to have your feet relatively wide, and whichever hand you're hanging from should be completely straight (ideally, those this is not always possible). A gym is a great place to practice this.

A common mistake people make is clipping too low. You're anxious to get the bolt clipped, so you try to clip it as soon as you possibly can. Often if you climb a bit higher you will find a much better stance and a casual clip.

If you find you have trouble fumbling clips, get a lenght of rope & a quickdraw and practice clipping while you're watching TV or whatever. Practice all four basic positions: right hand, left hand, gate facing towards you, gate facing away. Try to do 100 of each every night until you have it dialed. Once you've mastered that you can try advanced clips like clipping across your body, under the opposite arm, behind your head, etc.


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