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By Devin C.
Jun 10, 2009

I'm just curious as to what the general consensus is for an onsight. Basically, does knowing the grade of the climb and nothing else constitute an onsight? I was always under the impression that an nsight was just that, finding a cool line, knowing nothing about it and climbing it clean. I'm usually not too concerned about what I label my climbs and attempts ect but this has kind of been an ongoing argument/misunderstanding amoungst my climbing crew, and I'm curious to see what other people consider onsights.


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By K Ice
From Saint Paul, MN
Jun 10, 2009

On an onsight to me is not having climbed or rappeled the route prior to leading it. Doesn't matter if you do or do not know the name of the route or the rating or other such info.


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By Casey Lems
From Lakewood, CO
Jun 10, 2009
Scenic pic from 2nd belay station on Spire One in the Black Hills

My understanding is the same as could be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms

On-sight
A clean ascent, with no prior practice or beta.

Beta
Advice and/or instructions on how to successfully complete a particular climbing route, boulder problem, or crux sequence.

Flash
To successfully and cleanly complete a climbing route on the first attempt after having received beta of some form. Also refers to an ascent of this type. For ascents on the first attempt without receiving beta see on-sight.

So to be clear, I don't consider difficulty of a route to be beta.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 10, 2009

Casey Lems wrote:
My understanding is the same as could be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms On-sight A clean ascent, with no prior practice or beta. Beta Advice and/or instructions on how to successfully complete a particular climbing route, boulder problem, or crux sequence. Flash To successfully and cleanly complete a climbing route on the first attempt after having received beta of some form. Also refers to an ascent of this type. For ascents on the first attempt without receiving beta see on-sight. So to be clear, I don't consider difficulty of a route to be beta.


Question is what is beta? I don't think beta is a route description in a guidebook. Beta is first hand info move by move, perhaps?


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By Devin C.
Jun 10, 2009

See At first I felt the same way, knowing the grade is not beta, but the more I think about it knowing a grade tells you a lot about a climb and to me constitutes beta. basically, knowing the grade dictates whether I'm willing to lead it without any practice/beta. Every once in a while I'll walk up to a climb that looks fun and be ready to jump on and lead it until someone tells me its rating, then I start second guessing myself.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 10, 2009

Devin C. wrote:
See At first I felt the same way, knowing the grade is not beta, but the more I think about it knowing a grade tells you a about a climb and to me constitutes beta. basically knowing the grade dictates quite a bit if I'm willing to get on the sharp end without any practice/beta.


If that is what an onsight is, then only a first ascent would be an onsight...which is highly doubtful. Old school onsight: I read a route description in the guidebook and climbed it without any other info. How would you know if the climb exists without knowing about it from some source? You'd at least know the grade, probably the number of pitches, descriptions of each pitch (or a topo).


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By Devin C.
Jun 10, 2009

Good point tradster, the only feasible scenario would be knowing of a crag but not having specific info about the climbs there. Going out finding lines you like and climbing them based only on your impression from the ground, which would make onsight claims much more rare. Like everything else in climbing it up to you individual feelings.


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By Erin Cook
From Tucson AZ
Jun 10, 2009
My first lead climb

I don't consider knowing the grade of the route beta


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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Jun 10, 2009
end of the day in the black canyon.

so, this is from a Rock & Ice article (a friend sent me the link, I swear). the author uses the term "onsight flash" in this context:

Look at what has happened to the term “onsight.” It’s like Che Guevara T-shirts (which can be bought at the Wal-Mart for pseudo socialists, www.che-mart.com). The original ideals, with each exposure, become increasingly meaningless. Originally, as Bachar pointed out, “‘onsight’ meant doing a route, ground-up and not falling. This was different than ‘onsight flash,’ which was doing a route first try.” Now, onsight has come to mean onsight flash, while flash means doing a route first try with beta. I know, it’s confusing at best, dumb at worst. But there are many top sport climbers who, despite good intentions, claim onsights of routes that they, in fact, have flashed, not understanding (or caring to understand) that there is a massive, massive difference between the two." - from Rock & Ice

so, taking this into consideration and the above discussion, it seems like this might be the case.

onsight - walk up and climb, almost as if you were doing an FA - "check out that crack! let's climb it," or maybe, "hey, i heard there's a climb here. i don't know the rating or what it's called, but let's do it."

onsight flash - read the guidebook, find the route, get the grade, "standard rack to #4 Friend," climb it without 'beta' (move/specific gear info) or having scoped the line previously.

flash - get all the beta you want, scope every hold, rap the line, just don't fondle/try it. climb it ground up, no falls.

anyone else familiar with this "onsight flash" business? i feel like "onsight flash" is a needless designation, because, like Tradster pointed out, no one would be onsighting anything. onsights are climbs you do without beta, flashes are climbs you do with whatever beta you want, but no prior attempts.


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By Devin C.
Jun 10, 2009

Interesting article clip, I guess that seems to be a pretty good definition, it seems that i call all my "onsights" (Know rout name/grade) flashes, when their really both!!

Personally, I feel a true onsight should be very similar to a FA or ground up route development, but to each his own.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Jun 10, 2009

All I know is that when you get past 50, an onsight is when you haven't been on the climb for at least a week prior.


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By Calirado
Jun 10, 2009

As in, "Hey dear, how about an onsight?"?


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Jun 10, 2009

Calirado wrote:
As in, "Hey dear, how about an onsight?"?

No, that's more like a flash.


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By Calirado
Jun 10, 2009

And with a laborious, uncertain approach.


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By K Ice
From Saint Paul, MN
Jun 10, 2009

Devin C. wrote:
Good point tradster, the only feasible scenario would be knowing of a crag but not having specific info about the climbs there. Going out finding lines you like and climbing them based only on your impression from the ground, which would make onsight claims much more rare. Like everything else in climbing it up to you individual feelings.


Or you could just not read the guide book......


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By Shane Neal
From Colorado Springs, CO.
Jun 10, 2009
Thunder

Casey Lems wrote:
My understanding is the same as could be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms On-sight A clean ascent, with no prior practice or beta. Beta Advice and/or instructions on how to successfully complete a particular climbing route, boulder problem, or crux sequence. Flash To successfully and cleanly complete a climbing route on the first attempt after having received beta of some form. Also refers to an ascent of this type. For ascents on the first attempt without receiving beta see on-sight. So to be clear, I don't consider difficulty of a route to be beta.


+1

Rating of a climb is not beta- its a guideline, which, like onsight and flash, also lies in the eye of the beholder, as guidelines are vauge. Rating tells you nothing about a specific climb- it merely suggests its difficulty. Hence, I agree, these definitions are correct.

An onsight-flash, seriously? Is that like a second-first ascent?


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By J C Wilks
From Loveland, CO
Jun 10, 2009

+2

I don't think of the name, rating and route info as beta. If you climb to the end of a crack to an unbolted face section and there is more than one crack above the face, how can you be sure of what route you did? 'Climb to the end of the first crack, continue across the face to the right crack.' is just staying on route. To me beta sounds more like: 'Starting pitch 2, step up from the crack onto the face with your right foot so you don't blow the crux sequence. Bring doubles on mid size cams.' Maybe not even that specific and both could be in a guide book but you have to be able to find the route you say you did. Otherwise you'd be saying something like 'I don't know, I did something fun onsight.' Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So if you're over 50, what's it called if you forget the beta while you are climbing? Senor Onsight?


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By rob bauer
From Golden, CO
Jun 10, 2009

Gosh I feel old. I've been using the term "flash" to mean climb with style, grace, or without apparent difficulty. I might have substituted the term "cruise." It was a description of aplomb, or better than expected where things cosmically flowed together, as in "I flashed the climb." The opposite might be, perhaps, "thrashed." I'm sure glad I don't have to characterize my climbs to anyone else (I'm still not clear on the red- or pink-point to where I'd use it in a sentence).
On-sighting, on the other hand, still seems to mean the same that it did 34 years ago. What a relief.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 10, 2009

Richard Radcliffe wrote:
All I know is that when you get past 50, an onsight is when you haven't been on the climb for at least a week prior.


Richard, that is hilarious and I certainly can relate. LOL!


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By pfwein
Jun 11, 2009

You guys are funny.
"Hey, I'm getting shut down here, what's the beta," climber asks.
"It's 5.11b," someone responds.
"Thanks, I got it now." Hmmmmmm.
Oh, and while correcting spelling on Internet posts doesn't seem like a great way to win friends and influence people, the word is "verbiage."


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By jcntrl
From Smoulder, CO
Jun 11, 2009

J C Wylks wrote:
So if you're over 50, what's it called if you forget the beta while you are climbing? Senor Onsight?


Alzheimer's point.


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By Devin C.
Jun 11, 2009

Ha! I never have been too great at spelling, didn't know it was a prereq. for forum usage.

I just wanted to see what other people consider beta. I find it very useful to know the grade of a climb so I consider it some form of beta, definitely nothing compared to someone on the ground walking you through every last detail of the climb, but simply helpful information about the climb. Most people I come across do not consider the grade beta, and it seems that is the consensus among most people.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 11, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

to think that the established rating is beta is as silly as thinking that the route name is beta. or as silly as seeing chalk on holds as beta. and then you are at the end of the spectrum of an onsight FA.

all these terms are taken too seriously these days IMO.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Jun 11, 2009

Justin Cantrall wrote:
Alzheimer's point.

Maybe gray point...?


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By Buff Johnson
Jun 11, 2009
smiley face

like anything in this category: it's neither


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jun 11, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Calirado wrote:
And with a laborious, uncertain approach.

Soft point?


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