Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Sport climbing starts at 12c? !!
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
By Orphaned
Dec 9, 2011

I typed this response in the stick clip thread, then decided it should get it's own place before I posted up this unrelated idea there.

The idea of 12c being the start of sport climbing, per Kalcario, is IMO correct. In order to confirm this, or give it credit, you have to drop the strict definition that a sport climb is merely a bolted route. I will concede that Kalcario should have said "American sport climbing starts at 12c".

Think about it this way, sport climbing originated as a safe alternative to trad climbing to push beyond what the limits of the day were in terms of difficulty and movement. The "limits" of the day were already pushing into the upper 5.12 and lower 5.13 limit completely trad. And I mean completely. These guys were climbing 5.12 without getting strong on sport routes. They wanted harder routes than what they were already climbing trad (at least mid 12) and they bolted probable but unprotectable faces.

So there you have it. The essence of sport was a way for American climbers to regularly get on and climb routes harder than 12+. This also opened the door to trad routes going up even harder. However, I doubt there is single "trad" climb harder than 13a or b that has ever gone up unassisted (tactics or strength) from sport.

I'm not going to tell you that a bolted 5.5 isn't a sport climb. It is. However, if you have any sense of history whatsoever, you have to realize that sport climbing starts at approximately 12c.


FLAG
By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.


FLAG
By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Dec 9, 2011
Lone goat..

johnL wrote:
I'm not going to tell you that a bolted 5.5 isn't a sport climb. It is. However, if you have any sense of history whatsoever, you have to realize that sport climbing starts at approximately 12c.


agreed!


FLAG
By Joe Huggins
From 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Dec 9, 2011
mmmm....tree

This could revolutionize physics;particularly in areas like High Energy Toroidal Self Aggrandizementalization!


FLAG
By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Dec 9, 2011

It's worth mentioning that 'sport climbing tactics' originated before sport climbing. Dogging, preplaced gear, working sections, wiring sequences were all developed prior to sport climbing... or even cams.


FLAG
By JCM
From Golden, CO
Dec 9, 2011

Perhaps it would be better to say that sport climbing started at 12c. Trying to define everything that we do in climbing today based on how people saw it in the 70s/80s is what got us into a lot of these quandaries in the first place. I'm not suggesting we dispose of tradition, but lets also not get stuck in the past.

There are lots of people today who use sport climbing to push themselves physically in the 5.10 or 5.11 realm. Although they aren't "pushing the standards of the day", they are pushing their personal standards of difficulty and movement, and using the sport crag environment to do this more quickly and safely than they would at a trad area. This is, undeniably, within the spirit of sport climbing.

The fact that 12c was the standard when sport climbing came about is a bit of an accident of history. If Alan Watts had started bolting choss 10 years earlier, then perhaps we would be naming a lower grade as the threshold for real sport climbing.

You are correct that proper sport climbing is defined by more than rap-bolting; sport climbing is a way of approaching climbing. If you use this approach and mentality to redpoint your first 11c, as opposed to your first 12c, it is still in the right spirit. Since 99.9% of us are not pushing the absolute standards of our day, then an individualized definition of what is cutting-edge is necessary.

That said, muddling around well within your limit (be that 5.10 or 5.12) and never falling or pushing yourself isn't really sport climbing.


FLAG
By adam brink
From Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2011
Arlo in all his magnificence.

"I doubt there is single "trad" climb harder than 13a or b that has ever gone up unassisted (tactics or strength) from sport."

What about the mid-13's that Peter Croft has done ground-up and on-sight? No sport tactics there and if my memory serves me right he did very little sport climbing back then.


FLAG
By slim
Administrator
Dec 9, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

damn john, i think you are on to something. i think the first sport route at shelf (line of strength, IIRC) is 12c. if it wasn't line of strength, then it was probably glue slippage which is 12b.

12c is the calculus (ie bottom rung) of sport climbing. man, that's kind of depressing.


FLAG
By Kid Icarus
Dec 9, 2011
Self Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

On the boards today: threads about stick clipping, pink pointing, sport grading, and what, exacty, constitutes sport climbing anyway? This must be what living in the 80's climbing world felt like. Cutting edge stuff here, fellas.


FLAG
By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Dec 9, 2011
You stay away from mah pig!

caughtinside wrote:
It's worth mentioning that 'sport climbing tactics' originated before sport climbing. Dogging, preplaced gear, working sections, wiring sequences were all developed prior to sport climbing... or even cams.


Yeah, the first trad .13s (Phoenix, Grand Illusion, Vandals) went up with tactics that were decidedly non-trad.


FLAG
By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

You can tell the difference between a true sport climber and a guy who just talks about it because one reaches down the back or their pants for chalk, and the other just reaches down the front...


FLAG
By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Dec 9, 2011
Me and Spearhead

Not arguing the mid 12 point. Just observing that, if you consider Smith as one of the earliest examples of US sport climbing, I might not agree w/ you on the safety aspect.
I really wonder how often just the first half of Heinous Cling would get climbed if it was never retro-bolted?
Might not be the best example, but I guess then that sport climbing comes down more to the style of how the route is developed and the climbing tactics used to climb it and not so much the grade.


FLAG
By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 9, 2011
OTL

YES!!!!

I'm not a sport climber - now I don't have to have that weird conversation with the parents.

THANKS johnL!


FLAG
By Kid Icarus
Dec 9, 2011
Self Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

"Take on Me" seems apropos to this retro thread:






FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 10, 2011

"sport climbing" is not a description of the protection methodology, it's an approach to climbing. It is treating the activity of rock climbing as an athletic event in the pursuit of peak performance on increasingly difficult climbs. IMO, If you aren't trying difficult (for you) climbs that require great effort, then you aren't sport climbing. If you are not taking a disciplined approach to your goals, you are not sport climbing. The activity of hitting the local crag or gym and cranking out half a dozen meaningless clip ups is "recreational climbing", not "sport climbing".


FLAG
By JCM
From Golden, CO
Dec 10, 2011

Mike Anderson wrote:
"sport climbing" is not a description of the protection methodology, it's an approach to climbing. It is treating the activity of rock climbing as an athletic event in the pursuit of peak performance on increasingly difficult climbs. IMO, If you aren't trying difficult (for you) climbs that require great effort, then you aren't sport climbing. If you are not taking a disciplined approach to your goals, you are not sport climbing. The activity of hitting the local crag or gym and cranking out half a dozen meaningless clip ups is "recreational climbing", not "sport climbing".


Very true, and well stated. Going back to the original prompt, though, do you think that there is a grade threshold associated with this approach, or can climbing at any grade meet the criteria so long that it is sufficiently challenging to that individual?


FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 10, 2011

To answer your question, I started sport climbing at 12a, which is to say, I didn't climb a 12a until I adopted a sport climbing approach. So, I think it depends on the times and the individual. That was waaaaaaay back in the 90's, so these days it's probably closer to the suggested 12c for many people, and it will go up.


FLAG
By Tradoholic
Dec 10, 2011

Without sport climbing would 5.14 exist?!?!?!?


FLAG
By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 11, 2011

John, I'm not contradicting your point, just taking the opportunity to educate anyone that still thinks sport climbing is defined by bolts.

To the original point, I agree in general with the concept, and also agree that the sport climbing approach existed well before Alan Watts @ Smith Rock. You could even go as far as to say that John Gill's was a sport climber's approach as early as the 60's.

I think what made Watts original was his lack of shame in applying sport climbing, whereas his predecessors felt the need to hang dog,etc, in secret.


FLAG
By Dr. Rocktopolus
From Chattanooga, TN
Apr 12, 2012
Whipping on the redpoint crux of " The Theater Of Pain " 5.13b Cooks Wall, NC

TRAD IS RAD...


FLAG
By steverett
From West Hartford, CT
Apr 12, 2012

NCRob83 wrote:
TRAD IS RAD...


What an insightful contribution to a 4-month-old thread. Keep up the good work.


FLAG
By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Apr 12, 2012
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.

lol


FLAG
By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Apr 12, 2012

yeah NCRob, you really need to stop doing that. it's totally lame and this is the 2nd or 3rd time...


FLAG
By TomasValero
Apr 23, 2012

I was on the crags the weekend last and I was seeing the sport climbing even at the 5.7. Many happy peoples on them having good time. What is this 5.12c meaning? I am climbing the 5.13a now and very happy to have the 5.7-8 for my abuelo when she come visit.


FLAG
By Buff Johnson
Apr 23, 2012
smiley face

I think at some point to advance your climbing from moderate outings to truly existential climbing, the need to stop kissing your sister and make an advance on the hottie certainly warrants the title. While it may be that your sister is a hottie, it's still just going through the motions of moderate climbing, whereas the true sender must risk total failure to truly succeed. That, and the fact that aliens are friggin still the coolest piece of pro you'll ever use.


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.