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What is Happening to the V-Scale?
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By bjp
From durango
Nov 20, 2011
bud

s.price wrote:
Yes,i am. Being one of the best doesn't mean you truly understand the true rewards of climbing, nor is it an excuse to be a little bitch. His parents are probably more to blame for allowing this as he grew up and became a young man. I am not questioning his talent, just his actions and motivation. To quote the non wobbler tossing Great Alex Lowe, "The best climber in the world is the one having the most FUN!"


thanks for reminding us of that one, S.P.

now that he is "grown up", though, we have others (besides the parents) to blame, too. at least one enabler in this thread defending AO's right to be a tantrum-thrower. guess it's the same thought process that says we should forgive artists of their crimes because they're different from us normal folks (rapist roman polanski, etc.).

the fact that someone does not approve of X-climber's behavior does not mean someone thinks they are just as good a climber as X. it just means someone doesn't approve of the behavior.


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By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
Nov 20, 2011
New Religion

Venting is not a crime in my book as long as it is not (a la McEnroe) directed at another or likely to offend bystanders by virtue of its content. If AO yells at his belayer or typically unleashes torrents of Czech expletives when there are hordes of little Czech kids hanging out at the crag toting lollipops and wearing Barney shirts, bad on him. Otherwise, props from me for continuing to push his ridiculous natural talent to the redline. And for all I know, when he's away from the camera (and microphone), he has fun on gentle, relaxing 13d's.

(AO - now that I've defended you, please don't crimp my face off when we next meet. However, my nose could use some rearranging. As to your sister, a pinch rather than a crimp...)


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Nov 20, 2011
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

By his own admission McEnroes wobblers on the court were a part of his game. He would use this tactic to control the pace of the match, get in his opponents head (which worked great) and to keep the chair and linespeople unsettled (again very effective). Maybe AO pumps himself up this way as well. None of these actions deserve respect. Back to the point of the thread. Even Sherman, who originated the v-scale, has stated it is now all screwed up and far from his original intent.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Nov 20, 2011
Mathematical!

All climbing scales are subjective. Get over it, go climb something that pushes your limits and have fun.


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Nov 20, 2011
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

johnL wrote:
One climber telling another climber what the point of climbing is and backing it up with a third climbers point of view? I think that maybe, just maybe, that is missing the point. Or just pointless.

good point.


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By Hank Caylor
Administrator
From Golden, CO
Nov 20, 2011
Lone goat..

s.price wrote:
Back to the point of the thread. Even Sherman, who originated the v-scale, has stated it is now all screwed up and far from his original intent.


anyone remember when the whole John Sherman "V-scale" thing was just an idea he was trying to get started out at Hueco Tanks? Climbers were still in the "B-scale" era, pads had not been invented yet... I for one thought he was a full blown wierdo for pushing that crap. Boy was I wrong. Super funny it's become part of the grades debate though.


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Nov 20, 2011
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

I do remember those days Hank and also thought he was nuts.


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By Dusty
From Fort Collins
Nov 20, 2011
just teasin' the sharks...

The V-Scale was developed as an open-ended scale. If Ondra climbs a new problem which he believes is harder than other V15s he has climbed, why would he call it V15?

You are more than welcome to give the problem its second ascent and dispute the grade. Good luck.


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By bjp
From durango
Nov 20, 2011
bud

Dusty wrote:
The V-Scale was developed as an open-ended scale......



excellent point.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Dec 6, 2011
Belay

tenesmus wrote:
Do I have to get all British to make sense of it?

Just throw an "E" somewhere in there and confuse everybody. British climbing grades make about as much sense as the rules of cricket.

But I suppose when you're trying to grade a smear of runout frozen moss in some godforsaken gully on the side of Ben Nevis you need to get creative with your grading methods.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Dec 6, 2011
Belay

Also, I think that trying to apply V grades directly to the YDS is an avenue towards frustration.

There are plenty of 5.12s out there that don't have a move any harder than V3 (lower Heinous Cling at Smith for example, is my benchmark 5.12a), and I can think of a few 5.13s that are really just consistent V4 for 40 or 50ft (e.g., the drilled-out-and-comfortized-but-still-cool Desert Devil at Queen Creek in AZ).

I think that "total effort required to finish the problem or route" is a better way of looking at boulder and route grades, rather than basing it off of the single hardest move or sequence.


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By Jason Lantz
Dec 6, 2011

sport climbers need to keep their sponsors happy...

there's always the font scale....


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By Tom Hanson
Dec 6, 2011
Climber Drawing

I just established an alpine IV,5.11c/d,A2,C1,WI3,M4-,AI2,V2,vs
The above grade still fails to adequately describe the nature of the route so one might just as well disregard it altogether.


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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Dec 6, 2011
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.

Jake Sahl wrote:
So, Adam Ondra just did a first ascent that he is rating V16. He describes it as 3 moves of V10, 4 moves of V13, 3 moves of V8, then 2 moves of V12. What is happening to the V-scale? I was under the impression that a boulder problem was rated based on the single hardest move on the problem. That would make this V16 a V13, right? I'm not trying to bag on Adam Ondra. He is certainly not the first or only climber to rate boulder problems this way. It just seems to me that the V-rating system is being treated more and more like the YDS. WTF? Am I way off base here?


You're partially right. The V-scale is about rating a problem based on the crux sequence. I think it is odd that Sherman applied the system to Hueco because there are so many pure resistance climbs there. (Star Power is V4???). But in the end you're right, the V scale was only meant to reflect crux sequences, (but there's a historical and technological reason why it was this way... see below). That said, we should probably do away with the V scale or at least acknowledge that its intentions were inadequate at reflecting a problem's difficulty.

That said, Ondra's a Euro and he's not grading things by the V-scale anyways. He rated his climb 8C+, not V16 (translation was for the American-gumbies). The Font system takes into account multiple cruxes and so many Americans have taken to using the Font system.

In historical terms its not as if large sustained routes abounded in Hueco back in the day. The oldest routes in Hueco are the ones with the flat landings and the MOST difficult one's are short and only a few moves. Sherman's method makes sense in this context, but alas with pads we go for it more often, do harder moves further into an involved sequence and harder problems of a new nature get put up. The V-scale is antiquated with modern bouldering equipment and should no longer be in use. Of course it won't happen. Since when did the complete inaccuracy and contextless nature of our standards ever been a reason for us to discard them?


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Dec 6, 2011

One aspect of the V-scale thing that's a little funny is that it's essentially the same as a +/- YDS. There are areas and guidebooks out there that shunned the a/b/c/d subset and said three subdivisions are enough, four is too much.

So
V1,2,3 ~ 5.11-, 5.11, 5.11+
V4,5,6 ~ 5.12-. 5.12, 5.12+ etc

So what's the point in a different scale? They both capture overall difficulty including hardest single move and endurance factor. Just use YDS +/- and then you don't end up with several number grades compressed within "VB" or screwy sounding things like V0-.


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By kevin deweese
From walnut creek, ca
Dec 6, 2011
don't throw rocks

muttonface wrote:
Ondra's sister is hot and she can throw all the tantrums she wants. She sends harder than me too. That's all I have to offer on the subject.



Kristyna Ondra
Kristyna Ondra

Kristyna Ondra 2
Kristyna Ondra 2


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Dec 6, 2011

Peter Franzen wrote:
Also, I think that trying to apply V grades directly to the YDS is an avenue towards frustration. There are plenty of 5.12s out there that don't have a move any harder than V3 (lower Heinous Cling at Smith for example, is my benchmark 5.12a), and I can think of a few 5.13s that are really just consistent V4 for 40 or 50ft (e.g., the drilled-out-and-comfortized-but-still-cool Desert Devil at Queen Creek in AZ). I think that "total effort required to finish the problem or route" is a better way of looking at boulder and route grades, rather than basing it off of the single hardest move or sequence.


For that matter, Sprout (another absurdly drilled out, yet still excellent route) at Maple Canyon is 13a, yet probably doesn't have a move harder than V1 (maybe V2). It just has a lot of them in a row, and they are all pretty physical. Endurance climbing.

The old concept for the YDS of rating a route by the hardest move is outdated. It worked when the system was first developed ( as the Tahquitz Decimal System) because it was being applied to slabby routes on Tahquitz in the 5.0-5.8, where pump isn't a factor and it is the hardest move that determines the difficulty. On modern, pumpy routes this just doesn't work.

For boulders, too, stamina really needs to be a factor. A problem with one V5 move is obviously V5, but what about a long roof problem with 10 burly V5 moves in a row? A scale that doesn't account for the much greater difficulty of the latter problem is flawed to the point of being useless.

Still, grading boulder traverses is tricky. There is a level of enduro-ness where the V scale is not longer a good description. For a powerful 10-foot boulder traverse, the V scale is appropriate. At a certain point, though, the YDS makes for a better description. Gunsmoke (at J Tree) is a prime example. A V3 rating for this 80 foot traverse isn't a good description; calling it mid-5.11 more accurately describes the difficulties. Among harder problems, Wheel of Life was originally graded V16, but some repeat ascentionists have said that a 5.14d or 5.15a grade would better describe it.

So this leads to some grey area. The V scale clearly describes a problem/sequence in its entirety, not just a single move, so power-endurance concerns do affect a V-rating. At what point, though, is a problem (like a traverse) long and enduro enough that the V-scale is no longer appropriate?


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By Dom
Administrator
From New Brunswick Canada
Dec 6, 2011
Moby dick 5.11-

Monomaniac wrote:
No, you're confusing "Font" grades with French route grades. Font grades apply only to boulder problems. They use the same nomenclature but mean different things. Some people use capital letters when refering to font grades, so a Vll boulder problem would be "8A" and an .13b route would be "8a".



Agreed. Also, it's kinda funny that the OP is bashing Ondra's usage of the V-Scale yet this problem was graded based on Font grades because that's the grading system they use in most of Europe.


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By Patrick Murphy
Jun 9, 2012

Just gonna hop in on the super human ondra bashing, I've been climbing with a super strong "famous" v14 establishing, comp winning, v15 sending climber (I don't want to put his name 'cause he told this to me personally and I don't want to hurt his repuatation as super nice and chill) but he and I were talking about sponsorship and fame and he said that Ondra was never gonna become the new Chris Sharma (face of the sport) 'cause of his looks. Yay, super strong climbers think he looks really weird and acts annoying too!


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By jumping fish
Jul 10, 2012
tree climbing Love it.

It's probably just a V4.


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By skiclimber
Jul 10, 2012
jibbing at chasm lake

Patrick Murphy wrote:
Just gonna hop in on the super human ondra bashing, I've been climbing with a super strong "famous" v14 establishing, comp winning, v15 sending climber (I don't want to put his name 'cause he told this to me personally and I don't want to hurt his repuatation as super nice and chill) but he and I were talking about sponsorship and fame and he said that Ondra was never gonna become the new Chris Sharma (face of the sport) 'cause of his looks. Yay, super strong climbers think he looks really weird and acts annoying too!


You brought this thread back from the dead to say that?


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By Jeremy Hand
Jul 10, 2012
slopey

skiclimber wrote:
You brought this thread back from the dead to say that?


DUDE once you become friends with a v15 crusher you can begin to revive threads with an absolutely pointless commentary too, brah!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 10, 2012
Bocan

Jake Sahl wrote:
So, Adam Ondra just did a first ascent that he is rating V16. He describes it as 3 moves of V10, 4 moves of V13, 3 moves of V8, then 2 moves of V12. What is happening to the V-scale? I was under the impression that a boulder problem was rated based on the single hardest move on the problem. That would make this V16 a V13, right? I'm not trying to bag on Adam Ondra. He is certainly not the first or only climber to rate boulder problems this way. It just seems to me that the V-rating system is being treated more and more like the YDS. WTF? Am I way off base here?


It's a valid question...a route with moves that are 5.10,5.12,5.13 doesn't make it a 5.14. Still only a 5.13. It just gets called "sustained" or something similar.


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By kiff
Jul 10, 2012

BOHICA in the madness cave is a lot of V2 and V3 or easier moves for a long time...still gets the 13B rating. a route (or boulder) being more sustained makes it harder.


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By Unassigned User
Jul 10, 2012

Yeah so yesterday I was in the gym and these guys were putting up a V1 route. I tried it and fell off on the final move twice because I was too pumped from 2 hrs of bouldering at my max. I rated it a V3 because of that.


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