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Why climb harder?
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By Passive Aggression
Jan 23, 2014
Lurkin' for certain
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing. On a practical level I can see that it makes more available especially at crowded places. Otherwise it's just chasing numbers with the idea that those numbers somehow relate to the experience.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 23, 2014
El Chorro
Forgive me for stating the obvious but the harder you climb, the more there is to climb. If you can't climb 5.10, there are entire areas (world class areas) that are not even worth a visit. I will never forget the first time I went to the New. If that place isn't inspiration enough to climb 5.10 trad and 5.12 sport then... Well I don't even know what to say next.

Indian Creek
Castle Valley
The Diamond
The Splatte
The Needles in CA
The Hulk
Half Dome
El Cap
Ceuse
Taipan Wall
Rifle
Ten Sleep
Mill Creek

Should I continue?

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By ScoRo
From Portland, OR
Jan 23, 2014
Ahhhh, remember the hair and pay tribute to it.
Gnome!

Oops it looked like one, but I mistook it for a troll...

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By ze_dirtbag
From TBD
Jan 23, 2014
cottonmouth
or.....climbing is what you make it. if you want to climb hard, go climb hard stuff. if you want to go bag peaks, do that. if you want to own every v0 in the gym, cool.

if you climb enough of a grade, you will eventually get good at it. then you will one day want a challenge, so you climb a harder grade. that being said, climbing with the only goal in sight of redpointing a 13 in the gym so you can say you climb 5.13 is a bit silly....but if that's what makes you happy, have fun with that.

but, i would say yes. climbing harder does increase enjoyment experience and satisfaction of climbing. merely the opinion of a barely moderate climber.

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By PatCleary
From Rohnert Park, CA
Jan 23, 2014
Because assuming cool climbs are spread out more or equally across the grade range, climbing harder means more cool climbs that I can jump on. And since they're probably not, climbing harder gets me closer to the center of the cool climb bell curve.

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By Ralph Swansen
From Denver CO
Jan 23, 2014
Escalante Canyon
When I was climbing at the Gunks, where I started, I started leading a 5.2 and quickly went to 5.5. Over the next 4 or 5 years I was happy with my slow progression to 5.8. I climbed harder, as I progressed to maintain the challenge, excitement and meditative factors but never for number chasing. The routes there were so good and sustained at any level that I didn't need to climb harder.

When I moved to western Colorado, I found that most anything under 5.10 was crap. Luckily I found some cool people at the climbing gym and started training with them one winter. I was leading .10's out of the gate that spring.

I feel it is true that it is not necessary to climb harder just for the numbers sake if you have great easy routes abundantly available. But I do love me some Rifle and some Indian Creek, both unique places that are awesome and require .10 and up.

So stylistically I feel it to be a necessity.

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By Avi Katz
Jan 23, 2014
Don't feed them!
Don't feed them!

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 23, 2014
OTL
replace 'harder' with 'offwidth'

:-D

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By Ralph Swansen
From Denver CO
Jan 23, 2014
Escalante Canyon
MC Poopypants? a troll? no way.

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Jan 23, 2014
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
I try to climb harder because all of the most beautiful lines out there are near or beyond my current limit. It's mostly about aesthetics for me. Plus, it feels good to push your limit. Sending something in that zone is much more rewarding than something well within your abilities.

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By Erez L
Jan 23, 2014
Think this has a lot to do with your personality. Some people are satisfied with mediocrity and don't have the ambition to get better or be better. Whereas other people will never be satisfied with where they are at and will work as hard as possible to get better and improve. If you are satisfied be a V0 or 5.7 climber then so be it.

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By Dave Bn
From Fort Collins, CO
Jan 23, 2014
Dreamweaver
Erez L wrote:
Think this has a lot to do with your personality. Some people are satisfied with mediocrity and don't have the ambition to get better or be better. Whereas other people will never be satisfied with where they are at and will work as hard as possible to get better and improve. If you are satisfied be a V0 or 5.7 climber then so be it.


It's a total mystery as to which of those two camps you fall into.

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By Adam Leedy
From Austin, TX
Jan 23, 2014
MC Poopypants wrote:
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing.


You're joking right?
Harder moves are more fun. Thus harder climbing = more enjoyment.
The satisfaction of progression IS a major part of the experience.

Climbing 5.10 jug ladders gets boring pretty quick.

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By Larry
From SoAZ
Jan 23, 2014
Climb as hard as you can, because the day will come when you won't be able to climb hard anymore.

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By jhammer03
From Manassas
Jan 23, 2014
Checking the beta on Dogleg
MC Poopypants wrote:
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing. On a practical level I can see that it makes more available especially at crowded places. Otherwise it's just chasing numbers with the idea that those numbers somehow relate to the experience.


I think that if you have to ask, you'll never understand.

Post edited. Didn't think OP was a troll until I check the profile... lesson learned.

- blanco

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By don'tchuffonme
Jan 23, 2014
urrr
Generally speaking, there's less to hit if you fall. That's a pretty good reason.

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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 23, 2014
P3 on Nutcracker.
MC Poopypants wrote:
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing. On a practical level I can see that it makes more available especially at crowded places. Otherwise it's just chasing numbers with the idea that those numbers somehow relate to the experience.


Sounds like what a 5.7 climber would say.

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By Jeff Kent
From Sedona, Az
Jan 23, 2014
MC Poopypants wrote:
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing. On a practical level I can see that it makes more available especially at crowded places. Otherwise it's just chasing numbers with the idea that those numbers somehow relate to the experience.


On a practical level, the harder I climb the less chance i have of dealing with idiots like you at the crag. This both increases my enjoyment and experience while climbing.

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By SirTobyThe3rd
Jan 23, 2014
Hello
It does nothing to increase the enjoyment or experience of climbing. On a practical level I can see that it makes more available especially at crowded places.

I feel stupid for feeding the troll, but I will bite.

The harder I climb the cooler routes get. Climbing Braille Book (5.8 in Yosemnite) was really cool, and when I was a 5.8 leader I had a blast, but now that I climb harder it was A LOT cooler to climb the Rostrum or Positive Vibrations on the Hulk. The pitches tend to put you in such cool spots, such exposed position that you feel like as true rock climber. I mean I guess you can get a similar feeling by climbing easier routes (like 1st 5 pitches of Central Pillar of Frenzy 5.9 for example) but when you climb harder there are just SO MANY MORE routes that make your jaw drop and say "OMFG I can't believe nature created climbing that is this cool!" I remember on Don Juan wall there is a flare that requires you to face away from the wall! Like how cool is that!!? Or free climbing high on El Cap. WOOOOOOOOO incredible!

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By kenr
Jan 23, 2014
If you can follow or lead on harder routes, you're more likely to be able to solo on long easier routes. Some of these long easy routes are in wonderful alpine (e.g. High Sierra) or seaside (e.g. Calanques) settings. I think it's wonderful to move fast on rock which seems plenty "interesting" with no rope. And nice not to need to find an available partner on the day you get the weather and desire to do such a route.

Also ... on natural rock, often a line up a large and very striking feature (e.g. arete or dihedral) has just a couple of harder moves. It's just statistics -- some of the easy holds with easy reaches are going to be a little too far apart. So being able to climb harder opens up lots more routes on dramatic natural features. But ...

In Europe they sometimes "solve" this by installing fixed aid at the crux spots (which might now be more polished than for the First Ascent). Or in North America there's the option (sometimes) of placing your own Aid pieces to get through those -- and so tackle a dramatic feature without being able to climb so hard.

In Europe there are via ferrata routes with large amounts of fixed aid (and fixed protection) -- which make it possible to get into some remarkable exposed spaces and dramatic features -- without much technical climbing ability at all. And climb it solo.
So you can enjoy dramatic exposure without hard climbing -- and that has become very popular in Europe.

But there's a finite number of great VF routes to solo, so after working through those, being able to also solo on non-fixed-aid rock opens up lots more new possibilities.

Ken

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By Cultivating Mass
Jan 23, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
I climb hard a lot. Blame it on my female partners. Hello, sports bra weather in Vegas...

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By Jonny 5
From Squamish BC
Jan 23, 2014
Chilling at top of pitch 6
Josh Allred wrote:
Sounds like what a 5.7 climber would say.



hey I'm a 5.7 climber... lol

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By rob.calm
From Loveland, Colorado
Jan 23, 2014
Mother #1 on the Nautilus at Vedauwoo. Rob is calm...
Larry wrote:
Climb as hard as you can, because the day will come when you won't be able to climb hard anymore.


I can assure you there’s no need to worry. As you get older, the easier climbs will seem harder so that the satisfaction achieved in climbing what you sense as hard remains constant.

Gratias et valete bene!
RobertusPunctumPacificus

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By ShaunG
From El Paso
Jan 24, 2014
Animal Acts
Because we can.

Why climb the highest peaks? Because they're there and we can.

You're question is flawed. Essentially what you want to know is, "What in the human psyche motivates us to climb harder?" That's a better question and harder to answer.

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By Don McGrath
From fort collins, CO
Jan 24, 2014
Mastery Motivation is a basic human psychological trait.
Jeff Elison and I touch on it in our book, Vertical Mind.
verticalmindbook.com/

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By aren
Jan 24, 2014
Some people actually go the other way. They ask why you climb at all. I had a foot break on me last Monday, and now I have a nasty gash on my shin. Nothing terrible, but people I work with who think that a short hike on a paved trail is experiencing nature think that climbing is crazy. Now they have proof.

Climbing higher grades is just more of the same. You want to find your own limit. You want to experience nature and either fight the rock or connect with it. Whatever your reason (or your lack of one), you should enjoy what you are doing. If you enjoy easy climbs, do easy climbs! Some easy routes are awesome, and even hiking up a mountain is an experience you might always remember.

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