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Ondra climbs 5.15c


J Q · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50
Tom Fralich wrote: True, but it's just so easy...the ladders...the perma-draws...the link-ups...the stick clips... ...oh, and the egos.
It sounds like your 5.9 ego is quite involved here as well. It must be hard thing to keep claiming that the kings clothing is so fine.
Adam B · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 310

I fall down just trying to imagine how hard this guy climbs!

Mike Belu · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 135

It boggles my mind. The grade/difficulty difference from 5.9 to 5.12c is huge. He's climbing that same grade/difficulty above 5.12c to 5.15c; 12 grades. I can't imagine how hard that must be. Amazing.

S.Stelli · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 150
Jon Moen wrote: It should also be noted that Ondra rated his route 9b+, not 5.15c. As such, any question of the absurd and outdated historical artifacts of the YDS (rating based on hardest move, etc.) are totally irrelevant here.
This.

Also - congrats to Adam Ondra - pretty intense! Always inspiring to see someone at the top of our game pushing it.
Howrad McGreehan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 0

Is there footage of the full send, yet?

ChrisV · · Denver · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 0
Howrad McGreehan wrote:Is there footage of the full send, yet?
For sale at a later date.
Tom Fralich · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0
Jonhy Q wrote: It sounds like your 5.9 ego is quite involved here as well. It must be hard thing to keep claiming that the kings clothing is so fine.
I don't know what the "king's clothing" thing even means. And what makes you think that my limit is 5.9? And even if it were, who cares?

It's always the same pattern: 1) Someone makes fun of sport climbing because of perma-draws, stick clips, some link-up of existing climbing marketed as the new "hardest climb in the world," etc. 2) Sport climbers get all defensive and retaliatory, but rather than defending their sport or making fun of trad climbing in general, insult the assumed grade that the offending individual climbs at, because that's all sport climbing is, right?...grades.

Sure, the difficulty of the routes he's climbing is mind-boggling. But a thread where we all agree on that isn't very interesting. I just found it a bit amusing that a pitch of x and a pitch of y linked together somehow equals more than either x or y and that it's now the "World's Hardest Route" according to Rock and Ice magazine.

I'm waiting to see what Wikipedia says.
Boissal · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,345
This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.
Tom Fralich · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0
Boissal wrote: Being unfamiliar with the concept of the king's clothing is a pretty solid indication that your brain disqualifies you for anything above 5.9. You can dig up the thread about the Jeebus nut if you want to call me a pot/kettle.
Oh, I understand the reference, I just don't see how it applies here. Is Ondra the king and the community of sport climbers his loyal subjects? If that's the case, aren't I the one pointing out that the king isn't wearing any clothes? Maybe Rock and Ice is the royal newspaper that proclaims the accomplishments of the king? Other ideas?
JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Tom Fralich wrote: I just found it a bit amusing that a pitch of x and a pitch of y linked together somehow equals more than either x or y and that it's now the "World's Hardest Route" according to Rock and Ice magazine.
The idea of giving something a new grade as a free climb after eliminating a hanging belay is not a new idea. This is also not a sport vs. trad thing either, since this idea stems from traditional ethics.

It begins from the looooong tradition of giving a route a new grade after a point of aid is eliminated, making it a free climb; a 5.10 A0 becomes a 5.11c after someone finds a way to avoid the aid bolt, etc. Now, also consider that a rest-on-rope is essentially just a point of aid, especially since we have established (earlier in this thread, in fact) that the cumulative difficulty of a route (i.e. pump) affects the free grade. Think of it this way: if Lynn Hill had hung, even momentarily, from some of that fixed mank in the middle of the Great Roof in order to rest mid-pitch, we would not consider it a free ascent.

Finally, consider that a hanging belay is essentially just a rest on rope. Just because there are two bolts there instead of one doesn't change the basics of the situation. For pragmatic reasons, we have accepted hanging belays as an unavoidable evil, since we don't (yet) use 300 meter ropes. Nevertheless, eliminating hanging belays is considered an improvement of style, and often are asscoiated with an increase in grade. The classic example is the "Hiramaya Variation" on the Salathe, where Yuji climbed the Salathe headwall stance-to-stance in one mega-pitch, eliminating a hanging belay. This was way harder and way radder, so everyone thought that this was a noteworthy improvement of style.

So, there is a long tradition, in both the sport and traditional realms, of considering it a major new free climbing accomplishment when even a single point of aid or resting-on-gear is eliminated in the middle of a difficult pitch. Since a hanging belay is just a long rest on gear (i.e. aid), eliminating a hanging belay is a notable thing. Ergo, linking pitch x into pitch y is a more noteworthy accomplishment than just climbing x and y, to use your symbology.
J Q · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50
Tom Fralich wrote: I don't know what the "king's clothing" thing even means. And what makes you think that my limit is 5.9? And even if it were, who cares?
This is in reference to a well-known parable called "The Emperor's new clothes", look it up.

The only reason I mention your level of climbing is because it shows that you don't have the prerequisite experience to speak on the subject of sport climbing. Your incendiary comments show a belief in something that is simply not real. A 5.9 climber commenting on high end sport climbing is like Glenn Beck commenting on what it means to be black; I sincerely doubt that he has the experience to provide anything other than inflammatory and biased comments. I mean, being black is just about getting hotter in the sun? Right?

Perhaps sport climbers don't attack trad climbing as often because they either understand this aspect of climbing and appreciate it, or they recognize the fact that they do not understand it and are thus not qualified to comment on it.

Either way, when you attack something that you know little to nothing about it smacks of a wounded self-righteous ego.
Ian Stewart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2010 · Points: 155
Jon Moen wrote:The idea of giving something a new grade as a free climb after eliminating a hanging belay is not a new idea. This is also not a sport vs. trad thing either, since this idea stems from traditional ethics. It begins from the looooong tradition of giving a route a new grade after a point of aid is eliminated, making it a free climb; a 5.10 A0 becomes a 5.11c after someone finds a way to avoid the aid bolt, etc...
I don't think your explanation makes sense. A 5.10 A0 climb is only 5.10 because you aid through any moves harder than that, so you only ever have to make 5.10 moves. By making an 11c move to get through the climb instead of pulling on gear, that makes it an 11c.

Using your specific logic also leaves room for an interesting question: should a multipitch climb done as a free solo deserve a higher rating since you can't take any rests? I doubt anybody would think so.

To me, the "rating of the climb is that of the hardest move" logic just doesn't apply to a lot of sport climbing. Take for example a 12a climb where the 12a crux is a roof and everything else around it is just 11-ish climbing. A 12a rating is valid because you need to be able to perform 12a moves to get to the top. But, if the climb is a 50m of sustained and overhung 12a moves, is it really fair to give it the same 12a rating? No.

I have a feeling that if you were to ask a dozen of the best climbers to try Ondra's route, every one could eventually do each individual move and get to the top. It's doing all hundred of them in a row without rest that makes this incredible.
Tom Fralich · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0
Jon Moen wrote: The idea of giving something a new grade as a free climb after eliminating a hanging belay is not a new idea. This is also not a sport vs. trad thing either, since this idea stems from traditional ethics. It begins from the looooong tradition of giving a route a new grade after a point of aid is eliminated, making it a free climb; a 5.10 A0 becomes a 5.11c after someone finds a way to avoid the aid bolt, etc. Now, also consider that a rest-on-rope is essentially just a point of aid, especially since we have established (earlier in this thread, in fact) that the cumulative difficulty of a route (i.e. pump) affects the free grade. Think of it this way: if Lynn Hill had hung, even momentarily, from some of that fixed mank in the middle of the Great Roof in order to rest mid-pitch, we would not consider it a free ascent. Finally, consider that a hanging belay is essentially just a rest on rope. Just because there are two bolts there instead of one doesn't change the basics of the situation. For pragmatic reasons, we have accepted hanging belays as an unavoidable evil, since we don't (yet) use 300 meter ropes. Nevertheless, eliminating hanging belays is considered an improvement of style, and often are asscoiated with an increase in grade. The classic example is the "Hiramaya Variation" on the Salathe, where Yuji climbed the Salathe headwall stance-to-stance in one mega-pitch, eliminating a hanging belay. This was way harder and way radder, so everyone thought that this was a noteworthy improvement of style. So, there is a long tradition, in both the sport and traditional realms, of considering it a major new free climbing accomplishment when even a single point of aid or resting-on-gear is eliminated in the middle of a difficult pitch. Since a hanging belay is just a long rest on gear (i.e. aid), eliminating a hanging belay is a notable thing. Ergo, linking pitch x into pitch y is a more noteworthy accomplishment than just climbing x and y, to use your symbology.
See, now this is interesting. I disagree that hanging on the rope is "aid." In my opinion, "aid" implies using gear or the rope to advance and thereby avoiding moves that could potentially be free climbed at a higher grade. When someone hangs on the rope and rests, the route may become "easier," and it is certainly poorer "style," but why does this change the grade? I agree that it is better style and as you say "noteworthy" to climb a route with no rests, or to take that even further, to eliminate hanging belays. But the grade should not change just because someone climbed it in a different style. If I climb a 5.8 with a 60 lb backpack, does that make it a 5.10? It sure would be harder.
Dylan Colon · · Eugene, OR · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 350

Are there routes out there that have moves harder than the hardest move on The Change? Almost certainly. Does this make them harder than The Change? Definitely not. If the grading system does not reflect this than it is not very useful, in my opinion.

The concept of grading based on the hardest move is a relic from the days when most routes were slabby and almost every stance afforded some kind of rest where you could allow lactic acid to drain from your muscles. I've done 5.11- routes that had single moves harder than the hardest move on some 5.12 routes I've tried. That does not mean that the 5.12 routes in question (mostly at the Red) should be downgraded.

In summary, it seems pretty likely that The Change is now the hardest route in the world. Any sensible grading system should reflect that.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Ian Stewart wrote: I don't think your explanation makes sense. A 5.10 A0 climb is only 5.10 because you aid through any moves harder than that, so you only ever have to make 5.10 moves. By making an 11c move to get through the climb instead of pulling on gear, that makes it an 11c. Using your specific logic also leaves room for an interesting question: should a multipitch climb done as a free solo deserve a higher rating since you can't take any rests? I doubt anybody would think so. To me, the "rating of the climb is that of the hardest move" logic just doesn't apply to a lot of sport climbing. Take for example a 12a climb where the 12a crux is a roof and everything else around it is just 11-ish climbing. A 12a rating is valid because you need to be able to perform 12a moves to get to the top. But, if the climb is a 50m of sustained and overhung 12a moves, is it really fair to give it the same 12a rating? No. I have a feeling that if you were to ask a dozen of the best climbers to try Ondra's route, every one could eventually do each individual move and get to the top. It's doing all hundred of them in a row without rest that makes this incredible.
It is exactly the endurance factor that you described that makes my explanation make sense. We have established that length and sustained-ness add to the diffciulty of a route- and to the grade.

Some arithmatic will make this make more sense: One V6 move gives a route grade of mid 5.12. 20 feet of V5 moves is probably 5.12+ 50 feet of continous V5 is going to be somewhere in the low to mid 5.13 range 100 feet of continous V5 moves with no rest is even harder, maybe as much as 5.13+.

If you stuck a hanging belay in the middle of the last example (100 feet of V5), it is no longer nearly as hard as climbing 100 feet of V5 without rest; it is now climbing 50 feet of V5 to a 45 minute rest where you can eat a sandwhich and fully recover, to another 50 feet of V5, so it is two pitches of mid 5.13 instead of one pitch of 5.13+.
Dana Bartlett · · CT · Joined Nov 2003 · Points: 890

He's a heck of a climber, no doubt about that. Didn't he come very close to on-sighting a 5.15?

JKzxcv · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 10
Dana wrote:He's a heck of a climber, no doubt about that. Didn't he come very close to on-sighting a 5.15?
He compiled and studied as much beta as possible for the route biographie (5.15) and tried to flash it.
Tom Fralich · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

So what if your 100 ft of V5 is at 10,000 feet and you're wearing a 16 lb pack. What would the math equate to then? And now we're throwing bouldering grades into this? Are you doing that 100 ft of V5 with a rope? Is it bolted? Does that factor into this complex differential equation? Or is it maybe easier to just call it what it is, based on the consensus agreement on the hardest move.

Ian Stewart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2010 · Points: 155
Jon Moen wrote:It is exactly the endurance factor that you described that makes my explanation make sense. We have established that length and sustained-ness add to the diffciulty of a route- and to the grade. Some arithmatic will make this make more sense: ...
I get the whole endurance thing and agree with it completely. It was your initial use of aid vs free that didn't make sense: aiding through a section of a climb doesn't make it easier because of the pump, it makes it easier because you aren't actually doing the harder moves. This is different from a mid-climb belay, since the latter does not imply that you're skipping any moves.

Dylan Colon wrote:In summary, it seems pretty likely that The Change is now the hardest route in the world.
Not to take away from Ondra's accomplishment, which is still amazing, but I don't think it's fair to say it's the "hardest climb in the world". It's likely the hardest climb that Ondra has done, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's harder than, say, Jumbo Love. Climbing grades are extremely subjective...I've onsighted 11d's and I've thrashed on 10s. It's because of this that I've created my own rating system where anything above 12 is just "really, really fucking hard".
JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Ian Stewart wrote: I get the whole endurance thing and agree with it completely. It was your initial use of aid vs free that didn't make sense: aiding through a section of a climb doesn't make it easier because of the pump, it makes it easier because you aren't actually doing the harder moves.
There is link in the reasoning that I left as implicit, but I will spell it out here now.

There are essentially two ways to make a route harder: make the an individual move harder, or increase the number of hard-ish moves without rest (or some combination of these two...more, harder moves).

If you pull on a piece of gear to get through a section, you make a route easier by removing a hard move. If you rest of the rope in the middle of a section, you have made the route easier by reducing the number of hard moves between rests.

That is the logical step. What I am saying is that resting on rope is a form of aid, and thus you can be using aid even if you don't skip any moves. This may be a somewhat controversial statement. To me, though, it would be crazy to say that a route was free climbed if you rested on gear every 10 feet...or every 50 for that matter. And if it isn't free climbing, the alternative is...aid. So, hanging one gear is a form of aid.

On a lot of long free routes, there is a acceptance of hanging belays as a practical consideration, I mentioned this above. However, if those hanging belays are eliminated and the route is climbed ledge-to-ledge without weighting the rope, it is "more free", possibly harder, and may earn a higher grade.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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