Beta?


Original Post
Martin Harris · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 150

So I mostly sport climb in rifle these days and most of my friends share beta and life is good. Climbing at another crag there was a route I was hoping to onsight/ flash and I made it known I would rather flash the route then fall first go. I ended up screwing up the last ten feet by not veering left, and my not normal climbing partner and others at the base said nothing because they didn't want to mess up my ascent,I was slightly annoyed. Am I a complete loser for being just as stoked to flash a sport climb near my limit as on sighting.

Loganator · · blue van, on the highway to no · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 240

Yes

Mike Deitchman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 266

This came up yesterday out bouldering... I was climbing with these two guys from Kansas. I had just done a V2, which they hadn't seen. When they started working on it, and not getting the foot beta right, I asked if they wanted the beta.

That's the proper approach to giving beta in any situation, whether the send will be an onsight, a flash, or a redpoint. You ALWAYS ask the person climbing if they want the beta before spewing it.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

In answer to your question, no, but you would be if you gave them crap about not giving you beta. Beta mid route is kind of weird...usually a person either decides to get beta from the ground and go for the flash, or launch up into the great beyond hoping for an onsight. Did you call for beta? Based on your description, it sounds like your desire was rather nebulous.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230

On sight / flash are retarded terms that i wish they would just get rid of. Everyone looks at a route before they try to climb it so everything is really a flash. Unless you walk up to the wall blind folded and only take it off after you do the first move is it really an on sight.

Mike Deitchman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 266

By definition, On Sight includes looking at the route with your own eyes before attempting.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230
Fueco wrote:By definition, On Sight includes looking at the route with your own eyes before attempting.
Which is stupid you can rap down and look at the route yourself or you can have someone tell you something about the route... same thing in my book.

Someone who has a +4 ape index and is 10ft 5inch tall can give all the beta they want to a person who is 5ft 4inch tall and has a 0 ape index and all the beta is completely worthless and will make no difference in the climb. As someone with a negative ape index I ignore beta most of the time because it is worthless for me with my reach.

So what you going to say well you flashed it because someone gave you worthless beta or is it an on sight? The terms are just pointless you either climbed it on the first attempt or not beta makes no difference, you still have to do the moves.
reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
ViperScale wrote: Which is stupid you can rap down and look at the route yourself or you can have someone tell you something about the route...
Neither of those fit the literal sense of the word: you walk up to a climb, saw it & then climb it w/o taking/falling.

Whether onsighting sport routes is an oxymoron is debatable.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Not at all. Reading a route is a learned skill crucial to climbing. Correctly reading a route on sight, and discovering little nuances like ";;go left";; yourself are all of the skills needed for competent climbing. If somebody gives you beta, they are essentially giving you the answer to the puzzle, and your success is based solely on athletic ability, proprioception, and strength. Imagine if Adam Ondra had tried to climb the Dawn Wall Onsight without Tommy and Kevin's beta...he probably would have died.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230

If it is a sport route there is bolts on the route to tell you where to go... that is beta in itself. Try climbing a trad route without a topo and than you have to find your own way up. Unless a sport route is really poorly bolted the bolts are the beta you follow.

Heck do you not use a guide book with a topo to find the route? That is beta right?

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
ViperScale wrote:If it is a sport route there is bolts on the route to tell you where to go... that is beta in itself. Try climbing a trad route without a topo and than you have to find your own way up. Unless a sport route is really poorly bolted the bolts are the beta you follow.
And the chalk marks. Big, big help on some routes.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
ViperScale wrote: Which is stupid you can rap down and look at the route yourself
Pretty sure this would invalidate an onsight claim.
ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230
Mark E Dixon wrote: Pretty sure this would invalidate an onsight claim.
I know routes that the only way to get to them is to rappel down it so you can't onsight that route?

The only true onsight is when u walk up to a random crack in a wall and climb it without knowing anything about anchors or what it is called. Everything after that if it has bolts or u look at where a route starts in a guide is a flash.
Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

Sometimes I'll grab my friends foot and place it on the hold for him if he's flailing around too much, or even climb right up next to him and point out his next moves.

Mike Deitchman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 266
ViperScale wrote: Which is stupid you can rap down and look at the route yourself or you can have someone tell you something about the route... same thing in my book. Someone who has a +4 ape index and is 10ft 5inch tall can give all the beta they want to a person who is 5ft 4inch tall and has a 0 ape index and all the beta is completely worthless and will make no difference in the climb. As someone with a negative ape index I ignore beta most of the time because it is worthless for me with my reach. So what you going to say well you flashed it because someone gave you worthless beta or is it an on sight? The terms are just pointless you either climbed it on the first attempt or not beta makes no difference, you still have to do the moves.
Rapping down and previewing is NOT the same thing as looking at a route from the base. That would be the moral equivalent of feeling the holds on a boulder problem before sending and then claiming an onsight.

If you're going to be so insanely literal, why not just climb blindfolded?

Every definition of the term "On Sight" I've seen specifically mentions not receiving beta from someone else.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
ViperScale wrote: I know routes that the only way to get to them is to rappel down it so you can't onsight that route? .
I could be wrong about the rap thing, but that's the way I've always understood it.

If you are a pro on a cutting edge omsight, then I guess the exact definition matters.
For me, not so much.

If I was trying to onsight a route I HAD to rap down, I'd do my best not to look too hard at the holds and just call it good enough.
If anyone else wanted to call my ascent a flash instead, well I don't mind.

Chalk and some guidebooks blur the line but I still find a difference in the experience amongst redpoint, flash and onsight.
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
ViperScale wrote: The only true onsight is when u walk up to a random crack in a wall and climb it without knowing anything about anchors or what it is called.
Oh snap. Our friction slabs don't have a lot of cracks.
eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456
Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 214

I like to climb. You like to climb, but you're doing doing it wrong.

Martin Harris · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 150

This is not an argument on what flash and onsight is. The question is would you rather fail on sighting or succeed in a flash. On sight being no beta walking up to a climb and sending. Flash being beta on crucial hard sections. And not to be a dick but on sighting 5.10 sport climbs is not the same thing as cryptic 11+ and harder climbing. So I feel like flashing harder things is equivalent to onsighting moderate things. I am simply curios if others agree.

don'tchuffonme · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 25
ViperScale wrote:On sight / flash are retarded terms that i wish they would just get rid of. Everyone looks at a route before they try to climb it so everything is really a flash. Unless you walk up to the wall blind folded and only take it off after you do the first move is it really an on sight.
Your cluelessness is glaringly obvious. You can't tell how good holds are from the ground. You can't see over roofs from the ground. The harder the climb is, the more intensive the beta is. Like a slight drop knee and a reposition on a certain hold in order to make the next move.

Perhaps if you only boulder 6 foot high problems, which I suspect is the case, then you'd have an argument. When your recent ticks start coming remotely close to what you say you climb (.11b) maybe then you can talk about how there's no difference between a flash and an onsight. I don't suspect that will happen any time soon though.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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