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redpoint vs flash grade differential


Original Post
Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130

The gap between onsight/flash and redpoint - mainly due to lack of technique or lack of strength?

Poor movement skills: Something like "you see a line that you don't know, but you have the technical ability to come up with the right moves". If you fail, that's because you don't have the moves.

Physical strength: As you work a problem, you make up for the lack of strength by making various technical adjustments. While doing something first try you have to rely on strength to go through tricky sections.

I know it's a combination of the two, but for a mid-level climber, is it more the former or the latter?

evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 320

Are you referring to the fact that there's a gap at all?

A proper redpoint goal involves sorting out moves at or near your physical limit. To send it is necessary to work out a lot of beta and subtle body positioning, which takes rehearsal. In places like Rifle, where routes are very cryptic, a hard onsight is particularly impressive.

If your onsight and redpoint grades are the same, then you're not trying hard enough!

Eli · · Lives in a truck · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,707

Technique/finesse will take you a long way. Strength will also take you a long way.
I think you're missing a third component which is the ability to read a line, which comes from volume of climbing and familiarity with the rock type.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130

No, not a theoretical question but rather for the purposes of training.

Let's take yours truly as an example. I did a few V7s this season yet my best flash is a V4. I feel this is a bit too wide, I should be flashing V5s. So, how do I read this discrepancy? Does it mean that I need to be stronger or does it mean that I need to climb more? Or maybe that I need to try harder to flash things (which I do not, I guess)?

PS. There's got to be some difference in that for boulders vs routes, too, but I am not certain which way.

PPS. V4 to V7 is much farther in my mind since I am thinking in Font grades - it's 5 grade steps between say 6b (soft v4) to 7a+ (soft v7)

Eli · · Lives in a truck · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,707

I think you're not well below the norm.

simplyput . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 60
Nivel Egres wrote: Does it mean that I need to be stronger or does it mean that I need to climb more?
Chicken, meet egg.
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

That sounds about right- most folks I know who project seriously will tell you that if you can onsight 5.12a, you should be able to redpoint 5.13a.

V4 is roughly equivalent to 12a, v7 is roughly equivalent to 13a, so yeah- about a number grade for routes, 3 or so for boulders.

I don't know that its strength or movement skills so much as it is the ability to quickly read beta and compensate for mistakes at a given grade. (type of route also comes into play- if you're good at overhangs, expecting to flash v5 slab may be a stretch).

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 498

I think it depends on what "projecting" means to you. To some folks it means what they can finish today before their fingers wear out. To other folks it means what they can finish over 2 or 3 sessions in the next week or two or month. For others it's multiple sessions over a season of effort, and for some it can mean hundreds of attempts over multiple seasons. I currently flash most V4s and some V5s, I typically manage to nab V6 before my fingers give out today, I can pull V7/8 in a few sessions, and I'm projecting V9/10

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130

I have not projected anything for longer then 3 sessions and even then it's never a 20- burn session. That is, I have problems that I've been on and said "yes this can go" but I never feel like putting 10 sessions into a single problem. At least, not until recently but that problem is somehow special to me - next seasons business probably.

I think boulders should be ok with bigger gap since minute adjustments make such a big difference. I also just realized that while that v4 was "my style" I have not worked any problems in that style recently - for all I know I can do a v9 of that type.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175
Nivel Egres wrote:No, not a theoretical question but rather for the purposes of training. Let's take yours truly as an example. I did a few V7s this season yet my best flash is a V4. I feel this is a bit too wide, I should be flashing V5s. So, how do I read this discrepancy? Does it mean that I need to be stronger or does it mean that I need to climb more? Or maybe that I need to try harder to flash things (which I do not, I guess)? PS. There's got to be some difference in that for boulders vs routes, too, but I am not certain which way. PPS. V4 to V7 is much farther in my mind since I am thinking in Font grades - it's 5 grade steps between say 6b (soft v4) to 7a+ (soft v7)
climbing friend,

it means you need spend more time for the trying for bold flashmore, getting on new boulder rocks constant, and do not waste time long projecting.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I think John has it right - the answer is ";neither."; Red pointing and onsighting require the same amount of ";strength"; and ";technique,"; the difference is whether or not you have the beta dialed. Having solid strength/technique will help you push through mistakes/difficult sections while onsighting, but the skill you probably need to work on (as do I - badly) is reading routes from the ground and rehearsing moves. I sometimes find climbs frustratingly easy when I finally figure out the beta and find highly featured rock like limestone incredibly hard to OS for the grade because, as mentioned by Evan about Rifle, the beta is often cryptic and hard to read from the ground.

The only real solution is, as Aleks said, to practice bold flashes more.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

V4 to V7 is fine. Before you know it you will be onsighting V5 and working V9.
As J Wilder pointed out the ability to read moves on the fly is key.
Don't ignore the head. You gotta believe. We often attribute to the physical what is really an issue formed in grey matter.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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