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What makes a route/problem a must do classic?

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

What exactly makes a 4-star problem or route? In some cases, you pick a classic from the book and everything is awesome about it - the movement, the position, the rock etc. Sometimes it's a classic and you get so disappointed - repetitive movement, crumbly rock and so on. When you say "it's a classic " how do you make that determination?

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275




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

Oh, I am sure it's been discussed. My question is specific to personal opinions - i.e. what makes a classic for me might be different from you.

Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55

How much sheer fun it is, like Playin Hookey, or if working it was particularly memorable (a certain undocumented crack in Devils Head).

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

Fun, varied movement, commitment. A series of make or fly sequences. Aesthetics of the route or problem. Ya know, it's just a stunner when you first see it.

As Robert Pirsig proved years ago quality is really hard to define. We all define quality by different values.

Working within the MP system of rating I compare the offerings for that area and rate how it fits in for just that area. No reason to compare it to other crags.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Agreed on the fun part, and around here, it usually means lots of people found it fun over the decades, to get labeled a classic.

I would also say, though, that each area would have climbs that are historically important, that may or may not be fun, but still of interest.

For example, somewhere on a long ago thread rgold (?) listed the original YDS climbs that our ratings are supposed to be based on. That, to me, would be a worthy bucket item to climb those in order.

In the spirit of the above, my local to do list includes the first recorded route here, and a very new route. The first is special, because it's the first and I've met the FA, the last is special, because it is "brand new" rock, where an entire cliff face fell off a couple years ago! And, I know the guys who put that one up, too.

Best, OLH

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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