Downfall of the All-Arounder: Rise of the One Trick Pony


Original Post
Vas Carmicheal · · Mexican Hat, UT · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 5

It's time to address climbing"s most widespread rampant disease. The "One Trick Pony". You know the type, they are commonly seen around the base of a small rock sniffing pads and flapping their hands wildly about like some sort of satanic version of whack-a-mole. These specimens are quite a sad sight to behold, it is uncertain whether they function under pure ignorant bliss, or if they willingly drank the unicorns blood and live a half cursed existence in the shadow of the steep bloc. 

What gives? Why have so many climbers forsaken the way of the all arounder? I suppose it's impossible to be insta-famous for settling to be GOOD at a couple different styles.

Can you actually unironically imagine climbing V10 but not being able to handjam?

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Slab gets no love :(

Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 95

Who cares what others do in climbing. Why not let everyone do what they find fun. After all, we do climb for the fun of it.  

This is just a way for the OP to proclaim that he is superior. He must be compensating for something.

Emmerson · · Portland OR · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 15

I agree with Jon W, let people climb whatever they want! I also think you would be surprised how quickly a V10 climber could figure out and become good at crack climbing. Climb whatever inspires you to climb, there's no sense in trying to decide what type of climbing people should focus on. Whether it's a splitter or a V12, climbing is climbing.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

I ruined a pad person once. saw the kid cranking some  crazy problem and asked him if he wanted to go climbing tomorrow. took him up two really classic multi pitch moderates in the Daks . Hessitation and Overture.  the exposure did its thing an he actually grabbed gear on daks 5.8 after cranking 5.12 effortlessly the day before. On the way home he declared that I had ruined him. He was just about to embark on a europe bouldering trip and now he was going to be stuck down there with his pad people bros looking up at all those big rocks wondering how to get up there...... ;)

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Vas Carmicheal wrote:

What gives? Why have so many climbers forsaken the way of the all arounder? I suppose it's impossible to be insta-famous for settling to be GOOD at a couple different styles.

Because it's much easier to be good at one thing than it is to be good at everything. That's my guess.

rain cloud · · the abyss (kansas) · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 195

That is hillarious, since getting back into bouldering I have seen this. Dude-bro flails on a highball v1 top out, then comes down and starts spraying about a v10 problem. 

What was real funny is there was like three of them at the bottom shouting beta on how to do the hand jam. "Bro like grab inside the crack" I just keep thinking hand jam, say hand jam, it's a f-ING hand jam. Didn't say anything and quietly walked away..I am in no way better than anyone else, just thought it was funny. Self confidence is a bitch.

Also, my buddy took a really good boulderer crack climbing for a couple of weeks, by the end of it the guy was on sighting 5.11 cracks. Needless to say I re-evaluated bouldering. 

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775

The OP is the guy responsible for the unfounded "micro take" accusations against sport climbers. Take this post with a grain of chalk. 

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 290

Vas, have you seen this with other climbing disciplines? For example: have you met a lot of people that only climb cracks on trad and won't touch sport routes?

Seems like a lot of people choose the type of climbing that meets their emotional, social, or physical desires. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

Clayton Knudson · · Moab, UT · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 35
20 kN wrote:

Because it's much easier to be good at one thing than it is to be good at everything. That's my guess.

I agree, I think its pretty hard to concentrate on power, slab technique, endurance and head game all at the same time. I think we tend to forget that a lot of these really good climbers and boulderers are usually GREAT at their chosen style and GOOD at all other climbing almost by default from training, applicable technique and pure strength. Watch any strong sport climber show up in Indian Creek or Yosemite and witness the almost instantaneous adaptation of going from flailing to crushing. What is really cool to witness is watching a really good climber then apply those newly learned techniques to another "discipline" of climbing. Had a friend that was a V7 boulderer go from climbing 5.8 crack to 5.11 crack in like two days. Then watched his beta change completely on a boulder he was working on, foot jamming a little slot instead of smearing off to the side and cruising right up the problem. Pretty impressive.

Petsfed · · Laramie, WY · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 925

As an atrocious boulderer, and in general terrible face climber, I find that my over-focus on crack climbing has crippled my ability to enjoy climbing at all. I'm thinking about selling my rack and becoming the best all-around busy-body I can be.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740
Mathias wrote:

Seems like a lot of people choose the type of climbing that meets their emotional, social, or physical desires. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

And some people make posts/rants on MP that meet their emotional, social, or physical desires. (looks at OP)

Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

It is weird. I enjoy climbing in all its aspects, and I also am fine with other people doing whatever the hell they want. However some things I find funny:

1. I was once at the base of the Chief in Squamish looking for a route, and there were about 15 people bouldering.  At least a portion of them claimed to be locals, but none of them had ever roped up or could name a singe route on the Chief. Obviously they were no help.

2. I met a couple who lived near RRG who were telling me that it sucked to live there, because they don't rope climb, and the bouldering was so limited.

3.  I once watched the a dude that bouldered V7-8 freeze up and get sewing machine leg on a 5.8 bolted slab.

Say whatever you want, but if I lived in Squamish or the Red, I would rope up, because why the hell not?  You have world class routes right there, it seems like a shame not to take advantage of them.

I got great joy from V7 guy, as had called me the "old guy" in the gym a week before. I was 26 at the time.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

Define all arounder?

Does someone need to be able to climb trad, slog up a mountain, clip bolts, and swing an ice tool with equal comfort? Or do they just need to be able to handjam, crimp, or shake out on steep jugs to satisfy you?

D B · · Denver · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 205

It's really strange. I was out bouldering the other day and saw this old goober struggling up a V0 jug haul in a $500 puffy and TC pros. I didn't see a pad under him, so I tossed one over and gave him a spot. As he topped out, he mumbled something about a port-a-ledge and walked off.

I just don't understand how you can climb big walls and struggle on a V0. What happened to being well-rounded?

Jplotz · · Wenatchee, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 950

"Bouldering is the synthesis of all skills needed for climbing."

Ron Kauk

I think Kauk is a pretty good all-arounder.

jleining · · CO · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 33

just call 'em what they are, they're boulderers and not climbers. 

Can't tell you how many people I meet that tell me they're climbers. When push comes to shove they can't lead belay, can't clean a sport route, and can't build an anchor...

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

I'd take a boulderer who is willing to learn over some holier than though traddie every single time. Raw ability and attitude goes a lot further than a 30 minute education session.

NegativeK · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 5
Jon W wrote:

 This is just a way for the OP to proclaim that he is superior. He must be compensating for something.

Nah. OP's post history is best described as just stirring the shit pot.

jmmlol · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0
NegativeK wrote:

Nah. OP's post history is best described as just stirring the shit pot.

He walks the line between troll and Oklahoma climber very well.

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:

I'd take a boulderer who is willing to learn over some holier than though traddie every single time. Raw ability and attitude goes a lot further than a 30 minute education session.

Me too. After being a die-hard traddie for 5 years, I started bouldering this winter because it made sense with the weather, and I wanted to be more well-rounded and get better at hard moves. I have to say, boulderers are by far the nicest climbers out there. The only other group that rivals them is alpine rock climbers. I've met rad people in the Cirque and at The Hulk. Sport climbers and trad craggers suck by comparison. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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