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Big Bad Wolf 
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Jewel Thief 
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Big Bad Wolf 

Hueco: V9 Font: 7C

Type:  Boulder
Original:  Hueco: V9 Font: 7C [details]
FA: Bob Murray
Page Views: 1,125
Submitted By: Matt Fowls on Sep 2, 2009

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SDS on arete left of jewel thief with a small low sidepull for the right and a pinch low on the arete for the left. Climb rightward along incut horizontal rails to arrive at the crux of Jewel Thief. Tops out through Jewel Thief.



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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 9, 2015
By Chris Prewitt
Sep 25, 2009

Ok, so I take issue with this problem listed this way. First off, the problem is already mentioned multiple times WITHOUT A NAME; both on this site as well as in the Tucson Bouldering guide. Murray and the like didn't name it, so that's all there is to it. Second, the problem already had a rating of B1+, which is around V5/6. This may be a bit hard compared to most modern problems of this grade, but V9 is offensive.
By Luke Bertelsen
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 29, 2009

The true and original "B scale" has no real correlation to the now popular V scale. The main basis of the B scale and difficulty had to do with how many people had climbed a given problem. B3, which was the highest out of the 3 ratings, was reserved for unrepeated problems. B3 was down rated to B2 upon being repeated, even if by the same person who originally climbed the problem.

It is important to realize that when bouldering locally in Tucson there is a high likelihood that Bob Murray, who was arguably the best boulderer of his time, had already done the problem in question.

Further, it takes guts to suggest a rating for something. Ratings are subjective and different for different people. Getting caught up in a numbers game is what's really "offensive".
By Matt Fowls
From: Tucson, Arizona
Oct 2, 2009


i apologize for my ignorance concerning the bouldering guide--i should have checked before i posted it up. i just saw that it wasnt on mp, and wanted to post it so other people could get psyched to go climb it.

as for the grade, i suggested 7C due to the fact that it ends on the harder moves of jewel thief--which, as you know is suggested to carry a v10 grade. my intentions in posting this as v9 were definitely not to spark controversy or to 'offend' anyone; i just thought that it felt harder than other v8's that ive done, and on par with 9's.

have you sent the problem/felt the top moves?
By iancevans
Oct 2, 2009

"Guideline #1: don't be a jerk"

  • ahem*

Yo Chris, chill. It's just a little link-up. If Bob Murray didn't bother to name it, I don't see why Matt shouldn't propose a name--it's useful to have a name to refer to something and it's not like Matt's claiming the "FA" (why anyone would care about the FA on a link-up that's just used as practice for Jewel Thief, I can't imagine). You, of course, are free not to use Matt's name (you can keep calling it "that unnamed B1+ link-up that starts on the Seam and ends on Jewel Thief and is a good way to work the upper moves of Jewel Thief").

As for the grade, well, I've thrown all the moves and, _for me_, the upper moves are _much_ harder than canonical V7s such as Babyface and Daily Dick Dose (and slightly less canonical ones such as Anorexic at the Draw). So V9 doesn't sound "offensive" to me, though I'm in no position to say whether it's particularly accurate.

One is free to disagree with Bob Murray about the grade, especially if one has sent numerous V7s and V8s in areas like Hueco, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mt Evans, Little Cottonwood, etc., as Matt has. But I doubt Bob Murray even has a stake in the V grade for this link since (as Luke noted) his B grade entails next to nothing about the V grade.

If the moves don't feel harder than V7 to you, then you're more brutal than me (or Matt, apparently) and that's really cool.

Regardless, props to Matt for spending so much time working out the lines on the Matterhorn boulder, helping others out with beta, and being psyched on bouldering in Tucson. So many Tucson climbers just stay in the gym and/or argue about grades on problems they haven't sent.

If Matt occasionally steps on Bob Murray's toes, well, that's just the cost of bouldering in a place where (i) Bob-f-ing-Murray(!!) used to live, (ii) there aren't a lot of other boulderers, and (iii) so many problems are unnamed, lack a consensus grade and have very few if any repeats. I'm sure Bob Murray's rep can handle it.

One can reasonably disagree with Matt's decision to post the link-up with a name and propose a grade, but there's no need to be a jerk about it (How about "Hey Matt, do you think maybe we shouldn't propose a name for this since Bob Murray sent it and left it unnamed? Are you sure about the grade because it only feels like V7 to me?").
By JesseJ
Oct 4, 2009

sounds like everybody is getting a little to hung up on numbers. I wish I could send v9 right now. I can't. But I can enjoy whatever I climb because I have the chance to really enjoy an obscure part of the world that most people just drive right by. I know whatever I say isn't gonna change what you all think, but the argument seems pretty pointless to me. It's a hard route, assign a grade so people know what's hard and what's easy, and quit fighting about who's right and who's wrong.

rating climbing and bouldering is a very subjective thing, so taking offense to what one person says about a route seems like you might be taking it all a little too personally. We climb to have fun, and to enjoy whatever we throw ourselves against. If you find it easier, rate it easier. The consensus grade will show what everyone thinks.
By Trey Lewis
From: Glendale, Az
Oct 5, 2009
rating: V9 7C

I also think Luke is right. When trying to compare V grade to B grade i was told that B1 was somewhere around V4-V7. By that logic, giving a B1+ (notice the plus sign) a V grade of V9 isn't that far off. Plus it's all subjective. And you missing the point of all of this Chris. it's not about grades, or who does it first, or who does it with more style or any of that. It's about Rock Climbing OR fun as some people call it.
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Oct 5, 2009

As Gill originally envisioned it, B1 was equivalent to the hardest roped climbing being done at the same time. So when he began using it, B1 was equivalent to about 5.10. B2 was supposed to be a bit harder, probably near pushing the limits of what was being done on the boulders at the time. B3 was designated for a problem that had not seen a repeat, and once it was repeated it became a B2 or even a B1.

This was a time relative scale, so as standards in roped climbing changed, the B-scale was supposed to change with it. So that once 5.11's were being sent on rope, B1 was supposed to become roughly equivalent to 5.11, once 5.12's were established the scale would slide again. I know this is how it was intended, but I wasn't climbing back then and I don't know if this is how Murray and others of his time used the B ratings or not. Maybe someone who was around then could help us v-scale gym weenies get a better grasp of what B1+ meant to Murray and others who established most of the problems we climb on.

So trying to equate modern climbs with the B-scale is useless (B1 would be equivalent to probably v13), but if we know the roped climbing standards of the time period of when older problems were established, we may be able to estimate how hard the FA'ist believed his climbs were. Is it important to do so? I don't really think so, but if we are going to play the numbers game it's a place to start. And if this is how Murray perceived the B ratings, maybe Chris wasn't so far off?
By Joe Kreidel
From: San Antonio, TX
Oct 6, 2009

I also think a big problem here is that Tucson bouldering doesn't seem to have a well documented history, and the bouldering 'scene' seems to come in waves, occasionally fizzling out a bit, sometimes resurging. This can make it hard to know what has been done before and what hasn't, what things are named, etc. The McMillen guide is good but not comprehensive, and has anyone younger than 40 ever seen a copy of "Bouldering Beyond Campbell"? Maybe my perspective is a little off, though, being a relative newcomer to Tucson.

I also think it is great that this many people are getting passionate about our local boulders, and getting out there. Maybe all this energy can be put to good use and we can all get together when the weather cools off a little more. Not just to climb, but maybe to improve some of our areas. Clear glass at Gates and Silverbell, improve the trail to the Secret Gulley, etc. Our local boulders are better than some give them credit for, but I think a big problem is they are under-utilized in some ways. Often when you check out an area the trail is way overgrown and the boulders are dirty and you spend more time cleaning than climbing. Hopefully this enthusiasm continues and we see some positive changes in the bouldering community.
By Brent Silvester
Oct 6, 2009


For what its worth, in my opinon, the V7 seam to the left feels harder than "big bad wolf". I'd agree the crux of Jewl Theif is the top, but I think it feels harder when you do all the hard moves to get there. It's a little more relaxed using the jugs on "big bad wolf". But whatever, the climbing is fun and the rock is good.

I like where Joe's heads at. We've obviously gotten attached to our local boulders, and hopefully we can all co-exist in peace. There is still lots to do at the Peanut Boulders, Secret Gully, and the many other boulders yet to be found in the washes up and down the Catalinas/ Tucson Mts/ Rincons. The tucson bouldering guide could use some serious updating, trails need to be re-established, boulders cleaned etc etc.
By Matt Fowls
From: Tucson, Arizona
Oct 7, 2009

most definitely brent--i have fallen off of the top of jewel thief for quite some time now. this is the sole reason i even tried the arete into it: for practice (haha, doing those lock-offs on sharp crimps, only to continuously fall off of those top two moves = PAIN + frustration). props to you for sending. hopefully i can make it happen sometime soon as well.

one thing i have been concerned about is the name of the problem. i feel i have no right to name this problem. the only reason i posted it as such was to have a point of reference for people who would like to get on it--i cannot say what the first ascentionist would have wanted. because of this, i have no problem taking the name off and listing it as another mt. lemmon unnamed problem. maybe post some feedback?

in regards to our areas here in tucson: joe hit the nail on the head. we do have some solid spots to go have a good time (no, they aren't hueco, but they are still fun!). there are still many great things to be done in the catalinas, etc.. it is up to us to take pride in our areas--knowing fully well the good times they have provided us--and maintain/develop them. going out and finding new areas in addition to maintaining our existing ones will hopefully result in more people getting excited about the bouldering that is here in tucson.
By Chris Prewitt
Oct 7, 2009

Alright, maybe I over-reacted. Only a #%$^&* would throw out V5 for this thing. Matt, sorry for bitting at you.

Anyway, maybe the point I was really trying to make was that we all need to be very carefull with regards to local history (remember the pioneers) and grades (fight the urge to overrate). Looks like I didn't need to worry. Really glad to see everybody jump up so quickly to defend their local bouldering.

Sounds like someone needs to start a thread.
By Matt Fowls
From: Tucson, Arizona
Oct 14, 2009

thread has been started in forums section by joe. go post your thoughts, concerns, etc. there!
By Claire Bukowski
Dec 9, 2015

This is my first time posting on MP so I apologize in advance.

Last weekend I went out to work the top moves of BBW and managed to break off a bit of the crimp on the lip (where the right tick is- I know for some it is crucial to the crux of Big Bad Wolf as well as Jewel Thief). I'm not sure if this changes the grade or not. I definitely have not climbed enough climbs of this grade to make a good judgement of the grade myself.

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