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Forum: GLOBAL / News / Oriane Bertone takes her spider style to new levels Login in to contribute
Oriane Bertone takes her spider style to new levels
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-01-03 00:00:00    
Oriane Bertone continues her rampage in Rocklands by doing Law and order 8A+, Pendragon 8A and onsighting Tail of a Caracal giving it a personal 8A grade. To make it even more impressive, the daily max temperature have reached 35 degrees the last days. "Cool traverse, called 8A+ on the topo. I felt it 8A soft (à single hard move at the beginning). May be 7C+ in comparison with Atomic Playboy in Font, that I climbed in october. Very happy to send onsight this crimpy traverse."

In total, the 13 year old has done 36 boulders 8A to 8B+ out of which half the last year. The video shows her amazing spider women technique with the feet sometimes like 1 meter above her head! Truly amazing!

OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-03 10:23:08    
Spider women technique? As far as I can see she climbs completely normal, going feet first is nothing new and amazing? Seems to make perfect sence on the problems she does in the video.. Also, can you actually onsight a boulder? As Nalle once said, how could there be when you can see and most often touch all the holds before you pull on. This is as far as I can see an option 8a.nu added without understanding bouldering at all that only serves to confuse people and give those who use the onsight function a lot more points then the ones who belive it´s a flash no matter. Even IFSC calls it a flash in the worldcup tho you don´t get any more info then if you were to "onsight".
OffLine Gerald Kötele
  2019-01-03 11:59:52    
And whats about a highball where you only can touch the starting holds? This feels like an onsight to me...For a traverse like this it doesnt make much sense....
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-03 13:12:03    
Climbing is about taking challenges and I think it is great that Oriane did choose to go for it without checking videos, asking for beta or touching the holds. I am sure she enjoyed the ascent more in comparison to have done it in an easier way just copying sequences she had seen others do or being a robot programmed by a person giving beta.

Anybody is allowed to climb in any style possible. I personally also prefer to onsight a 6A boulder rather then go for a flash. Onsight makes the climbing more challenging and fun :)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-03 18:51:43    
Oriane’s father has told me Oriane just checked the starting holds in order to get the biggest challenge possible. Oriane did not even look at the holds further to the left prior to her climbing.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-04 11:49:29    
Misunderstand me correctly, I love watching Oriane climb, I have nothing against her, and I don't doubt she did this traverse in good style. My point is that there is no such thing as onsight in bouldering. Sure you can simulate an onsight by not looking at any of the holds, videos, and so on, but much like elimination, this would be contrived as the holds, or in the case of an onsight, the information is there for all to see.

I do see the argument of highballs vs super short routes and so on. The point there would be that it's easier to agree on the point in general (can a boulder be onsighted or not) then to have to judge every boulder seperatly and add arbitrary rules about not looking at, prepping or touching holds that are right in front of you.
The very nature of bouldering on rock dictates that you should have a good idea of what to do before pulling on as pads and or spotters need to be placed acordingly.
Of course om this case the father/team might have done this, but that does not change the argument that onsight has notting to do with bouldering and is a creation of 8a.nu not bouldering as a sport.

Ask Fred Nikole, ask Nalle, ask Dave. If they think onsight is a thing in bouldering I will withdraw my argument, if not I say 8a.nu has no cause to have onsight as an option, to prompte it or report it as it is not actually a thing..
OffLine CrazyAss
  2019-01-04 11:57:19    
Imagine what she can do when she goes in season. Only Englishman and mad dogs go to Rocklands during summer.
OnLine Jon Megent
  2019-01-04 12:45:42    
Henning, how do you feel about chalk marks on rock showing where others have found holds on sport routes? Doesn't that give a lot of information to any onsight attempt?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-04 13:00:06    
@ Henning: As a coach I always tell the climbers to go onsight in bouldering. Surely this means you can look at most of the holds but what is the problem with this?

If you check a video and have a friend coaching you on a boulder you call it flash.

How do you suggest we should differentiate an ascent with full video and coaching flash beta from an ascent without any beta in bouldering?

If you did not have any beta or coaching while route climbing you call it onsight. Why can you not call it onsight if you use the same ethics in bouldering?
OnLine Zenon Marski
  2019-01-04 13:57:37    
Then why during bouldering comps, when the secret of beta is the reason to isolate people, they call the first successful attempt a "flash"?
OffLine Opi Brey
  2019-01-04 14:22:41    
I beth that as ashima she is close to the end of her top skills...
before 15's or 16's many girls crush the grades even better than boys... but later mans star increasing skills to 30's and woman lose everything..
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-04 14:47:18    
It is very confusing as IFSC calls it flash as it is obviously onsight in bouldering. It is exactly the same ethics in lead climbing and there IFSC calls it onsight. This is very confusing!
OffLine Robert Kasper
  2019-01-04 16:52:05    
@opi brey

with one sentence you destroy her fathers pride and hopes. you naughty boy
OffLine Laurent Rel
  2019-01-04 17:00:38    
Seeing holds from up close obviously doesn't give you nearly as much information as looking a video or having someone explaining you the betas...
And I don't think "touching all the holds" really counts as onsight. (if you repel down a route to touch all the holds and then climb it, it becomes a flash)

Anyways congrats Oriane for these amazing performances.
OffLine rai
  2019-01-04 21:28:18    
@Opi: very difficult to say, as other promising girls are in continuous progress, such as Janja G., Jessica P., Laura R., or even Angie E. with a 9b last year. So time will tell. In the meantime congratulations to Oriane who seems to be in a positive family environment... Now regarding the Ashima case, this is difficult to tell if this is a physical factor only, or maybe too much pressure, too young...?
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-04 23:13:59    
@Jon Megent Yes it does, there is a huge difference in dificulty within the range of an onsight. Draws and chalk vs no draws and no chalk being the major factor. However, if climber A does the route onsight with draws and chalkmarks/tickmarks in place, and climber B onsights the same route after all the marks have been washed away and the draws taken down, it does not change the fact that it´s an onsight for both, despite one having been done in a harder and more pure, no information, style.

@Laurent if you abseil down a route and touch the holds its more a redpoint then a flash (as in most cases from a rope you would not only feel the holds but also the position or put load on the hold compared to standing on the ground just touching what you can reach without pulling on it..) Onsight ethics dictate that it´s the information you can gather without outside help from the ground, absailing down a route to look at the holds is not an onsight in my book even if you didn´t touch anything.

This of course also aplies to bouldering where there is no such thing as onsight but a huge range of difference in information before a first go attempt (Flash) is made.

@Jens. The point is not that you can´t simulate an onsight when bouldering, much the same as you can eliminate whatever holds you want, it´s just that because of the nature of bouldering, fairly few moves, not very high of the ground, you can see and read the sequences/holds in a much more detailed way then when leadclimbing. You do not need a video to tell you the beta, it´s right there in front of you depending on your skill at understanding rock and movement.
As with onsight on sport routes, there is a huge range within a flash for bouldering, video beta, no beta, chalk, no chalk and so on, and I do understand the wish for a more clear defintion of style. However to make onsight work, many unnatural restrictions would have to be added to make it viable, and that in itself is not viable, thus the reason there is no onsight, only flash.

These are not my consepts and ideas, I did not create the consepts of flash and onsight, nor did I have anything to do with the IFSC calling it flash on bouldering and onsight in lead. These are historical terms used when certain criteria are met within each disipline. The standards have obviously changed a bit with what information is available, draws no longer having to be placed on lead and so on, but the consepts, tho a bit "softer/wider" today then 20 years ago, remains the same.
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2019-01-05 09:50:11    
IFSC logically calls it a flash because the climbers can discuss the beta between themselves during observation (and isolation), thus they can learn beta from another, so it's a flash.

If each climber was isolated from others during the whole event then I believe it'd be onsight.

My definition of onsight is "climbing it first go with all the beta you can get without climbing it earlier and without external help", and the definition of flash is "climbing it first go with all the beta you can get without climbing it earlier".

The tick marks are a grey area, theorically that'd make it a flash but practically I'd grant the onsight, it does not help _that_ much.
OnLine JLH
  2019-01-05 10:39:06    
There's the usually a big difference of OS in lead vs boulder.
In lead climbing (comps and outdoor) OS means you can touch/pull on the holds you can reach from the ground, there are no obligatory (starting) holds, no 'forbidden' holds/line of movement (as long you can clip the bolts), no end holds (only anchor).
If someone told you which start/end holds (or topout) to use, you are breaking the OS rules. In bouldering, starting holds/sit start, precise line of movement, end holds/topouts are inside the topo guide (or must be told by someone), so OS is not even theoretically possible in those (majority) of problems.

Beside, bouldering is social and it's not 'natural' to not have any info from the group of friends, while you are hanging below and cheering...
So there is probably a good reason, why most of the (top) boulderers ignore OS. E.g. if you look at scorecard of James Webb, quite possible the best flasher of all times, there you can find well over one hundred(!) flashes 8A and harder and not a single OS.
Note, the style used by Oriane ("...did not even look at the holds further to the left prior to her climbing") is actually not OS, but "without-a-sight"...

So you can see the difference between OS and FL in bouldering may be much smaller (or non-existent) then in lead, while in a 8a's 'ranking game'(?) it's always the same (45 pts or whatever). Saying all this, I suggest omitting OS style in bouldering scorecard. But of course, you can always write a comment (didn't look/touch/brush the holds, climbed barefoot, wet, in 35 degrees etc. or --most important-- enjoyed it a lot ;)
OffLine Gorka
  2019-01-05 10:55:32    
There is always a difference btw. climbing with or without prior beta. Climbing style descriptions evolve as one can see in the ambiguous use of terms such as redpoint, onsight, flash etc.
Those who excel at onsighting (no previous beta) or redpointing (no preplaced gear) are more likely to see and name those differences than those who suck at it. Lots of ego involved, naturally. Easy as that.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-05 16:07:34    
@ Henning: The 8a scorecard system including the possibility of recording onsight have worked just fine in 19 years. Just check the data and you can see several such ascents. My guess is that at least 50 000 ascents have been recorded like this. I do not think they would be happy if we just changed them to flash.

@Vaucher: I am afraid you are dead wrong. In Bouldering quallies and semis, the climbers can not share beta but nevertheless it is called flash. In the bouldering finals they share beta and even so it is called flash meanwhile in lead, when they do the exact same thing, co-operate, it is called onsight.

@JLH: So what about going to a new area trying a boulder or the first time when there is nobody around. The extra point for onsight in Lead is 145 points meanwhile a boulder onsight gets 95 point bonus. Flash gets 53 points bonus for both Lead and Boulder.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-05 22:12:31    
@Gorka your comment made no sense, what are you trying to say?

@JLH thank you, great comment.

@Jens I disagree, as JLH pointed out, and I´v been trying to explain(...) most expirienced boulderers do not belive onsight is a thing in bouldering. This is a consept based on tradition and how the sport works compared to sportclimbing and trad climbing, please look it up, or ask Nalle, James or Fred and they might be able to explain better then me if you still do not understand.

I know the function has been there a long time, but it´s never really been an issue until now as few, to no such ascents, have been claimed by high end climbers and gotten the focus of the media.
This however is changing as more and more strong and talented kids and indoor climbers are getting out on the rocks with little to no knowledge of the traditions and history of the sport.
8a.nu is, through it´s own ignorance, contributing to missinform those new to the sport, creating a lot of potential controversies that won´t be good for the athlets, or anyone else involved, by having this option and reporting on it.

For those who care about points and compare them selfs to others, be that friends or on a national/global ranking, it is also not fair having this option with more points for those who do not understand, making the whole scorecard system uneven and unfair as one persons flash would give another person much more points/score as they log it as an onsight.
If you really think people will react if you remove the onsight option, atleast remove the score difference from flash, and thus the insentive to use the option in the first place.
If people still choose to use it, let them, but if it is news worthy, then just report on a first attempt ascent as flash and rather add a comment about what arbitrary additional factors aplied, much like you already do with temps and so on.
OffLine Max Bertone
  2019-01-06 08:43:46    
I am Oriane's dad. I'm sorry to write to you with the account of Max, Oriane's brother (11). I do not have a personal account because it is not useful to me now.
Thank you all for this very interesting debate on ethics in bouldering. I am not expert enough to give an opinion like Mr. Hukkataival or Nicole. I'm just telling you how I proceeded to judge that Oriane had performed this trav «onsight». While Oriane was working on "Law and Order", I saw and analyzed this Trav, 20 meters further. It seemed to me as «feasible onsight», given the difficulty of "Trafic" (8B trav) and "Atomic Playboy" (8A + trav) that Oriane sent in Fontainebleau recently. I brushed it and put the pads under the single crux and the exit. I was helped by the coach of the regional team of Reunion Island, who was present (the man in blue that appears at the end of the video).
After doing that, I asked Oriane to go at the start of the trav. From this point, climber can only see the holds of the first quarter of the trav (about 2m50). The rest of the trav is not visible. Even less visible than a vertical route. This is noticeable through the video. There were of course many traces of chalk on the trav. Like on a route. But I did not add any specific marks on the holds that I brushed. Following this, Oriane did her attempt and sent the boulder with two or three mistakes. She did not see or use (at least) 2 good holds and took a swing just after the start (which her brother did not take when he sent the trav the next day knowing the beta). In these precise circumstances Oriane felt the trav easy and proposed to downgrade (not 8A + in comparison with Trafic and Atomic Playboy). These specific circumstances prompted me to record "onsight" for this ascent without methods, marks nor visibility of 3/4 of the trav.
All that being said, we do not take all this scorecard thing so serious, the whole family is focuing on doing challenges...and it is nice to have a scorecard to remember all ascents and in which style they were done. Please remember that my daughter is just 13 years old and she reads what you all write. Neither me or my children do not know all the ethics but I often ask Jens for advises so if we are doing anything wrong here you should blame him :)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-06 09:49:46    
@ Henning: Adam Ondra, Daniel Woods, James Pearson, Patxi Usobiaga, Toni Lamprect, Dave Graham and Bernd Zangerl have all recorded 8A bouldering onsight ascents...
OffLine Tom Burton
  2019-01-07 01:05:38    
That is some amazing and beautiful climbing. Very inspiring to see what can be done with strength, brilliant footwork, commitment, and thinking outside the box. Thanks for posting this video for the rest of us that aspire to climb harder. Fantastic onsight!
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-07 11:56:27    

We all understand your point about there being no true onsight in bouldering.

However it still makes sense to give a flash ascent (first go) where you do not have confirmation of the beta (e.g. video or watching someone else) a different name.

Let's call it "Flopperdeflap" for now.

For sure a "flopperdeflap" ascent is more difficult then a flash. How much more difficult depends on the boulder / route, the quality of the (not received) beta, the moves, the rock, the height, the body type, etc etc..

But it is mmore difficult so lets give it a name. "Flopperdeflap"

The only reason you give for not calling "Flopperdeflap" "onsight" is that it's on a boulder and not a route. But does that really matter? Yes the difference (in general) between onsight and flash is bigger for a route then a boulder. And therefore an onsight of a route means something different then a onsight of a boulder.

You can make all the arguments you want but in the end the difference between an "Flopperdeflap" and "flash" is still there. The fact that you've thought of the methods yourselve is still there. The fact that you choose which holds to use by yourselve is still there. So stop being silly and call it onsight.
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2019-01-07 14:28:28    
I agree with Herman and the name "Flopperdeflap" is genius! There are boulders that are harder to onsight than routes and vice versa. What about E-grade onsights, has any route ever been onsighted above E8/E9 and doesn't the E-grade factor in how hard it is to onsight a route? How can routes like Gaia or Hubble be "onisght-able" and boulders like Ambrosia (well ok, highball but still!) or The wheel of life not? As I said before, some routes and boulders are harder to onsight than others, you can't just generalize all routes and boulders and say "onsight is always harder for routes than for boulders" because there are so many differences and if you are fair & humble (like Oriane and her family) you can definitely onsight a boulder in good style.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-07 21:46:55    
Good points, I do not disagree per say, thought I do not think you actually understand what I´m trying to say here.
The point of this discusion is not to convey my personal view on things, nor is it to critizise Oriane or her familly. As I said before, I do very much like the videos of Oriane climbing, and I never had any doubts she did this traverse in good style.

My point is that any given sport comes with a history and a certain set of rules, written/spoken or not. In bouldering there has been a understanding that onsight is not a thing. This has nothing to do with me. I actually, like many if the ones you list Jens, wanted to log a boulder as onsight (for the points of course) back in 2006 or something when Nalle explained it to me.
I am then asking the question here for all to see, (is or should onsight actually be a thing in bouldering?), as I do not think a sport should have it´s "rules" if you will changed without question by people ignorant of said rules, in this case 8a.nu.

Climbing and climbers have always tried to remain as free of rules as possible (outside atleast, comps is a different story), but as with all things that are shared and compared, rules/guidelines for what is and is not a certain style, what is accepted/not accepted, and so on have formed over time, creating the sport(s) as we know it today.

To the point, if onsight is a thing in bouldering, then some ground rules need to be in place for what that actually entails before the media starts reporting on it.
What Orianes father here explains sounds very onsight-ish out to me, but then again sounds very hard for most to achieve as a team is needed.

To define "onsight" we then need to agree on what is a flash.
Bear in mind video beta was not really a thing before everyone and their grandmother had a smartphone. Before that we just looked at the holds from whatever angle we could see them from, be that the ground, the top, another boulder, whatever. We then chalked everything up, either with a brush from the ground or a brush on a stick if the boulder wasn´t already prepped. Then you pulled on for a first go attempt. Sometimes others were trying/had beta, other times not, either way, this was called a flash. Tho some used the term beta flash for a flash with beta as opposed to a more "pure" flash (your onsight) without beta.
The discussion then was more if you could touch the holds or not, and if so to what extent (without putting weight on of course). For example: Just the starting holds, the holds you could reach, or all the holds?
Now I`m not saying that just because this was the ethics 15 years ago, they should remain like this forever, but I do think a discussion is warrented before changes are made, and in the case of a change, some rules to go along with that change. Otherwise how can anything be comparable or understandable for both those new to the sport and those old and grumpy reading the news?
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2019-01-08 00:02:44    
Is this still considered an onsight? Quote from the interview with Yuji Hirayama: "I spent at least two weeks looking at the route, both in plain sight and through binoculars. Back in ’95 Ellie Chevaux had done the first 8b+ onsight, so it was a long time coming. I thought it would be possible to onsight 8c with my skill and physical condition, so I wanted to follow that belief with my imagination as a climber. I had to believe that it was possible to onsight that route. Once I believed that, then I could approach the route in that way"
Edit: According to the 8a "Practice & Ethics in sport climbing" you should be able to log it as an onsight. To me onsight is more like climbing into the unknown but it would be great to hear more about the onsight ethics of the hardest onsights yet. It might indeed be a good idea to set some rules for bouldering to avoid confusion.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-08 07:42:18    
Yes I will make an article about the definitions that we can discuss.

In regards Yuji’s onsight. It has been questioned as he actually belayed a friend working the route for several attempts. Yuji of course did not look up as he belayed.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-08 11:16:03    
@Jens Before you do, keep in mind that it is not a given that there should be onsight in bouldering. I can already see you writting an article making that assumption.
First try to understand what I have tried to explain above.
Then talk to people like Nalle or James and ask for their opinion, then we can dicuss if onsight should be a thing, then, and only then, can we discuss what the definition of an onsight in bouldering should be..
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-08 11:54:52    
@ Henning: James Webb has 17 ascents recorded as bouldering onsights in his 8a scorecard. Daniel Woods has around 20 onsights and David Graham also have some. Above, I have listed many more top climbers that have recorded bouldering onsights. It feels strange that you say that all these guys are wrong.
OnLine JLH
  2019-01-08 16:31:26    
What is style, anyway?
IMO, it's a kind of 'official' sticker you could add to your ascent to show level of achievement. At least in lead climbing there are 3 such stickers (ignoring top rope as 'nonvalid' style, and obsolete pink-point): onsight, flash, RP.
When I say official, I mean generally accepted by climbing community. As such you can find it in e.g. media news' titles, lists of climbers's lifetime achievements (example) etc.

All the other circumstances are not 'official', e.g. wet holds, high air temperatures and humidity, being tired, barefoot etc. are 'only' side-notes (comments in scorecard), but all experienced climbers know this side-notes are sometimes even more important then the (official) style.

Again, IMO there are only 2 such official, generally accepted stickers in bouldering: flash (1st try) and 'RP' (2+ tries). Above case only shows that even among best climbers there is controversy (Oriane's ascent is 'more then onsight' as she didn't inspect most of the holds before the start, but 'less then onsight' as she knew position of some holds, at least start and end ones).
Such controversy is also present in older, more experienced climbers. That's why some of them totally ignore OS in bouldering and some use it just occasionally (at least when they visit 8a.nu ;). But even if they use it, there is certainly no consensus about the precise meaning of the word OS -- e.g. here are some dilemmas of Ondra:
"Bouldering is a game in which it is rather easy to cheat, as well as the definitions of styles differ depending on whom you ask. Some people claims that a boulder can not be done on-sight. What is your opinion in this complex ethical mess?

Boulder can be surely done onsight if it starts from a stand start. Onsighting a boulder with a sit starts is a bit different story, I don't know what the opinion of the majority is but it would be wiser to call every first go in bouldering a flash [underlined by JLH]. Additionally, I don't really think that anyone takes onsighting in case of bouldering seriously. When it comes to flashing, I do think that touching the holds as high as you can reach from the ground prior to the ascent is absolutely OK and it is the consensus of most climbers. A bigger issue is if someone doesn't understand the definition of sit-start, as it is the way of starting the climb when the butt is the last part of the body going off the ground. Sometimes it can make a huge difference in grading.

What do you think about eliminations? Do you think they can be used to push the grade a bit further?

It depends on the type of elimination. Sometimes it is logical, for example in case of the prohibition to use a side arete), whereas sometimes it seems really enforced, for example if there is one particular hold marked as prohibited to use."

So Mr. Larssen can introduce (and select a name for) any style he wants (onsight, no-sight, Flopperdeflap, barefoot, whatever), no matter what I, Henning, Adam, Nalle or whoever think about it -- he is the editor of the site. But if someone wants this site to have some credibility, he should precisely describe what selecting 'onsight sticker' in a bouldering scorecard really means. In fact, he should've done this *before* he introduced it (in 2000?), but better late than never.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-08 16:57:54    
Here is a draft. Please feel free to comment.

In 2005, 8a presented a suggestion for Practice and Ethics in Sport climbing which can be said to be the first guidelines in climbing and it has worked out quite well with the traffic light system.

"In sport climbing, compared to most other sports, there are few written rules or use of referees. Instead, the climbing community creates and circulates their own Practice & Ethics. Beginners are sometimes struggling to understand what is "normal" behavior and what's allowed and what's not. Over time, the general procedure has been modified and in different subcultures different ethics apply."

Two year later we presented some bouldering ethics but it did not include guidelines for flashes and onsights. Here is the 8a suggestions and please feel free to comment.

Flash: It is OK to watch a video and touch any holds you can reach from the starting position. If it is a roof near the ground it would not be OK to feel every hold and work the sequences just by dragging a foot on the ground. You are not allowed to rappel down the boulder and look at all holds. Once you leave the ground you can not reverse and save the onsight as sometimes is done in route climbing.

Onsight: As for flashes, you are only allowed to touch the holds you can reach from the starting positions. If it is a roof or traverse, you are allowed to look at all holds. You are allowed to get beta where the line goes and where it tops out. You can discuss the beta with any person who has no knowledge about the climb. Your friends are not allowed to say anything but cheering you on.

It should be noted that onsight bouldering is quite rare and we seldom report it. At the same time, 8a thinks this is the best style for kids. Having a coach or parent telling them where to put the feet and hands are not so educational and fun for the kids.
OnLine Jon Megent
  2019-01-09 00:12:44    
@ JLH, it looks to me like Ondra gave that interview in either 2011 or 2012, i.e. 6 to 8 years ago. Do you know the exact date? If my range is right, Adam reported several onsight boulders after he was interviewed.

i.e. even though he expressed doubts in the article, he still apparently recorded more than one boulder onsight after that.

Here's another question. If you use binoculars, is it still an onsight?
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2019-01-09 00:41:48    
@Jon: Binoculars on a boulder? U might aswell bring a microscope! ;)
I guess you mean in (sport)climbing. (see my last comment)
To me, the use of binoculars goes more into the direction of a flash but that is only my personal opinion and maybe at some grades it is essential?? I always understood the word onsight as redpointing without any knowledge (no inspection, you go into it blind) of the route but as I now learn this is wrong.
OnLine JLH
  2019-01-09 11:01:14    
@Jon, don't know, but I guess early 2012. Yes, several use OS and several don't. But even if they use it, they do it 'because it's there' (at least at 8a.nu) and from their own perception what OS in bouldering is (or should be)... As Henning suggested, the best would be to ask Adam (and Nalle & Jimmy & ...), what they think about OS now, i.e. if they use/support it and if they do what exactly they mean by OS. I'm sure they are willing to answer those questions if asked politely.
Binoculars are allowed on comps, but rarely used outdoors, but those ((over)ambitious) who use it are probably sure they are not breaking the OS rules ;)
"Going into the blind" (used by Oriane) is certainly not necessary for OS.
OffLine Herman
  2019-01-09 11:35:49    
It is good you try and be precise about what exactly a flash and on sight is. but somehow the essence of it gets lost in all the details.

For me the essence is this:

Flash - climb it on your first go. (with all the help you want)
Onsight - climb it on your first go without getting help (from someone / something)

Ofcourse the details are also important and will make the ascent easier or harder but it will also open the door for discussions about those details. Those discussions are good but only as a second step, after the essence of it.

-I onsighted it after I watched someone climb the last part.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-09 11:37:41    
@Jens I never said anyone was wrong, I just said you should ask some of these guys about their opinion, not just look at scorecards... What do I know, maybe they disagree with what I`v said here, maybe not. However how can you go wrong with asking those who do this full time and have had a lot of time to reflect on it? I really do not see the problem with this sugestion unless you do not want to know what their opinion is?

JLH once again bring in a great point to answer your question. Sure, some log an onsight here and there because the option is there, but it´s as far as I know not taken very seriously or reported by the media. Is whatever someone logs on their scorecard the honest truth (gradewise) or a reflection of their opinions in every case? No.
Why should it then be viewed as such by the media?

Let me tell you another story.
This has little to nothing to do with bouldering or onsight/flash, but the value of the scorecard as a source of correct information.

Kalymnos 2014.
Route: Sueur d'hommes
Crag: Galatiani cave

Looking to onsight/flash routes in the 8a range we go to Galatiani as it has several long routes in that range that in the guidebook look great.
After a warm-up we get on what is listed as 8a+, a route called Sueur d'hommes, a route that starts with a 7a, followed by an extension, that according to the guidebook is 45 meters long.
My partner onsights, I flash (I have never flashed a route of this grade before or since that actually feels the grade). This is my comment at the time from my own scorecard:

"Whats wrong with people? 8a+??? 7a climbing to a a super easy boulder problem to more 7a climbing with hands off rests at every bolt. Most overgraded route we'v encountered anywhere by a long way. Grades here are turning into a joke...
And it's more like 25 meters then 45..
The climbing tho is nothing short of excellent :)"

After doing the route, baffled by the grade in the guidebook compare to reality, we go to the 8a.nu scorecard to see what others think. At this point we are arguing if it is 7b or 7b+.
On the scorecard there are 50 or so ascents, next to no downgrades, and a huge amount of onsight/flashes. Confussed by this I do some digging as either I am very wrong, or 50 or so people are very wrong.
The fact that the route is 25 meters, not 45 as the guide says, should be an indicator that something is off. This missmatch between guidebook length and actuall length holds true for several of the other routes on the wall aswell, and most of the 8´s turn out to be easier then graded, tho not to such an extreme degree as the 8a+ that felt like 7b/7b+.

So I ask around and eventually get the story. The cave was bolted for the first roctrip to the island. The equippers at the time did not try the routes, but scetched down a route map with guesstimates on the grades. This then somehow found it´s way into the guidebook, and people seemingly all to happy to get super easy ticks, tok the guidebook at face value, asked no questions and logged the grade, ignoring what they must have felt when climbing the routes.

Now the route is in the 7b+ range, of this I´m sure. However I am more or less alone thinking this if you go by the scorecard. Does that make me wrong? Or is perhaps the scorecard flawed as a source for honest and true opinions?

My point with this story Jens is ask the top boulderers what they actually think, or go by the Ondra interview JLH posted, don´t just blindly look at scorecards for information..
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-09 15:26:09    
@ Henning: I think it is more valuable to ask the ones using this feature. It is very hard for me to even think that just because you and some other do not like onsight bouldering we should not allow everyone who likes this feature to use it?
OnLine JLH
  2019-01-09 15:48:13    
Why not ask both sides?!
It's same as asking about chipping only those who like it...
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-09 15:52:17    
So if some think they like to record bouldering onsight... why should we not let them just beside some think this is not ok?
OnLine Jon Megent
  2019-01-10 00:14:41    
Henning, a critical difference between your story about Kalymnos and Adam: all those climbers at Kalymnos passively accepted the guidebook grade, where Adam proactively chose which style to report his onsights. He could have called them flash, which would seem to make more sense given his interview. I'm curious to know his thinking, i.e. why he expressed doubt about onsight in that interview 7 or so years ago, but then later classified more than one boulder as onsight.
OnLine Henning Wang
  2019-01-10 10:53:42    
I agree Jon, this would be very interesting to know. My 2 cents is that the scorecard is not taken very seriously when it comes to this. Jens has always been saying the scorecard and the points are just for fun. If that is the view when logging boulders that are not newsworthy (and/or don´t affect the score), sure why not just press onsight instead of writting a comment?

Jens, my point in all this was never that there could not be such a thing as a onsight in bouldering given certain circumstances, much like you can eliminate holds and so on. I never said people should not be allowed to use this feature if you insist on having it there, but I do question if the media should report on it, basically accepting that onsight is now a thing in bouldering when this clearly is not agreed upon.

Why not just copy the questions from the interview with Ondra and ask them to some of the other leading outdoor boulderers and see what they think? It does not only need to be people that don´t log onsights.. As JLH says, why not ask both sides?
Having the question answered by those who basically boulder for a living would satisfy most of us I think either way.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2019-01-10 11:01:57    
OK, so now you say that it is OK when climbers record boulder ascents as onsights. But on the other hand, we are not allowed to report it? To calm you down, reporting bouldering onsights are very rare. I guess we have just done it a couple of times during 19 years and I think that frequency will more or less remain :)