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 By: User Deactivated  | Date: 2008-05-19  | Category: Tips & Tricks    | Comment  
Onsight / Flash / Redpoint and Freepoint

What does 8a.nu mean by onsight?

The foundation of onsight is that you shouldn't have seen anyone on the route/boulder neither have received any information about it prior to the ascent. However and luckily, the defintion of onsight varies between competition- and outdoor climbing. We do not believe in a conservative definition when it comes to onsighting on rock, that would be both boring and inconvienient. Competition rules would just create a whole bunch of freaks using blindfolds and earplugs at the crags. The overall rule is - use common sense but do not deliberately take advantage of beeing around.

We don't think that you could save an onsight by down climbing. Common sense is also the key issue when it comes to onsighting routes, which share parts (start, in between or finnish) with climbs you have done earlier. When the joint part could be considered as scrambling or "transport climbing", i.e. like four grades easier, go for it, otherwise go for the flash.

In the Scorecard system we have been, according to some, quiet generous for onsight ascents by adding three grades plus five points, compared to redpoints. We understand that for some type of routes and climbers, the onsight bonus is on the high side, i.e. "long limestone routes with lots of chalk". However, most scorecards include just a few onsights and we would like to promote this way of climbing.

In bouldering there is no onsight tradition and even flashesaren't that common. To onsight a boulder is nevertheless the ultimate way, but in reality it's not that big a difference, since you can grab many of the holds from the ground. In the Scorecard system we will value an onsight 2 grades (100 points), plus 5 points and a flash one grade, plus 3 points, higher than to redpoint one.

Climbing style
An 8a Gives
An 8A Gives
1 000 points
1 000 points
1 053 points
(+ 1 grade & + 3 points)
1 053 points
1 145 points
(+ 3 grades & - 5 points)
1 095 points
( + 2 grades & -5 points)
948 points
(- 1 grade & - 2 points)
948 points
999 points
(& - 1 point)
999 points

What does 8a.nu mean by flash?

To flash a route/boulder means that you do it first try and that you can actually use a coach, while you are climbing. Prior to your climb, you can prepare as much as possible including looking at other climbers. The only thing you can't do is to rapell down or studying holds from a route. As for an onsight, you can't down-climb and save it.

What does 8a.nu mean by redpoint?
To redpoint a route is to lead a climb without straining the rope whatsoever. However, some of the hardest redpoints in the world have been done semi-toproping.The reason for this is safety and that it makes it easier to redpoint a route with some carabiners pre-clipped. The logic is based on downclimbing. One strategy is to first practice downclimbing from a specific carabiner and then for each redpoint attempt start with the same carabiner pre-clipped, claiming that " - I can downclimb it". The really strategic ones they do it vice-versa and even jumps from high above in order to demonstrade their downclimbing skills without straing the rope.

8a.nu thinks that this innovative method sucks and that you shouldn't use any carabiners pre-clipped once redpointing. Ok, sometimes, due to safety reasons one or two is only natural but don't set it in a system because then yu are in the freepoint business.

What does 8a.nu mean by freepoint?

Climbing is about moving upwards and reaching the top. The spirit is sometimes hindered due to safety reasons, scariness and clipping bolts. The community salutes the brave and laughs at the cowards and every year several climbers are killed and houndreds are badly injured. How many disasters could have been avoided if the community would except top-roping? How many more climbing metres would you be doing if you would not have to lead all the time?

Indoor we have already seen a dramatic and positive change towards top-roping. Looking back, it's ridiculous to see how the ethic rules forced us to lead indoors all the time. Hopefully, we will look back and say the same thing about outdoor climbing, in a few years. That's at least the aim with this article about freepoint.

8a.nu suggests and will make our scorecard avaliable for register free-points. As long as you do not weight the rope you can free-point both routes and boulders in any way you like. Top-rope would be the most common way but when you free-point very steep routes you could chose to follow and unclip or by using as many pre-clipped carbiners as you wish.

In the scorecard system we will value freepoint one grade lower than a redpoint. In practice we assume that freepoints will be used mainly at lower difficulty levels and less steeper routes. But some of us will also be doing it, in order to freepoint, that badly protected but super nice 8a!

Where do we draw the line between freepoint and redpoint?

We do think that the best ascent is without any pre-clipped bolts. However, it's a common practice that you could use one or maximum two drawers pre-clipped for safety reasons, once red-pointing. If you think that you are on the border line, just be open (write comments). Sometimes climbers are forced to go beyond that in order to do a route, then we think that we are talking freepoint. Don't get addicted into that silly down-climbing/jumping tactic from high up on routes. Use common sense and enjoy the spirit of moving upwards!