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Forum: SWE / Editorial / Practice of the Wild was 8C in 2004 but grades change Login in to contribute
Practice of the Wild was 8C in 2004 but grades change
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-10-01 00:00:00    
In 2004, Chris Sharma put up Practice of the wild in Magic Wood as one of the first 8C in the world. It took four years until the stunning supersteep and long line got repeated and another three for the third ascent. Then it quickly became one of the most repeated 8C's in the world and in 2016, Gabri Moroni was the first, as he has been for more routes and boulder, to give it a personal downgrade.

Including three more such personal suggestions and most others say it is "soft" as well as most do very quickly, 8B+ seems to be more correct based as of the 2018 standards and training possibilities.

In 2004, supersteep and very long boulders were rare both indoors and outdoors. When the boulderers, with poor such training facilities, tried it I bet it felt like a hard 8C. Even in the 8a yearbook of 2008, Björn Pohl picked it out as one of the Top-10 hardest boulders on the planet.

As of today, with much more focus and possibilities to work on such supersteep and long boulders, the community seems to think it is easier in comparison to more vertical 8C'. In other words, Sharma was right in 2004 but new and improved training facilities have probably grade wise made him wrong as of 2018.

8a Grade Article from 2008 explaining it in theory. "Many years ago, climbing activities took place on vertical trad routes giving climbers certain abilities to succeed and grade these routes. Today, on the opposite, most training occurs in steep indoor gyms giving other prevailing skills for climbers. This has changed the community's time/success ratio on different type of route/boulders, and grades have to be changed. In practice this mean that some steep old routes should be in the risk-zone of being downgraded."

The good part of such grade changes, due to training or population changes etc, is that grades loose their correctness and thus importance. It just might be that with more smaller and taller climbers getting into the community, confirmed benchmark 9a's or 7A might just need to change to correspond better to the up-to-date community perception.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-02 09:20:20    
It should be mentioned that once I previously have presented similar articles since 2008, many have said I am dead wrong. Before publishing this article, I have sent it out to some top climbers saying they agree with my conclusion that even confirmed bench mark grades can change.
OffLine austin howell
  2018-10-04 06:34:36    
Historically speaking, when climbers get fitter and send harder, doesn’t the grade go up? Why is it different here? The existing climbs set the standard, and if you send something harder... this pushes the standard forward

When Adam Ondra trained to send Silence 9c, he didn’t propose it as 9b+ and then downgrade all the 9b’s he’s done since due to “new training methods”
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-04 09:02:02    
Good question :)

The different thing with Practice of the wild was that this was the first supersteep and very long hard core boulder in the world. At that time, it was very hard to do as such training possibilities were very rare.

Once more supersteep boulders, as well as indoor possibilities, were established, many did quick progress on such terrain. This made many think this boulder were perceived relatively easier then shorter and more vertical boulders.

Climbing grades are supposed to guide the Community to show equal difficulty no matter of the steppens and how long the boulders are. Sometimes, this means grades have to change.

In Magic Wood and Rocklands etc, most of the early steep boulders have in fact been downgraded. Once they were put up they felt superhard as the community had limited such experience. In other words, they did not have the ecperience to grade such boulders.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-04 18:16:47    
Chris has reached out saying he never proposed a grade for it so this is the reason why the article was changed.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-04 18:38:51    
Obviously he entered this ascent in his 8a.nu scorecard:

Maybe he was not sure about the grade, but -- as we all know, you could not enter an ascent here on 8a.nu without giving it a grade -- he gave it an 8C.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-04 18:52:17    
When we reported about the FA in 2004, no grade was given. But it did not take long until media and climbers said it was 8C.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-04 19:04:13    
I'm not talking about the report, but Sharma's scorecard -- click the link above.
OffLine austin howell
  2018-10-04 19:29:26    
I can understand that, but it seems like the slab vs overhang debate or the trad vs sport debate with regards to grading.. we haven’t downgraded all of the sport climbs for consistency because trad grades are so much harder

Slabs and thin climbing used to be the norm, and super steep routes felt significantly harder. However, we gained better methods to train for the steeps and endurance climbing, and so we don’t grade those as hard.... *but we progressed from that point*. Steep lines were repeated quicker, and then harder projects were found and sent

The thing that gets me about boulders: We saw climbers hop on a problem, call it “futuristic” then send it in a week and label it V15, when V15 was the end of the scale. V15 was proposed quite long ago, so that’s not “futuristic” and if it was futuristic... it would’ve taken longer than a week to send (sometimes V15 has been done in a single session even). If it can be done in the space of a week, then it’s definitely not on the edge of human capability

So logically, if the top end boulders are being done in a week... they’re not top end, and we should see climbs of a harder grade appearing. But we don’t see those grades... it’s a logical oddity

If this fitness issue mentioned previously was the primary factor suppressing grades in bouldering, then at some point we’d have to make progress forward just as we did in sport-climbing; however that just hasn’t happened, so perhaps there are other factors in play
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-04 19:33:54    
You are right if we were to base grades on the original trad routes, in general sport routes should in general be down graded 1-2 steps. However, the grade inflation can not be stopped, even if 8a have tried it :)
OffLine austin howell
  2018-10-04 20:19:37    
Hah, I get ya, but with the sport/trad comparison and the slab/overhang comparison, the notion I wanted to convey was less that we should adjust the slider on sport vs trad grades (though I’d love to see trad climers get more credit) but more along these lines:

We have an understanding that Grade X on particular styles or terrain has a different impact compared to Grade X on other styles or terrain... so it’s curious that this notion hasn’t been applied within bouldering as it has with other disciplines. Even within sport climbing there are unrepeated 5.14a slab climbs which are considered sandbagged... but the grade isn’t adjusted because it’s understood that we as a community know that grades are an imperfect art

Something just seems to have gone awry with the logic in bouldering grades

The shortest synopsis of it... Given that V15 has been sent with less than a week of effort so many times... it’s remarkable that these climers can’t agree that something harder exists.

I think Nalle really showed the way for progression with Burden of Dreams. After working on something for *years* instead of *days*... that truly is futuristic and next-level, especially considering he’s one of the guys who did V15 in under a week!

I’ve got a curiosity here: Has anyone other than Nalle invested long-term projecting into a single boulder at the highest end in recent years?
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-05 08:02:50    
@Jens: Chris Sharma has an old scorecard on 8a.nu. According to that he proposed 8C for the climb at the time.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-05 08:31:15    
Chris told me that he did not say it was 8C when he did the FA. That grade suggestion came later from others it seems. The 8C grade was recorded later in his scorecard.
OffLine bomberone
  2018-10-05 08:41:07    
i'm with austin howells point here, that it truely seems very strange to climb nothing harder than 8C since 16 years...even if many of the early 8Cs are downgraded to 8B+, it is still hard to imagine, that top level climbers only pushed one grade harder. it seems to be a funny game, to downgrade almost every new opened hardcore boulder. nice to see the actual exception from nalle, who seems to be one of the few who do so.
OffLine Zenon Marski
  2018-10-05 09:48:18    
The main problem with outdoor bouldering is difficulty in finding a piece of rock which offers a climb on the edge of possible/impossible. This is why these guys spend so much time on exploration .. to find these rare gems. This is not the case for sport routes where, on the wide cliff, one can easily pick a stripe of rock offering moderately hard moves. Difficulty can be tuned simply with its length.
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-05 09:50:02    
Are you saying that Chris himself recorded the climb as 8C later on his 8a.nu scorecard?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-05 10:03:11    
I have for many years said that it is time to upgrade some of the 8C's to 8C+. However, if it turns out that Practice of the Wild is easier to do in comparison to other 8C's, it needs to be down graded in order to fit to the scale. It seems the community have pushed the grades three steps during the last 16 years.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-05 12:21:06    
So, Jens Larsen, will you please stop bluffing and finally explain who has entered this ascent and the 8C grade in Sharma's scorecard?

OffLine John Render
  2018-10-05 13:08:31    
@ Bojan, here's a guess: Sharma did not enter the info. Someone else did. If so, I invite you to hypothesize who that might be.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-05 14:29:42    
I can see that Sharma's scorecard was created with his person email so I guess he recorded the ascent. I can not get into his account as I do not know the password. Anyhow, it was Björn Pohl, who was present at the FA, who was the 8a contact with Sharma at the time.
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-05 15:00:29    
If Sharma's email is associated with his 8a.nu account, then he most probably logged the ascent himself as well... as 8C.

Yes, Björn Pohl was there at the boulder when Sharma did the FA.

@Jens: Are you suggesting that Björn Pohl hacked into Sharma's 8a.nu account and logged the ascent in his scorecard?
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-05 15:05:02    
>"I can see that Sharma's scorecard was created with his person email so I guess he recorded the ascent."

If so, the only reasonable explanation I can think about is Sharma has forgotten he himself has entered the ascent. So you should change the article -- again.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-05 15:49:20    
I have seen that in the original news about the send, which Björn Pohl did, there were no reference to any grade of the problem meaning Sharma was right. He did not give it a grade when he did the FA and he has not personally graded it later.
OffLine Mike.
  2018-10-05 16:37:41    
I'm pretty sure steep climbing gyms existing before 2004 . . .
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-05 16:38:49    
>"He did not give it a grade when he did the FA and he has not personally graded it later."

So -- who did enter the ascent/grade in his scorecard?!!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-05 17:29:15    
I do not know...possibly the scorecard was created later, as well as the ascent, when it was considered 8C.

Sure steep climbing gyms existed before 2004 but I guess if we compare with 2018, probably there are at least three times as more. Further more, in 2004, few long steep boulders had been opened.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-05 17:54:55    
You said his scorecard was created by his personal email -- so it must be created by Sharma, right?
So once again, who entered this ascent in his scorecard if it was not him?
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-05 17:59:12    
@Jens: But earlier you said that Chris ”[...] has not personally graded it later.”
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-06 11:33:14    
@Jens: Your story and answers are inconsistent, and contradict with the information presented in the article.

Aren’t you concerned about who logged the ascent in Chris’ 8a.nu scorecard? Possible options: a) Chris, b) Jens, c) Björn, or d) somebody else. Either somebody is lying or there is a major security problem in the 8a.nu website.

Imagine if somebody (incl. company employees) would access your Instagram account and post content under your name. Would that be okay?
OffLine ®ents
  2018-10-07 07:39:56    
Chris would be chuckling at this thread...
OffLine 2big2boulder
  2018-10-07 08:29:39    
Chris Sharma
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-07 08:51:11    
He wouldn't probably be the only one who is chuckling.

So Mr. Larssen? Have you nothing to add?
You said Sharma was the one who created the scorecard (with his valid email address) and he was *not* the one who has entered the ascent in his scorecard (as he never graded it) and also it wasn't you (since you can't enter ascents without password, which you don't know), who was it?

If you said the grade in Sharma's scorecard is fake, how many grades in your database are fake? Are you planning to do something about these fake grades, e.g., delete them from database and take some measures they won't happen in the future?

And if it was not you (or your stuff) who entered ascents in Sharma's scorecard, how could you enter ascents in other's scorecards (e.g., Ashima Shiraishi's)?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-10-07 09:26:13    
Anybody can set up an 8a account using any email. We have seen many fake accounts over time with people adding 9C boulders etc. This is the same for every social media and we try to monitor this when appropriate. Neither I or Sharma see his account as a problem. The only thing Sharma wanted to say was that he did not suggest it a grade when he did the FA. Please respect Chris and instead focus on the futuristic line he put up in 2004.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-07 11:32:18    
[The post was deleted by Jens Larssen on 2018-10-07 12:32]
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-10-08 13:08:22    
Just my few tech cents:
If you are the database admin you can add/remove/alter anything you want from your database. Meaning you don't need to have the users password to add ascents if you have database access. (I hope user passwords are stored encrypted, else you would have the user passwords aswell^^) That is how databases work. If you don't trust the database admin don't create an account.
OffLine Steve
  2018-10-08 19:39:37    
Jens, why did you delete Bojan's post above? There wasn't anything unethical, disrespectful or offensive in there. He just asked a precise question that you could have easily answered and that plays a major role concerning the trustworthiness of the database on 8a.nu.
OffLine The Whistleblower 5
  2018-10-09 08:25:09    
Based on my observations, Jens’ behavior follows the following pattern when questions/comments start to get too awkward for him: use smilies -> ignore discussions -> delete posts. Am I right or am I right?
OffLine The Whistleblower 6
  2018-10-09 11:44:56    
Oh... I forgot to add that as a last measure, he deletes your account.

The Whistleblower 6
OffLine Bojan
  2018-10-09 14:58:36    
Yes, instead of deleting the account of 'C. Sharma' which is fake, he deletes accounts of those, who point out of that fact. Kill the messenger!
OffLine Jure Franko
  2018-10-09 19:17:50    
Why did you delete Bojan's post? How can you actively participate in debate and then act as that? Can we delete your posts? Since you have been cought in all possible incorect manners? Highly unethical childihs behavior IMHO.

OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2018-10-09 21:49:25    
Maybe this helps: ;) (@The Whistleblower)
Code of Ethics in the 8a Forum
"The use of clearly fictional personal details may lead to a ban of your membership."
"An individual may not register more than one user and it is not allowed to register a new one if the old one is banned."
"If you have any complains about how editors have acted relating to a comment, post or forum thread, please contact us directly, do not create a thread in the thread."
OffLine Mark Nauser
  2018-10-10 11:41:44    
@Jure: Same old from Jens. Unethical behaviour such as this is nothing new on this site.
He's done this before and he'll keep doing it. When you don't have the power of argument - use argument of power.

OffLine John Render
  2018-10-10 12:12:08    
This rule from the Code of Ethics repeatedly gets broken...

"2.2 Do not create multiple threads about the same topic."
OffLine The Whistleblower 6
  2018-10-10 18:44:29    
This as well ”1.4 Being provocative just to annoy others (aka trolling) is not allowed.”