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Forum: SWE / News / Kintsugi 8B+ (8C) by Ethan Pringle Login in to contribute
Kintsugi 8B+ (8C) by Ethan Pringle
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-01-23 00:00:00    
Ethan Pringle, who has been one of leading climbers since he did Biography 9a+ in 2007, has done Kintsugi in Red Rocks on his fourth session, suggesting 8B+ as his personal grade. Based on his Insta story we asked if he could elaborate further in regards grading and what he likes the 8a - Time Comparison Grading theory, for which he agrees. "I think the amount of time it takes you to do something is pretty directly related to how hard it is, yep!" (c) Alex Arestei

-Grades are a primarily a measuring stick for people's egos. Which is totally fine! There's nothing wrong with having an ego. We all have one. I think it's better to acknowledge that, than pretend it's not a thing.

-Secondly, grades are a way to say: this is how hard this climb was for me, relative to climbs I've done in the past. Everyone can use them to help measure progress, and set goals, but pros can use them to communicate to fans of the sport, how hard they think a certain accomplishment was for them (rather than give people the move-by-move breakdown, or the whole story of their experience on a climb). Of course we humans like quantifying and ranking ourselves, each other, and our accomplishments, with numbers. But a number can't even come close to quantifying the very subjective experience on, and difficulty of, a rock climb. So, people shouldn't get too hung up on grades, because they are a shoddy, and vastly incomplete representation, at best.

Even though I think grades are kinda dumb, I will attempt to comment on the grade of Kintsugi anyway. Because I too have an ego!!! I didn't really try the Nalle/Keenan beta, but it seems every bit as V15 as I can imagine. Nalle and Keenan know what V15 feels like, and I believe the boulder is that hard with the beta they used. But with the beta I used (the Nils ninja-toe catch), If I were to take just the crux, and lower it by eight feet, so would be right off the ground, I think the physical difficulty would be around V13.
The fact that your ass is about 15 feet off he ground when you do the crux though, adds a huge physiological element that definitely raises the difficulty of the boulder. So, with the added element of the height, and the much easier intro moves, I think for me, the overall difficulty was in the 14 range. Even though I used easier beta, it's still one of the hardest climbs I've ever done. And definitely one of the best!!!
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine Andreas Jakwerth
  2019-01-24 09:53:06    
Great effort from Ethan! I do like him, his honesty, his style and his insights (especially on instagram). Way to go!
OffLine T
  2019-01-24 16:10:16    
I think when you are strong enough to do basically all of the climbs in the guidebook grades are more ego driven. For us normal people grades obviously have a huge ego aspect but they also let me know what I have a chance on. Otherwise I’d go try Kinsugi because it seems like one of the coolest boulders in the country and be very frustrated that I’m weak when I got there. Congrats Ethan!
OffLine Jan V'
  2019-01-25 09:17:13    
"There's nothing wrong with having an ego. We all have one. I think it's better to acknowledge that, than pretend it's not a thing."

Well said. Regarding grades being personal - well said, again. Anyhow, I am not sure grades (only) serve as measuring stick for people's egos. Now if someone thinks grades only serve as measuring stick for people's egos...
OffLine Bongowurm
  2019-01-25 16:15:25    
Great effort from Pringle and always good to see open grade discussion. In another world without grades the ninja toe hook could be seen as weak or wrong beta, or even not the same rock. If we didn't talk about difficulty in the abstract with numbers we'd shift the occasional ego talk elsewhere.