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OK Boomer

posted Nov 21, 2019, 3:17 AM by David Quinn

On the heels of Reel Rock, here's a little perspective offering. In 1993 the first free ascent of the Nose was done and the grade determined to be 5.13/5.14. It took Lynn Hill 4 days; 8 years later, Tommy Caldwell did it in 12 hours. No one has suggested changing the grade despite the numerous ascents since Lynn's first ascent. And despite the speed ascent in under 2 hours. We still remember and respect Lynn Hill for doing something no one else had been able to do. Remember 5.14 was cutting edge sport climbing in 1993. Somehow in NS and particularly with Mobeta, there is this idea to keep the grades moving. When many first ascents in NS were done in early 2000, those problems were at a cutting edge level with a few routes to compare and consider grades And few folks climbing at that level to discuss what a realistic grade rating. There is a mental game to doing what hasn't been done before that makes things harder and usually take longer, variables that first ascentionists use to determine difficulty. In my opinion, there should be respect for the first ascentionist and history rather than moving grades at all. Who does it harm to NOT change grades? No one. I will even go so far as to suggest perhaps these new grades are appropriate for those who don't have to figure out moves because they are sprayed with beta or watch the video over and over. There is a reason competitions put competitors in isolation. I wonder how folks would grade things if there was no beta spray?
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