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E-rock

Soft grades at Squamish: Why?

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haha well now I'm stuck climbing limestone choss out here in MT, or the flaring gneiss cracks of the Gallatin Canyon. I've only climbed on WW1 at Little Si, and the one 5.9 there is really soft. It boils down to the fact that climbing is fun and I don't care too much about grades. I'll take a day at index over a weekend at the snoqualmie crags any day, but if I find myself in the area and it isn't pouring I'd love to get shown around by a local guru who isn't as aloof as I am towards sport climbing.

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The quality of a route doesn't have anything to do with its rating.

 

The only purpose of ratings is to give the onsight leader a sense of what they're getting into and provide some benchmarks to measure our personal progress.

 

Sorry for the rant. You hit a hot button.

+1 although it took a few years (maybe more than a few) for me to figure this out. When you're young and you don't yet know that you are never going climb 5.1X the numbers can take on far too much importance. I wonder what the OP has to say about this now.

 

Dun be sorry Rad, this is the place to rant!

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Haha! I saw this thread and wondered if it was my old barn-burner.

 

You know what I think now? I would happily give up any grading system of any kind to live as close to rock of that quality again.

 

When I was in my twenties, I was not honest enough with myself to realize that I was never gonna climb harder than 5.9 on a consistent basis, unless I stopped being a weekend warrior, and started training.

 

Now the closest rock to me has deathfall runnouts if it's anything easier than 5.8, and 5.9 feels like Squamish 5.11. Fuck I miss squamish.

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I know this climber whose onsight limits are 5.12 finger cracks, 5.9 off width, and 5.10 J-Tree slab.

:lmao:

Are you talking about yourself?

 

Whether I call a route 5.9 or 10c doesn't change its quality and it doesn't make me more or less of a badass.

Fundamental tenet: FAs by old skool badass climbers are sandbagged. If it makes you feel any better I'm just as quick to slag on both 32 and 38.

 

Now the closest rock to me has deathfall runnouts if it's anything easier than 5.8, and 5.9 feels like Squamish 5.11. Fuck I miss squamish.

LCC? Got to love the Green A. I had the impression that the ratings there were "not soft." Bong Eater was fun.

 

On the original topic, the ratings in the new Select guide seem more accurate than the ratings in McLane's book, at least in terms of High Plains Drifter and the first two pitches of The Calling. And the pictures are so pretty! Not to belittle McLane; I used his book to locate many wonderful Squamish climbs over the years. I'd be quicker to complain about his gear beta. Many examples quickly come to mind where his gear beta is just dead wrong. I prefer no gear beta to bad gear beta. Caveat emptor.

Edited by skykilo

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Squamish is graded soft to make up for the fact that the Canadian Rockies are a sandbagged horror show.

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LCC? Got to love the Green A. I had the impression that the ratings there were "not soft." Bong Eater was fun.

 

Bongeater was my introduction to rock climbing in college. After my mountain bike got stolen, a couple buddies took me up to bongeater butress and put me on toprope. What a beating! I never bought a mountain bike again.

 

The Green A was my first 5.9 lead. I had an experienced belayer who kept telling me to keep moving and stop trying to place gear. As i remember it, there's only three good stances on the whole thing. Though I don't think I'd call the fall potential deadly.

 

No, I live in New York now and the closest rock is the Adirondacks. Dwayner would jiszz his pantsby how much they hate bolts around here. If it's 5.7 slab or below, full rope-length runouts are de rigeur. Or however you spell it.

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FAs by old skool badass climbers are sandbagged. If it makes you feel any better I'm just as quick to slag on both 32 and 38.

 

LCC grades are fair, but I don't think they're as stiff as some places. Speaking old skool badass climbers. Cutting your teeth in LCC, you become a big fan of George Lowe. That guy was a stud.

Edited by E-rock

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The Gunks will school you.

 

And go do Kor's Flake at Lumpy Ridge CO sometime to find out how hard 5.7 is.

 

But again the goal is to move upward, sideward, downward, stay alive, and have fun.

Edited by matt_warfield

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n the original topic, the ratings in the new Select guide seem more accurate than the ratings in McLane's book, at least in terms of High Plains Drifter and the first two pitches of The Calling

 

There a few where he downgraded but many many more that were upgraded. Besides the pretty pictures and layout, I would have to say its a rather poor select guide book.

 

Most of the routes are not select and there are many that have not been climbed in decades, even in Mclane they were noted as being overgrown.

 

I hope Mclanes guide comes out this winter.

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You've refreshed my memory: he upgraded Milk Run and Liquid Gold to 11a, didn't he? Not sure about other examples. The pretty pictures still count for a lot in my book.

 

One of the hardest 5.9s I've climbed was at Lumpy Ridge.

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McLane had a photo of the Split Pillar on the cover of Mountain Magazine back in the day and I decided one of my life goals was to climb it. And I did. And he does an excellent job with a guidebook, rivaling Chris McNamara. It takes so much effort in climbing and writing to do a guidebook, we should take our hats or helmets off and salute.

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You've refreshed my memory: he upgraded Milk Run and Liquid Gold to 11a, didn't he? Not sure about other examples. The pretty pictures still count for a lot in my book.

 

One of the hardest 5.9s I've climbed was at Lumpy Ridge.

 

Which one? I may have done it also. Does Mainliner ring a bell?

Edited by matt_warfield

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The two I did at Lumpy were Bat Crack and p1 of Loose Ends. Bat Crack wasn't a sandbag in terms of difficulty at all but it was fully R rated. Loose Ends had great pro but it was very sustained for a 5.9. More difficult than the Split Pillar IMO!

 

 

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"Fundamental tenet: FAs by old skool badass climbers are sandbagged."

 

Words to live by. This has always seemed particularly true for 5.9 (and especially for 5.9+) routes in areas that were developed before expanding the ratings to 5.10 and beyond was a widely accepted practice.

 

Also seems to go for 5.10a routes put up at the tail end of that era, when claiming 5.10 was making a statement.

 

 

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Haha! I saw this thread and wondered if it was my old barn-burner.

 

You know what I think now? I would happily give up any grading system of any kind to live as close to rock of that quality again.

 

When I was in my twenties, I was not honest enough with myself to realize that I was never gonna climb harder than 5.9 on a consistent basis, unless I stopped being a weekend warrior, and started training.

 

Now the closest rock to me has deathfall runnouts if it's anything easier than 5.8, and 5.9 feels like Squamish 5.11. Fuck I miss squamish.

 

I knew I was living a lie the whole time, but coming off the couch after a full year of doing zero rock climbing inside or outside, spending a couple of half-days on that granite *and* climbing routes at grades that I had topped out on when I was climbing every weekend in CO felt mighty nice....

 

 

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LCC? Got to love the Green A. I had the impression that the ratings there were "not soft." Bong Eater was fun.

 

Bongeater was my introduction to rock climbing in college. After my mountain bike got stolen, a couple buddies took me up to bongeater butress and put me on toprope. What a beating! I never bought a mountain bike again.

 

The Green A was my first 5.9 lead. I had an experienced belayer who kept telling me to keep moving and stop trying to place gear. As i remember it, there's only three good stances on the whole thing. Though I don't think I'd call the fall potential deadly.

 

No, I live in New York now and the closest rock is the Adirondacks. Dwayner would jiszz his pantsby how much they hate bolts around here. If it's 5.7 slab or below, full rope-length runouts are de rigeur. Or however you spell it.

 

Dawg should meet Ken Nichols who doesn't draw cheeseburgers on bolts and post on the internet but has chopped bolts in person on many routes in the NE. Unfortunately he is now banned from many of those areas because he has denied many climbers from having fun.

 

And whenever you think Squamish grades are soft, try Unfinished Symphony.

Edited by matt_warfield

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The two I did at Lumpy were Bat Crack and p1 of Loose Ends. Bat Crack wasn't a sandbag in terms of difficulty at all but it was fully R rated. Loose Ends had great pro but it was very sustained for a 5.9. More difficult than the Split Pillar IMO!

 

 

Haven't done those but I swear Kor's Flake has runout offwidth rated 5.7 that would make many shit their pants.

 

But the Split Pillar challenges many because it is sustained with few rests. It is surprising to climbers who may be used to V4 or 5.11 bursts.

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Right Wing (Squamish) not a giveaway

Penny Lane (Squamish) giveaway

Westcrack (Tuloumne) giveaway

Next route to the right Cresent Arch (stout)

1st pitch of Lamplighter (Index) not a giveaway

Side show (Index same wall, rated lower than P1 Lamplighter) don't think so...

Overboard extension (Smith) Ill take it...but its a giveaway compared to Licence To Bolt also at Smith

Doninis Crack (City Of Rocks) pretty tough

Sea Biscuit (also at the city) easiest 12c on the planet

Point is that every climbing area I've ever been to has some stout climbs and some giveaways. I can't think of any exceptions can you?

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woot a thread about grades in squamish! time for an obnoxious spray-ish rant....

 

Jokes aside, there are plenty of soft routes here yes but also some not-so-soft lines as well. Here are some routes that are actually quite stiff and should be challenging enough for ya'll seeing as everything else around here is so damned easy eh...

 

Midnight Run, 5.12a - Bring ur RP's and tighten those laces buds, while its not 'runout' really, I'd still check to make sure ur balls have dropped before making an attempt, if 12- is near ur limit. Let's just say, this is a Boyd route. Such a great line!

 

Genus Loci - 5.12b - The 'crux' third pitch may not be all THAT hard for 12b, but many would consider the opening "11d" slab hard for 12b ;) Sure is fucking awesome though! The hard bits are safe too just don't blow a couple 10+ moves and you should be good... don't worry they might even be soft pansy Squamish 10+ moves.

 

Sixty Nine - 5.13b - Jeez this thing was pretty solid when people called it 13c. But who gives a flying crap it's one of the funnest single pitch cracks around! Nothing like taking big clean whips onto bomber little offsets!

 

Golden Throat Charmer - 5.12b??! Since when does a solid V6 boulder crux into the pumpiest 11+ crack in the world equal 5.12-? Maybe it was so easy for Croft, seeing as he flashed the FFA, that he simply forgot to add a couple letter grades? I think this is only true if you don't cheat and pull on the chains to start, which I HIGHLY doubt PC did.

 

Anyways, I can think of many more... while there are plenty of soft routes in Squampton there are some honest, stiff test pieces as well. I think this rings true for pretty much any climbing area!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by marc_leclerc

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