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Lucid Dreaming V16 FA

Posted on 05. Apr, 2010 by in News

Last week, Paul Robinson made the first ascent of a long standing project in Bishop calling it Lucid Dreaming and grading it V16. This is the second V16 put up by an American this year, the other being Daniel WoodsThe Game, in Boulder Canyon. This is a classic and difficult problem and it’s great to see it finally get climbed. I want to emphasize that much more than the grade of the problem, the classic and difficult nature of the boulder, and it’s central location in one of the best bouldering areas in the country make this a significant contribution.
However, the grading is an interesting topic in its own right. Paul justifies the V16 grade on his blog, which is to be expected. I find it interesting that he didn’t mention his unsuccessful attempts on Suspension of Disbelief V13 or V14 after many days on that climb or acknowledge that Jade V15 in RMNP may soon be downgraded. There is a trend lately that seems to suggest that if a climber puts in a certain number of days on something, then they are deserving of taking the highest grade, and I don’t think that is always the case. If Paul were to apply the same logic to Suspension he would call it V16 as well, when for Dave Graham it was only V13.
In my own climbing I spent probably 12 days on Trent’s Mom, the classic V10 in Joe’s Valley, after having climbed V12 in a day on several occasions. But that doesn’t mean it’s V11. I found the climb to be committing and the moves to be challenging. This represents the upper end of the V10 grade in my opinion and there should be a range of difficulties within a problem. At this point what are the hard V15s? or even V14s for that matter?

Malcolm Smith, the legendary British climber, remarked this after climbing one of his hardest problems

I see Monk life as a bottom end 8b+, only just scraping into the grade. It’s a bit harder than some things I’ve done like The Ace which get 8b. I think in Britain we have a harsher scale than in Europe and there’s loads of room in 8b+ for absolutely sick things which are harder than Monk Life. I can’t see any reason to give anything 8c. That grade is unbelievable and I struggle to believe anyone around can climb it. We’ve got to be sensible about these things.

This is far different from Paul’s approach.

“We need to progress the sport of bouldering and not get stuck in this v15 rut and never move forward.”

My interest is in mostly why there is this obvious split in thinking.
Have the top end climbers become so concerned with adding new numbers that difficulty is really irrelevant? Is the grading scale linear, or has it shrunk as a response to media pressure? In more objective sports, which measure progression with standard distances and times like swimming, or track and field, no one gets to arbitrarily move the sport forward. Because our measuring stick is more subjective, it would be nice to see a more conservative approach.

57 Responses to “Lucid Dreaming V16 FA”

  1. Crafty

    09. Apr, 2010

    While I find this debate really interesting, trying to place an exact “V16” rating on this climb is, in many ways, irrelevant.

    V16 hasn’t been proposed many times, and no consensus exists for it yet. Basically, Paul has said that this climb is both in his style and harder than anything he’s done before. Possibly harder than The Game (again, different styles and I’m reading into his statements a bit, so who knows). So, whether or not it’s V15 or V15 doesn’t make much difference. It’s likely one of the hardest problems in the world.

    Also, I’m sure Gaskins was a beast, but as many have said, his climbs are obscure or of low quality, and are unlikely to have the same impact as something like The Game, Lucid Dreaming, The Island, Jade or FRFM. Whether or not this is fair, he certainly deserves kudos for his efforts and contributions.

    Does Gaskins still climb anymore?

  2. […] Emerson vergleicht zwei Ansätze, Boulder zu bewerten – Stichwort “Lucid Dreaming (V16)” (inzwischen hat der […]

  3. sidepull

    10. Apr, 2010

    Funny observation:

    Jamie is downrating Jared Roth’s “Trent’s Mom” (which I guess had already been happening though I never knew it was stamped in stone).

    Paul is upgrading the sitstart to Jared Roth’s “Rastaman” now dubbed “Lucid Dreaming” which Jamie is hypothetically downgrading.

    So Jared is really the big loser in all of this or else Jamie just doesn’t like his problems. :)

  4. Dawn with a W

    16. Apr, 2010

    My chemistry homework is so dull that grown men argueing about a slight suggestion of difficulty to scale a piece of rock is almost interesting…….sad

  5. DrTim

    12. Sep, 2010

    Hi all … how much do we love to debate grades! We tried to put some stupid formula to grading here – http://www.australianbouldering.com/table.html. It involved a statistical analysis of sends. To summarise the outcome we found;

    a) that each grade was a touch more than TWICE as hard as the previous, meaning a touch less than half as likely a boulderer could do it.

    b) adding two problems of the same grade is the same as one problem of grade + 2. So V12 + v12 = V14. And this regresses back to 2 x V10 moves = V12 so essentially 4 x V10 moves could be V14 …

    Obviously not perfect but maths is our friend.

    Hey Wilder aren’t you getting a PhD in this :)

  6. Colin

    19. Feb, 2011

    Dreamtime, called v15 in 2000 by Fred Nicole. Is it so hard to believe that in 10 years time the sport has progressed one number grade?

  7. P.Koil

    02. Apr, 2011

    when we run out of oil we will all have to walk to the crag

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