Posted on 13. May, 2010 by B3 in News
Dai Koyamada has made the second ascent of Dave Graham’s The Story of Two Worlds in Cresciano, CH. Dave graded it V15, but Dai has suggested it is in the V16 range. Well done.
The Low Down
13. May, 2010
is it true that no one saw p-rob climb lucid dreams?
Jamie, within the Great Grade Debate of 2010 I’m really wondering what your personal opinion about the grade of The Story of Two Worlds is.
For example, I have thought about it much less and have less experience than you, but to me it seems that this problem is one of the hardest and it would make more sense to me if this sits in at V16.
Thoughts? Don’t make it a short post.
Personally, I think it’s up to the strongest climbers to decide, but I also see these opinions as heavily clouded by ego and interest in sponsorship dollars.. I don’t really understand why there is such a rush to tag the V16 grade on everything that “feels hard”. I don’t really feel like V14 has been consolidated and it is nonsense to suggest that simply by calling something V16 anyone is progressing the sport. By tacking on big numbers, I think often times these climbers are taking the short term glory, but will be hurt in the long run when other climbers do their climbs quickly and downgrade them. The sport is progressed, in my opinion, by climbers like Fred Nicole and David Graham, who develop new areas like Switzerland, Hueco and South Africa. They have left lasting contributions to the community.
I seem to go back forth, between A) thinking things should be really hard, that the best climbers are probably in reality climbing V14 or so and B) thinking that I am being stubborn and should be more open to things being harder. But Paul and Daniel were adamant that Suspension was V14 and two very quick repeats confirm that it is probably V13. This demonstrates that often times just because something feels hard to you, and that it took you a long time to do, does not mean that it is necessarily so hard. Sometimes V8 is really hard for the best climbers, and that is okay. There seems to be a real failure (generally) on the part of many of the best climbers to acknowledge this, as bigger numbers equal more attention and more sponsorship dollars. I think 8a has a big part in this, as do personal blogs. One of the things I have set out to do is to offer up some hopefully constructive criticism or at very least encourage discussion. If the top climbers are going to put themselves out there then I think they should be prepared to hear opposing viewpoints. I tend to shy away from giving my own personal opinions outright, although many who follow this blog try and read between the lines. Maybe those things are there, maybe they are not, but I would prefer things to remain ineffable.
I’m not sure why TSOTW can’t simply be a hard V15. Anyways, just some thoughts off the top of my head.
+1 Jemerson. Completely agree.
its funny how the new v16 craze is beginning to kick in. I personally feel that there are not enough v15’s to have multiple v16s (and some of these v15’s are considered soft by some burly ass climbers). Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson are amazing climbers and i have no reason to doubt their grading judgments of v16, but to upgrade something (like TSOTW) to essentially the hardest grade in the world sounds a little crazy to me . I am interested in seeing how many more suggested v16’s there will be by the end of the fall season. Also congrats to dai on the awesome send!
Just to clarify, I don’t think Dai ever commented on the grade for TSOTW on his blog. He mentions in his earlier blog entries something along the lines of “DG did the FA, grading it 8C…but it appears that it has been upgraded to 8C+”. He doesn’t say who upgrade it or when, but i don’t think he made any personal comments on the grade even after the ascent. It is entirely possible that someone actually spoke to Dai and got a comment about the upgrade, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest this.
It seems like Dai is right at home on steep, powerful lines. Someone needs to buy him a ticket to Colorado to try a certain problem in Boulder Canyon…
big poppa chossflail
it’s good to see dai back in the american climbing news… i really enjoyed that old video he was in… seemed like a chill strongmo.
re: grades: it would be best if everyone used this *simple formula* for determining grades, without needing to get into grade debates.
take suggested grade, and:
1. subtract one v-grade if it has been climbed less than twice;
2. subtract another v-grade if it was FAd in the last five years;
3. add a v-grade if it has been tried but not climbed by at least 3 climbers capable of the given grade within 3 sessions.
4. add 10 v-grades if it involves dihedral moves of any kind
5. subtract 2 v-grades if the crux involves a heel hook
6. add 3 v-grades if the crux involves a dyno
7. subtract 1 v-grade if emerson has done it
8. subtract 3 v-grades if brian camp has done it
9. add 1 v-grade if capps has done it, but not emerson
10. add 5 v-grades if lemaire FAd it and if it involves slab moves above 12ft
11. divide by zero if the climb is at castlewood or morrison.
with this easy to use formula, you will never have to speculate as to the grade of a boulder problem again.
i suggest condensing this into an excel spreadsheet or creating an “app” for it.
you can’t lose.
14. May, 2010
@allmeat I think you are correct. Perhaps the media is, in this case, really driving things forward. It would be awesome to hear from Dai. Regardless a very impressive ascent on his part.
amazing how people act arround numbers like v15&16 like that woud be a holy grail: dont touch it, you coud die… (- or live forever 😉 that discussions about HIGHEND grades we had in euroland in the not so far past (some 40years ago) when the climbing-diffiulty-scale (routes) was closed at french 6a!!! a LOT (most) of people truly belived that NO human beeing coud (EVER!!!) climb harder then 6a!!! not so long ago very important scientists did not belive that a human body coud go faster then 50km/h – so faster trains were subject to very close investigations…
all that is just ridicoulous from our point of view (2010), but was (dead) serious, cutting edge science at its time…
so its just funny see people writing stuff like;
“there are not enough v15 yet to come to v16”. or stuff like: “even v14 is not yet settled” – hahaha, v13/14 is just a better wurm up for the really strong guys today – WAKE UP.
practice of the wild for example (v15confirmed) was climbed in 2004 – does anybody seriously belive that our sport has not (heavily) progressed in between???!!! its still a young sport, proper training-gyms and activly used trainingknowledge just started some years ago and there is HUGE progress everywhere. we are far from the END. if you see people like adam climb v14/15 (dreamtime after brake) in just a few minutes you get a glimps whats possible in future. and just wait for climbing gets olympic and (for exemple) the chinese start to REALLY train – they will do v15 for wurmup!!!
open your mind and dont forget that grades are highly subjective and you will NEVER find a problem climbed by 100people getting 100identic grades. so we will never get THE grade. and please stop that silly: we take the lowest grade proposed. thats as stupid as to take the highest!!!because then dreamtime for example shoud have had been downgraded allready in 2005 to 8a+ (cause there was a guy which climbed it and felt this way) …
but on the other hand: may we just close that f*** scale at v14. but that will not stop people from climbing amazing and hard stuff that seems impossible today…
@B3 Thanks for your opinion on TSOTW Jamie.
Koyamada-san’s recent activity has got me thinking of a new post you should tackle:
Most Successful climbing Trip:
Dai has killed it in just a few weeks. Has there ever been a better few weeks of climbing trip ever? Ty in Font? Dave in Hueco?
What have been the most successful trips ever?
It seams that both the media and sponsorship drive high numbers. The climbing news is like any other form of media in the idea that it is based on what sells. Something sensational if not a bit exaggerated is better money, more people viewing it, than shooting low with a story. The newer, stronger generation may not even notice the media influence because it has always been there as they have become leading climbers. For us older climbers, those who started when bouldering didn’t even have pads yet, the media seams a bit more influential than necessary.
As for the influence of sponsorship, you see many sports that have been brought to a different level because of it. Both good and bad. Sponsors market athletes for a single reason and that is to grow their company. Climbing is a business like any other business. It exposes more people to our sport/activity and thus brings in the possibility of more gifted athletes that will progress our sport, but also influences those athletes. Just look at the struggles of surfing for a sport/activity that has been almost marketed to death and may now be coming back from the brink.
The one thing that worries me in the great grade debate is the basis of a higher rating being put on a single problem that is based on just another single problem or maybe two problems. It would be smart to base the next level on a foundation of harder lines than to compare problem to problem. I think Dai has a pretty good foundation for basing his judgment of a grade. His experience on hard lines has been debatable at times, involving down grades of FAs, but it has also shown his quick work of very hard problems and Dai usually taking the lower grade. Would love to know what he thinks!
While I am no way qualified to comment on this issue, I am going to do so anyway. What really strikes me about the discussion of high-end grading is how familiar it all seems. With regard to the breadth of a grade (that is, the range of difficulty which it encompasses), it bears noting that climbers have been reluctant to step into the realm of virtually every new grade and, as such, have ludicrously deflated the ratings on climbs that were close to the limits of the time. Any ancient 5.8 in the Gunks, 5.9+ in Yosemite, or old .13D in Rifle can demonstrate this trend. While V15 may be near the bleeding edge of the current generation’s abilities, I don’t think that we should concern ourselves overly much with trying to find the perfect measure for such grades just yet. Time will inevitably give the proper perspective on the weight of this generation’s accomplishments. In the meantime, I think we should try to avoid compressing grades until we find ourselves calling Terre de Sienne V14.a and TSoTW V14.d.
Grading is silly enough as it is.
@ martin: No one is suggesting that these new climbs aren’t harder than the older v14/15’s, which it seems you’re suggesting is the case. The question Jamie and others are asking is, are all of these new climbs so much harder as to warrant a new grade. Some people think that grades are getting watered down and are losing their meaning, that’s all. No one is suggesting that TSOTW or The Game aren’t contenders for the hardest piece of rock ever climbed.
In other news, there is a hole in floor of the Caribbean spewing oil into a delicate ecosystem…
15. May, 2010
every climb is going to feel easier and or harder to someone else. take for example dyno direct despondency (3d); the climb is v16/17 for Deborah Jenness , and v4+ for me.
nevermind, that second part is wrong.. debbie cant do it…so she has no say in the matter. lol, matter
26. May, 2010
@B3: I think Pauls recently hurt his ankle attempting Suspension, so (I may be worng) I don’t think he has completed the problem yet. I would think Paul could knock off a V13 fairly quickly.
Untitled from Jamie Emerson on Vimeo.
Cage Free from Jamie Emerson.
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