Entlinge Flash Daniel Woods V15 and other musings

Posted on 13. Jun, 2012 by in News

Here is the uncut footage of Daniel Woods flashing Entlinge V14 or V15, or B3 as it were. Entlinge is in Murgtal, CH and was put up by Fred Nicole. Daniel’s ascent stands as the hardest boulder flash to date, and an outstanding effort on his part. Here is the video:

This video provides a good segue to a tangential topic I’ve been wanting to discuss for a bit.
In 2007 I had this to say in an interview with Climbing Magazine, which ties in nicely:

Jamie Emerson is not strong. Explain why this statement is true/false.
I wouldn’t consider myself a strong climber. I think America is far behind the world standard — myself included. I feel like the attitude in America, right now, is that V12s and V13s are hard boulder problems. I think it is really nothing to climb a problem of that grade! And I am not talking about some newly established, over-graded sit start. I am talking about things like Nagual, No More Greener Grass, Spectre, etc. We should really be talking about flashing these problems. The strongest climbers in the world are establishing problems that are truly in the V15 — or even V16 — range. These problems are hard. I tend to think that most Americans haven’t heard of problems like Entlinge, Practice of the Wild, Madiba, Hydrangea, or The Story of Two Worlds. It seems like these problems represent the cutting edge, or what Gill would call B3 [B3 represents a boulder problem capable of being climbed by one person, and represents the highest of difficulty standards].

Followed by:
Who is a climber we should watch out for?
Again, I think Daniel Woods is really about to take things to another level. I climb with him three days a week in a small gym in Boulder called CATS, and it is really incredible what he does on a nightly basis. He has done almost every V14 in America. I am certain that if he stays motivated, he will climb the hardest problems in the world, in the next few years. It is really inspiring to watch him climb. He has so much power!

However right I was in predicting what would come of Daniel, I was just as wrong with the claim presented in this post. While these are predictions and not necessarily claims, it brings up an interesting point, one I have touched on several times in the past, when I have found inconsistencies in what climbers say online and what happens in real life.

As the internet continues to grow, and the volume of blogs, quotes, and information accumulates, will climbers be held accountable for what they say? Does it matter if they say it took them 20 minutes to do Dreamtime when it was really 45? Or that they “onsighted” a route they rappelled down to put ticks on? Will the never-ending cycle of news just continually replace yesterdays inconsistencies? Does it even matter? If no one seems concerned or cares, does this open the flood gates to ethical inconsistency? Or with more cameras rolling more of the time, will that become the standard? (A few years ago when I presented the idea of uncut footage it was scoffed at, and it seems to now be more and more of a standard for hard ascents, Daniel’s flash of Entlinge not being the exception) And if none of it matters, what does that say about how much importance we should place on what IS said on the internet (this blog included)? Thoughts?

8 Responses to “Entlinge Flash Daniel Woods V15 and other musings”

  1. sidepull

    14. Jun, 2012

    I might be alone in thinking this, but your post reminded me of the exchange between Bil Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell on grantland.com regarding how the immediacy and abundance of information has impacted how we judge others (see here: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8016432/page/2/watching-world-turn-upside-era-constant-information):

    GLADWELL: Let’s not forget J. Edgar Hoover. By day he persecuted people for being gay. By night, he went home to his male “companion” and dressed up in women’s clothing. I’m guessing that today someone spots him in the changing room at Talbots trying on something in taffeta, and Instagrams that. It’s a lot harder to be a hypocrite in 2012 than in 1960 — and that’s a good thing.

    SIMMONS: You’re baiting me into a joke that would infuriate every Republican reader. I’m not biting.

    GLADWELL: My problem, though, is that we’ve moved past exposing hypocrisy to exposing ordinary imperfection. So John Edwards had an affair and didn’t want to tell the world about it. Yes, that’s pretty lousy behavior. But does that really justify the Justice Department spending years and years going after him? And do we really have to shake our heads in dismay as if someone lying about an affair has never happened before? Same with Roger Clemens. So he allegedly used steroids and then allegedly lied about it. It’s not like he was spying for the Soviet Union. He was embarrassed and bullheaded and had a terrible lawyer and got worried about his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame — which makes him as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us. And by the way, who — outside of his mother — even for a moment believed him when he said he’d never used steroids? For crying out loud, he went 18-4, with a 2.98 ERA at the age of 42.

    SIMMONS: For the record, I support anything that leads to the words “Roger Clemens trial.” But keep going.

    GLADWELL: It strikes me that we have to make a decision. One option is to judge behavior harshly. But that requires that we respect privacy. In other words, we can frown on gambling only so long as we permit the Michael Jordans of this world to go to Vegas every now and again and gamble in peace. The second option is to take away all privacy — to tweet every public sighting, to comb through trash and to dissect every utterance on the Internet. But that means we have to be a lot more forgiving about human frailty. If we want to tweet “Jordan is down $500,000 at the Bellagio,” we have to agree that if an adult worth hundreds of millions of dollars wants to spend his money foolishly placing bets in Vegas that’s no better or worse than an adult with millions of dollars foolishly spending his money on private jets or Ferraris or subprime mortgage bonds. Take your pick. I’m for option two. I’m happy to know that Roger Clemens and John Edwards lied. But having learned that fact, I couldn’t care less. The Justice Department has now spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing fruitless legal cases against those two guys. Can I please have my money spent on something that actually matters?

  2. B3

    14. Jun, 2012

    Unfortunately the video has been taken down, but the discussion should remain. Interesting post sidepull.

  3. Matt

    14. Jun, 2012

    In regards to your first question “As the internet continues to grow, and the volume of blogs, quotes, and information accumulates, will climbers be held accountable for what they say? Does it matter if they say it took them 20 minutes to do Dreamtime when it was really 45” I think to an extent, knowing how long it took a climber at the cutting edge to send or repeat a problem gives an idea of the progress they made. Where a fault lies with this though is when the actual time is wrong or they use time as “the” determining factor for a grade.

    In general, the inconsistencies that exist in climbing are just an extension of its subjective nature. You mentioned in a response on your last blog entry regarding Dai and TSOTW that given an inch, people will take a mile. Personally, I don’t care if someone marks something as an onsight or flash if they ticked the holds or felt up the route or had some crazy beta. I care about benchmarks being pushed. Sure, flashing a v15 is pushing a benchmark, but when people go all up in arms about Ondra “onsight/flashing/redpointing a 9a, it’s a tad ridiculous (the fact that they can’t just let it be and have to dissect the climb down or on other ascents say “O, you touched the third hold before starting and called it an onsight”). But that is the community and that is the internet. One thing I’ve learned is that, no matter what, someone, somewhere will complain on the internet. You could say 2+2=4 and at least one person will disagree.

    You mention uncut footage and media pressing on and replacing the inconsistencies of yesterday with something more pressing today. To that I say, is someones word worthless in the days of media saturation? Not even 10 years ago, news traveled by word of mouth and nothing was ever questioned. It seems today, if someone doesn’t have footage of their V13+, it never happened (or may as well not have because people won’t remember it happened.) There are “boulders of the month” in colorado that get sent and suddenly 17 videos are found on youtube of different people sending it. I remember a friend of mine posting on facebook “Thinking about climbing Memory is Parallax and filming it so that there will finally be some footage.” To which the response was “FVA (First videoless ascent)” A week later, the next boulder of the month (I guess week) replaced Memory is Parallax and we moved on.

    I dunno, I probably got off topic since it is rather late for me at the moment, but in closing, can we get back to strong climbers sending hard stuff without worrying about silly things like which crystals did the first ascensionist use compared to the repeater to validate the ascent? (Nothing against your last topic of discussion, but some people twist misunderstandings into the end of the world and I think that is a perfect example of that happening.)

  4. jf

    14. Jun, 2012

    Well I just came because I was going to add my 2 cents to the “15 minutes, 45 minutes, 10 tries” etc. debate. I put these type of things on my scorecard when I do problems that are “hard” for me – but mostly so I can look back and know what speed I was climbing that grade at, as a total generalization. It helps me understand how fast I can climb problems of a certain style, or in a certain area. That makes it easier to know whether or not you’re progressing.. doesn’t have to be an ego thing.

    But now I feel obliged to reinforce what sidepull is saying. Too much information is not always a good thing. In our society, it used to be if you wanted to learn about something (or someone) you had to figure out where that information was, work really hard to find it.. dig through books, call people, meet people, find information. Now the opposite is true: information flies at you from every angle about every topic, and the valuable skill is knowing what to use and what to disregard as irrelevant. I think our generation is in the middle where we’re not entirely good at either technique yet… and climbing is young enough that we don’t have the research to look at a piece of information about an ascent and say “well, this affects the relevance or meaningfulness of this ascent.” Who knows what affects what? Just record as much information as you can, and maybe 20 years from now we’ll all know what the hell is going on.

  5. ian

    15. Jun, 2012

    I think v10+ problems will always be considered hard. Above that very hard. Not being a dick. Not too many folks climb that hard.

  6. Aaron S

    15. Jun, 2012

    Jaime, I’ve always identified very much with the “I am not strong” sentiment and think it is an appropriate way to view oneself regardless of the grade climbed (perhaps excepting 8C . . . at that point you kinda gotta give in). It’s so much about self motivation . . . knowing we have so much potential to attain drives us to want more and push harder.

    On the flip side, if you climb v12/v13 you’re certainly a strong person and an accomplished athlete. At that point you’ve dedicated a solid chunk of your existence to figuring out how to condition, how to advance yourself physically. V12/13 certainly isn’t the top of the climbing world, but in my mind it’s comparable to say, a Dvision I college athlete. There is a definite gap between the pro and the college basketball player, but if you ever try to ball with one you’ll know they are still really effing good.

    I’ve found embracing both perspectives makes me happy and motivated. Trying to tread lightly and keep making my (sending) stick bigger and bigger.

  7. Peter Thomas HIll

    17. Jun, 2012

    Great perspective Aaron. I think that’s right on.

  8. Michael Rathke

    19. Jun, 2012

    The way a man thinks so is he…

    I like what Jamie told me when I thought other people were being coarse on this message board-
    “I like to let people speak their mind”

    No human can take on all the problems of this world
    therefore we are all weak, always and forever.

    We can find strength in others and in the Lord, but besides that we are all weak.

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