Retro ratings at Mission Gorge, San Diego

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gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Original Post - May 23, 2010 - 02:26am PT
I climbed at Mission Gorge for the first time in 20 years today, and other than the hundred or so new bolts (love it) not much has changed. The climbing is just how i remembered it - inobvious sequences and inadequate holds on greasy, polished rock. Everything slopes the wrong way, feet skate around and there arent many positive holds. 5.9 can feel like 5.11 your first time there, but after you get used to the climbing the ratings fall in place. Some of the climbs are almost 50 years old and have been climbed thousands of times without anybody complaing about the ratings. None of the top climbers who have climbed at the gorge (Robbins, Gill, Chouinard, Forrest, Donini, Long, Accomazo and lots more) had a problem with the ratings.

Nonetheless, recent guides have assigned new ratings to routes that are older than their mother, and not a few climbs either - lots have been retro rated. Written by people with no standing in the local climbing community, no apparent connection to the gorge, and a dilusional sense of self importance, these guides are have taken presumption to a new level.

No justification is offered for the changes. I guess if the author thought a route felt harder than its rating, then his exhalted status as guidebook author gave him the right to uprate it. I could go on and on about presumptuous arrogant fools, but i might not stop so i wont go there.

Im getting pretty mellow in my old age and will be content to call the guidebooks trash, and excoriate the authors in a public forum and let it go. My personal opinion of the aforementioned authors is that they are obviously failed abortions and should be poster children for the pro euthanasia movement, who had their psyche shattered because mommy f ucked up their potty training, and are making a pathetic attempt to generate some self esteem by producing a "guide" that is nothing more than a xerox copy of other peoples work with alot of the ratings changed. See? I can be nice too.

The Owl, easiest 5.6 at the gorge is now 5.8+ (watever that is). The 5.6 classic, skyline arete, is now 5.8. The stairs, a 5.3 that most people solo in tennis shoes or flip flops has the important new rating of 5.5. The chimney was 5.0, now 5.2 (theres a difference?). The trapeze, a two move 5.10D, is now 5.12A. and on and on. Thank god these men of knowledge came along and saved us from our own ineptitude.

I hope i didnt come off as bitter....

Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
May 23, 2010 - 03:30am PT
Jeebus Ron!! Trapeze, 5.12a??? God I guess they's a gonna have to uprate this 'un too!! Cheers brother, good we got to live it when it was real...

MP teenaging his way up to the legendary "Rectum Roof"...Modern 5.11c...
edit: photo courtesy of my brother Alan Nelson, 1975
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2010 - 04:25am PT
"modern 5.11c" but rectum roof was 5.10b back when we were climbing it. Ive led it 3 or 4 times and it never seemed any harder than 10b to me. These guidebook geeks need eat their wheaties or somethin.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 23, 2010 - 04:41am PT
Who suggested rectum roof was "modern" 5.11c? and what guide/guide book authors are you talking about? This guide says 5.10b/c, which is close to the grade you suggest.

http://members.cox.net/stuff17/sandiego_rock.pdf

And as for trapeze, I think you are mistaken. It is a roof climb, not a 2 move 5.10D. Its a hard, hard climb (For me at least). I've fallen many, many times trying to pull that roof. Maybe not 5.12a but probably 11C/D.

I'm guessing that the names might have changed or have been switched over the years.
Cracko

Trad climber
Quartz Hill, California
May 23, 2010 - 11:21am PT
Gonamok,

I'm dying to know if "The Ramp" has been upgraded. This was my first significant lead back in the early 70's; done with goldline, Super Galibier boots, and a motorcycle helmet!! Skyline cannot be 8+ if The Ramp is 5.7 !! Then again, all that upgrading could do wonders for my status as "hardman" !!!


Cracko
JeffJ

climber
May 23, 2010 - 11:57am PT
Ron
I generally agree with your rantings, but since you admittedly haven't been there for years here is an update.

The Owl- several years ago (8-10?) a 6 ft long 2000lb block fell out of the Owl's start. The start is now overhanging and a legitimate 5.8+.

Trapeeze - very height and ape index dependent. might be 5.10d for a very select few.

Skyline Arete - the bolted face is 5.6 but the overhanging gear start from the right has 2 moves of legitimate 5.8 (harder than any move on the Ramp).

Rants over 5.2 and 5.3 - I can't tell the difference between 5.0 and 5.5 so don't care.

The biggest issue in ratings creep is that its almost entirely in crack climbs. Many face climbs tend to get down rated locally. Uncertainty Principle (Woodson) used to be 5.11d now its 5.11b. Defintely a gym climber thing.
Fogarty

climber
BITD
May 23, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
I remember a route called the KNOB, I was in the 8th grade my brother Joe made me leed it, it is short with a mantel of the Knob I was happy not to fall, what is this rated now?
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 01:33am PT
MP was joking about "modern 11C". As for The Trapeze, it was originally rated 5.10D then uprated to 5.11A around 1980 by consensus. I called it 5.10D instead of the true rating of 5.11A to make it a better rant. Ive climbed all of the free routes at Mission Gorge so many times i quit counting. Trapeze in particular ive climbed at least a dozen times, and i dont think its any harder than 5.11A unless you botch the sequence, which is easy to do.

Trapeze is not a roof climb because it involves no horizontal climbing. You undercling out to decent feet and lieback through the overhang. If you cant figure out the best sequence it doesnt mean you get to change a rating thats been accepted for decades.

On 5.3 vs. 5.5 youre right, it makes no difference, so why change it.

These people need to get stronger and learn to climb better instead of changing ratings.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 01:40am PT
The ramp is still 5.7 on paper, and skyline arete is still 5.6 despite what is on paper. And wtf is 5.8+ ? Is there so much room between 8 and 9? That says alot about the author. Am i supposed take someone who publishes a rating of 5.8+ seriously? And the chimney is 5.0+, not 5.2.

The issue isnt the accuracy of ratings, that will always be controversial. Difficulty comes in many shapes and sizes, and so do people. Who am I to tell someone how easy or hard a climb is for them? The first ammendment guarantees freedom of rating. This does not apply to published material.

Mission Gorge has 50 years of climbing tradition. What kind of fool would publish changes to long standing and long accepted ratings, without justification or explanation? Apparently one who doesnt understand the concept of credibility, without which a "guide" becomes "trash".

And thanks for the info on the owl, jeff. I stand corrected.

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
May 24, 2010 - 02:00am PT
This is what the taco was built for.

Direct slandering shall ensue in >7 posts.

Mucci
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 02:22am PT
live by the taco, die by the taco...

I AM the tyranny of evil tacos
but Im trying...Im trying REAL hard to be the shepherd
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
May 24, 2010 - 04:01am PT
Hey Ron,

I've always wanted to know more behind the cover photo of the "Scumbag Digest", ie; who the climber is on the Trapeze and the story behind it and the digest itself. Can you share that with us? My Blackberry won't let me post the classic picture of this.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
May 24, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
Yeah I was just making a joke about the apparent "Grade Creep" there...:) Yeah I as well have climbed every free route there and first did Trapeze at age 15 right after Kenny Cook first put it up in like'75 or something and he was the first one to call it .10D. I wonder what they call our route, "Aqualunge?" Done in '76, it felt way harder than Trapeze...
apogee

climber
May 24, 2010 - 01:46pm PT
"And wtf is 5.8+ ?"

It's a weeeee bit harder than 5.7+

i.e. the original rating of Coffin Nail, Tahquitz.

5.7+ (or 5.8+, or 5.10+, etc.) means it is 5.7 plus a move harder than that which could be of almost any difficulty. Think of it as a 'bonus-pack': for the price of a 5.8, you get something more!
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 24, 2010 - 02:00pm PT
My first lead ever was on Galwas Crack with a set of hexes. Cams and nuts were plenty available in 1993, but I couldn't afford them. The mud caked onto the face and cracks made it hard for me, but I didn't fall. Got locked inside the park gates a few times when I couldn't get down fast enough after the ranger's last call.

What is the rating of Galwas Crack today? My SoCal Select guidebook called it 5.9.
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
May 24, 2010 - 05:42pm PT
Hey nutjob,...the "mud splattered on the face" leads me to picture the left of those two cracks (facing the wall), the right being Nutcracker. Is this what you recall as well? For I'm being told that its the other way around. "Hexes" also confirms my assumption for the other accepts nuts.
kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
May 24, 2010 - 05:58pm PT
Um 5.8+ is what someone with a small sac calls old school 5.6.

Demos is 5.8 according to the Roper guide!

kev
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
May 24, 2010 - 06:04pm PT
Speaking of rating "creep"...I always called General Dynamics 5.10c and have ben back on it twice since 2007 and can't seem to repeat it! Am I that fat now or was I that much better twenty five years ago? Then again, it is now rated 5.11 which seems to explain why I'm having a difficult time on it now. I'm going to lean more on the former than the latter.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 07:46pm PT
apogee, thank you for you excellent answer! Your powers of deduction are formidable, and your mathematics are right on the money. And had that been a literal question i would have awarded you a gold star.

It was however, a rhetorical question, which means that i didnt really want the answer (which I secretly already knew), i wanted to trick people into thinking about in their own head. If they think hard enough they should eventually realize that 5.8+ worked better back when 5.8 was the highest rating and dinosaurs roamed the earth, and since this was their own idea they will believe it better than if I yell it at em.

Nowadays we call climbs harder than 5.8 "5.9", and climb that are easier than 5.8 are: (circle the correct answer)
a) 5.8-
b) 5.7+
c) 5.7
d) all of the above
e) none of the above
f) some of the above

If you guessed "c" you are correct! Go out and write yourself a guidebook, the world is waitin

gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 08:03pm PT
Fredrick, watusi (michael paul) was a member of that scumbag posse and could tell you better than I. Watusi was in on the FA of general dynamics, along with galen kirkwood and bob van belle. Me and watusi did the second ascent the next day and a week later I placed two bolts and did the first lead. The original rating was 5.10D i think, but 5.11A is fair. Ive never heard it called 5.10c.

Watusi: If we support the 5.12 rating for trapeze it means we were 5.12 climbers back in the 70's, which means we were some of the best climbers of that era! Seriously, did we have every route there ruthlessly wired or what. I remember we ran 3 or 4 laps on trapeze at the end of one day.

The wasp, obverse from the gap, mission impossible and unnatural act were the hard ones. I dont think we put trapeze on that list.

on 5.8+, 5.9+ etc... Those ratings were at the top of the scale when they were assigned. Plus ratings were never intended to be part of the scale. Lets say you climbed back when 5.8 was the top rating. If you have climbed lots of 5.8's and your new route is harder than all of them you are going to rate it 5.8+. Regular Joes didnt bust out the ratings back then, only people like royal robbins did. Once 5.9 had been established, your 5.8+ would eventually become either 8 or 9. A few routes kept their plus after ratings passed them by and stand as an anomaly for awhile, but all eventually get standardized. The advent of letter grades pretty much killed plus ratings.

Summary. The plus rating was used for climbs at the top of the scale. Somebody who rates a climb 5.8+ when 5.15 is the top grade is clueless and has no business writing a guidebook.
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
May 24, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
Hey Ron, when you sent that ol'timey shot of me on General Dynamics from like '77 or somethin' did I show you the restored photoshop version that I did?

gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 09:01pm PT
Cool Mike! That was actually the 2nd ascent. For some reason i thought i was in on the FA (is that bad or what), then i looked at my own 1980 mission gorge guide and ...oops. Aging sucks
apogee

climber
May 24, 2010 - 09:17pm PT
Ron, I know it was rhetorical. Just havin' a bit of fun- a buddy of mine & I were discussing the humor of the '+' grade the other day and how open-ended it is, no matter what it's attached to.
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 24, 2010 - 09:32pm PT
Fredrick, I do recall two 5.9 cracks right next to each other and did them both, but that's pushing the bounds of my memory banks. I was pretty new then... had only done a few topropes outside. My "mentor" took me to toprope a 5.10c faceclimb on my first outing (Magnolia? or somewhere near there), which seemed like pulling down on razor blades. And we rapped off a rounded rock that left me hanging in space supported by my brand new ATC. Kinda freaky, but good times.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2010 - 10:07pm PT
I know you know, and I KNOW you know i know. Its all good.

Nutjob, the left crack is the nutcracker, the right one is galwas crack. Both are rated 5.9 and protect well with nuts.
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
May 24, 2010 - 10:26pm PT
Scan of an Epi pic, Rock & Ice mid-80's. (I hope the copyright has expired!)

Nutcracker

Credit: BeeHay
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2010 - 12:24am PT
BHay gets a full page hero shot in R&I, bvb gets his pic on the cover of climbing magazine traversing a concrete wall in his underwear, so being the rootin tootinist chalk slingin local crag hero ever, as well as friend to retards and small animals, I should at least be on a poster, right?

No, i should have a teevee show, but all i got was a pic taken from under me where you cant see my face or bulging muscles, and all you can see is my bvd's directly up my shorts and a TR thats looks tight as a banjo string. Worst of all, its in bvb's article. This sh#t sucks
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
May 25, 2010 - 12:39am PT
Better to look good, than to be good...
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 25, 2010 - 12:56am PT
gaddamn, you sure chose a silly topic to b*tch about.


Ratings dont mean sh*t. I never understood how people get so worked up over it - THIS ROUTE IS SANDBAG, or THIS ONE IS SOFT!! Cmon son.

If climbing has told me anything, its to judge a route by the climbing on it, not the grade.
apogee

climber
May 25, 2010 - 02:40am PT
GDavis, has anyone ever told you that you look like Peter Ustinov? I saw an old movie with him in it last night and it reminded me of your avatar pic.

Sorry for the random post- no offense intended.
blr

climber
socal
May 25, 2010 - 02:46am PT
Wow GDavis, you're quite the negative nancy. I guess being an expert shoe salesman and climbing forum guru can take its toll on a person's sense of humor.
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
May 25, 2010 - 03:22am PT
Now, the confusion remains...that photo by Beehay titled: "Nutcracker" by Eppi, depicts the right of those two cracks, no? If so, this supports what I was originally told back in '81. Anyone?

Edit: After zoomin' in on the photo it looks to be the hand crack on the left.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 25, 2010 - 03:38am PT
Watusi: If we support the 5.12 rating for trapeze it means we were 5.12 climbers back in the 70's

ron, we did tons of 512's in the 70's. put down that crack pipe! stuff in josh, the valley, and elsewhere. throw 11+'s in there and the list gets really long.

when i did the third ascent of the trapeze (frank noble, fa tr, ken cook, 2nd ascent (lead) them me third ascent, on lead) i thought our consesnsus grade was 11c. and that was back in the fall of '76.

the gorge is a hard palce to climb at and ratings there have always been a bit sandbaggy. did the ramp last month and swear to god it felt like 5.10!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 25, 2010 - 03:42am PT


eppi's got that same shot of me only i ain't got no poofter rope and i was blazing on the deadly mda. good times!
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2010 - 04:14am PT
Dont call me "son" little man. Let me get this straight -

So I complained about a pertinent local issue (which is out of your realm, both comprehension and geographic)

and then you complained about my complaining, and you want to talk down to ME? You are obviously stupider than you look.

Why dont you go play with your barbies, creampuff I wasnt talking to you.

gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2010 - 04:35am PT
Oh yeah, TONS of 5.12s...sure, I remember that, me too. Probably about a million or so in 1979 alone (i woulda done more but i had a cold).

If Kenny rated Trapeze 5.11c why did his best buddy Werner rate it 5.10D in his guide? Its really not all that hard, but ive only TRd it. Leading it could add a letter grade or 2 for sure. I copied werners rating (5.10D) in my 1980 guide to the gorge, but ppl were already calling it 11A at that time. Its a short and brutal gruntster that will paddle you hard if you botch the sequence. Im sure its possible to make a 5.13 out of it if you thrash hard enough.


Only jezus knows and he aint talkin
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
May 26, 2010 - 12:49am PT
BVB you ignorant slut...

Epi never shot you, you pasty white beanpole. Buff, tan, construction workers were his stock in trade. (And secret fantasy!) The single piece of pro was for props. I will repeat for the feeble minded, "it is better to look good, than to be good".

As the caption says, it is indeed Nutcracker. Left crack, right facing. Right crack, left facing(Gallwas).


BH

mooser

Trad climber
seattle
May 26, 2010 - 01:00am PT
General Dynamics (late '70s?) - mooser leading, David Hersey w...
General Dynamics (late '70s?) - mooser leading, David Hersey w/hip/butt belay.
Credit: mooser
Russ S.

climber
Seattle, WA
May 26, 2010 - 01:02am PT
Mission Gorge, wow what a blast from the past. I'd done some mountaineering stuff but started rock climbing in the Gorge in '77. We had our own crew and though aware of the Scumbag group, had little interaction except M.P. squatted at the group house for awhile. Maybe more like fox in the hen house.... I only had a bouldering session on the pink boulder with him, thought I'd get totally schooled, but managed to hold my own on all but a couple of problems.

We had so many of the climbs wired - I thought I'd never forget those moves - now I can hardly remember the climbs. Pulled the old guides off the shelf - "Mission Gorge, A Climber's Guide" Landry, '73, $2.50, Scumbag Digest vol 1 issue 1, '76 and Free Climbs at Mission Gorge, Amick '80. Even thumbing through the guides not a lot is coming back. I vividly remember doing Skyline Arete in a torrent down pour, no problem - done it way too many times to sketch.

Later we "discovered" the Santee boulders. Had our own names for the problems, which was pretty funny when we hooked up with one of the "locals". He didn't like our names and we didn't like his - last time I went back it took me forever to find the place amongst the houses and school...
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
May 26, 2010 - 01:17am PT
Russ S. - I'm here in Seattle, too. Who are you?
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
May 26, 2010 - 08:39pm PT
Wow this sh#t is getting hot!!:) Nice shot of GD Mooser! Who is this GDavis guy that has poked his head in here? Has he done anything of note? Just wondering as I have never heard of him...
edit: Yeah BVB if we were soloing .11a in '75 in Roller Skates 'n sh#t we must have been also climbing some .12's eh Broheim?;)

illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 27, 2010 - 02:16am PT
The Trapeze (from rc.com)...

Credit: BVB Collection

"1975. We're hanging out down at the Ski Mart on Garnet Ave, where Largo works. There was a primitive bouldering wall carved into the brick wall upstairs. so we're hanging out there one night and JL is holding court. Me and my buddy Doug are talking to him about climbing and new routes and the life well-lived, and at one point -- I swear to God I'm not making this up -- he gets quiet, gazes off into space for a few moments, then murmurs as if to himself, "You gotta have vision, man. you gotta have vision." Me and my buddy were so starstruck we used that quote as the frontispiece to this horrific little supplement to the Mission Gorge guide that we hacked together a few months later, the immortal Scumbag Digest." Story by: BVB
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 27, 2010 - 02:21am PT
General Dynamics, 1992...

Credit: SWC Paramedic Class of '92
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 27, 2010 - 02:25am PT
Lilly's Delight, 1982...

Credit: Roger Barnes

My first harness and pair of EB's with leather uppers at twenty years old on Xmas Eve day.
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
May 27, 2010 - 02:31am PT
it could be worse.


it coulda been rated 5.8c+
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 27, 2010 - 02:33am PT
Misbegotten, 1976...

"Alan Nelson using a ground-down hook on a clean, hammerless, no-bolts...
"Alan Nelson using a ground-down hook on a clean, hammerless, no-bolts lead of the forgotten A5 test piece "Misbegotten" in 1976. You can forget "bounce-testing" gear on this obscure testpiece." - rc.com
Credit: pywiak collection
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 27, 2010 - 03:06am PT
Empathy, 1982...

Credit: Roger Barnes

A little story behind this one...This was on the same day as the previous photo of Lily's Delight when I was introduced to Mission Gorge by my mentor Roger Barnes and his visiting friend from Colorado, Pat Ament, who accompanied us. I recall swearing up this sandbag 5.9 when Mr. Ament chastised me from below, "Now, now, there'll be no cursing the rock!" as I looked down and noted that he was belaying me with the rope coiled around his right arm three times! " Uh, are you okay with that?" I pointed at the obvious concern in question. "I'm okay if you are!" he replies in his dry humor. I could swear Roger told me that Pat Ament wrote a book on climbing safety!
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
I shudder when I see those pics of early leads on General Dynamics. I made those hangers by hand drilling and filing pieces of 1/2" mild steel angle iron, then punched a 1/4" buttonhead bolt thru the hanger. After hours of hand drilling (pulverizing the rock into dust with a dull bit, as anyone who has hand drilled at the gorge will recall) I slammed those pups in and called it good.
I never thought it would get so popular. Thank god that homemade rig held up until it got replaced.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 28, 2010 - 12:49pm PT
GDavis is a good guy and I kinda understand where he's coming from. At this point, we are only talking about a single climb being retrograded, correct?

Gonamok, are you in SD? If you are, I'd love to go climb some of these routes.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
Hey Port, maybe GDavis is a good guy, but the world is full of good guys with lousy judgement. If you are gonna dish out random criticism you shouldnt be surprised when it is ill received. This being my only interaction with the tyke, i have to stand by my initial reaction, which was basically if youre gonna be a turd go lay in the yard.

My rant is against idiots who think that writing a guidebook gives them the authority to change ratings as they see fit. If a rating has stood for 20 or 30 years unchallenged you dont change it without a dam good reason. "Because I said so" doesnt qualify. And no, we are talking about dozens of routes which have been arbitrarily uprated.

I appreciate your offer, but Im not looking for new climbing partners. Its taken 35 years to break in the ones I have.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 28, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
I recounted that ascent of The Misbegotten in my eulogy to my good friend Alan Nelson. I watched the whole thing in awe. Karl Mueller was belaying. Where did you get that pic Gary?
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 29, 2010 - 02:01am PT
"pywiak" (don't know who that is) on rc.com submitted that photo Ron.



Ron, back on the subject of rating "creep"...

I was/am protective of the old school ratings as well for this is the spoon that fed me and was/still is the benchmark that I use to rate future problems/routes. Although, I'm starting to conceed that a consensus of a route rating is the most accurate. If (100) people do a historic 5.9 route and the modern consensus is 10b then, like it or not, it's probably more accurately a 10b. As you know, climbing is so subjective so getting a consensus averages out the subjectivity. What do you think?

Edit: I still think I Hear My Train A Comin' is 11c. Those sport climbers just need to hone their crack climbing skills! On the other hand, I feel California Night is easier than Jaws, go figure!

GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 29, 2010 - 02:17am PT
"If you are gonna dish out random criticism you shouldnt be surprised when it is ill received. "


Kind of like starting a thread bitching about... ratings at a crag? Pot... Kettle....


Never meant any offense homey, I call it as I see it. Its a silly thing to get worked up about, and I'd tell that to anyone.


And Watusi / BLR... cmon SON!



GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 29, 2010 - 02:20am PT
Apogee, that Peter Ustinov sure is one handsome son-of-a-bitch!

Reminds me of "the Most Interesting Man in the World"... stay thirsty friends!
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 29, 2010 - 02:27am PT
Yikes! I remember that first bolt being a quarter incher and all the rest of 'em, including the anchors as well, no?! That first one was eventually replaced with a mondo, brown, "eye-like" bolt for a while then redone with the hefty 3/8" that's there today.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 30, 2010 - 12:02am PT
GeeDavis its cool, we all git to have our say in the USA and especially on the web, and if you want to bitch about my bitching (theres the ol' pot n kettle deal for ya) thats what youre gonna do.

You prolly see yourself as a zorro figure amongst your fellow critics at large, whereas I see you as a bozo figure who is likely compensating for sagging self esteem by talking down to people he doesnt know.

Honestly, no offense intended. Condescending interlopers rarely make a good first impression.
ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
May 30, 2010 - 12:35am PT
This brings back memories ... " the Ramp " was one of my first leads in like '75 or so , so proud in my blue Robbins boots , a size too big but I got em cheap , goldline , 1" swami .... damn I was more badass than I thought.

I think I like that new guidebook
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
May 30, 2010 - 01:20am PT
If we support the 5.12 rating for trapeze it means we were 5.12 climbers back in the 70's, which means we were some of the best climbers of that era!

mid-70's,actually. i'll never forget how easy short circuit felt the first time i did it.

oh, how times change. the ramp is f*#king 5.10. 5.7? please. i did the ramp at the gorge and did shockley's at santee like three hours later. the ramp was desperate! if the ramp is 5.7 then shockley's lunge is 5.2,

the gorge is a f*#king feakshow of a climbing area. what a place to learn how to climb!

Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
May 30, 2010 - 06:12am PT
Hey just checkin' in on this one and GDavis...Callin' me son? Are you older than me? Am I missing something here? If so tell me how you know me, I could be mistaken...But I don't really know what blr is. If it's derogatory than F*#k yourself, if not, carry on...
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 30, 2010 - 03:03pm PT
Its ebonics for "cmon dude." Not derogatory.
gonamok

Trad climber
Dont look at me like that
Topic Author's Reply - May 31, 2010 - 08:20am PT
Gary, i basically agree with your post on consensus. Ratings vary with the individual, and the shorter the routes, the greater the flux will be. Ratings are little more than an indicator of the difficulty and they are pretty much inconsequential except when they are published.

Clarification for GDavis and other similarly comprehension challenged readers: THE SCOPE OF THIS THREAD IS LIMITED TO RATINGS THAT APPEAR IN PUBLISHED GUIDES ONLY.

A guidebook should document a climbing area based on faithful conveyance of historical information and report newer information in an objective and factual manner. The author has a responsibility to avoid bias and stay true to the published record. The hard work and achievements of those who put up the routes as well as those who wrote previous guides needs to be respected by succeeding guides. Using a guide to influence public opinion, rewrite history or serve the authors purpose is irresponsible and disreputable. Any changes made to the existing record must be noted as such, have good justification and be supportable.

In other words you dont change anything unless there is an overwhelming need. If that makes the climbs at mission gorge a little stiffer than at other areas, thats just the way it is. Wholesale adjustments to existing ratings by an author is arrogant, presumptuous and wrong. What is really pathetic about the mission gorge retro ratings is that they are the work of power drunk imbeciles with no sense of propriety. Almost everything was changed.

Changing a 5.0 to 5.2, how stupid does it get? The little Ceasar complex is on display here. "Im gonna change everything because I CAN, not because theres a need".

The people who published these changes are blithering a-holes with no regard for history. Its bullshi t and if you dont like me calling a weasel a weasel you can f uck off too.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 31, 2010 - 11:34am PT
gonamok,

You seem to be pulling no punches here. I live in SD, I roped up my first time ever at Mission Gorge over 40 years ago. Don't climb there lately, but I appreciate the Gorge's place in SD history.

Fill us in - you don't seem the type to beat around the bush -

who are these power drunk imbeciles with no sense of propriety of which you speak?
Russ S.

climber
Seattle, WA
May 31, 2010 - 12:02pm PT
Gonamok, as you say ratings are a consensus of the people who climb in a particular area. Could it be that the old guard has moved on (you said you hadn't climb there in over 20 years), so the new guidebook that has you so worked up is merely a consensus of today's active MG climbers, or at least the guidebook author's inner circle of climbing friends?

Step back and at least think about it before you flame me...

Btw, in the 2 old guide I have the chimney is 5.2/3rd class and 5.0, so there is precident for the 5.2 rating....
gonamok

Trad climber
Bite my azz
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2010 - 12:31am PT
No worries Russ, my flaming is always carefully targeted and fully earned. I appreciate your input and agree with what you say, there is a new guard climbing at the gorge, and their consensus is the only one that counts. Some of the new ratings are definately more appropriate, and if that was where it ended i wouldnt have a beef.

My problem is with the irresponsible or ignorant guidebook authors that have made dozens of unnecessary and in some cases plain stupid rating changes. And i agree that these authors probably call their little circle of friends a consensus. Bad is bad. Wrap a turd in pretty paper and its still gonna stink.
gonamok

Trad climber
Bite my azz
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2010 - 12:52am PT
Warbler, there have been at least 3 guides in the past 10 years, and im not clear on the chronology at this point, but it appears that "research" amounts to copying the previous guide and adding your own routes and ratings, so it just gets worse and worse. I dont have enough info right now to name any names or determine who started down this slippery slope.

Im disgusted with the whole culture of the "guidebook king" and the crap they have churned out to make a buck or publicize their routes.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:06am PT
Time for a gonamok guide to set those posers straight.
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:14am PT
C'mon Son's, post up some old or recent Gorge pics! How bout the free ascent of the Thumb?!
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:24am PT
Art Messier's guide (copy and paste this URL: http://bioinf.ucsd.edu/~sbandyop/mg_overview.pdf) has The Trapeze at 5.11c...didn't know of this guide.
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:39am PT
Much hilarity to be had on Your Lead, circa 1977 (mountainproject.com)...

Credit: Off White
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:41am PT
Omgoodness, I just realized what route that is...I've done that!
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:49am PT
Rectum Roof (mountainproject.com)...

Credit: Brent Coe
Fredrick

Social climber
Ocean City, NJ
Jun 1, 2010 - 01:51am PT
That's one cool photo!
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jun 1, 2010 - 02:12am PT
That Scumbag Digest cover photo of the Trapeze was Kenny Cook, might have been the first lead, I'm not sure. Galen Kirkwood took the photo & developed it at City College.

Seems to me that adding a plus to sub 5.10 routes is a nudge nudge wink wink kind of thing, that the route has traditionally been rated the lower grade, even though everyone knows it's harder. Sort of like Joshua Tree 5.9.

I always thought Gorge grades were fairly consistent to each other. What was the first up-rating that started this trend? Making Nutcracker 5.9 instead of 5.8? Calling Empathy 5.10b instead of 5.9? Art Messier bolting One Step Beyond, renaming it, and bumping it to 11a from 10c? Whatever, that place is the perfect small pond for each successive crew of locals. Its charming and lovable, but a humble backwater nonetheless. I got to spend part of a day there this spring, first time in a good decade, and it was a really great time.


back then


this year

Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jun 1, 2010 - 02:26am PT
Gonamuck said: My problem is with the irresponsible or ignorant guidebook authors

Well, I know you include me in that rank, seeing as how I dissed you in a guidebook 32 years ago, without even talking to you or getting the real skinny on what climbs you had been doing. I certainly had my share of irresponsible and ignorant, but what 19 year old doesn't? The earlier comment about possible limitations of a guidebook author's circle of friends seems true, it certainly never occurred to me to question information from one of my buddies. Admit it though, that nickname made you stronger, in a boy-named-sue kind of way, didn't it?

Anyway Ron, I'm sorry to have short shrifted you those many years ago with regards to your efforts at Deerhorn.
illusiondweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 1, 2010 - 02:38am PT
Love to hear and see the stories/pics from back before my time! I always felt that I was playing catch-up for I entered into the circle later than most of the kids back then, at 19! Thanks for the cool pictures and stories Off White. Post more if you have them!

Edit: What route is Bob on?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jun 1, 2010 - 02:44am PT
Really cool pics everyone. Thanks for posting.

Side note on adding the + rating to moderates:

I helped out a bit with the new Sedona guide. No ratings were changed in the new guide, but there were cases where things that were most definitely harder than you would expect for the number grade. We chose to respect the original ratings, but on a few occasions added the "+" basically as a warning that the rating is old school and not a whoosie modern sport-climbing feather pillow rating.
gonamok

Trad climber
Bite my azz
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2010 - 01:26am PT
Hey Doug, we have been ok on that issue forever, so dont beat yourself up because its no big deal. I thought your guide was great, i used it for years. And more to the point, it didnt inflate any of the existing ratings.

Thanks for adding your 2 cents to my little bonfire, lol. Your perspective tends to be down to earth and right on the money and its always welcome.

And yes, carrying the terrible weight of not getting credit for those routes at deerhorn for all these years has made me a better man.

Nice pics too.
gonamok

Trad climber
Bite my azz
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2010 - 02:08am PT
Warbler, i already wrote a guide to Mission Gorge. Ok, it was 30 years ago, but i knew the place and the people as well as anybody at that time. I didnt tamper with any ratings because i thought only the FA party had that right. Quaint, huh.

Anyway, Im too old, fat, weak and ugly to write a guide now. People just need to understand that you dont get to change whatever you want just because you are writing a guide.
bwancy1

Trad climber
Here
Jun 2, 2010 - 10:06am PT
In 20 years of climbing I have climbed once at MG. Great place!

I could not believe how hard 5.4 could be.
rich sims

Trad climber
co
Jun 2, 2010 - 10:48am PT
Ron
Its a brave new world
Well sometimes perhaps not so brave.
Be glad we were lucky to learn to climb where and when we did.
Rich
gonamok

Trad climber
Bite my azz
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
hey Rich! great to hear from you. congrats on your new grand daughter.

yah its a new world, but that dont mean i gotta like it, and if i dont like it, somebodys gonna hear about it (in other words, nothing has changed). Hope things are well with you and your family.

ron
ktmt

Sport climber
Montana
Jun 7, 2010 - 07:22pm PT
And what about that great shot of MP pulling Rectum Roof?? Maybe that was an 11c look of teenage terror!
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