Off-width: The Last Bastion of True Climbing

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 23, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
here's another

http://widefetish.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=750.msg7691;topicseen#msg7691

sorta makes The Warbler's point... but you still actually have to climb the climb... pro or no... and even if your belayer sees you as un objet d'art
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jul 24, 2012 - 09:56am PT
I didn't know there was a "number of attempts" minimum for a route to qualify for the grade... seems strange to me that such a notion would exist.
That's pretty much it. The number of tries for a particular person is a pretty solid indicator of difficulty and is mostly what is used to get consensus in sport climbing. Most hard sends are accompanied by the number of tries and/or days of work it took the person.

If you have a climber who sends an OW in just a few tries and calls it a grade they possibly can't even climb in any other realm, or can't in a similar number of tries, most are going to think it's pretty much BS.

The "special talent for OW" card is a f'n joke - as if other rock types and climbing styles don't have their own unique demands.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 24, 2012 - 10:25am PT
Agree with your premise, Peter -- the harder offwidths involve difficult moves, not merely endurance. I've fallen out of enough of them because of difficulty, not lack of endurance, to know that.


I intended my comment more toward my own early years in the Valley -- I could get up a 5.9 OW or chimney almost as soon as I started climbing in Yosemite, because I was fit and strong, but I struggled up even 5.7 face and friction moves, and was wondering why wide cracks seemed so much easier to me. I think it was because the wide cracks that I did were largely problems of endurance and patience (I often felt like I was making about 100 one-millimeter moves to get past tough sections. In truth, I still feel like that often!), rather than small holds.

Ironically, after four years of bouldering at Indian Rock (no small amount of which was spent watching in awe as you, Chris Vandiver and Ben Borson opened my already wide eyes to what good climbers could do), I got very confident in face and friction, but never improved in wide stuff. It was only after I left Berkeley that I got caught up in the siren song of the wyde.

John
roy

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
Jul 24, 2012 - 11:52am PT

Apologies for the cross-post, but there's hope for the future...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1886267/3-year-old-training-for-the-wide

Cheers, Roy
Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Jul 24, 2012 - 12:03pm PT
Will Cottrell told me once that there were a set of techniques that had to be mastered by extensive practice and humiliation to do off-widths well. I never had the patience to hang with it and learn them and after having the holy beejesus scared out of me on a couple of the hard man circuit offwidths in the Valley, I pursued face and friction which is more my thing. I have to respect thems that can do it well. It's a real mastery.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jul 24, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Not so sure I agree with the last bastion description either. I see it more like the last crack type I want to become proficient at.
I actually like wide cracks because they require such different technique than anything else, but yes, they are difficult.

The way I see it, if you're living in California (and a number of other places), if you don't become proficient at wide stuff, there are a lot of great routes you're not going to climb because there is a gap in your skills.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 24, 2012 - 12:27pm PT
if you don't become proficient at wide stuff, there are a lot of great routes you're not going to climb because there is a gap in your skills.

Yep. That's why I started focusing on them, the std "work your weakness" approach, and a few pants-filling episodes on classic long routes. Then figured out I actually like them...most of the time anyway.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 24, 2012 - 01:23pm PT
I have no idea at all how to climb offwidths. Try to get inside and squirm. If at all possible, layback. I remember flailing on the first pitch of DNB, a 5.7 flared chimney, which looked like the hardest pitch on the route. If there are techniques to learn, I didn't.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 24, 2012 - 01:59pm PT
Ed, ignore JLP, he's a troll that doesnt need to be fed. He keeps parroting that line about the ow ratings with with nothing to back it up. This has been pointed out to him and he remains myopic. I don't know of anyone rating an ow 5.13 that hadn't climbed other kinds of 5.13's. Maybe he's sulking about the britts, but like has been said, they have experience in that grade range. However the rating shakes out after more ascents, i'm sure it will be seen to be in the right ballpark. But there will always be people like him who don't let experience with something affect their incidence in rating it. Maybe it's simply projection.

To change gears, like someone up thread said. Not all hard ow s are enduro, some have distinct hard cruxes I'd describe Squat, The Owl, and Paisano that way.
Farouk

Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove
Jul 24, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
JLP = TROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is Killis the Buttpirate or something on the 'MProj. and a tool over there too!!!!!!!!!!!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 24, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
One thing is pretty clear - the days of run-out wide crack climbing are mostly over (unless of course you can't afford it). My own personal history includes many variations on 'A Boy and His Tube Chock'.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jul 24, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
I don't know of anyone rating an ow 5.13 that hadn't climbed other kinds of 5.13's.
Is this your best defense? I am talking about flashing them or redpointing in just a couple goes.

A 13 in just a few tries is a very rare thing, but seems commonplace in the OW world. I remain skeptical, to say the least.

I think the well known "hardman OW circuit" in Yosemite is pretty solid with considerable consensus - topping out around mid 12?
http://www.monsteroffwidth.com/climbing-misc/yosemiteoffwidths/YosemiteOffwidths.html

tarek

climber
berkeley
Jul 24, 2012 - 03:38pm PT
A 13 in just a few tries is a very rare thing

C'mon, you're going to have to do better than that.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jul 24, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
JLP = TROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is Killis the Buttpirate or something on the 'MProj. and a tool over there too!!!!!!!!!!!


Actually, he pulls the same anonymous butthole schtick over there under the same name.
ImplicitD

Trad climber
Boise
Jul 24, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
I do all OWs on a TR since I have a secret weapon OW ropegun... his name is Weeg.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 24, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
JLP's not trolling. I don't always agree with him (or her, as the case may be), but do think he's one of the more realistic and experienced voices on either here or MtnProj.

Is a strong opinion, forcefully stated, that you don't happen to agree with, what constitutes a troll these days? Really?

Prod

Trad climber
Jul 24, 2012 - 04:24pm PT
I do all OWs on a TR since I have a secret weapon OW ropegun... his name is Weeg.

So your the silent partner he is always bragging about.

Prod.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 24, 2012 - 04:58pm PT
Nah Will, he's trolling. He whines on this subject every few months. Has nothing to do with how he does or doesn't climb. Just the way he manifests himself online. My answer to Ed s question.
Like i said, Just ignore him and he fades away.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 24, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
Ed said:
One night drinking beers at the Fish compound Russ opined that his favorite OW was The Living Conjunction 5.11d at JT... pretty tiny grade there, but as he observed "it's smeared with the DNA of the best climbers of the day who couldn't touch it" what's that all about?

I done the thing, on top rope of course.
Or as we like to say: "I fokked the monster" or ... maybe it fokked me.
What that is all about = sandbag.

But not a sandbag in the classical sense. Just a ludicrous rating really.

Don't even remember any offwidth moves (maybe at the start?). Although it is an overhanging maw, the crux is a tricky double knee bar torso swinging maneuver (never doing that on the 5.11+ on-site lead), assisted by finger locks as I recall. Then some burly DNA scavenging wide hand jams through a very steep flare to gain the exit.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 24, 2012 - 05:28pm PT
Last bastion of true climbing?
Why, it's always been and will remain the pub.

Or Peter Haan whacking in pitons to protect an on-site free lead of Meatgrinder.
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