again, I say "LOL" there Steve. Clink is good people, and the reply is clearly directed at the fact that technical questions with serious conversation seem to end up on bigwalls.com and less so at the Taco.
Not impossible here, just bad signal to noise ratio.
To the OP, definitions are everything, and the definitions have changed over time. Today's bad ass climbers are reticent to ack that they have done A5 on new or old lines.
If this bums you out, Take Heart Laddie and YOU can be the First to do C5 in your group of friends!
Or C6, 200ft of hooking 500ft off the deck with the end of the of the rope clove hitched to opposing lieback hooks and duct taped to a portrait of Jim Beyer sorting pitons. It is required by definition on C6 that the duct tape be left at the "anchor" and not used for "security" on lead.
Seriously though, much respect to all hard aid leaders.
The only climb I did that was rated A5 at the time was the Swan Slab Traverse, in the early 1970's. I've never done anything harder than A4 on a wall, but Pete's description is spot on to what I felt. Adding to the fear was hearing someone below saying "You should only do that with a good snowbank on the ground. I saw Bridwell Crater, Robbins Crater, . . ." At the time, it was still mostly rurps, knifeblades, hooks and nests for 90 feet, on a traverse 60 feet off the ground. Instead of thinking "Well Bridwell made it, so it must go," I kept thinking "Is this the placement where Bridwell or Robbins took the big one?"
The truth of this speaks volumes to Deuce's point about the relative skill level of the leader. Can it be engineered in a such a way that the nest holds body weight, that the tipped out beak can hold without blowing out the placement, avoiding the chisel or chicken bolt, etc.
It's an art that could take years and years to master.
You need to deny feelings and just do it, regardless of the outcome.
It IS a game, isn't it?
And Johann E, by God, my hat's off to you on the Swannie Traverse. I just looked it up in the Roper Green and remember NOT wanting to go up there! EVER! I'm not that serious a game-player and it's just NOT FUN. The fun comes (I guess) when you get down and can talk about sweaty palms and sh!t stains.
And Ron, that's some run-out, dude, and t'hell with the rating!