Friday, August 24, 2007

Frontrange Climbing News and prediction

In the instant feedback environment of climbing today, news of Paul Robinson's ascent of Jade a supposed V15 in Upper Chaos spread fast. With it of course speculation about the grade of difficulty and Jamie Emerson has called it correctly in my opinion. What will be the next super project? I think for a problem to really hold its top level status today, it's going to have to be quite a bit more sustained and way less straightforward than Jade. The model for the future is a problem like Circadian Rhythm in the Poudre but longer and more abstract. The image below is from Climbing Magazine

Pulling on little crimpers, while I'm fond of it, is too straightforward a technique of climbing, almost like ice climbing so that the difficulty resides solely in angle, distance between holds, and their size, which for Paul or Daniel is almost irrelevant. The interesting question may be whether the trend is heading back towards routes, where linking sections of V13 or 14 between clips points to the future of hard climbing. After seeing Paul or Daniel easily flash V11 and 12 crimp ladders in the gym, it's clear that the search for difficulty has to take a different direction than thin crimps on a steep wall.

1 comment:

chuffer said...

Good take on the future Peter. Time will tell.