Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Front Range Bouldering Index

Wasting time at CATS the other night, Olson and Paul R and I concocted the Front Range Boulder Index, based upon the popular stock market indexes like the Dow Jones or S&P 500. The idea is roughly like this--take the top 20 or so problems and generate a value for each, based upon the grade (which is variable), number of repeats (which can dilute value), reputation of repeaters (there was talk of the "Olson Effect"), speed of repetitions, and so on. The next step after calculating each problem's "value" is then to get the average by dividing the sum of values by 20. Thus at the end of say each month, you would get a number which "measured" the health of the bouldering scene.

It's an interesting idea as a new generation, obsessed with sponsorship and ranking thanks to, bouldering contests, etc., tries to find a way in which to make its mark. Perhaps such an index would ultimately highlight the futility of such a quest.

The other factor which is alien to me from my early climbing days is the emphasis on positive attitude in younger climbers. Brought up from an early age to believe that what they can do on climbs is actually important and praiseworthy, many young climbers can't understand skepticism. So don't worry if I poke a little fun at whether Jade is V15 or not:) In 20 years or so, those who may still be climbing might realize that it is just a game and should be taken occasionally with a grain or two of salt. Life goes on after the show...

And wishes for recovery of foot-ankle appendages for sock hands. Best luck with that.

1 comment:

sock hands said...

thanks for the good wishes!

next: i believe that the 'olson effect' should be a calculation involving the actual amount of time, in U.S. seconds, that a repeating climber is able to take during the send.

i.e. if a v11 is typically done in 23 seconds, yet olson was able to do it in 349 seconds, an arguement can be made that perhaps the holds are sticker for 4.0 student red heads, thereby reducing the grade to v4.0, unless it's a timed test, in which case olson gets a vF despite a lack of error.

my effect for moderates would be the amount of dabs divided by the amount of excuses given prior to the "sending burn" why the move is not possible for short people, which will always magically equate to the sum of v7.