Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday at Flagstaff

It was a beautiful afternoon so the whole family went up to Flagstaff instead of the Spot. Such a refreshing experience to climb outside for a change. Sophia had a great time and Caolan realized she hadn't climbed outside in months!

Here is a little video of me taken by my wife Caolan, climbing yesterday at Flagstaff, doing a low start to RH Red Wall. This sequence would also be a good option for doing the Left to Right Red Wall Traverse. A few very crimpy moves to get out of the pod and then up RH Red Wall, possible V9 just for this section, but go try it!

Carlo Traversi was working on Trice and looking very strong with some trick toe hook beta to stay on the bad edge. I tried the problem and the pocket felt quite good. I also tried Hagan's Direct (proposed V10) and felt close on that also. So things are getting a little bit better with bouldering! Christian Griffith was there looking strong as ever with the usual herd of dogs. He may have logged his 1000th burn on the Undercling Traverse that evening.

We walked back to the car in the twilight and realized that one of the things you can miss about climbing is not just the climbing but the rituals that go around it. For me coming back from the cliff at dusk is a really special experience. You are meditating on the day, walking through the trees and boulders and talking and dreaming of future plans. It's an experience I want to pass along to my daughter.


chuffer said...

A couple thoughts:

It looks like you're recovering nicely from your injury. Sweet.

Afternoon sessions on Flag ... nuthin' like 'em.

FWIW, Ted Lanzano repeated your L->R version of the Red Wall Traverse that finishes with Right Side of Red Wall last year. I think he felt it was V8 or V9, although he has it as 8 on his card.

Let's get out sometime.

deleted user said...

if carlo repeats using a toehook, is this in following with Holloways original sequence? If so then am I allowed to heel hook out left, or get the pocket and swing a toe hook out right? what are your thoughts Peter? Chuffer?

sock hands said...

this is directed at the disembodied controversy surrounding the big three and no individual:

eliminates should be done like playing 'pig'. if something is 'off' it needs to be called from the beginning. unless holloway specifically considers certain holds off, they are on. once they are on, it matters not how someone climbs over them. any footwork trickery ups the ante of technique rather than decreases the legitimacy of the ascent.

it is unfortunate, in my mind, that trice and meathook have so much subjectivity and speculation associated with them. were they intended to be eliminates? sometimes historical eliminates have purpose and are fun. sometimes the 'eliminate' designation is imposed by fools later down the road trying to call dab on someone for finding a better way to ascend a piece of stone.

regardless, it doesn't seem like holloway himself is preoccupied with the grade of these climbs, so it follows that he probably is not sitting by ready to push the invalid buzzer if somone figures out some crazy gymnastic technique to either reduce the raw difficulty of the climb [one school of thought] or otherwise offset an imbalance due to variations in body type [perhaps more true and equally impossible to determine with exactitude].

regardless of what happens to the grade, if carlo figures out a way to climb trice using a funky toe hook, perhaps it will help make this line actually enjoyable for many more climbers... including myself.

what's the greater good? the sanctity of a HARD line [big deal], or the enjoyment of successive generations of aspiring climbers [no brainer]. from his interviews, i'd suspect jim himself would likewise be more psyched with the fact that his lines are getting traffic than the empty reward of knowning that, years later, no one has been able to replicate the precise movements he did.

it's the big so what.

if the community believes it to be essential that lines are drawn, then so be it i suppose.

regardless, if it works and if i am ever inspired, you will certainly be seeing 'trice [carlo var.]' on my spraysheet.

thanks for your effort and vision, carlo.

thanks for specifically mentioning that your most memorable times climbing revolved around easy problems, jim. as time goes on, i am beginning to understand this more and more.

hard climbs are not an end. they just sort of happen when you are climbing for the right reasons and enjoying the company of your friends or the quiet of the hills.

deleted user said...

i agree with you jaeger. my point being that if such a big deal is gonna be made about these problems, and Dave Twinam used a different foot sequence than Holloway on meathook, and that is not considered a repeat, then what is to be done about this? In my opinion, Twinam's sequence is 100% valid, as is Carlo's, as is Karns and these problems have been repeated and they are V9 or V10 as suggested by Karn and Twinam.

sock hands said...

cool/i'm on board... the closer to v7 they become, the better. you know me enough to know that this is at maximum, 3% joking.

join me someday for v7s !

what i'm interested in knowing is whether jim himself was the one throwing the invalid punches at karn and twinam, or whether this has been purely all old-school fanboys confused in the idea that they are upholding the honor of a man who, when all is said and done, does not really mind what foot holds someone else used.

the historical relevance of jim holloway will not fade or be tarnished if his problems are repeated using different beta.

if anyone suggested i had to use the same beta as wade on a problem, i would immediately walk away, never to return. i may even spit on it and call it choss [prolly not].

again, i think it all comes down to what jim says constitutes his problems. if he does not off-route certain holds, they are on.

deleted user said...

"the historical relevance of jim holloway will not fade or be tarnished if his problems are repeated using different beta."
I totally agree.

Peter Beal said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking comment and Justin as well. Trice is not going to see any sequences with heel-hooks out left or toe-hooks out right. They don't exist. Anyone is welcome to try to find them.

The Karn version is an easier problem that uses different holds and is feasible only for the tall. The Holloway problem consists of the move off the pocket to the small edge. However you stick that move, whether through catching a toe on the underclings at the start or just holding the swing, is fair game. Carlo's technique doesn't materially affect the difficulty of the problem in such a way that it evades the primary challenge. It certainly doesn't count as a variation.

Whatever grade the problem winds up being, probably at least V12, it presents a very interesting, obvious and accessible challenge, one that I am surprised no one has really responded to in the past. As a problem it's at least as good as many other short double-digit problems in the area, maybe better. We'll see this winter when conditions get better.

sock hands said...

i was visualizing some sort of toe or heel above head level move, i guess. it's been a long time since i've set eyes on that piece of rock, so perhaps that idea is pure shenanigans?!

chuffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuffer said...

Regarding Trice:

From what I remember, DG also tried a similar toe hook and/or maybe a heel. It cartainly did not make the problem elementary, but if it works I'm all for calling it good. Go Carlo!!! Going further, if you can't figure out your own feet on a problem and you have to follow ridiculous rules about what's on, what's off or what's fair technique, then Trice becomes an irrelevant contrivance not worth talking about further. I hope we as a community don't let that happen.

Regarding AKR:

Peter, who else, other than Moon and Karn, has completed AKR? I'm not sure V9 is an appropriate place to start when talking about this variation. Brian Capps was VERY close to sending it until he popped a finger. AKR may very well be easier for tall folks, but tall ... Capps is not. I was under the impression he thought it was in the 10 or 11 range, but unless someone sends a problem, attaching grades is a dangerous game. That's how Trice ended up as the gold standard for V11.

Regarding Meathook:

With respect to Twinam's ascent of Meathook, if the only rule on Meathook is "you can't stem over there" ... I can for one can live with that, but Horsetooth afficianados may have more to say on this issue.

deleted user said...

chip, as far as I know, Capps only tried AKR one day in the middle of June. I am sure had he not injured himself he would have done it that day if not a couple days later. If you happen to read this, i will be up at flagstaff around 530 today.

Carlo Traversi said...

Just wondering if anybody knows if the large undercling is in fact the proper right hand start hold for Trice. I was reading the Holloway interview and he made it sound like it started with the right hand in the large undercling and the left hand in the sidepull/undercling. This concerns me only because if it is in fact one of the start holds, then it shouldn't matter if I catch a toe-hook on it.

Also, let me know if anyone is psyched to climb on the problem with me one of these days. I've been spending a lot of time up there in the dark by myself, and it would be nice to have someone to climb on it with.

I just wrote an entry about Trice in a blog(like we need anymore)that I just started, if anyone is interested in reading it.


Peter Beal said...

There has been commentary along this line from Holloway and others. It seems unlikely that using the undercling to start matters very much at all since it's a big hold and right next to the good edge. Remember that the sit start is still waiting. See the photos in my AHR/Trice post for photos of Holloway in action. Carlo and Jamie, good luck-should be good conditions!

chuffer said...

Carlo - based on Jim's statements, Jim started matched: RH undercling + LH sidepull.

And oh yeah, it seems like everyone agrees that other foot beta should be fair game on Trice. Let's not turn Trice into a ridiculous game of Twister. I'm not sure how to feel about Twinam's ascent of Meathook, but all possible foot beta should be legit on Trice.

This would be a very slippery slope to start down if we start questioning the use of different beta on every problem. If you can't describe a problem in a few words, problems are a contrivance at best.

chuffer said...

Spent 2 hours with Jamie today at Trice in conditions that were far from perfect, as it was pitch black dark ... Nevertheless, I watched him do all the moves in isolation. He is psyched and has 2 1/2 weeks to send. The second ascent is coming.