Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lynn Hill on Chblanke

The news has circulated very quickly about Lynn Hill, a household name in world climbing going way back, and her success on Chblanke, a thin technical V11/12 at Hueco. Jamie Emerson has counted 6 female ascents and then someone remembered Liv Sansoz so it's the 8th or something like that. Which raises some questions worth asking at this point? When is a First Female Ascent worth reporting? Is it ever worth reporting? EZ Harrison proposed a FOGA (First Old Guy/Gal Ascent) for his send of Secret Splendor in RMNP which regardless of gender is to my mind even more important. Lisa Rands doing The Mandala is pretty sick and a benchmark for V12 female ascents that I have not seen equalled, in my opinion. Lynn Hill's ascent is impressive but I feel the reporting of repeats of hard routes maybe ought to emphasize the age involved, not the gender.

Her ascent of Chblanke makes me wonder about how well people could climb if they were free to travel for extended periods, train when they want etc. The ascent is inspiring but I'm waiting for WFTMAWKA ascent for some of these routes and problems. That's " Working Full Time Middle Aged With Kid/s Ascents." By the way, she pretty much qualifies on all those categories as well.

Update: A video of Lynn Hill at the RRG.


climbingnarc said...

I tend to agree. Initially when I posted about this I indicated that Lynn's was the xTH female ascent. After some thought I removed it. Mainly because I asked myself 1) Does it really matter? and 2) how does one even keep track of these sorts of things after the first couple of ascents?

Anonymous said...

Obviously the fact that this is Lynn, she is a mother and 47 years old are the most important things, however, I recieved several emails from people looking for more info, and so I provided it. To answer your first question, I guess it does matter if people are interested in hearing about it. To answer your second question, open forums like those on the internet are a great place to keep track of such things, are they not? Either way, the point is that Lynn is a badass. Period. I am sure we all agree on that one. Jemerson

Peter Beal said...

No critique was intended Jamie. By te way, it was fun talking with James tonight at CATS.

matt said...

i agree as it's an impressive feat, but when can i begin claiming the first jewish, anklebraced, single male in a complicated situation ascent?

to me, the FA is the FA. the first woman to climb a problem is worth noting, but i think as girls like A. Johnson, barbara zangrel, and the pooch (and always lynn hill)level the field , the FFA looses its prestige.

ez said...

Nice take on the working class Peter. I fully agree with your take on age/ gender/ and other commitments, like work/ family and time restraints. Lynn is a bad ass with raising kids and climbing at the level most people could only dream of. I believe that the kids out there should be doing amazing things, since they have minimal responsibilities and all the time in the world. Folks that work full time and pay mortgages, take care of families and try to climb as much as possible have sort of a disadvantage when it comes to climbing REALLY hard. I am more impressed reading about Lynn and yourself, than some 16 year old doing 9a. I truly believe that the next big thing is not going to be children doing harder stuff, but older climbers doing harder stuff. I never thought in a million years that I would ever be able to do a V10 at 30+. I didn't even start climbing till I was 28. My goals used to be, try to keep up with the kids, but now, my goals are to keep up with other climbers my own age. That is soo bad ass to know that our age group has some healthy competition to push each other further than ever before. I think we have been counted out because we are "old". It is hard some times when you are the only old fart out there taking falls and trying as hard as the kiddies. You, Lynn, Ben Moon, Bobby Bensman, and so many more bad asses are truly my motivation. Thank you for a fun year of pushing each other. I look forward to climbing with you when my finger gets better.