/ Beta, Your perspective.

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Lukem6 - on 15 Nov 2012
What is your perspective on beta?

The way I see it anything can be beta other than walking up to the base with your eyes closed then putting hand to an unknown rock type and climbing an unknown route without really knowing there is a route. That would be purity of on-site nearly at its most extreme.

but if even following chalk can be Beta, then in turn reading the guide book and most definitely watching someone else climb the route.

Do you log as With Beta if you walk up to a route and spot someone else on it, you've seen a move after all.

For example; I've just watched Odyssey, and I saw the whole Strawberries piece and I've seen it on two DVD's now. Does that mean in years to come when I'm ready I have already lost the "on-sight".

If so I'm never watching another climbing movie again!!

Or do you class on-sight as your first try regardless of prior info.

Recently I was debating a route with a friend, Long tall Sally. On my first day out climbing an old friend introduced me to the route on top rope... 3 years later I lead it, Damn I could've remember the moves and I'm sure I used the "top-rop" hand holds as gear placements. Is this a first lead with beta or would it be a "retro-flash" AKA just a repeat ascent.
Lukem6 - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr Mark Stephen Davies: Thats what I'm interested in, what are your rules?
The Pylon King on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

'Onsight' and 'Beta' are whatever you want them to be. All climbers make up their own 'rules' as they go along.
The Pylon King on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

They are in constant flux! :)
Jon Stewart - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

Personally I don't log climbs at all, but in my head anything I get up first go without weighting the gear I call onsight. If I've seconded it years ago, it's a slightly tarnished ascent. If there's chalk on it, I know it makes it easier, and I usually think "great, it's chalked" and consider the ascent onsight. I'll take any verbal or photographic beta going, it usually gives me a bit of extra confidence which I consider to be a good, helpful thing.

I think that people who get all precious about onsightness are a bit neurotic. For me, if I don't actually know what the holds are like from having been on them before, I still get the full thrill of the route. I don't look back any less fondly on routes I've done with stacks of beta because the experience was diminished. Half the time, verbal beta turns out to be utterly useless anyway - for me, what people said about Kelly's Overhang and Quietus were completely irrelevant in the end (the end of Quietus being lowered shamefully to the ground after repeated attempts at turning the lip...bloody gritstone).
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: I would call beta pretty much any information outside of the guidebook, advice from another climber, I see someone on it (in a film or at the crag), whatever. Obviously then I log an on-sight if I have no 'beta'. Never really thought about the chalk issue much. I don't try to on-sight routes, I just log them as on-sight if that's what they happened to be, so I wouldn't stop watching someone on a route, or not ask for advice just to be able to on-sight it.

Funny you should mention Strawberries from Odyssey, it looked like Hans was belaying Hazel just before he on-sights it, so maybe he's got a completely different definition to me!
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: Also to echo something Jon has said, I'm always checking out photos of routes I plan to do, so that tends to give me a fair bit of information for exmaple gear placement, what the top-out is like (Right Unconquerable for example). This definitely lessens the mental pressure of doing the route for me, and probably makes the whole process more fun, but conversely it lessens the achievement.
John Lewis - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: Only you really know how much you relied on anything other than on sight rules.

Chalk could be as missleading, a previous ascent may have been so long ago as to be little use, advice from others may not be so much use to you as you think.

In the end did you enjoy it, did you learn about yourself, and your abilities are you progressing.

I have a few routes saved to do, but then maybe it would be better just to get on them and see how I do, take the risk of failing.

Al Evans on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to John Lewis: I remember talking to Steve McClure about this, and he said he would not even visit Kilnsey as he was getting fit for an on sight of something desperate that I can't remember the name of and he might catch sight of somebody on it.
jkarran - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

> Recently I was debating a route with a friend, Long tall Sally. On my first day out climbing an old friend introduced me to the route on top rope... 3 years later I lead it, Damn I could've remember the moves and I'm sure I used the "top-rop" hand holds as gear placements. Is this a first lead with beta or would it be a "retro-flash" AKA just a repeat ascent.

Do you care?
If yes: Decide for yourself, nobody else cares how you did it.
If no: Life's even easier.

jk
Chris the Tall - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:
When I log routes as "Led with Beta", it's my way of denoting that the gear was pre-placed - usually we are talking sports routes with the clips in place.

Normally that would happen when I've belayed a mate on the route, so I've got some beta anyway. But none the less I've always found having the clips in place is far more of an advantage than seeing someone else (usually shorter and stronger) doing the moves. So I still regard it as onsight even if I see someone else climbing the route.
pasbury on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

It gets a bit ridiculous when some claim that seeing a photo or video detracts from the purity. I actually like to look at as many photos as possible - not for 'beta' but inspiration. Finding myself in the same position as someone in a great photo gives me nice warm feeling.
mkean - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:
I am one of the purist on-sight climbers I know, I may have read the guidebook and have seen the DVD but I'm probably lost. On more than one occasion I've come down from a route complaining it felt a bit tricky to be told that I was looking at the wrong page of the guidebook. I think it takes a lot of talent and optimism to fit a description to the wrong route, sometimes the wrong crag. I'm pretty good at starting and finishing multipitch routes in the correct place while somehow managing to avoid all the intervening pitches.
xplorer on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

Your definatly thinking way to hard and deep. Enjoy yourself stop worrying!

If you think watching a film should ruin your climbing experiance, you either need to stop climbing, or man up!

I know I don't have to read this thread, but some people need their keyboard locking up
Parrys_apprentice - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

you can't blame Hans for checking out Hazel on Strawberries, I know I would be, but not sure how much I'd learn about the route!

Someone telling you to take a number 4 friend on FBD would probably spoil that onsight.

Most advice I've had prior to doing a route has been b**locks as I often have to climb differently to my strong armed, tall companions.
GrahamD - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

These days I find that life is too short to worry about the minutae of the finer points of style. If it seems OK on the day then its fine.

Funnily enough my enjoyment of climbing hasn't diminished because of it :-)
michaelc - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

You'd end up that the only dependably "on sight" climbers would be deaf and dumb illiterates (so they can't risk reading a braille guide book), and "on sight" doesn't mean the same thing in that context.

:-)

As a noob, I'm so far from having this as a concern it's not even funny! However, I do enjoy learning about (and appreciate) some of the culture and honour-systems around rules/conventions like these.
In reply to Al Evans:
> I remember talking to Steve McClure about this, and he said he would not even visit Kilnsey as he was getting fit for an on sight of something desperate that I can't remember the name of and he might catch sight of somebody on it.

What about the dozens of earlier visits he must have made to the crag then?


Chris
martinph78 on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

Beta if I have top-roped it first.

On-site if I turn up at the crag and climb it clean first time.

If that's not "correct" I don't really care to be honest!
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Parrys_apprentice: Hans can do whatever he likes, I was just surprised to see him on belay.
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TonyB - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> Funny you should mention Strawberries from Odyssey, it looked like Hans was belaying Hazel just before he on-sights it, so maybe he's got a completely different definition to me!

Are you sure about this? Just because he belays Hazel first on the movie, it doesn't mean that this was the real order of events.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to TonyB: No, just what it looked like. Wasn't 100% sure it was him, but I think the commentary said 'next up was Hans' or words to that effect.
Kemics - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:

I'm just honest with my self. If someone says something like "Use the giant flake" Well, I'm 100% sure I would have done that anyway, so I'll take the onsight. If someone says "The top of the flake is really shit but there's a hidden pocket a bit further above", then'll take the flash.

puppythedog on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: I assumed that Hans had belayed after he climbed from Hazel's comment about watching everyone first.

For me is it onsight or with beta depends upon my judgement about whether anything I may know (other than the guidebook description) makes any difference. That said I am very diligent about being true to myself about whether it was onsight and logging as such.
puppythedog on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Kemics: More succinctly put than me but the same sentiment I feel.
gcandlin - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: I can't begin to communicate how little any of this matters. We all like to gas about climbing but the minute we get on that route its not about onsights or flashes, its about enjoying being outside and moving on rock that we love. I think unless you are claiming to be pushing the boundaries of the sport it is all just nonsense.

Its about our personal experiences on the rock.

puppythedog on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: I'm not sure that it doesn't matter at all. I really enjoy working out how to climb something and having a mate shout up from the ground the secret to some adventurous (for me) climb can detract slightly from the experience.
pasbury on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Kemics:
> (In reply to lm610)
>
> I'm just honest with my self. If someone says something like "Use the giant flake" Well, I'm 100% sure I would have done that anyway, so I'll take the onsight. If someone says "The top of the flake is really shit but there's a hidden pocket a bit further above", then'll take the flash.

I normally tell them to stfu and take the onsight.
I like climbing - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:
If I clean it first go that's an onsight as far as I'm concerned. I usually haven't got a clue what anyone is going on about when they try and tell me how to do a route or a move, nor am I interested and watching someone on a route doesn't help me. When people ask me how I did a particular move I never remember ! I don't work routes and avoid rope roping. Occasionally I might do a route again a few years later but I won't remember any moves, just maybe a situation/position on it.
I remember really enjoying Eight Bar Blues at Portland. I did it more than 10 years ago - can't remember anything other than that and if I do it again clean, while it wouldn't be an onsight it might just as well be.....
GridNorth - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: I've encountered Gary Gibson on quite a few crags over the years. He has a habit of wandering around telling everyone how to do the moves that they are currently on. Bless. :-)

John
KiwiPrincess - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610:
For me If I've ever been on it, Seen someone on it, or rapped down it It's not onsight.

I will belay someone on it but not look and call it an onsight.... but I probably heard / Felt which part took the longest. Same with a brief glimpse of someone, Dosn't count unless you watch the move.

I don't count chalk as Beta since I can't change that.

We call it an alzheimer, or Eddie flash if you can't remember. ( but it's really a redpoint)
Oceanrower - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to KiwiPrincess:
> (In reply to lm610)
> For me If I've ever been on it, Seen someone on it, or rapped down it It's not onsight.
>
> I will belay someone on it but not look and call it an onsight.... but I probably heard / Felt which part took the longest. Same with a brief glimpse of someone, Dosn't count unless you watch the move.
>
> I don't count chalk as Beta since I can't change that.
>
> We call it an alzheimer, or Eddie flash if you can't remember. ( but it's really a redpoint)

I am so glad that I don't live in your world. If I climb it, I climb it. If I don't, it'll still be there next time. This is meant to be fun. It's a hobby not a life commitment.

Dear God, get over yourself!

Ciro - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

In reply to Oceanrower:

> This is meant to be fun. It's a hobby not a life commitment.

It's meant to be whatever we want it to be.

>
> Dear God, get over yourself!

She shared her views of her personal climbing ethics with us as requested, and you feel the need to exclaim to your imaginary deity while castigating her for it? Somebody certainly needs to get over themselves.
Jon Stewart - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
> (In reply to lm610)...but the minute we get on that route its not about onsights or flashes, its about enjoying being outside and moving on rock that we love.

We quite often go on about how much we love moving on rock, but personally if I'm climbing at my limit I don't enjoy it until I'm through the crux. I know it isn't very 'Rock Warrior's Way' but I might have been moving on rock all day but if I didn't get any of the routes clean, I'll have had a shit time.

It's a bit like "it's the taking part that counts". Let's be honest, if you even managed to come last in the egg and spoon race, you're well within your rights to have the face on.

Motown - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to lm610: Not to funny about it. It's pretty hard not to have heard about or thought about the route before getting on it. Equally, I've often read the guidebook description. Don't discount it if there's chalk on the holds, but if I've been on it before - second or top-rope - then it's not the onsight.

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