/ NEWS: Huber on the extraordinary talent of Sharma and Ondra

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Michael Ryan - on 06 Nov 2008
Alex Huber discusses his own routes, how some may need to be upgraded, placing fewer bolts, that Action Directe is benchmark 8c+ not 9a, the brilliance of Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra and Hansjörg Auer, the Torre Traverse, false claims, the future.........

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=11&year=2008#n45430
Stuart S - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Is he not saying that he had used Action Directe as a benchmark at 8c+ against which to grade some of his first ascents, and now that it's considered to be 9a, these routes of his should also be upgraded (as opposed to saying that Action Directe is 8c+ and not 9a)?

Interesting to read what he says about La Rambla, and that Adam Ondra's thoughts on the grade of Weisse Rose support what he's said all along about the La Rambla Extension (though I'd not heard Ondra's comments elsewhere previously - has anyone else?).

Cheers for the link.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Stuart S: he doesn't really comment on Action Direct does he?
Stuart S - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:

You get a bit more meat if you follow the link from the news article to the PlanetMountain article. The bit about Action Directe is about half way through the interview.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Stuart S: yeh, that's what i mean. He just says by upgrading Action Direct other routes have to be upgraded, not that Action Direct isn't 9a.
Stuart S - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Has Huber done Action Directe? Didn't think he had, which would make it odd to use it as a benchmark for his own routes.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Stuart S: well he must have. I don't follow sport climbing much.
Jus - on 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Stuart S:

from wikipedia

The first ascent (FA) was by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991, who climbed the route using a 16 move sequence. Simpson and Koyamada used a different sequence with only 11 moves.

The repeat ascents were by:

Alexander Adler on 9 September 1995.
Iker Pou on 7 June 2000.
Dave Graham on 21 May 2001.
Christian Bindhammer on 14 May 2003.
Rich Simpson on 13 October 2005.
Dai Koyamada on 15 October 2005.
Markus Bock on 22 October 2005.
Kilian Fischhuber on 25 September 2006.
Adam Ondra on 19 May 2008.
Patxi Usobiaga on 24 October 2008.
NearlyDutchDan - on 07 Nov 2008
In reply to Jus:

>Simpson and Koyamada used a different sequence with only 11 moves.

Does that include blinking?

JamieAyres on 07 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Huber has said before that he doesn't believe Akira has actually been climbed. He can't believe the first ascent claim simply because the claimant didn't have sufficient previous form (on other equally hard routes)to convince him it was true.

Smacks a bit of jealousy perhaps?
Michael Ryan - on 07 Nov 2008
In reply to JamieAyres:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)


> Smacks a bit of jealousy perhaps?

That is always the knee jerk reaction when criticism or accusations are leveled.

As climbing achievement is self-certified it is the view of many that those claiming must provide evidence.

And these days, with video and more 'instant' documentation, it is actually easier to provide that evidence.

If you don't provide it, and don't have the track record, be prepared to be doubted.

john howard 1 - on 07 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> [...]
>
> That is always the knee jerk reaction when criticism or accusations are leveled.
>
> As climbing achievement is self-certified it is the view of many that those claiming must provide evidence.
>
> And these days, with video and more 'instant' documentation, it is actually easier to provide that evidence.
>
> If you don't provide it, and don't have the track record, be prepared to be doubted.

The thing that I don't get about people doubting Fred Rouhling is that although he isn't exactly media savvy, he has provided video of ascents, and just look at his list of first ascents here http://www.fredrouhling.com/fa.htm if a "track-record" is needed.

For example here's two videos of him on sections of akira and salamandre, if proof is what's needed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSSxk71e-2k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBECV7US1pQ

There is also this article

http://www.climbing.com/exclusive/features/fredrouhling/

And although he could still be lying about his ascents, surely this is enough?Is there something I'm missing?I can understand where people are coming from when they say that to a certain extent that respect and trust must be built up in order for their claims to be believed, and to be honest I agree, but there's just something about Huber's doubts of Rouhling's ascent of Akira that seems a bit odd.

witnessthis - on 08 Nov 2008
In reply to john howard 1:
Alex Huber is(was) one of the strongest redpointers in the world.I remember the time when he was seen as an outsider and doubted at least by a few here in the U.K.Alot of what he says about modern grading is surely the usual story of a routes grades getting an eventual concensus grade.The americains have been contributing to this in the peak recently perhaps.
Outsiders are often viewed with suspicion basically.
Couple of things though.Hubers ascent of La Rambla-did he not break a hold on the rt and bring the chain down a bit as he thought he could not do the whole rt?And to get this chain you have to grab it right?This is not quite the same challenge that Andrada was trying for so long or Ramon and others finally solved?Surely its a different grade even if it just 9a+.1?
teddy - on 08 Nov 2008
In reply to witnessthis:
> (In reply to john howard 1)
> > Couple of things though.Hubers ascent of La Rambla-did he not break a hold on the rt and bring the chain down a bit as he thought he could not do the whole rt?And to get this chain you have to grab it right?This is not quite the same challenge that Andrada was trying for so long or Ramon and others finally solved?Surely its a different grade even if it just 9a+.1?

Yes its true that Huber did a slightly shorter version of La Rambla, i'm not quite sure why, probably due to not seeing the eventual sequence that was used to get to the top of the crag. however, this little bit of extra climbing is apparently only 7b+ I've heard! So to use this to justify an upgrade from 8c+ to 9a+ for the full extension seems a bit suss - that is Huber's beef.

Serpico on 09 Nov 2008 - 78.148.185.131 whois?
In reply to teddy:
There's a bit more to it than that; you have to use a different, harder sequence to get past the belay.
Huber's always struck me as being very full of himself and dismissive of others achievements. I'm not surprised he's now advocating the upgrade of his routes, it's certainly easier than pushing your grade when the rest of the world's moved on.
Dave C on 09 Nov 2008
In reply to Serpico:

> Huber's always struck me as being very full of himself and dismissive of others achievements.

Didn't he try to claim the FFA of Salathe Wall a few years after Skinner & Piana did it? I seem to recall him dismissing their achievement as a 'flawed' ascent or something.
Steve McQueen - on 09 Nov 2008
In reply to Dave C: I think his argument was that skinner and piana had used long slings on a couple of belays, thereby skipping 4 feet of climbing or something like that.

I read an article a couple of years ago where Huber was having a go at Rouhling for grading routes he had done based on his experience on routes he'd not successfully redpointed. Is Huber not now doing exactly the same with Action Directe?

He does seem to have a couple of pretty large chips on his shoulder...
teddy - on 09 Nov 2008
In reply to Dave C:
> (In reply to Serpico)
>
> [...]
>
> Didn't he try to claim the FFA of Salathe Wall a few years after Skinner & Piana did it? I seem to recall him dismissing their achievement as a 'flawed' ascent or something.

Piana and Skinner only led half each of all the pitches, jugging up the ropes instead of seconding the ones they did not lead. Therefore whilst it was a 'team' ascent, it needed 2 ppl to climb the wall. Neither Skinner or Piana climbed it all free. They also took hanging belays in the middle of some long pitches. Nevertheless it was a valiant effort for 1988.

teddy - on 09 Nov 2008
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to teddy)
> There's a bit more to it than that; you have to use a different, harder sequence to get past the belay.

Aye there was something about taking a pocket just below the chain with a different hand in order to be able to climb past it, although I don't know the full story. There is some other interview from a few years back with Huber ranting on about it on the web somewhere.

He is certainly opinionated and I don't agree at all with his dismissal of Rouhling, that's just sour grapes. However, from the interview, Open Air remains unrepeated and probably 9a+ according to Ondra, who failed to do it. Also, Weisse Rose went up to 9a after 16 years unrepeated. I'm sure he knows a thing or two about grades that us punters don't really appreciate.
witnessthis - on 09 Nov 2008
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to teddy)
> There's a bit more to it than that; you have to use a different, harder sequence to get past the belay.
> yes that what I read in OTE and an american climbing mag few years back-to climb pass the chain and back clip its 9a (if it can be done )having seen footage it does seem in a weird place-maybe it is a 'raindogs' finish++.The topo is ridiculous though so many variant finishes,still think the direct looks the most valid(from the comfort of my armchair) though contrived possibly?
Important to note it took Ramon julian 50 rp attempts and that was when he was os 8b&rp 8c+ elsewhere.Did Huber have such a track record?Reading the interview,i agree with you it seems a bit like sour grapes'.
Todd skinner in the late 80s was one of the best crack climbers in the world the european ethic of rpointing big walls on trad was surely in its infancy?Their ascent was just a massive adventure into an unknown possibility.


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