/ NEWS: VIDEO: Pete Robins - Isles of Wonder - 8B
Here's the video of the first ascent, courtesy of DMM.
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67446
Excellent video, moodily atmospheric and a sound track that enhanced the action rather than distracting from it but on a wider topic......
An ascent is self-evidently exactly that, an ascent and congratulations to Pete on doing it. The problem is clearly absolutely desperate and this is not meant as a criticism of him or anyone else. But am I the only one who watches these films of multiple failures over multiple sessions followed by a single success and thinks: "Well done, mate, but did you finally just get lucky? Can you claim you have really mastered a problem unless you can do it first try every try?"
Or is this just one of those things that if you have to have it explained you'll never understand? I should confess upfront that I'm a lousy boulderer with a very low threshold of boredom. This may also help to explain why I'm so weak too.
As he says, it took him 4 of the sessions or whatever to figure out the moves. That's not a matter of luck or lack of luck, it's a matter of puzzle-solving. And anything that's hard for you has to involve some sort of low percentage move, like that compression slap for the crimp, if every move were high percentage then it would be easy!
I'm not sure I get the idea of mastering a problem, it sounds very newspaper-esque "conquering a mountain" style language to me. You can either climb it or you can't, and if you can climb it at once you have ascended it, and if you can repeat it every time then it's clearly an easy problem for you with no low percentage moves on it.
Anyway, it looks awesome, some really cool moves...
"climb it once", not "climb it at once" in the second paragraph! One word, big meaning change :)
> it sounds very newspaper-esque "conquering a mountain" style language
That's why I studiously avoided the 'c word' in my OP and posed it as a question.
Physical performance, or at least our attitude to it, seems peculiar. Nobody expects Usain Bolt to run his world record time every outing. Once is enough. But if when learning a new skill you get it wrong 100 times and then finally get it right once you don't think "Right, cracked that. What's next?" You keep repeating it until you get it right every time or at least most times. Which of those is more like solving a new boulder problem? And why?
I don't want to Master a route or problem, I want to Climb it. And when I've climbed it I don't want to spend more time Mastering it, I want to Climb another one. And so it goes on.
John Gill was in many ways a performance artist and as a result he had a very different approach to and goals for his climbing than most of us. I don't see perfection as any great virtue unless it's crucial to succeed on the hardest things I'm able to do. If I scratch my way up something I'll try to learn from it but rarely will I feel any desire to repeat something again and again unless it's purely for the joy of the climbing.
Why do you need to perfect that very specific (nay unique) set of moves though? It's not like compression fridge hugging stuff is a new skill for him, it's a newer and harder (I assume) application of a skill he already has.
Once you have done it on this unique set of moves, why is it better to keep repeating those same moves rather than moving on and finding something to do to broaden your move repertoire, hone your skills on different problems? Lapping a problem over and over sounds far more like training than climbing (I doubt he wants to think of it solely as training!), or possibly the kind of thing you do so that you can show off to your mates by breezing the problem to demonstrate it to them :)
That's why their called boulder 'problems' they need to be worked out in someway, be that over multiple sessions, weeks, years.
No one would disagree this is topflight (8B!) bouldering and so to simply be able to climb it on demand after your first ascent would be something special. Perhaps like Bolt running within a few hundred seconds of his record in every race, he just doesn't.
Mr Robins would have climbed this for his own achievements, certainly not to then read about subsequent comments on here. I dare say he may be confident he could keep climbing it, and built up a movement on the problem where he could truelly have mastered it, but why would he? He's climbed it, first ascent in this case, and now he can move on to another challenge for himself.
The most inspiring ascents are IMO when someone pulls an amazing (for them) climbing performance out the bag, something they wouldn't be able to do usually. And for a spectator it makes exiting viewing. (Yes maybe they got lucky on that attempt but 'luck' would only be one component of their success.)
If they were able to truly 'master' the route/problem (through repeated ascents) then 1. it would no longer be at their limit (was it ever?) and 2. it would be an exercise in going through the motions and would make pretty stale viewing. From a training/improving point of view, climbing something you've already done before usually doesn't help you become a better climber. (Unless you climbed it poorly before but this would not be possible for a route at your limit).
>If they were able to truly 'master' the route/problem (through repeated ascents) then 1. it would no longer be at their limit (was it ever?) and 2. it would be an exercise in going through the motions and would make pretty stale viewing.
It would, in fact, stand to be downgraded from B3 to B2 on John G's scale.
do the problem everytime / 1st time .... ? lol get a grip dude........!
Its about percentages at that top end level
Top job pete !! Looking strong lad!
I think he does.
I think you meant 'within a few hundredths of a second'?
I think I know why I hate UKC for allowing these anal comment threads and I think I know why I try to not comment on these anal commment threads.
Yes, anal ;-)
I think it is an interesting distinction and any climber (or athlete in other sports also) could give have examples of a few PB's as well as an idea of how hard they climb/perform on a more consistent basis. The point of the particularly hard ascents is that they are PB's and long term projects often require the culmination of a wide range of factors occurring throughout an athletes life allowing that one final ascent. The act of managing to achieve this absolute peak performance is a long and rewarding process and no athlete could summon this at the drop of a hat and this is as true of an elite athlete as it is of you or me.
If I were to work a problem now and send something right at my limit I would draw a great deal of satisfaction from this experience of hitting my maximum potential, and if 6 months down the line I came back and could complete it routinely I would gain a different kind of satisfaction. The difference between being at a certain level, and being able to pull off a performance right at my limit is a big one.
Elsewhere on the site
The Grivel A&D Ascender & Descender is brand new for Autumn 2014 and incorporates a revolutionary and innovative patented... Read more
From a personal point of view, photographing the night sky is one of the most difficult, frustrating yet ultimately rewarding... Read more
This survey is being conducted by the Outdoor Industries Association in order to find out more about how and why people... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Nuts, wires, stoppers, chocks, wedges, whatever you want to call them, have been around for a long time. Initially made from... Read more