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The so called crux pitch of Positive Vibrations 5.11, Incredible Hulk, California.
Hilary Sharp, Sep 2012
'So called' as the six 5.10 pitches are a lot harder than either of the 5.11 pitches. YDS grades eh...
jon - 10/Oct/12
Difficult to say - I'm long out of touch with UK grades - but I'd say not that hard. As I said above, I found the long and incredibly sustained 5.10 pitches much harder. Taken in isolation the crux section might just be E3 6a...? However, the route as a whole had a definite E5 feeling to it. Tom Briggs might have a better idea.
jon - 15/Oct/12
Not that hard????!!!! Good grief.
Talk about conspicuous understatement.
pneame - 16/Oct/12
'Not THAT hard' as in: Not as hard as I expected it to be given that it's supposed to be the crux of a long hard route. This route, above all others, illustrates (to me anyway) why the American grading system (grading a pitch for its hardest move) completely fails at its job. Even the Americans I talked to before doing it said 'The cruxes are quite short... it's the longer easier pitches that'll get you'. Well, if the 'longer easier' pitches are harder than the 'crux' pitches, why grade them easier?! Surely grading a pitch for how hard it feels OVERALL is the way to do it. Or invent a grading system with an overall grade and technical grade... oh, wait a minute...!
jon - 17/Oct/12
OK Cool, cheers for that, so were the 5.10 pitches sort of sustained, well-protected E4 5c/6a pitches? Hoping to go to California next year and this thing looks amazing! I am incredibly jealous of your long and comprehensive rock tick-list!
Duncan Campbell - UKC - 17/Oct/12
Well, I must admit that the 5.10 pitches would be difficult to grade on the UK system as we simply don't have 50 or 60m long vertical cracks, let alone multiple ones stacked on top of each other, in the UK. Apart from the sheer effort involved in climbing these pitches, other factors come into play with this route:
It's at 11000ft.
It's a long walk-in - 4 hours+, with camping and climbing gear, so most folk (just) take 2 sets of cams and nuts - which just isn't enough! I leapfrogged my #2 1/2 and 3 Friends on the last two pitches to a point where falling wasn't an option. Not something that you usually get on UK routes.
Go there expecting just another 5.11 and it'll kick your ass!
jon - 17/Oct/12
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Wow. Sounds like a full on experience! Thanks for the info, very useful, hopefully I'll be able to post some pics of this up next year too! Cheers again, Dunc
Duncan Campbell - UKC - 22/Oct/12