UKC

Comp speed climbing - why isn't it climbing hard routes fast?

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 neuromancer 29 May 2021

I was thinking, as I saw the speed climbing record broken twice recently, that it seems strange that the current format for speed climbing has become ubiquitous. It's barely climbing, though it is impressively fast.

When the discipline is questioned, most of the responses point to things like the nose record, or the late ueli steck running up Alps. 

What seems more in line with this would be a hard lead route, within the capacity of the climbers, that has to be done in the shortest time. E.g. the normal lead comp wall ramps to a climax at like 8c (forgive me if this is way out), and the speed wall is 'how fast can you get up this 8a'. 

Surely that would be both interesting to watch for punters, engaging for actual climbers and have some sense of being what climbing is actually about? It also might differentiate some of the top climbers and make for a competition whose winner isn't as predictable?

In reply to neuromancer:

Agree. But I think the aim was to create the equivalent of the 100m in climbing so you need a standardised 'track'.

It is quite big in some nations so hard to persuade them to change.

Post edited at 14:24
In reply to neuromancer:

I would like to see it onsight 7b/c ish, head to head, DWS up to the high diving board at the Olympics, nothing really to do with climbing, just it would be fun to watch. 

 Andy Say 29 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

What you need is something like the Arco Rock Master Duel competition. 

I've watched quite a few over recent years; mega-fun!

youtube.com/watch?v=su0_Y0zPtlU&

In reply to neuromancer:

I was surprised watching this weekend, how much it felt like watching the olympics. I had a thought that in fact, speed climbing in its current form is likely to be the most popular discipline and, if it were an option, the discipline most likely to stay in the olympics. 
 

note: I’m a former gymnast and I believe the olympics are toxic, fake, and bad for the included sports. But I’ll watch people go head to head at anything for 20 minutes (apparently?). 

Post edited at 15:45
In reply to neuromancer:

Olympic climbing is about creating a spectator sport out of some thing that is quite dull to watch. If top level climbing we're a spectator sport, Malham would have viewing terraces.

I think it will go speed>bouldering>lead in terms of spectator attraction (I am talking about none climbers here, who are the target audience). To keep the race element speed courses should be standard and achievable. Difficulty is tested in the other disciplines. All this will create a different athlete to the comp climbers of today, no problem there, sports such as triathlon have an Olympic discipline. Many on ukc don't like the idea of speed climbing, I find it quite interesting.

From what I have read previously, I think the limit of detection on the timing instruments is close to delta t in the events, this could prove challenging. The obvious solution would be longer courses but there a build heights to deal with. Increasing difficulty would have little effect on a standard course as competitors would train to it.

The bad sides I can foresee is that the bookies wil love it, it is faster than dog racing and the potential for doping. Short explosive sprints could introduce peds to the sport. 

 ianstevens 29 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> When the discipline is questioned, most of the responses point to things like the nose record, or the late ueli steck running up Alps. 

 

Pedants corner: alp actually refers to the pasture lower down the mountains

> What seems more in line with this would be a hard lead route, within the capacity of the climbers, that has to be done in the shortest time. E.g. the normal lead comp wall ramps to a climax at like 8c (forgive me if this is way out), and the speed wall is 'how fast can you get up this 8a'. 

Pretty sure the speed route is only 6b+

 neuromancer 29 May 2021
In reply to ianstevens:

He ran up  and through those on the way to the rock and snow faces as part of the FKTs. He started climbing at the end of them. Back at-cha? 

Secondly, that was my point; my proposed 'how fast can you do this hard route' would be in the region of 8a (not the numbing 6b+ red blobs).

Post edited at 22:03
In reply to neuromancer:

I witnessed something like this at the Skymasters competition event at The Outdoor Show (I think that’s what it was called) inside at the NEC in Birmingham in 2008. It was a race, the same route (but mirrored), leading. It did make for good spectating until one of the male finalists, Adrian Berry, contested his loss and it got a bit petty. However it also all smacked of “Jerry Moffatt on You Bet”. 

Overall I see your point and the routes on speed climbing are not challenging moves as such but we have to accept it’s a different sport, pretty much. I don’t find it exciting to watch but I am curmudgeonly and can’t watch continuous competition for more than ten minutes anyway 😃

 Andy Gamisou 30 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> It also might differentiate some of the top climbers and make for a competition whose winner isn't as predictable?

I think the exact opposite would happen.  It would cement Ondra and Garnbret into the gold medal places.  They're easily the best overall climbers and can both climb hard routes very fast.  Neither are strong on the current speed setup though.  The combined events I've seen, once the finals have started they've generally been towards the bottom after the speed event, which has at given other competitors a chance and introduced some drama into the proceedings.

> It's barely climbing...

At 6b+ that means the majority of (UK) climbers can barely climb!  I've tried one of the speed walls, and while not especially difficult it's also not that easy (it's certainly pumpy).  I felt reasonably challenged on it (I felt I motored up it and did it in around 50s).

Post edited at 03:38
In reply to neuromancer:

The main problem I see is there aren't enough moves, to be a real 100m for climbing it should take the best climbers about 10s.  For me 5s to the top is just too much of a blur to be a good spectacle.   

They could have a '100m / 10s' competition on the current wall as a separate event if the climbers went one at a time and they used the full width of the wall to have a route with more side to side movement (and a rule that certain holds needed to be used to prevent skipping the side to side part).

 Si dH 30 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

I definitely agree that for me / us as keen climbers, there would be more interest in watching people trying to onsight an 8a or high 7 really quickly. But for the general public it wouldn't look much different from the normal lead climbing.

Although speed climbing is obviously a completely different thing, I do think when you watch the very best guys climbing it really smoothly and breaking the world record like this weekend, it is very impressive as a physical feat. It starts to resemble a sprinting event in a positive way and I think the way to make it better would be to accept that and try to emphasise the positive aspects rather than making it more like normal climbing. For me, the two weaknesses at the moment are (1) most competitors from a lead/boulder background are still just not very good and watching them do it just looks awkward rather than flowing and impressive, a bit like watching most of the speed specialists fail to get any zones in the bouldering or fall off at the first bolt in the lead, (2) the fact that it is only 2 people at a time, which isn't very exciting as a race and introduces competitive bias when there is a false start. If you had an 8-lane wall it would be much better... obviously it would get more expensive.

(I was under the impression the plan for Paris 24 was to split lead/boulder from speed anyway, which would remove problem (1) above but also mean most of us probably lose interest.)

Post edited at 08:58
In reply to Si dH:

This is why we need to embrace speed climbing alongside speed archery, speed curling and speed dressage. These are what have been missing from the Olympics all along.

They need to tell them boring archery elites to stop pissing around hitting small targets and focus their training on being able to hit the side of a bus 30 times in a minute if they want a medal.

Post edited at 09:27
In reply to ianstevens:

> Pretty sure the speed route is only 6b+

I think the best speed format would be a speed solo of a 6b+ with a bad landing. This would more accurately reflect the Nose/Steck sort of speed climbing where the idea is to climb something well within one's ability as fast as possible without actually dying. With a gold medal at stake it would be psychologically fascinating with obvious spectator appeal (a bit like downhill skiing and Formula 1 which are all about anticipated carnage).

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> This is why we need to embrace speed climbing alongside speed archery, speed curling and speed dressage. These are what have been missing from the Olympics all along.

We could even have speed running.

In reply to neuromancer:

Anyway, hasn't the combined three discipline format been dropped for 2024? If so, presumably all the proper climbers (if that's not stretching the word even to include comps), will say bollocks to speed and it will return to the East European obscurity and comp curiosity from which it came. The comp kids would then abandon the Ratho speed wall and it could be put to better training use.

In reply to neuromancer:

I think I'd be happier with speed climbing if it wasn't a fixed route, just a route of fixed difficulty - once the on-sight ethos is included, then the difficulty could be adjusted to get the desired balance of climbing ability and speed climbing ability - this would be much more meaningful to "ordinary" climbers.

 john arran 30 May 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

That's pretty much how it used to be. The grade would vary but was usually around 6c. The first climb was flash, after demo, then one big advantage of the format was that you got to know the route by climbing it, so each round typically saw faster times than the previous round, except sometimes when fatigue took over.

I thought it was a far better format but it seems the lure of a world record was too strong.

In reply to neuromancer:

> Secondly, that was my point; my proposed 'how fast can you do this hard route' would be in the region of 8a (not the numbing 6b+ red blobs).

It might be more apparent how hard the speed route is if they took off the holds that the sub 10s climbers never touch.

 HeMa 31 May 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Olympic climbing is about creating a spectator sport out of some thing that is quite dull to watch.

The other thing, is that an Olympic sports results should be comparable from year on year out.

That is something neither lead nor bouldering are (every comp is different).  They are both like having 110m hurdles... but every run the length can be anything from 50 to 250m and amount of hurdles and their distance from one another is completely random (competitors are allowed to inspect the "route" some hours/minutes beforehand for a few mins (akin to climbing).

Atleast with Speed the "run" is compatible from one comp to another.

In reply to HeMa:

Agree, no records from non standard courses.

I think the headline grade of 6b+ is misleading when you watch how many holds are actually used. 

 HeMa 31 May 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

It's actually 6a/+ 

But to do it in less than 5 secs and skip a lot of the holds... well, that certainly takes some skillz. And as it is unchanged, you can practice and decide which sequences are the best/fastest (so which holds to skip).

Now for Lead & boulder... add a jury to give points... and you're closer to stuff like gymnastic floor exercise... just with a different kind of floor every time . I recall such performances/comps have actually been in existence.

 Snyggapa 31 May 2021
In reply to HeMa:

Or any 'judged' event like diving, or horse dancing.

Actually thinking about it I would assume lead and boulder are pretty close to the horse jumping type events, where I guess but do not know that there is a different course set every time.

 john arran 31 May 2021
In reply to Snyggapa:

Plus sailing events, white water kayaking/canoeing, mountain biking, pretty much all ski and snowboard racing, etc.

It doesn't need to be on an identical 'track' to be a true and objective test of ability. And it certainly doesn't need a panel of judges to determine how well you perform (only to ensure you perform with the sport's rules.) 

Climbing is actually a relatively 'pure' sport, in terms of the Olympic ideals of higher, faster, stronger, and I don't see speed climbing in its current form (i.e. on an identical wall) as being in any way closer to the Olympic ideal.

Is there any other sport, in the Olympics or otherwise, that has a predefined course set which is replicated identically at every event? (other than the trivial cases of standardised but featureless tracks for running, cycling, etc.) I think Steeplechase is the closest I can think of. And if other sports work well on different courses each time, what does speed climbing gain from being different?

 ianstevens 31 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> He ran up  and through those on the way to the rock and snow faces as part of the FKTs. He started climbing at the end of them. Back at-cha? 

I *think* the FKTs don't count the approaches - not certain though

> Secondly, that was my point; my proposed 'how fast can you do this hard route' would be in the region of 8a (not the numbing 6b+ red blobs).

I'm not sure it would be impressive - there is a huge number of slips/mistakes made on the current speed route as is (okay, maybe not by the speed specialists) - and by having an actual hard route you'd only magnify this. Furthermore, the challenge then becomes reading/getting up the route in question - whereas to me, it seems the point of the the speed discipline is exactly that - pure speed. By increasing the difficulty I think you'd end up with a de-facto secondary lead competition with a high proportion of falls and the like. 

 ianstevens 31 May 2021
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

> I think the exact opposite would happen.  It would cement Ondra and Garnbret into the gold medal places.  They're easily the best overall climbers and can both climb hard routes very fast.  Neither are strong on the current speed setup though.  The combined events I've seen, once the finals have started they've generally been towards the bottom after the speed event, which has at given other competitors a chance and introduced some drama into the proceedings.

> > It's barely climbing...

> At 6b+ that means the majority of (UK) climbers can barely climb!  I've tried one of the speed walls, and while not especially difficult it's also not that easy (it's certainly pumpy).  I felt reasonably challenged on it (I felt I motored up it and did it in around 50s).

Worth noting it's set in such a way that a dynamic approach is required - it feels a LOT harder than 6b+ when it's climbed in a more conventional (static) manner.

 ianstevens 31 May 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I think I'd be happier with speed climbing if it wasn't a fixed route, just a route of fixed difficulty - once the on-sight ethos is included, then the difficulty could be adjusted to get the desired balance of climbing ability and speed climbing ability - this would be much more meaningful to "ordinary" climbers.

When say "ordinary" I presume you are looking through an anglocentric lens of people insisting* on on sighting trad which isn't actually that hard for them, rather than projecting sport (Europe, EU) routes? Remember we do things weirdly in the UK, not so many other places approach climbing in the same way (in my experience, which is of course far from universal).

*this was actually an autocorrect of onsight, but I liked it so kept it. 

In reply to ianstevens:

Yes I'm looking from a trad perspective - maybe not on-sight, but certainly the turn up at crag for a day's climbing and just climb routes from bottom to top, which I presume forms the majority of our trad climbing experiences.

However, just skimmed through the video of the speed climbing finals (mainly looking for the new men's record) and although I don't agree with the totally fixed route idea, I must say that it was exciting to watch, especially the grand final of the men's where the record was broken again.

The way the top climbers explosively generate and maintain their momentum is truly impressive.

As to the "triple" Olympic format, I think the main reason it's flawed is because I think it would be very unlikely that one person would be able to be the best (or nearly the best) at all 3 disciplines. It's more akin to a decathlon/heptathlon where the top performers will be good at all components but may not be exceptional at any of them (although with climbing only having 3 components it's more likely that the top athletes will be exceptional in at least one component).

So for that reason I think the move to split the speed from the lead&bouldering in Paris is a good move, since we know that some climbers can be exceptional at both lead & bouldering at the same time, but speed specialists have not (so far) been exceptional at lead or bouldering.

In reply to john arran:

Is there any Olympic sport which better encapsulates the 3 ideas of faster, higher, stronger than the 3 climbing disciplines?

Athletics covers it but it has many events for each of the 3 ideas whereas climbing has a 1-1 correspondence for the 3.

Post edited at 11:20
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

You're missing the point, 5secs event with 5 mins change over time, gives the ioc loads of advertising time, you've mistakenly thought the Olympics was about anything other than corporate money. 

It's like skicross, 20 20 cricket .. everything is moving towards limited attention spans and fast results. 

In reply to summo:

> You're missing the point, 5secs event with 5 mins change over time, gives the ioc loads of advertising time, you've mistakenly thought the Olympics was about anything other than corporate money. 

No, the Olympics is about creating extraordinary and timeless sporting moments that we shall still be rewatching and talking about in fifty years time. A side effect of such glories might be the generation of some money.

In reply to Robert Durran:

IMO you're describing what the Olympics should be, but I suspect that Summo has described what it has unfortunately become.

In reply to Michael Hood:

> IMO you're describing what the Olympics should be, but I suspect that Summo has described what it has unfortunately become.

No, people have been saying that about the Olympics for decades, but they are always brilliant and it is the sporting memories which last.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> No, the Olympics is about creating extraordinary and timeless sporting moments that we shall still be rewatching and talking about in fifty years time. A side effect of such glories might be the generation of some money.

That's not what the ioc are likely thinking whilst wishing to still push ahead with the games despite Japanese hospitals filling up. 

It's a busted flush, it's too expensive to meet the ioc demands, there is no lasting legacy, it costs countries too much to deliver. Look at London, legacy versus cost, or the uk despite record medals it's hardly motivated people, overall the uk is still obese. Norway dropped out of hosting the winter games a few years ago citing unreasonably expensive demands by the ioc committee that it couldn't justify its taxpayers funding. 

In reply to summo:

> That's not what the ioc are likely thinking whilst wishing to still push ahead with the games despite Japanese hospitals filling up. 

I agree that it is ridiculous that Tokyo should go ahead, but it is a one off situation.

> Look at London, legacy versus cost, or the uk despite record medals it's hardly motivated people, overall the uk is still obese. 

Bollocks to "legacy versus cost". Is that how you evaluate the success of a party yourself? London was absolutely fabulous: amazing sport, Britain at its best; the last time anyone much felt good about this country. The legacy (horrible word) is the memories of Super Saturday and all the rest.

In reply to Robert Durran:

I agree, London put on a good show, that's the legacy. Your post shows it's more corporate funded entertainment than sport. Most sports already have world cups etc.  The Olympics has become more corporate than sport. The discussion about Japan isn't about athletes missing out, covid increasing in Japan, its all about money, corporate sponsorship, who'll pay etc.

When norway dropped out the pm cited reasons like the ioc wanting an extra dedicated lane adding to the road between Oslo and lillehammer just for them, the committee expect a cocktail party for them hosted by royalty, the hotels that served previous games needed up grading to 5*+ and on the list went. You'll notice none of this has anything to do with sport.  

Post edited at 15:36
In reply to summo:

> I agree, London put on a good show, that's the legacy. Your post shows it's more corporate funded entertainment than sport. Most sports already have world cups etc.  The Olympics has become more corporate than sport.

I disagree. For many sports Olympic Gold is the ultimate achievement. There are a few exceptions like Football and Tennis, but they probably shouldn't be in the Olympics anyway. For most people the Olympics is entirely about the sport; the competition and the way they can bring people together.

 HansStuttgart 31 May 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I disagree. For many sports Olympic Gold is the ultimate achievement. There are a few exceptions like Football and Tennis, but they probably shouldn't be in the Olympics anyway. For most people the Olympics is entirely about the sport; the competition and the way they can bring people together.

And for climbing it is the same. The athletes could have chosen to prioritize the world championships or world cup circuits over the olympics. Basically all of them chose the olympics.

In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm not devaluing the athletes, but their priorities of reaching a sporting pinnacle, against all their fellow competitors globally has nothing to do with the iocs agenda of selling TV rights, corporate boxes and everything else to the highest bidder. That's how the Olympics has finished up with famous sports related brands like McDonald's and coca cola! 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> The legacy (horrible word) is the memories of Super Saturday and all the rest.

The legacy was billions of new taxpayer investment into infrastructure for London and a whole new quarter of the city opened up for development.

Since then they've been attracting tech industry into that area and now London has become  the major centre in the UK for internet companies.   Twenty years ago tech industry centres in the UK were outside of London.  If it hadn't been for the Olympics and the collusion between local and central government and the ease of getting investment from bankers also based in London compared with the difficulties faced by start-ups in regions far from London we might have kept tech out of London and had growth in other regions.

Putting the Channel Tunnel rail link, then the Olympics, Crossrail and now HS2 into London has turned what was already a grossly over-centralised country into a ridiculously over-centralised one.

 Webster 31 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> He ran up  and through those on the way to the rock and snow faces as part of the FKTs. He started climbing at the end of them. Back at-cha

He/they take the lift/train to get up to the base of the climbs! some may still require a substantial approach from the lift (i.e. the Grands Jorasses) but others you are practically there (i.e. the eiger).

 Webster 31 May 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> What seems more in line with this would be a hard lead route, within the capacity of the climbers, that has to be done in the shortest time. E.g. the normal lead comp wall ramps to a climax at like 8c (forgive me if this is way out), and the speed wall is 'how fast can you get up this 8a'.

that would give very little distinction between 'lead' and 'speed'. lead is still onsighting (they get a few minutes to inspect from below, but its still onsight), and there is a time limit, you cant take 40m to top out! in the case of a tie then its fastest wins etc etc. So in your suggestion, the only real difference is the head to head format, which if anything should be added to the lead to improve the spectacle.

lets face it. the combined format wont last beyond this olympic cycle in any way shape or form, so any suggested changes are moot. For the next cycle there will probably be a seperate speed discipline, and the boulder/lead. maybe once speed has gone its own way you could argue for two events - the current format, and a 'freestyle' format where the route changes and is generaly a few grades harder? 

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh and summo:

Whatever. The London Olympics were utterly brilliant, not least in the way they triumphantly silenced the tedious cynics so breathtakingly. Yes, the IOC needs reforming and yes they should have been held in Falkirk or wherever, but as the sporting spectacle they were about as good as it gets and that is really what the Olympics are about.

In reply to Robert Durran:

The Olympics favors inclusion over performance.  In many sports the limitations imposed on participation means the very best athletes may not even get to appear. In gymnastics, for example, the individual all around competition is comprised of (approximately) the top 2 finishers from the top 10 countries in the team event. When the top five finishers of the team event are from the same country, only the top 2 continue. That leaves 3 top gymnasts who are proven to be better than everyone else there, excluded from the chance to win the most coveted title — the one that global gymnastics is designed around because it draws support (money). The competition is fake, because the field is contrived af. It’s not the best athletes. It’s the best of the most nationally diverse group of athletes. So as cool as the moments are, and as amazing as it is for the countries without enormous programs or developed sports systems to show their stuff on the world stage, it is not an accurate measure of expertise in a particular sport. And that seems sad to me. Because often these sports turns all their organizational and training efforts to Olympic wins, and glorify them above World Cup and Word Championship titles.
 

The money cannot be ignored. The attention the Olympics bring to sports that aren’t popular every year is the entire game for these sports. Careers are developed according to Olympic years and athletes ages. Mainstream sponsorships and endorsements flow in. Ethics and fun exit the building. 
 

The Olympics is by nature an exhibition event. I wish it was considered as such and taken with a grain of salt. It isn’t reflective of the true state of excellence in the sports. 

In reply to AtLargesse:

Yet still most competitors would swap every other medal or trophy they have ever won for an Olympic Gold.*

Yes, some compromises are made to make it a truly global event, but that is part of what makes it truly special. Only the World Cup comes close.

*And if not, then I would argue that sport is out of place in the Olympics.

In reply to summo:

> It's like skicross, 20 20 cricket .. everything is moving towards limited attention spans and fast results. 

....or more accurately, everything is moving towards television & TikTok.

 mark s 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yet still most competitors would swap every other medal or trophy they have ever won for an Olympic Gold.*

> Yes, some compromises are made to make it a truly global event, but that is part of what makes it truly special. Only the World Cup comes close.

> *And if not, then I would argue that sport is out of place in the Olympics.

I can't imagine a cyclist preferring a gold medal over a tdf win or footballer winning the world Cup.

I'm even surprised ondra bothers with the Olympics. Ticking the hardest route surely means more to a climber over a medal. 

In reply to mark s:

> I can't imagine a cyclist preferring a gold medal over a tdf win or footballer winning the world Cup.

No, and, as I said, I don't think those sports (or, in the case of cycling, particular sub-disciplines) should be in the Olympics - they devalue it.

> I'm even surprised Ondra bothers with the Olympics. Ticking the hardest route surely means more to a climber over a medal. 

Climbing is a bit of an oddity, being a sanitised competitive version of the real thing. Maybe the same could be said about, say, sailing. I have less of a problem with climbing being in the Olympics than football and tennis though.

 Ian W 01 Jun 2021
In reply to mark s:

> I can't imagine a cyclist preferring a gold medal over a tdf win or footballer winning the world Cup.

Didn't Cavendish return to the track to try to get an Olympic medal? There are more disciplines / events for cyclists than the tbf (just ask Chris hoy). And for footballers, there are qualification rules for footballers, so it is automatically "devalued" when compared to the world cup.

> I'm even surprised ondra bothers with the Olympics. Ticking the hardest route surely means more to a climber over a medal. 

Why can't the 2 be complementary? Ondra has been in comps for many years - he has the hardest routes, and the Olympics is the pinnacle of comp climbing now that it is in the Olympics.

 Jubjab 01 Jun 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

having a standardised route makes sense in the way of making speed clearly distinct from lead or bouldering. Climbing fast on a lead route is really not that different from the current lead format, which already has a time element. 

In my opinion the biggest problem with the speed route is that it really isn't that well designed. There's several holds that aren't used at all, and as mentioned climbing it in 5 seconds is just too fast. The problem is of course that making the route harder might not really change much - if you can dyno from a 6a+ move you most probably can from a slightly worse hold, too. And making holds just overall more bad might just result in people unexpectedly falling, resulting in a lottery style competition where not the strongest and fastest climber wins, but the one being most lucky.

And making the route longer is also not really an option as most gyms could then not fit the speed walls at all.

In reply to Jubjab:

Big bouncy mat at the bottom (to avoid serious injury but still uncomfortable from 15m), change the finish pad to a handrail, take them off the auto-belay which can be left at the top for them to clip into for a smooth descent - sorted 😁

And of course this will increase the spectator excitement; climbers flying off left, right and centre.

Post edited at 14:27
In reply to Jubjab:

>  And making holds just overall more bad might just result in people unexpectedly falling, resulting in a lottery style competition where not the strongest and fastest climber wins, but the one being most lucky.

Maybe that's the problem, taking an activity more suited to gladiators on TV, or a 60min novelty red bull live streamed event and trying to turn it into something that's fair, well managed and where the winner of a gold medal isn't just lucky. 

 Nic 01 Jun 2021
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

My vote would be for Speed Culm...the route starts self-destructing so the challenge is to get to the top before it falls down...

 Denning76 01 Jun 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

From a spectator sport perspective, I see why it is what it is. It's a lot easier for a punter tuning in to the Olympics etc to understand speed rather than understand why a given move is really hard after someone has explained it to them.

In reply to Denning76:

> From a spectator sport perspective, I see why it is what it is. It's a lot easier for a punter tuning in to the Olympics etc to understand speed rather than understand why a given move is really hard after someone has explained it to them.

I'm not sure I buy this argument. There are plenty of Olympic sports which are good to watch but incomprehensible until the basics have been explained. 

 cb294 01 Jun 2021
In reply to AtLargesse:

This.

A guy at my former club in West Germany never qualified for the Olympics, even though he was a double European champion in his Judo weight class. Bad luck that German reunification meant that the one slot available to the German federation went to the then current world champion from the former GDR, who duly collected Olympic medals.

Conversely, the breakup of Yugoslavia meant that a postdoc at my old uni went to the winter Olympics. Maybe the tenth best slalom skier in Yugoslavia, but the best from Bosnia!

Bad luck for the other eight who were better than him, but were not at the No1 spot in Croatia or Slovenia. Actually, skiing allows for more than one competitor per country, but the principle of quota places for weaker athletes from other federations still holds.

I see the point of including weaker countries, but especially in Judo and wrestling, with one competitor per country and weight class, the qualification rules are too tight.

Actually, that is not arrogance coming from a rich and developed country: If only the best athletes qualified in e.g. distance running you would probably get largely African fields, IMO rightly so!

CB

 barry donovan 01 Jun 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

Call it ‘ Race Climbing ‘ 

 barry donovan 01 Jun 2021
In reply to barry donovan:

The climbing is not the point . . .its who comes first.     Geddit?

 Michael Gordon 01 Jun 2021
In reply to mark s:

> I'm even surprised Ondra bothers with the Olympics. Ticking the hardest route surely means more to a climber over a medal. 

Climbing means different things to different people. And as Ian W says, perhaps both are attractive.

 apwebber 01 Jun 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

We already have a speed climbing format that is actual climbing, and really great fun to watch. Psicobloc style onsight speed. It would be great to see this as a world cup discipline! Speed climbers can carry on with their rehearsed, identical vertical running if they like...

While we're at it can we drastically reduce the number of parkour problems in the bouldering? Three of the four final mens boulders for the second SLC were hard dynos which took repeated attempts and falls of one specific move. It was excruciatingly boring to watch.

In reply to HeMa:

> The other thing, is that an Olympic sports results should be comparable from year on year out.

The other nice aspect of speed is that everyone can participate and when they watch it on TV can compare their own times, like in a city marathon where the punters can run the same course as the elite.  I once raced Will Bosi on the speed wall at a fun event in Ratho.   There's a picture of me in mid air doing the dynamic move just after the start and you can just see his foot in the top right hand corner - the rest of him was long gone.

They could leave the IFSC lead routes up at Ratho for a year and 95% of the climbers wouldn't even try and pull on.  

Post edited at 05:32
 mark s 02 Jun 2021
In reply to apwebber:

> We already have a speed climbing format that is actual climbing, and really great fun to watch. Psicobloc style onsight speed. It would be great to see this as a world cup discipline! Speed climbers can carry on with their rehearsed, identical vertical running if they like...

> While we're at it can we drastically reduce the number of parkour problems in the bouldering? Three of the four final mens boulders for the second SLC were hard dynos which took repeated attempts and falls of one specific move. It was excruciatingly boring to watch.

It's now gone from a dyno that climbers know and probably have done to some silly kind of jumping and moving. Almost to the point of no relavence to climbing. I, like you find it painful and boring to watch. In fact I deleted the serial offenders off Instagram. Some Climbing walls put in a lot of these style problems now and the days of going to a wall to train for outdoors is a thing of the past. 

In reply to mark s:

I suspect I'm too traditional in outlook, but to me it's like ninja warrior meets gladiators. It's a million miles away from the sport of climbing, indoors or outdoors, that thousands enjoy weekly. I think it's an incredibly poor representation of the activity and doesn't present climbing as something non climbers can aspire to take up. 

 mark s 02 Jun 2021
In reply to summo:

Spot on. 

In reply to HeMa:

> The other thing, is that an Olympic sports results should be comparable from year on year out.


That isn't true of a lot of Olympic events though. MTB, Ski events, horse riding, road cycling etc


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