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Onsight or not? Controversial ascent

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Hello I need oppinions, I climbed green death yesterday and instead of traversing in from the left, ran at the wall and jumped for a crimp, missed it a couple of times and then got it, does this invalidate the onsight? I genuinely don't know

 john arran 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

I'd say good on you for getting up it. In days of old there used to be a pile of stones to start from, and it wasn't frowned upon to use them, rather considered even better if you could do the boulder problem start too. Of course, you probably couldn't claim to have done the problem start itself, as the bouldering world tends to be less forgiving of such alternative approaches. I remember once doing the Buckstone Dyno via a similar run-and-jump method, which is a perfectly valid ascent of the boulder but I'd never have claimed to have done the problem!

 Hardonicus 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Did you fall to the ground in an uncontrolled manner? If so you blew the onsight pal so beware the logbook police...

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In reply to Hardonicus:

I did indeed, however a new dimension has been uncovered, that of the once existent pile of stones to start, but I think your probably right maybe not an onsight, might wait for some more oppinions first though

 snoop6060 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

I once fell off a route but landed on a ledge and didn’t weight the rope. I just called it a reverse dyno and took the onsight. Absolutely legit in my eyes  
 

In reply to snoop6060:

Maybe I make a poll

Aye for the o/s

Nay for the g/u

Post edited at 14:16
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In reply to richard_briggs7:

An argument could be made that you can't fall off something that you weren't on in the first place, so maybe that supports the suggestion this is a valid onsite?

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In reply to will_mcmahon:

A man of great logic, philosophers look up to him

In reply to snoop6060:

I did that on Brown's Eliminate Direct. Twice. The first time I couldn't quite believe I was standing on the ledge.

In reply to snoop6060:

> I once fell off a route but landed on a ledge and didn’t weight the rope. I just called it a reverse dyno and took the onsight. Absolutely legit in my eyes  

I like the idea that it is, by definition, impossible to blow an onsight solo since there is no rope to weight.  You always live to fight another day.

Post edited at 14:57
 Iamgregp 06 May 2022
In reply to will_mcmahon:

Agreed, if you ran at it and leapt for the crimp but didn't catch it then you're not on it, so this counts as an onsight in my mind.

Wouldn't be an onsight if this was an indoor boulder comp, but it isn't, so it is.

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 profitofdoom 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

> Hello I need oppinions, I climbed green death yesterday and instead of traversing in from the left, ran at the wall and jumped for a crimp, missed it a couple of times and then got it, does this invalidate the onsight..... 

You have definitely done the onsight IMO. You can leap on any route you like anywhere, still valid IMO

As long as you don't use a trampoline, rockets 

In reply to snoop6060:

My friend once caught a hold as he went past it, thereby saving the flash... still suffers from the jarred back he got from it as a nice little reminder...

 Michael Gordon 06 May 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I like the idea that it is, by definition, impossible to blow an onsight solo since there is no rope to weight.  You always live to fight another day.

Unless you get stuck and have to be rescued of course. That would probably involve weighting a rope...

In reply to richard_briggs7:

Was anyone watching? If there's no around to hear the sound of one hand slapping, can it truly be said to make a sound?

In reply to richard_briggs7:

> Hello I need oppinions, I climbed green death yesterday and instead of traversing in from the left, ran at the wall and jumped for a crimp, missed it a couple of times and then got it, does this invalidate the onsight? I genuinely don't know

If you just jumped and missed completely, the attempt isn't started but IMHO jumping and making contact with rock above the ground and failing to stay on is falling off.

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 Brown 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

I once, just prior to falling off, jumped off the route into a tree.

After down climbing the tree I had a rest and then continued my on sight attempt of the route having not fallen off.

I shamelessly took the on sight ascent (on second) of the route (despite having belayed and possibly paid attention enough to have beta)!

Liquid Armbar (E4 6a)

Post edited at 17:03
 alan moore 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Take the tick!

In reply to richard_briggs7:

From the photos I saw you used a pad this could be an argument for the loss of an onsight as hitting a pad could be likened to weighting a rope

Post edited at 20:20

 Hat Dude 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Just say that each time you jumped and missed, you head butted the crag and couldn't remember anything

 rachelpearce01 06 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Do you need the opinions of others? I’m trying to stop caring what other people think or even if they think anything at all. Only you truly know what you believe the style of your ascent was and how it went down, and that’s all that really matters. We recently tried a route with a bouldery start and took a pad, climbed up to the highest point and then reversed/down climbed and jumped onto the mat. Although we’ve done the same with ropes in place of a mat before. I believe this was preserving the onsight as I wasn’t falling off uncontrolled, but others may disagree. But really who gives a shit unless it’s a headline making grade.

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 john arran 06 May 2022
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

A big clue can be found in the grade given to routes with crux boulder problem starts. The trad grade is for the onsight, yes? That much I think is agreed. In which case, why are routes with crux boulder problem starts typically given grades like VS 6a or HVS 6b? Surely it can't be expected that a typical HVS leader will be able to climb 6b first go? Rather, the grade takes into account the fact that a problem start may need to be bouldered out as part of a successful onsight ascent.

The reason why some people seem to think otherwise is due to confusion with 2 other things: one is the norm in bouldering, which has always been that a flash or onsight boulder ascent needs to have been done first try. The second is lead competitions, for which an onsight attempt is ended if the climber returns to the ground for any reason once started. This was introduced purely to speed up comps and make them better for spectators, and ran counter to outdoor norms when it was introduced in the early days of comp climbing.

With increasing numbers of people apparently confused about boulder stars and onsights, I can envisage a day when the trad norm changes to match the boulder and comp norms, but this was never the case in the past and, to my knowledge, isn't the case now. Otherwise there are an awful lot of grit routes that will need to be regraded!

In reply to richard_briggs7:

Did you do the top pitch? 

All that matters  

 HeMa 07 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

For non cutting EDGE ascents of non professionals… it really boils down how do you feel about it.

That being said, OS stand for successful ascent of the line without no prior beta… IMHO successful ascent does not contain falling or failing. Heck, even controlled downclimb is something that should be discussed. I’d actaully state, that your ascent starts the second you live the ground… and if you come down in control, you’re already in the grey area (so you’re actually looking at ground-up… it’s just you didn’t fall but aborted the ascent due to not being fit enough to go though it). And if you fall, that is not even ”controlled”.

n.B. Pete Whittakers OS (or was it Flash) of Freerider is a good example… he indeed climbed all pitches… but he also failed on one crux pitch, and then manageri on the alternative… again, a stellar effort and indeed fit’s the claim… but even with Flash, I’d say failing is not part of the ascent…

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 Fellover 07 May 2022
In reply to Alkis:

> I did that on Brown's Eliminate Direct. Twice. The first time I couldn't quite believe I was standing on the ledge.

Nice - me too. It's an amazing feeling isn't it?

Have to say that this news that I'm not alone does make me slightly sad, I thought it was probably the only unique thing I'd ever done in climbing!

In reply to john arran:

> The reason why some people seem to think otherwise is due to confusion with 2 other things: one is the norm in bouldering, which has always been that a flash or onsight boulder ascent needs to have been done first try.

I don't have the expertise to argue on the history or about what the current 'rules' for trad are.

What I will say is that 'an attempt starts when your feet leave the ground and ends when you get to the top or you fall' is a simpler and more intuitive rule.  Rules in most sports evolve over time.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> What I will say is that 'an attempt starts when your feet leave the ground and ends when you get to the top or you fall' is a simpler and more intuitive rule.  Rules in most sports evolve over time.

When this was last discussed at length on here, it was pointed out that this definition is very problematical because of issues with defining what is meant by "the ground".

And it's wrong anyway.

 birdie num num 07 May 2022
In reply to Hardonicus:

> Did you fall to the ground in an uncontrolled manner? If so you blew the onsight pal so beware the logbook police...

When I did it, I fell to the ground in a controlled manner, thus preserving my onsight status

 nz Cragrat 07 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

So if I walk past something see a hold and try 1-2m in passing of a 30m route it's not an onsight when I eventually climb it first go (or the remaining 28m)... 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> When this was last discussed at length on here, it was pointed out that this definition is very problematical because of issues with defining what is meant by "the ground".

'The hardest bit is a boulder problem at the start but you can fall off that as many times as you like and still call it an onsite' has a few problems of its own.

I don't buy the argument that it's too hard to define what the ground is.  I'm very rarely in any doubt about what the ground is, if there was a specific issue where it was hard to know where to start then adding a few words to the route description would solve it.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

So you pull onto a ten pitch route, but the very first move is incredibly awkward, and in trying to flail your way into an established position on the rock you overbalance and tip off the starting foothold. And you've blown the onsight?

I feel there's degrees here. If the route is a 4m micro route that should be a (not even particularly high) highball, then messing the sequence up is going to have more significance than if you're climbing a feature-length route - because the start sequence is probably a third of the total number of moves on the route. Likewise, if you fall off the first move of a big mountain route, it's neither here nor there because you can't realistically claim that that has given you any insight into or advantage on the route whatsoever. You've fondled one hold that you can virtually reach from the ground - but there's another 500 above you.

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 apache 08 May 2022
In reply to Leon Joyce:

If this is a photo from your climb, what was the belayer doing? Miles from the foot of the route, masses of slack and not watching or spotting you😵

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 profitofdoom 08 May 2022
In reply to apache:

> If this is a photo from your climb, what was the belayer doing? Miles from the foot of the route, masses of slack and not watching or spotting you😵

It looks to me as though the belayer is still sorting out the rope. From the photo it looks like there is no point reducing slack or watching the leader yet. IMO

 sfletch 08 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Doesn’t onsight/flash mean doing it first go without falling?

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 Brown 08 May 2022
In reply to sfletch:

Jumping ≠ falling

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In reply to apache:

This was richard in the photo they guy who started this thread

 sfletch 09 May 2022
In reply to Brown:

Does having a jump at a hold, not getting it and coming off count as a go? If not my flash go on Deliverance is still very much alive.

Post edited at 22:53
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In reply to Fellover:

Unless you were in El Chorro a few years ago and relayed your story to a mate of mine, there are at least three of us who have done this! 😆

The first fall was unexpected, I braced for a long fall and I cannot really express the confusion in my brain when I found myself standing on the ledge. The second one I saw coming and held myself painfully onto the slab, sliding down it leaving skin behind. Third attempt at the move was more successful.

In reply to sfletch:

Presumably on Deliverance you mean jumping for the top. From the ground 🤣- impressive - your flash is still alive.

But if you mean jumping for the top from the usual place on the "flake", then I'm afraid you've blown it.

However if you mean failing to get off the ground even by jumping (which is where I'd be) then I'd say the onsight is still on but you've scuppered the flash.

Edit: slightly more seriously, if you were walking past with a mate and said "I wouldn't even be able to' get off the ground on that" and then demonstrated your "ability", I'd say that the flash was still on for some future time when you come back as a better climber.

If however you couldn't get off the ground on a proper attempt where you were really trying the problem then you would have blown the flash.

Post edited at 06:59
In reply to richard_briggs7:

Serious question - presuming the photo down the thread is you - why have you got double ropes?

I thought GD had only 1 bit of gear, the cemented peg near the top.

 Siderunner 10 May 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Serious question - presuming the photo down the thread is you - why have you got double ropes?

> I thought GD had only 1 bit of gear, the cemented peg near the top.

If the OP was truly climbing *onsight*, how would he know there’s only one piece?

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 Ian Parsons 10 May 2022
In reply to Siderunner:

> If the OP was truly climbing *onsight*, how would he know there’s only one piece?

Hah! The old question: is 'onsight' compatible with having read a guidebook - possibly in some detail? Ditto looking at photos of other people on the route - and ditto again being aware of something that for many people for quite a long time, albeit maybe less so nowadays, was a 'well-known fact'?

 Fellover 10 May 2022
In reply to Alkis:

> Unless you were in El Chorro a few years ago and relayed your story to a mate of mine, there are at least three of us who have done this! 😆

I was there for a couple of weeks a few years ago, Novemberish 2017 maybe, so it might be just us!

> The first fall was unexpected, I braced for a long fall and I cannot really express the confusion in my brain when I found myself standing on the ledge. The second one I saw coming and held myself painfully onto the slab, sliding down it leaving skin behind. Third attempt at the move was more successful.

Almost the same as me except you actually did it in the end - I'm still on the onsight after escaping up Browns Eliminate normal after my second go landing on the ledge. Might be my longest onsight attempt ever, at least 5 years and counting now I think

Post edited at 15:59
In reply to Fellover:

> I was there for a couple of weeks a few years ago, Novemberish 2017 maybe, so it might be just us!

Hah, that's the right timeline! Just us for now then! :-P

In reply to Siderunner:

There all tangled anyway

 George_Surf 10 May 2022
In reply to richard_briggs7:

this is interesting as i did cockblock in the pass the other day, we bouldered out the start a few times to A. work it out and B. warm up. Id done this maybe 3 times or so, maybe 4? I was about to set off and was talking about how devoid of protection it looked above the first crack, i said i didnt want any info since i was going to give it an onsight go but they said the onsight had already gone? i thought on trad that so long as you dont weight the rope then youre good although i do see how falling off would be considered a failed go. i was half down climbing the start but didnt really think i needed to go all the way to the ground with hands still no the wall. what do the ukc police say? btw i didnt get anywhere near onsighting it, the gear is fiddly, sparse and crucial and i fell off not getting a ("the"?) small wire in, plus its dead hard climbing

 john arran 10 May 2022
In reply to George_Surf:

The ground is just a big ledge or terrace. If you can jump down to it in some control, that's fair game as part of an onsight. If you land on your arse after an uncontrolled fall, you have to be honest with yourself as to whether or not it's end of attempt.

There are no hard and fast rules; never have been until people started applying bouldering norms to sport and then trad. Unfortunately it seems that people like rules, they like things being clear cut, even to the extent where they create absurd situations such as trying to rest six inches from the ground on a rock that they've arbitrarily declared to be part of the face and not part of the ground. Yes, there always will be personal judgements to be made and it doesn't lend itself to strict comparison between 2 people's ascents, but does any of that really matter? What really matters is that you climb in a way that makes intuitive sense to you, which may mean spending a few minutes sorting the first moves out before starting proper. That's the way it's always worked in the past, and even though I think it's inevitable that the rule-lovers will progressively take over, it will be a shame once that day arrives.

 sfletch 12 May 2022
In reply to George_Surf:

> i do see how falling off would be considered a failed go.

Never

In reply to Leon Joyce:

Of course it’s an onsight. The pad is neither here nor there and certainly not like weighting the rope. The first ascent was done with a pile of rocks to reach the crimp, as at that time probably Tom or Keith would have been unable to climb the direct start. A few years later I was with Keith Myhill, one of the first ascensionists, when he fell off trying to clip the peg. A mat certainly wouldn’t have helped him. Months in traction!

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In reply to Bulls Crack:

Top pitch of GD, Great Arête E5?

In reply to tehmarks:

> So you pull onto a ten pitch route, but the very first move is incredibly awkward, and in trying to flail your way into an established position on the rock you overbalance and tip off the starting foothold. And you've blown the onsight?

Well, yes. That's called hard luck. If a goalie fumbled a pass back in the first ten seconds of a football match and it went over the line it is still an own goal. Overbalancing and coming off an awkward move is falling, falling is failing, therefore it's not an onsight.

Whether onsight vs not onsight is that useful a distinction for 10 pitch routes is another question.

Also, at the purely for fun, punter level your partner will probably say take the onsight anyway and if you do nobody is going to get worked up about it. Also like other sports.

Post edited at 20:28
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 Brown 13 May 2022
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Can you blow the onsight without even pulling on?

If you decide your heading to Millstone to attempt to OS Masters wall only to get there, fiddle with some gear, mutter about the possibility of rain, before sacking it off, have you blown the onsight?

You have after all, attempted to climb the route, and failed to do so.

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