UKC

/ 60yrs+ climbing F8a?

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DAVID0347 on 08 Jun 2018

Anyone have an idea as to how many 60yrs+ climbers in UK are climbing at F8a?

1
Pay Attention - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

Not me, for one.  I don't  even know where that is.

 

4
ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

Here is Francisco Marin doing 8b+ at 61:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30yYDcl7m6k

overdrawnboy - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

I make everything look like 8a, does that count?

1
GridNorth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

It's more to do with attitude, ethics and approach than age.  I'm 70, my current limit is 6c with the odd 7a thrown in on a good day but I attempt everything on-sight, consider a slump on a bolt as a failure and have no interest in redpointing.  Other than going indoors a couple of times a week in winter I do not train.  If I changed my attitude, redpointed and put in more effort I might (emphasis on the might, I'll never really know) manage 8a. Many climbers of my generation, who I climb with, are very similar in outlook and climb at a similar level.

Al

6
UKB Shark - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

I’m guessing a dozen currently but looking  at the ‘younger’ generation coming through in their mid-late 50’s I don’t think it will seem unusual in 5 years.

MischaHY - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Why not give it a punt for a month or two Al? 

Not suggesting you turn into a Kilnsey dogger (wink wink nudge nudge) but might not do any harm to get some perspective on it, if only to deride the experience... 

GridNorth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to MischaHY:

Tried it on a couple of occasions.  The routes did feel two grades easier on the redpoint but to be honest, and I said so at the time, I would rather have put that effort into doing more routes. I don't even like repeating routes Can't do anything at the moment, I'm recovering from a broken ankle.

Al

Post edited at 10:25
paul mitchell - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

I reckon it comes down to the right genes.Testosterone and muscle  strength decline gradually.I met an ex gymnast sport climber age 61 once ,who had  the most phenomenal grip.He said most climbers were weaklings,even the famous ones,compared to gymnasts.John Gill was a gymnast and boulderer.He spends  ages and ages to warm up now,trying to avoid injury.Not getting injured is a problem,as is recovery time.Having partners anywhere near 60 who are willing to work hard sequences is also a problem.These problems are not insuperable,but  points to the statistical rarity of  people doing  hard sport or even hard trad over the age of 55.The paragons  are rare indeed.The point isn't the grade,but to enjoy what you can on the day.

1
ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

Great piece by Eric Horst on aging, climbing performance and what to do to get the best sport performance as you age:

http://trainingforclimbing.com/aging-is-mostly-a-state-of-body/

Post edited at 10:33
jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> Tried it on a couple of occasions.  The routes did feel two grades easier on the redpoint but to be honest, and I said so at the time, I would rather have put that effort into doing more routes. I don't even like repeating routes Can't do anything at the moment, I'm recovering from a broken ankle.

You have my sympathy regarding your ankle, I seem to have caught a spot of tennis elbow so largely in the same boat. But to get back to redpointing... I seem to remember you (I think it was you - apologies if I'm wrong) saying not long back that due to having done all the routes you can do on most crags, you were losing interest and thinking of taking up other activities, shooting maybe (was that you?) Well I really think redpointing (or proper sport climbing as it's known!) might be the answer. It would open up a whole new reservoir of routes at all your favourite crags. It's immensely satisfying (if you'll let it be) to piece together all the moves having not been able to do any of them to begin with, till you can pull off a perfect ascent. I do prefer it nowadays to onsight, climbing things badly by the skin of my teeth to emerge triumphant at the top (or more often not!) totally stuffed and incapable of doing anything else for the rest of the day. I don't think it's a sign of weakness or a sign of going downhill, more that you're moving the goalposts sideways to another discpline.

GridNorth - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

Yes it was me. You could be right unfortunately I just don't seem to have the temperament nor the inclination to redpoint. After the accident my wife is not too keen on my continuing to climb.  I've been 6 weeks in plaster and after another operation on Sunday I will be another 6 to 9 weeks in plaster again so I may have to reconsider after that.  I will be totally unfit and at this age not sure if I will have the will to start again.

Al

GravitySucks - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

>  I will be totally unfit and at this age not sure if I will have the will to start again.

There's only so much gardening you can do ;-)

 

ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

> I do prefer it [redpointing] nowadays to onsight, climbing things badly by the skin of my teeth to emerge triumphant at the top (or more often not!) totally stuffed and incapable of doing anything else for the rest of the day. 

Yup, me too. I often feel that I haven't really done the route properly. I've climbed it an ugly way doing harder moves than the moves proper and feel that I have missed out on really getting to know the route. It's similar with redpoints where I get on lead really early and get up a route without finding the best sequences. 

2
jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

That's a bummer. Getting injured at our age is not good news. Everything seems to take longer to heal, fitness goes downhill quicker, takes longer to regain etc. Avoiding injury - whatever it is - is the key, but isn't easy to achieve.

rocksol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to ericinbristol:

Yes but that’s vertical gymnastics not climbing. For me the on sight flash is the ultimate and most pure method on either sport or trad. and shows a climbers true ability. But I probably feel like that because I find redpointing boring and pointless other than as good training.

8
Marek - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to rocksol:

> Yes but that’s vertical gymnastics not climbing. For me the on sight flash is the ultimate and most pure method on either sport or trad. and shows a climbers true ability. But I probably feel like that because I find redpointing boring and pointless other than as good training.

Surely the 'ultimate and most pure method' is either trad protected new routing otherwise the known grade tells you whether you 'should' be able to get up it? Or should it be solo? With bare feet? Oh, and it had better top out on a proper summit too, non of this cragging rubbish.

My point is that onsight trad is no more 'ultimate' or 'pure' than redpointing - they're all hues of the same spectrum - and they all have their own positives and negatives aspects. You may prefer one over another, but that's all it is, a personal preference, just like you may prefer a red harness over a blue one. To suggest that sport climbing is not 'climbing' is a bit like saying blue isn't a proper colour.

jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to rocksol:

> Yes but that’s vertical gymnastics not climbing. For me the on sight flash is the ultimate and most pure method on either sport or trad. and shows a climbers true ability. But I probably feel like that because I find redpointing boring and pointless other than as good training.

Yes but that’s vertical gymnastics not climbing. For me the on sight flash is the ultimate and most pure method on either sport or trad. and shows a climbers true ability. But I probably feel like that because I'm very competetive!

There you go Phil, that's better! Did you feel Body Machine was a failure then? I thought you were really made up to redpoint it after working it. Remember that one attempt that ended by those two drilled threads when you back clipped the rope through them because the were too close together. Somewhere I've got the photos I took hanging on a rope next to you... I'll see if I can find them. Glory days, Phil! 

 

Ramon Marin - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

At Malham and Kilnsey alone there must be at least a good 10 that climb harder than 8a, really inspiring.

Tyler - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Ramon Marin:

I can only think of one but plenty in their mid 50s climbing a good deal harder. I also know one Brit turning 60 today who will no doubt cruise a few in the next few weeks. 

jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Tyler:

If it's the one who's just retired, I'm sure you're right!

Tyler - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

Probably the same one, French resident and always very very good .

ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to rocksol:

It's climbing, just not the kind that you like or value most. Climbing is all pointless except for the point one attributes to it.

rocksol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to ericinbristol:

Totally agree and I suppose that’s the attraction. Obviously I have old school values but even the best in the world attach a cache to on sight and strive to achieve it.

1
rocksol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

Good point but it’s very rare for me to redpoint I think that’s probably why at the moment I’m stuck on 7a+

ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to rocksol:

Sure, on sight is also great and impressive. Personally, the on sight is close to being everything for me in trad, so if someone asked me what I climb in trad I would say whatever grade I on sight reliably. Once in a blue moon I will headpoint something and enjoy it but wouldn't call that my trad grade. In sport, I am not that bothered about what I on sight.

Post edited at 18:09
jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to ericinbristol:

I think you've got it there. On sight is for trad. Redpointing for sport climbing. Put it this way, if you can on sight a sport route all it means is that it isn't hard enough!

ericinbristol - on 08 Jun 2018

Good interview with Ondra about his F8c+ multiple on sights (including two in a day!) here:

http://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/climbing/adam-ondra-the-8c-on-sight-interview.html

earlsdonwhu - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

You can do it, Al. Steady rehabilitation!

There's the physical activity and the craic of being out with like minded folk.

jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

> After the accident (... )

By the way Al, what happened?

Post edited at 22:09
TheGeneralist - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Marek:

> My point is that onsight trad is no more 'ultimate' or 'pure' than redpointing 

 

Come now.  Some of the other points you made were good; but that statement is patently obviously not true.

4
Marek - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to TheGeneralist:

> Come now.  Some of the other points you made were good; but that statement is patently obviously not true.

Is it? 'Ultimate' implies that there's nothing beyond it and I think I gave some counter-examples above. As for a 'purity' scale in climbing I'm not sure there's a well formed definition that all climber will agree on. It can certainly be argued that climbing is all about the perfection of moves on the rock and that exploration, personal risk and faffing around with nuts are just distractions from the purity of movement. You don't have to agree, but I think you should accept that it (and other similar arguments) are just as valid as any other definition of 'purity'. So no, I don't think my statement was 'patently obviously not true'.

Fishmate - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

> That's a bummer. Getting injured at our age is not good news. Everything seems to take longer to heal, fitness goes downhill quicker, takes longer to regain etc. Avoiding injury - whatever it is - is the key, but isn't easy to achieve.

 

To a point, I of course agree with you. However it also depends on how much you invest in your condition in the first place. If you don't do anything climbing specific then problems are more likely to be encountered.

This is only a personal viewpoint which I don't attribute to others, but I value my climbing experience, so I ensure I'm in the best possible shape to do it. I'm never injured even though I exclusively boulder, which is perhaps the most taxing to the body. I do sympathise with anyone suffering injury, whatever their goals. Bad luck can always remove the best of approaches also.

 

 

Fishmate - on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Great piece by Eric Horst on aging, climbing performance and what to do to get the best sport performance as you age:


Thanks Eric, your namesake is usually worth a listen. I haven't seen this before.

jon on 08 Jun 2018
In reply to Fishmate:

> If you don't do anything climbing specific then problems are more likely to be encountered.

> I value my climbing experience, so I ensure I'm in the best possible shape to do it.

Hmmm, my tendinitis was brought on by the climbing wall I've just built in in the garage. Not climbing on it, you understand, but by screwing a couple of hundred holds onto it with an allen key! Don't know how to train for that really! In retrospect an extension to the allen key would have done the trick. Hindsight, eh?

Post edited at 23:58
Fishmate - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

I guess that squeezes into the bad luck category. I hope you get past it quickly. Oddly, I find fingerboarding removes any twinges I have around the elbows. That isn't advice btw ;)

GridNorth - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

Fell 10 metres on a badly bolted route on Kalymnos, Tio Pigeons on Sea Breeze.  Bolt well off to right, my foot slipped just before I could clip and next bolt was a further away than you would expect for Kalymnos. I hit the slab below.

Al

paul mitchell - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

I had a look at the piece by Eric Horst.He may be in for a shock when he turns 63,as he is a youthful 53 at the time of that article.I did Reticent Mass Murderer at the age of 50,with 2 falls.I doubt I could manage that route now with so few falls.He can do one armers.At one stage so could I,on one finger through a tape.No longer.Time/Nature slows us down,then we die.So,there are a few who can climb very hard,the exceptions that prove the rule.

TheGeneralist - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Marek:

In terms of purity, in one cae you have someone arriving at the bottom of a route and climbing up it.

In the other scenario you have someone abseling down with an electric drill and changing the cliff to suit them. Then going to the bottom and climbing up it.

One is clearly purer than the other in terms of the natural challenge. 

1
jon on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Oh that's a bastard. As you say not what you'd expect at Kalymnos. You have my sympathy. Fingers crossed for a full recovery.

GridNorth - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to paul mitchell:

In absolute terms I climbed my hardest climbs in my mid 50's.  E4's on a regular basis and a couple of E5's when everything was just right.  I also did a few 7a's but found that more challenging physically than the trad.  In real terms I consider that I was climbing my best in the 1960's and 1970's on UK trad where we often climbed routes that get E3 these days.  I didn't "peak" on alpine until the latter half of the 1980's and early 1990's when I was in my 40's but that was mainly down to having the money to enable me to do it on a regular and frequent basis.  It's only since hitting 60 years old that I have felt any serious physical limitations.

Al

 

GridNorth - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to jon:

As you say.  It was my warm up route before hitting the 7a's which I was determined to do a lot of this year.

Al

Marek - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to TheGeneralist:

> One is clearly purer than the other in terms of the natural challenge. 

Whereas the other is clearly purer in terms of the physical challenge.

Purity is in the eye of the beholder (to twist a phrase).

DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Jun 2018
In reply to Marek:

> Surely the 'ultimate and most pure method' is either trad protected new routing otherwise the known grade tells you whether you 'should' be able to get up it? Or should it be solo? With bare feet? Oh, and it had better top out on a proper summit too, non of this cragging rubbish.

> My point is that onsight trad is no more 'ultimate' or 'pure' than redpointing - they're all hues of the same spectrum - and they all have their own positives and negatives aspects. You may prefer one over another, but that's all it is, a personal preference, just like you may prefer a red harness over a blue one. To suggest that sport climbing is not 'climbing' is a bit like saying blue isn't a proper colour.


But the reverse is true too.

eroica64 - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to ericinbristol:

Hellish impressive but - picky? Moi? Never - a little slow. I could have done with seeing much more of his amazing climbing.

john yates - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to overdrawnboy:

Does in my book. 

DAVID0347 on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to overdrawnboy:

Er no! But apparently if you try to look cool over and over again then that's just redpointing! 

Thanks for the reply it made me smile.

ian caton on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to GridNorth:

Me, 7c+ at 59. But I know, now 60, I will never do that again. 

For me, the most memorable, are the absolute full on red points and the big European rock routes of the Dolomites and elsewhere.

stp - on 13 Jun 2018
In reply to DAVID0347:

Steve Crowe is 60 I believe and this year he climbed his first 8b+.


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