UKC

/ Ondra repeats Swiss 9b

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stp - on 02 Feb 2018

Adam Ondra repeated Meiose, the 9b put up by Permin Bertle in 2015, on his third try. He says "9a+ is closer to reality".

This means Meiose is probably not Switzaland's hardest route as there are 4 other 9a+'s, and one 9a+/b that was put up by Ondra in 2013.

Overgrading seems to often happen when climbers operate in a vacuum and don't repeat established routes. The only 9a+'s Bertle has climbed are all his own F.A.'s and he's only done one 9a that was not his own route, La Cabane Au Canada. That route that was onsighted by Ondra and described as 'rather low end'.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BepiiOxlmfe/?taken-by=adam.ondra

remus - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to stp:

Worth noting that Ondra found a kneebar rest before the crux that Bertle didn't use. Given that it's a power endurance route this could well have made a big difference.

(Obviously grading should be for the easiest sequence, but it does make Bertle's 9b grade seem more plausible.)

Post edited at 09:24
HeMa on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to remus:

True. And we should also remember, that FA SUGGESTS a grade, which is then confirmed by consensus After repeats. 

So If the route is unrepeated, the grade is implied but not confirmed. Repeats will consolidate the grade, and it can actually change quite a bit. Especially If a new sewuence or hold is used. 

Locally I have a rather good example of this. Originally it was F7A boulder with a dyno. Later on it was climbed with the exact same holds statictly using the same holds (albeit with also hands on ones that were only used for feet on the dyno). And it’s actually around F6B or so. So which grade it is? Same holds and line, different sequence and a whopping difference in grades. 

jezb1 - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to HeMa:

"So which grade it is? "

F6B

 

Post edited at 10:30
stp - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to remus:

Yeah I saw the kneebar. Wasn't certain if Bertle used that or not. Perhaps a bit surprising he missed it considering how long he spent trying it and Ondra did it in just 3 tries. But then Ondra had plenty of kneebar experience I suppose and it's the nature of first ascents to miss things and not find the best sequence.

But nevertheless a 3 go ascent of a 9a+ is pretty good going even for Ondra so I'm guessing it's probably not a hard one.

HeMa on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to jezb1:

Yes...

And this is exactly the case.

Honorable mention might go, that with the original beta (ie. my example, a dyno) it would be around 7A... but the easiest sequence of that line is 6B.

Just like in this case, Bertles sequence *might* be 9b. But according to sequence used by Ondra, the grade is 9a+.

jezb1 - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to HeMa:

I get what you’re saying, but this route, in my mind and if what Ondra says is right, was never 9b, it’s always been 9a+.

doesnt mean the first ascentionist didn’t have a 9b experience.

Surprised they missed a knee bar though!

Either way it’s still good route to claim the FA of

HeMa on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to jezb1:

Ondra only commented on the grade (using a kneebar), that it is what it is.

I didn't see him try it with the original beta, which might or might not be 9b.
 

Again, the fact is that Bertle though it was 9b and suggested that grade. Ondra seemed to have found a rest and though it's easier... Considering Ondras track record, I'm sure it is what he is suggesting (not that I hae any change of getting up it). But this is how it always goes. Walk of life, anyone... E11 to E8 or something.

Jon Greengrass on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to stp:

For Adam Ondra what is  9C? When 9b isn't that hard and 9a is a rest, albeit a kneebar one.

Cellinski - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to stp:

Well, put yourself in Bertles place. He had invested a lot into Meiose, more than in any other route before and finally managed the ascent. It felt harder to him than everything else he had done before. So suggesting half a grade more than what he had previously done does not seem overly optimistic.

Now a few years later a better, more experienced climber arrives, does it quickly and estimates to be half a grade lower than proposed. I don't think that's too bad. Grading routes/problems that are at your very limit (or even above) is a tricky matter.

On the other hand, part of the issue is that Bertle often happens to make quite bold statements about the quality and difficulty of his routes...

 

abarro81 - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to stp:

It's not a new kneebar: Bertle uses the knee on his vid, just doesn't go no-hands like Ondra

stp - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to Cellinski:

> Well, put yourself in Bertles place. He had invested a lot into Meiose, more than in any other route before and finally managed the ascent. It felt harder to him than everything else he had done before. So suggesting half a grade more than what he had previously done does not seem overly optimistic.

 

I think it's more pronounced when you do it at the cutting edge of the sport. There are only 4 routes harder than 9b and only 2 climbers that have climbed harder. Because he was basing the grade as harder than his other routes obviously meant it was a bit dubious. His whole frame of reference was a bubble of his own making. Other climbers either climb established routes so they get a feel for what a certain grade is or, if they don't have the experience, they may not give a grade. A recent example is Baptiste Dherbilly, who did the long awaited second ascent of Fred Rouhling's route Salamandre. He did not suggest a grade, only that it was the hardest thing he had personally climbed.

Steve McClure was cautious with grading Rainman but he had at least done a confirmed 'hard 9a+' in a similar style at the same crag. The fact Rainman took him so much longer than Overshadow strongly suggests his 9b is a fair suggestion.

I think as HeMa points out all FA grades are only suggestions but some are obviously done with a bit more integrity than others. Grading something 9b is not just about the route. It's also putting yourself into a very small, very elite group of the world's best climbers, most of whom have an incredible track record.

 

remus - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to abarro81:

> It's not a new kneebar: Bertle uses the knee on his vid, just doesn't go no-hands like Ondra

Good knowledge. Did you mention on the other channel that Bertle didn't use a kneepad? Seems a strange choice.

abarro81 - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to remus:

Yeah, but I'm just going off the video of him on it - he uses the knee but doesn't have a pad on.. could've used it on the actual go for all I know though

Mark Lloyd - on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to stp: Overgrading seems to often happen when climbers operate in a vacuum and don't repeat established routes

Thats was Andy Farnells premise and he got shot down in flames by the punters, he wasn't even suggesting an overgrade just the potential

2
stp - on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to Mark Lloyd:

That's interesting. It seems fairly obvious to me, and it's not like it hasn't happened before. Bernabe Fernandez's F.A of Chilam Balam is perhaps the most famous example. It was given 9b+ 10 years before that grade was established and viewed with much scepticism by the rest of climbing community. It's now thought to be closer to 9a+.

guy xavier percival - on 10 Feb 2018
In reply to Mark Lloyd:

Here are Pirmin’s views on the matter...

http://lizardclimbing.com/?p=3487

 

alx on 10 Feb 2018
In reply to guy xavier percival:

Pirmin should go repeat a few other people’s 9a+’s then reflect on his website post...

Bulls Crack - on 10 Feb 2018
In reply to guy xavier percival:

Essentially grading for the hardest sequence/most disadvantaged climber.  Could prove popular!


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