'First try' means 'first redpoint attempt'. I find that a helpful tip for working out what people mean is this. When people flash 8cs, they normally use the expression 'I flashed 8c', to describe what they've done. Try it.
blablabla29 Nov 2010
Shit i've just realised - these aren't even boulders, they are routes. Is 8c newsworthy.
> I think James should edit this slightly. This sounds like an 8c flash to me....????
> Im so sick of misleading climbing media. Its unacceptable. You did the route - well done - but why can't you just report it without the subtle misleading use of words.
Although I thought your tone was a little harsh, I was also confused by the way this is phrased. For me 'climbed first try' means an onsight (but that's maybe because I climb mostly trad).
But apart from that it's good to see some good news about James after all the crap thrown his way a couple of years ago.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I did get what it meant but I did do a double-take when reading the article which reminded me how bizzare the 'number or goes' count really sounds. I mean it's totally dependent on when you think you are going to do the route and decide to try redpointing it rather than just dogging up it to work it. If you try to flash a route and fail are you onto your second go already? Yet if you spend weeks getting the damn thing wired you can claim it first go?
Surely a better measure to signify how hard it was for you would be to count something like number of goes up the route, or number of days/weeks on the route, or number of malt loaves consumed (unless of course you don't like malt loaves, in which case you could substitute with muffins, post-crag pints or bottles of creatine-fortified energy drink).
I mean, is it really important how many goes it takes? You redpointed it, be that in 1 'try', 5 'tries' or that elusive 'negative tries' ascent (you know, when you set off up your project intending to dog the hell out of the crux again only to somehow find yourself at the chains - the ultimate redpoint?).
> I did do a double-take when reading the article which reminded me how bizzare the 'number or goes' count really sounds. I mean it's totally dependent on when you think you are going to do the route and decide to try redpointing it rather than just dogging up it to work it.
agreed. this has always seemed a little arbitrary to me. especially as different people have different ways of counting it. some count number of redpoints (even after working the route for years!) and others number of goes up it. I personally take number of tries to mean just number of times on the route - whether that's top roping, dogging bolt to bolt or failed on-sights (I believe that's how Ondra counts it too on his 8a scorecard). but even that doesn't really say how long it took you or how easy it was for you - that number could be the same if you:-
a) spent hours top-roping it to death perfecting each move on one occasion then came back a week later and redpointed first go (2 tries)
or b) failed to O/S it, lowered back to the floor then did it next go same day (also 2 tries).
I know which one is more impressive. But at the end of the day, all that really matters is whether it's an O/S, flash or redpoint.
Yes, I agree as well, actually; it does seem a strange thing to say for precisely the reason you mention, that it depends when you start trying to redpoint it. But top sports climbers do seem to think it's an interesting measure. Maybe they have the process so wired that they know how long it's going to take before they start trying to redpoint. Or something.
And actually blablabla did have a bit of a point as well; however much everyone who knows anything at all about it knows what the writer means when they read this, there's no harm in communicating in a fashion that everyone who reads understands, I suppose. Perhaps news outlets would do better to say 'first redpoint try', or something clumsy like that.
> But top sports climbers do seem to think it's an interesting measure. Maybe they have the process so wired that they know how long it's going to take before they start trying to redpoint. Or something.
I think it's more that top sport climbers (by this I mean the cream) don't actually spend very long 'working' routes in the typical sense. In my experience they pretty much start redpointing as soon as they've worked out the moves on the first dog. So saying that you've done a route first or second try like this is more meaningful than if it comes after some extended multi-year siege like most of us mortals!
> And actually blablabla did have a bit of a point as well...there's no harm in communicating in a fashion that everyone who reads understands, I suppose. Perhaps news outlets would do better to say 'first redpoint try', or something clumsy like that.
Or just leave it out altogether. Unless it is actually newsworthy information, like a lot of Ondra's incredibly quick repeats. I'm not saying JP's ascent, or the style of it, isn't necessarily newsworthy - just that as it stands "1st try" could be taken to mean a number of different scenarios. If it's worth reporting the style/speed of an ascent then it makes sense to include some more details to make it more meaningful and put it into perspective IMO.
> Yes but you're not writing the piece to be read by Sun readers. I for one do not want all my climbing media dumbed down to the lowest denominator.
I don't think it's a case of dumbing down the articles - just maybe giving more information.
> I thought it was perfectly clear what was meant by 'first try'.
Really? So was that first try in a day? first try after pulling the ropes following an O/S attempt? first try after months of sieging? had he dogged up the route years before then retro-flashed it this year?
I know exactly what first try means. But at the same time I have no idea what it means, if you know what I mean?!
I'm not saying it's the most important detail in the article, but it certainly made me wonder a little what first try actually meant in this case. Surely if it's worth reporting details like this then it's worth being clear about it?
Good effort to JP either way. 8c however you look at it is mighty impressive and I hope to read about more of his future ascents.
Sometimes UKC discussions can be so depressing, focusing on the minutae!
I thought it was a really interesting, honest and personal (sometimes it felt uncomfortably so). I agree that JP's responses were a little psychobabbly, but he has clearly had a hard time recently and been on the sharp end of a lot of criticism from the UK climbing community, some justified some not. TWOL and the furore that followed it clearly hangs over him and I for one feel very sorry for the guy.
I wish him the best of luck and hope he comes back and bags his grit project.
> Sometimes UKC discussions can be so depressing, focusing on the minutae!
ha yes agreed!
in this case I didn't mean to focus on JP's ascent specifically. just that in general I quite like to know details about how long routes took people when they're reported as being fast repeats. quite often it can be very inspiring to hear just how easily/quickly they did these hard routes. it usually makes for more interesting reading than just "Joe Bloggs did 8c route". BUT having said that, '8c first try' means little more than '8c redpoint' unless you know the details, which is why I was suggesting it might be good to include these in future, for the anoraks out there (just me?).
> I thought it was really interesting, honest and personal.
agreed. an excellent article/interview.
> I wish him the best of luck and hope he comes back and bags his grit project.
It's pretty obvious what was meant by 'first try'.
Could everyone take note that with regards to hard sport climbing if a climber flashes something, they'll generally say "I flashed it" and if they onsight something they'll generally say "I onsighted it". Also for hard trad routes that are usually headpointed there's little need to ask "was this onsight?" as it would almost certainly have been reported that way if it was.
"First try" seems to change in meaning depending on where you are. The french seem to use "first try" to mean there's been one onsight/flash attempt, then the route is climbed on the first go after that. It doesn't mean having lots of practice then climbing the route on the first redpoint. Elsewhere they seem to refer to the same thing as "2nd go". I think if Ondra fails on an onsight then does it on the next attempt he says he did it 2nd go.
> It's pretty obvious what was meant by 'first try'.
Really? Can you tell me then? Aside from the fact that it was first redpoint. That much I know.
> Could everyone take note that with regards to hard sport climbing if a climber flashes something, they'll generally say "I flashed it" and if they onsight something they'll generally say "I onsighted it".
Yes, I know that. But that's not what I'm saying, is it? At the risk of repeating myself again, I'm suggesting that if there's a report of someone doing a route in X number of tries it would be useful to know a few more details, like the number of days invested, over what timescale etc. in order to put that achievement into perspective. As it stands 'first try' is pretty meaningless info IMO, for the reasons I gave above. Different people mean different things by it.
"First redpoint within an hour after a failed O/S" would be interesting info and worth reporting for being a quick repeat.
"First redpoint after 2 days going bolt-to-bolt then a further 5 days top-roping in overlapping sections" would be less interesting and not really worth reporting.
But both could be reported as having been done 'first try'.
In reply to ali k:
Oh, and before anyone has a go - I'm not knocking the report or the reporting. It was a great article.
I'm suggesting that a little more info regarding details like first or second try might be useful to give credit for fast repeats.