> (In reply to AndyM-LVB)
> The route he narrowly failed to onsight was defo 8c. The route he actually onsighted he felt was probably not 8c, really.
I think he means that to be able to say that you can onsight 8c, you need to onsight several of them. It is just his usual high standards for himself and his modesty given his outstanding level of achievement.
I think this is the missing paragraph, c&p'd from the petzl site, that explains it:
"A few days later and of course the pain is gone. New movement over new routes clearing the mind. But the memory is there. A seed planted that says ‘work hard’ rather than ‘work is over’. I’d have sat back for sure, but now I was still pushing. I opted for another 8c. ‘Amistad’. It looked bouldery and it was. Maybe 8a into a hard section over a short roof. I was nearly off, but it felt easier. Too easy for 8c maybe? The guide said it was 8c, the locals said it was. Four repeaters confirmed the grade. I wasn’t sure. The cigars didn’t get passed round. I’m still not in the gang. But I had a taste and I know I’m allowed in. I just need to put in some work and make a few gains. It might hurt, but it will be worth it!"
Yes I was just going on what Steve told me on Sunday. I have just read the article and I think Mick has got the wrong end of the stick of what Steve is after which is an 8c onsight of a route that isn't potentially overgraded at 8c. If a route like that turns out later to be overgraded by consensus then its an 8b+ onsight.
You have to admire his honesty and frankness and disclosure - I'm sure presented with the same circumstance some/most other professional climbers would stay quiet and take the tick and kudos even if they had doubts.
Its great he is psyched for this big goal especially as there isnt any obvious sport goals left for him in the UK.
> (In reply to UKC News) Fraser:
> Yes I was just going on what Steve told me on Sunday. I have just read the article and I think Mick has got the wrong end of the stick of what Steve is after
"But, has Steve McClure joined the 8c onsight club?
Steve claims that he is still not in the gang although the guidebook says 8c and the four people who have repeated the route say 8c. But that's not good enough for Steve. Just like a climber who has done one VS and wouldn't call themselves a VS climber until they had consolidated at the grade so it is with McClure. Steve said that his next goal is to onsight an 8c route that has a bigger consensus of repeats that agree on the grade.
Talking to UKClimbing.com last night and today he told us that now he has eight 8b+ onsight ascents he feels he is getting solid at that level. He usually onsights 8a's and 8a+'s and gets many 8b's. But to call himself an 8c onsighter he wants to do more 8c onsights."
In reply to UKC News: There are really two issues here. One's first 8c and joining the 8c club, or any other grade club. One swallow does not a summer make. You have joined a grade club when you have climbed several of the grade routes, say 5, short and long. But the joy of doing your first must be always there, the high point and the base level.
Anyway how do we know the route is not 8c. How can Steve know? We are all looking for a magical moment of power and flow when everthing seems easy, though you know it was not. That is what we seek not boring statistics and judgements.
> You have to admire his honesty and frankness and disclosure - I'm sure presented with the same circumstance some/most other professional climbers would stay quiet and take the tick and kudos even if they had doubts.
In reply to sihills: Was going to post, seems like from what has been written on 8a.nu and his blog that others have done it using the twig (not tree) if you follow the chalked holds that the twig is part of it.
Know I have done routes in Spain with included foliage, one in particular where you get a great hands off rest sitting in a tree 3/4 of the way up.
You can take the boy out of The Tor but you can't take The Tor out of the boy!
Serpico05 Oct 2009
In reply to andy farnell:
I think the last post sums it up best:
"@ Johan mycket bra och nyanserat inlagg. Alltid massa snack fran folk som inte gjort leden. Spontant har jag svart att se "trad" vaxa pa en 8c. Av de leder jag testat i den 8e graden har det aldrig funnits den typen av vegitation. Sjalv har jag aldrig sett eller varit dar leden ligger."
"Johan very good and nuance plea. Always mass snack stamp people as nots done be in charge. Off the cuff have I black that watch " am threading " wax pa a 8c. Of they administrator self testator in the 8e degrees has it never funnits the the type of vegitation. Wrap have I never looking ors wherein dar be in charge am laying."
> (In reply to Jon Redshaw)
> Might have to visit 8a a little more...hmmm
As a freak show, it is good entertainment.
BamBam06 Oct 2009
In reply to flaneur:
Looks like the ascent does count, but only as a 7c+ onsight.
Someone at 8a commented the following:
Well, I really admire Steve and I think that he's gonna reach that on-sight level soon, but I've got to clarify some things which the people who watched his ascent e-mailed me:
- The route is like 7c+ more or less to the point where you find the crux. This crux is a bouldery section which gives the route the 8c grade.
- In the viewers words "Steve didn't touch any single hold of the crux section. He crossed to the right, grabbed the tree, climbed it up for then reaching the jug which means the end of the crux and clipped the anchor"
Just talked to Steve. Yes he used a part of the tree as it was covered in chalk and part of the route. Using it doesn't avoid the crux or any of the climbing, it doesn't by pass the line of the route, you make no deviation by using it. He was climbing onsight, no beta
He's not really bothered. Take points off his fictitious 8a.nu ranking, call him up in front of the 8a.nu court headed by King of Climbing Larssen.
Steve seemed really bemused by it all and will continue raising his game.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Yeah, I remember they claimed Barnebe Fernandez hadn't climbed one of his routes without giving him a right to reply, pretty shocking considering they didn't seem to have done any research whatsoever beforehand.
The website's worth reading for your spats with Jens though. Seconds out, round 12!
> (In reply to sihills)
> For this ascent to somehow 'not count' in that strange 8a.nu parallel universe he'd have needed to know in advance that the twig was "out" ...
> Doesn't this makes an onsight without twig a logical impossibility?
this holds true for any "eliminant" route.
for the particular case of a tree not allowed, there is a brilliant solution : mention it in the name.
In reply to Brendan: another thing i love about jens and 8a, is the "time comparison grading" where if you do a boulder problem really fast, it gets downgraded....or something along those lines. crazy. its worth checking to see if mick has been on it though, him and jens have some great arguments.
IMO if for 8c on this route you have to elimenate a twig, then it is the 8c grade that is invalid, not Steve's ascent. If the twig goes, then the grade goes up. Simple. Bit like Body Machine/etc when the tree got cut.
Its a tree sticking out of the rock, not really a bit of vegetation, and whether its in or not is irrelevant, Steve should have stated he used a tree on the ascent. Simple as that. He didn’t say anything except it was easy.
Something along the lines of:
"I am not happy with the 8c onsight as it was easy, perhaps because I used a tree to get to the belay."
Come on - this is information that really needs to be stated when claiming world class ascents. Using a tree branch as a hold on an 8c route. As if that is not contentious and worthy of a mention.
That guy at 8a.nu is a tosser, but that does change the fact steve claimed on 8c onsight having used a tree to get to the top, and didnt mention it.
Im sorry if this offends everyone, but that does sound a little bit like cheating.
The whole affair would be completely laughable were it not for a few complete t*ssers on 8a spouting crap about 7c+'s and climbing a tree to a belay, all on 'good authority' from 'someone who saw the ascent'!
Is it hilariously ridiculous, is it a disgrace, or is it just a bunch of jealous, back stabbing wannabe's looking for their few moments in the limelight?
I agree with you mate, but all I am saying is that this should have been mentioned.
As for 8a.nu
It all comes back to British climbing always taking shit from euro trash who like to take a pop at us as they seem to think that us brits think we are the top of the tree. I really have no idea why that is.
Any negative comments about british climbing and british climbers gets front page on 8a.nu, like they are trying to knock brits of their imaginery perch.
> I know he is world class, I know he isnt a cheat, its just that should have been mentioned.
>Grabbing a twig, tree, branch, whatever is fairly none standard and should really be mentioned when sort of claiming a world class onsight.
>Im sorry if this offends everyone, but that does sound a little bit like cheating.
You are incorrect, in a number of matters, in both of these statements.
To the best of my knowledge, Steve has not claimed ("sort of" or otherwise) a world class onsight, merely responded to a question about his holiday.
Secondly, and more importantly, where is it written that one cannot use any form of vegetation whilst climbing? It's all legitimate on a VS, branches are intrinsic to the climbing on many routes, and I've desperately grabbed all the grass I can fit in my hands when topping out at Swanage.
And lastly, how can it be cheating, to just go out climbing with your mates whilst on holiday, which is, in essence, all Steve has done. Now I don't think you intended to accuse him of being a bad person, but given the anonymity of the internet, I suggest you should phrase things with a bit more care (your last statement could easily be interpreted as pretty vindictive). I'm pretty sure I didn't report to my friends that when I did Dream of White Horses I went slightly above the usual traverse line, by mistake. Does that mean I mislead them and cheated? Obviously not. Similarly, if Steve (quite fairly) assumed that the branch was in, then why on Earth would he think to 'report' it?
PS. Please don't tell me that all my ascents at Swanage are invalid due to grass pulling, or that I'm a cheat for not having previously declared my grass-pulling activities. I'd be crushed.
Sorry if I came across as vindictive, that was not what I intended. I said this 'sounds a bit like' cheating. I didnt say Steve was a cheat, nor did I say he cheated.
I was basically adding a little balance to an argument. Everyone saying, oh well 8a can f*ck right off, everything say is wrong (for the record, it pretty much is, but that's not the point), all i was saying was hold on a minute, I can see why people are responding like this as it wasn't previuosly mentioned he grabbed a branch.
I know everyone wants to defend everything British in climbing, but all I was saying is that it should have been mentioned, not that he was a cheat, not that he cheated. A balanced look at the situation is all.
> (In reply to Brendan) another thing i love about jens and 8a, is the "time comparison grading" where if you do a boulder problem really fast, it gets downgraded....or something along those lines. crazy.
not so much, if used "whith a pinch of salt".
Basically, one fast ascent can be luck....many, it is likely to be the very nature of the boulder.
say you have 10 friends who never climbed anything harder than V7 in one day, and they all climb this particular V8 in a few hours.
I'm ok with the idea that it should be at least a "very easy V8".
then it's up to your feeling of what a grade should communicate.
eg, I guess this formula can be very harsh with straightforward problems that have little technical content and with stuff where one can do zillions of tries in few minutes (tricky one-movers).
It will probably be too generous, for common taste, with problems not letting you try too much in the same day because of dumb reasons (eg too sharp...)
> I was basically adding a little balance to an argument. Everyone saying, oh well 8a can f*ck right off, everything say is wrong (for the record, it pretty much is, but that's not the point), all i was saying was hold on a minute, I can see why people are responding like this as it wasn't previuosly mentioned he grabbed a branch.
Why should it have? It appears it may be part of the route. Many climbs feature tree holds. We don't know if the first ascensionist used the tree hold, or the four repeaters.
We do now know that Steve did because he has said so. Get that, he said so, he puts his name to it, doesn't hide behind a no name.
No one has published the guidebook description for this route? No one has acknowledged any sources at 8a.nu, or put a credit (by line) to any news report, everything is anonymous, no accountability at all.
As Steve has said there are sika holds on many routes at Rodellar...... more artificial than a tree.
Steve even said in our news report that he said he didn't belong in the 8c onsight club..... not yet that is ; o )
There are numerous examples of climbers claiming the guidebook grade then the route gets downgraded after .... yet many climbers still hold on to that guidebook grade, claiming a record!!!
Just take a glance at some professional climbers websites, including some UK climbers.
Steve McClure has a long record of being conservative about grades, he's not an inflator to grab publicity because he doesn't need to and has a long track record of hard ascents at 8c and above. He is respected amongst his peers, people like Chris Sharma and others.
I don't usually post on these things but this seems to be getting out of hand. It is actually my own fault for not stating I used a branch, but I honestly thought that it was 'in'. I just went climbing and did what felt natural. At the time I saw no other way up the route other than right next to this branch and it seemed it simply had to be in. There didn't seem to be any reason to explain this use, it appeared it was part of the route. I also drew this conclusion as, having moved above this, there were hard bouldery moves that I had expected to be faced with on a very hard route. I nearly fell from them, closer in fact than on the 8b's and even an 8b+ that I onsighted. However, the bouldery nature prompted me to think that maybe I hand't done it the easiest way. Additionally at the time I knew of no ascents, just a number on a topo and assumed I'd get back and see a downgrade to 8b or something. This was a route I knew nothing about. Basically I didn't think I had missed any of the route by using the branch, I still don't know if I did as I saw no other way up. If there had been small holds and bolts out to the side then it would have been clear.
What people don't understand is that news travels very fast indeed, especially when it is apparently hard stuff. Just going climbing with your mates and doing stuff can be on the net before even getting home.
There is no time for reflection and usually you are judged without being asked for comment. It's too late to add a comment. Being in the news is a double edged sword, but you have to take the rough with the smooth. This incident makes me look like a wanker. Reading the threads I would think I was a wanker. It's annoying as I climbed a route, enjoyed it, felt it was soft and looked out for other peoples thoughts. I expected I'd find a few people had climbed it the same way as me and downgraded it but it turns out that people climb it without the tree. Before I knew it I was branded a cheat and a liar. Anyway, not using the tree seems silly so I reckon my way up was best!
For those that know me they know I'm not in the game to big myself up. Bloody hell, if I'd wanted to do that and didn't mind bending the truth a little do you think I'd do such a shit job!!!
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> As you say, it "may" be part of the route, not 100% certain, so thats why, in my opinion, he should have said he used it. I thought us brits thrived on such ethics.
Leave it out dude. You are onsighting a route, no knowledge, the tree hold is on the route, no deviation, its covered in chalk.... you use it: anyone would UNLESS someone had told you, or you had read in the guidebook... DON"T USE THE TREE HOLD.
Full marks to the first ascensionist for not chopping the tree I say.
Steve, I think the only way this incident could make you look like a wanker would be in the view of someone who was determined to think so anyway and not to bother scratching the surface of what actually happened. It's a shame you've had to defend yourself over something so innocuous. Good luck with nabbing a definitive 8c onsight!
> Reading the threads I would think I was a wanker.
The complete opposite. If anything you've come across as completely open and honest about it. From the very start were you said you were not sure of the grade, thought it was soft and didn't consider yourself part of the 8c onsight club. That, if anything show how strong your integrity is, you should be roundly applauded for that highly ethical stance.
> Bloody hell, if I'd wanted to do that and didn't mind bending the truth a little do you think I'd do such a shit job!!!
In reply to andy farnell:
i'm absolutely devastated as i climbed north crag eliminate t'other day and i only used the frikin tree :O( how was i supposed to know ! thought i had climbed an E1 and apparently it is only HS but due to the fact i had my old comfy shoes on i can claim a VS - yipee !
keep up the good work ste :O)
p.s i didn't climb north crag eliminate (for the record)
In reply to UKC News:
Just curious, why would somebody who consistently climbs 8b onsight need to lie about what they climb? :P
Using the tree seemed like an easy mistake to make, (if it's covered in chalk and on the main line, with no obvious route around) and i'm astounded at the amount of people that are willing to criticize the guy that is more or less carrying the flag for british sport climbing, over an innocent mistake.
So go criticize when you can flash 8b in the dark i say. :P
> i'm astounded at the amount of people that are willing to criticize the guy that is more or less carrying the flag for british sport climbing, over an innocent mistake.
> So go criticize when you can flash 8b in the dark i say. :P
I'm astounded that you think a lot of people are critical. They aren't.