Ahead of the launch of The Project - an innovative and inclusive new 'competition' format - at the Klättercentret Telefonplan climbing wall in Stockholm this weekend, we caught up with UKC international news editor and organiser of the event Björn Pohl to find out more about it...Read more
"(The professional climbers) love to come" ... because you pay them.
The "hardest project indoor or outdoors". Assuming that your route setters climb 9a+ and not 9b+, how would they know if the rig is 9b+ or harder?
Also, if the routes in the gym are comp style, it is normal that they get harder with every move, so for anyone not getting into the 8B region, this route is going to be like many others.
And last but not least - if quality of the climb and not marketing had been a concern, you would have hired world class route setters, people like Godoffe or Laporte, and let them use any hold brand they want.
I didn't say no effort was done. Neither did I say the routesetters aren't doing a good job. But it's a marketing gig, is all I am saying. money money money is the dominating source of news on ukclimbing. that's the bummer.
> "(The professional climbers) love to come" ... because you pay them.
Are they paid just for taking part? Or only if they reach a high point in their category? I would guess that most of them would be well up for a challenge anyway, especially with the claim of the hardest in the world.
> The "hardest project indoor or outdoors". Assuming that your route setters climb 9a+ and not 9b+, how would they know if the rig is 9b+ or harder?
It's a good question. Presumably if they can boulder at reasonable level they could work it out. For instance the crux of La Dura Dura is said to be font 8b+. It's not that high on the route and it probably doesn't have a font 8a+ or 8b leading into it, preceded by a 7c, preceded by a 7b etc.. So I'd imagine it's possible to get an idea that way. But you're right. They'd still have to be pretty good climbers to do that. It'll be interesting to see how well they've done.
Also some of Ondra's projects are 9c (or harder) so hardest project in the world is still quite a big claim.
> Also, if the routes in the gym are comp style, it is normal that they get harder with every move, so for anyone not getting into the 8B region, this route is going to be like many others.
I suppose the idea is that as their climbing improves they get further on the route. Permanent routes can be quite popular (because they're like rock routes). The Schoolroom has a board from the eighties that's still got the same setting.
But I have to wonder about the state of the holds. Are they ever going to be cleaned? It doesn't take that long for indoor holds to become caked with chalk, slippery and unpleasant to use. I think a lot of the old Schoolroom board is wood which isn't as bad as plastic and it's not in a commericial climbing wall.
> And last but not least - if quality of the climb and not marketing had been a concern, you would have hired world class route setters, people like Godoffe or Laporte, and let them use any hold brand they want.
Hmmm maybe. I think if they're very experienced climbers, who climb indoor and out, and climb at a high standard and are professional route setters they might be able to do a pretty decent job. Having had experience climbing with world class climbers will also help. Lot of 'if's' there but it'll be interesting to see how they do.
On the one hand I can see this as a really cool creative idea - something brand new and exciting.
On the other it seems like a sad day for climbing that the hardest route in the world will be an indoor route. All those hard routes of the past, formed by nature, climbed by super talented climbers, refusing to create holds - all to be eclipsed by an indoor route.
I suppose it's bound to happen some time. Indoor climbing is gaining ground on the outdoors. Personally I love indoor climbing, the fact you can go whenever, night or rain. There are always new routes to do and much more. But somehow I still can't help see it to some degree as training for the real thing. I'm no doubt very old fashioned but just my view.
> I didn't say no effort was done. Neither did I say the routesetters aren't doing a good job. But it's a marketing gig, is all I am saying. money money money is the dominating source of news on ukclimbing. that's the bummer.
You did say that quality of the route was not a concern.
Are you suggesting this isn't news worthy? What about sportiva legends? would love to know what you have to say about that.
I would bet this route is 3 stars, how many will it be if it is a route set by Godoffe or Laporte? Probably 3 stars...
Would you be happy if your favourite setters set the hardest route in the world for free and never told anyone? Because I can now reveal that I am in fact Jacky Godoffe and I have indeed set the hardest route in the world in my shed, and it's free for you to come and try it!
Oh wait maybe I shouldn't have said that on UKC because they make money...
> If this is a 9c or maybe more I don't think it will be done very quickly. Ondra may prefer to put his energy into real a 9c.
I suspect you are right there. Hopefully.
> Even if it is the first 9c I don't think it takes anything away from the first one being done.
No? I think it would. The rock route would then be only the second 9c in the world. Still massively significant for sure. But being second is never quite the same as being first. The record has already been broken.
> Side note: I wouldn't be surprised if someone had done a 9A on a board before Nalle did his lapnor project.
Hmmm. I'd be surprised if that were true. Because Nalle is pretty much the best in the world at what he does and he spent 4 years trying it. I would have thought most top boulderers put their most serious, long term, efforts, into outdoor projects. But maybe?
But even if so there's something quite different about problems on private boards anyway. Perhaps it's the fact they're private and thus not open to everyone to try. Perhaps it's the fact that they're never hyped as the 'hardest in world'. Just don't seem the same really.
In reply to UKC News: I have followed this routes development. This article write up is not quite right. It is a sport grade 6a , then the next 5 moves (ish) turns it into a 6b etc. This continues up to possible 9c. Not one harder boulder problem on top of another. The route setters think it is 9a/9a+ up to a possible marginal shakeout. Then a 5 move 8B/8B+? ish boulder problem at the end.
I guess you are rather referring to the "impressive" belay technique of Nalle... To be honest in the very first moment I was also like "wow that cannot be true, nobody has such a core" so I watched it again, and yeah... look at the rope...
Looks like a cool wall that. Shame we don't have more like that in the UK. Am I right in saying you get 5 grand for climbing this regardless of when you do it and how many tries it took you? Interesting concept
I only saw up to the end of the original route setting I.e. when Hannah Mitbo tested it. Has it got harder since then? Hannah and a top Swedish comp climber struggled with the top boulder problem, but the bloke pretty much did every move, although it did not look like either him or Hannah had a realistic chance of redpointing the whole route any time soon.
It would be an amazing/dream comeback if Patxi U got the route done first. Him and Ondra are due to arrive in March so you never know.
My concern is, if everyone can try this route even 6a climbers, it must be pretty long queue of those willing to try it.
Then the top climbers might not have any chance to get on route as they are 10565 on the list
In reply to Fraser: It's on their Facebook page. Coverage is terrible and keeps hanging or sound keeps cutting out. The crowd on the other hand sounds like they are disappointed with how much money they were paid to sit and watch or it could be their restrained Nordic temperament :-D
In reply to UKC News: Stefano Ghisolfi got the furthest. Missed his first redpoint attempt. I assume he fell going through the roof section (so 8b+/c?) Clearly this is a seriously challenging route! Stefano has apparently recently climbed 9b, so he is no slouch. Not even sure Ondra will make it to the lip on his first visit.
> I have followed this routes development. This article write up is not quite right. It is a sport grade 6a , then the next 5 moves (ish) turns it into a 6b etc. This continues up to possible 9c. Not one harder boulder problem on top of another. The route setters think it is 9a/9a+ up to a possible marginal shakeout. Then a 5 move 8B/8B+? ish boulder problem at the end.
How long os the route? 5 moves per two grades 6a, 6b, 6c, 7a, 7b, 7c, 8a, 8b, 8c, 9a would be 50 moves plus a 5 move boulder problem at the end.
I suppose it's down the all the hype then surrounding this route. It's not just another indoor route like stuff at the Schoolroom. It has a huge wad of prize money attached to it. It's backed by a big sponsor. It's being video documented via the internet. And it's been declared the hardest route in the world.
It's already got this article and multiple short films on the interenet about it. But really nothing has happened. Some good climbers have tried it and no one has yet done it. In climbing terms it would normally be seen as a non event - even if it was an outdoor route.
There's another thread on here about the over commercialization of climbing because Adidas sponsored a couple of climbing trips for people. This seems potentially a much bigger change in climbing to me. A much bigger intrusion by the corporate world. Perhaps in the future all the world's hardest routes will be indoor, man made routes, named after corporate entities that sponsor the routes and the walls and give prize money.
In response to the point about the hardest route in the world being indoors. Wasn't there a point when the hardest boulder problem in the world was on Malcolm Smith's board in his bedroom in his parents house in Dunbar?
> Aren't you (and others here) overthinking a bit?
Not sure exactly what overthinking means. But I don't see anything wrong with thinking about the possible future consequences. Climbing has changed massively in the recent past and I'm sure it will continue to change. Looking at trends in the present and projecting to the future doesn't require a lot of thinking.
It's obviously far easier to create a hard indoor route than it is to find one in nature. One of the problems with finding such things on rock is that they have to have enough holds to be barely possible, but too many and it's not hard enough. On indoor routes there's no such problem.
> Isn't it just a bit of fun?
Well yes and no. Looked at on the surface of course it is just that. But think about it from Black Diamond's perspective. It's costing them a lot of money. For them it's nothing to do with fun. They're a business. For them it's a huge marketing opportunity.
> And it could inspire lots of people to try hard, improve, then take that outdoors.
I think if people aren't already inspired then a route that is too hard from them is unlikely to make a difference. I think it's more likely that we're either born climbers or we're not.
> But think about it from Black Diamond's perspective. It's costing them a lot of money. For them it's nothing to do with fun. They're a business. For them it's a huge marketing opportunity.
Well yes and no. To me this just sounds like categorising anything associated with Business as 'bad'. Yes, obviously Black Diamond are a business, but that doesn't mean that the only thing that concerns them is making money. Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that some people at BD might actually be interested in climbing?
I've no doubt a number of BD employees are very keen climbers. But I'm less sure that they're just doing it just for a bit of fun. The reason is that it's costing them a considerable sum of money. I think in most companies anything requiring such high expenditure would have to be discussed at length first to see if the cost is worth it to them. That would be based on what it brings back to them. Additionally there is no shortage of branding of the event. The route is called the Black Diamond Project. There were BD ads during the competition etc.
But you may be right. BD might not operate like a normal business. Maybe they have wads of spare cash that needs to be spent on something. Maybe the routesetters decided to call it The Black Diamond Project just to show their appreciation. It's possible but it seems unlikely.
> To me this just sounds like categorising anything associated with Business as 'bad'.
I didn't say it was bad. That's your interpretation. I just made the point that businesses decisions are usually based on financial interests rather than fun interests. Businesses have to make money: that's their raisin d'etre. Because the starting motive is different then what you end up with is likely to be different too.
> I just made the point that businesses decisions are usually based on financial interests rather than fun interests. Businesses have to make money: that's their raisin d'etre. Because the starting motive is different then what you end up with is likely to be different too.
One suspects that people who run climbing business manage to generate quite alot of over lap between the fun and making money
My main contact with the wold of climbing these days is the Local Wall. I'm quite sure it exists to make money. But it wouldn't make any money if no one had fun there. I've never felt like the business was only interested in taking my money. Now of course they make more money by making me feel like they care about me and not the money. But you see my point
It's the same in a good climbing shop. I want some new shoes, the shop wants my money. But a good shop makes more money by selling me the right shoes and making my feel like a person while I'm choosing
BD sponsoring this route seems like a cynical no brainer. They have some fun coming up with a wall project. We all read about it and hear BDs name. They've probably already received enough attention that the cost of the project is less than buying the attention in adverts. If the result is that BD maintain there share of the climbing market then they've suceeded
I think there are examples of businesses making less money for what the believe. I heard a great interview with Neil Pryde when it looked like Windsurfing was going to be replaced by kite boarding in the Olympics. He was arguing that Windsufing should stay. But he reckoned if Windsurfing stopped being an Olympic sport he wold make more money. He is the official supplier of Boards to the Olympics. But that makes no real money as part of the deal is that hesupplies free boards to loads of competitions. On the other hand the Kite Boarding would just mean him selling more kites, all of which would make him more money
Just listened to the end of the sequence where Honnold is talking about the latest ultralight camalots: "so you can carry less camalots for the amount of weight you have with you". Now I know what he thinks he's saying and what I'd expect him to say, but to me, wouldn't you want to be carrying more camalots for any given weight?! The way he puts it means the camalots have actually got heavier!
Edit: it sounded like Honnold's voice but am I attributing TC's in error?
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