UKC

Perspective

Yesterday, Nalle Hukkataival repeated Nuthin but sunshine, 8B, in the lower chaos of RMNP. It took him about half an hour. Nowadays, that's impressive, but hardly sensational. It's easy to forget that it was only about nine years ago Dave Graham did the FA of this problem, originally given 8B+, which, at the time was a contender for the hardest problem in the US...
I wonder whether this rise in standards hasn't led to a condensing of the higher grades. In fact, I believe it has. What used to be 8B+ five or ten years ago, would probably be 8B today. What used to be benchmark problems, like Slashface, Radja, La soucoupe, Ode to the modern man or La dance des balrogs, are now either thought of as soft or even been downgraded.
Maybe it simply a question of time being needed to sort out what's what. If we look at the grade progression for routes, not much happened between 1991 and 2007, but now it seems, mostly thanks to Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra, a new era has begun.
The question is: Who will take bouldering to the next level, and when?



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