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The level in men's lead climbing competition is not increasing (Read 10690 times)

finbarrr

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I think the post was saying that the Ondra and Schubert of yesteryear would have struggled, but they've adapted to it. Or at least that's how I read it.

Exactly, they’re still winning because they adapted

jwi

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Also, during the time my max redpoint grade increased from 8a+ to 8b+ my max onsight grade went from "8a" to "8a" and my base endurance level went from ~7a to ~7a.

Wouldn't that partially be due to the fact that it takes longer to reach your limit in terms of redpointing vs onsighting, i.e. you were already capable of climbing 8b+ and it was just a matter of climbing smarter?

I was far from capable of climbing 8b+ when I onsighted my first "8a". I lacked a bit of bouldering capabilities even for the most endurancy of endurance 8b+s (my max boulder grade was likely 7B/+ or so), and I lacked a lot of the requisite strength endurance. The only thing I had sufficient of was endurance.

crimpinainteasy

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I find a lot more tactics go into working a route or boulder problem at your limit vs trying to do something flash or onsight, where physical strength is a much bigger deciding factor.
I don't think I agree with this, partly I think it's often just a case that tactics on RP are used more widely than on o/s. E.g. how often have you spent significant periods of time staring up at a route, preferably with binoculars, before your onsight try?
Obviously an RP allows you to find more tricks and not just pull your way through, but o/s also comes with challenges that make it - IMO - just as much about execution as an RP, e.g. one sloppy foot placement on RP means you come down and have another go whereas on the o/s it means failure. Another eg: pacing on RP is something you can play with on different goes, but on o/s you have to get it right first try... Perhaps it's hard to compare though, the actual RP go is far more "purely physical" than an o/s go IMO, but then that doesn't account for the time spent hanging around finding tricks. Anyway, it's certainly not obvious to me that o/s is more about basic strength than RP, and I don't usually see the strong-but-technically-and-tactically-inept flocking to the onsight game (probably the opposite if anything)..

 Now that you mention it the majority of good onsighters I can think of are an even balance between technical skills and physical abilities. There is definitely a lot of precision required when onsighting, and it's often difficult to get things like pacing right, pulling hard enough but not so hard you get pumped etc.

Although strength is still a factor in hard onsights I was definitely overexaggerating its role with my previous post.

jwi

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I was talking to a former coach yesterday, and asked about if he thought that the level in men's lead climbing competition has stagnated and he agreed.

According to him the difficulty in the mens semis has been 8c or c+ and in the finals 8c - 9a for at least the last ten years. He also thought the reason the style is a bit low-percentage weirdness is that the setters can barely redpoint 9a, so what do they know about onsighting 9a really?

Fultonius

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I was talking to a former coach yesterday, and asked about if he thought that the level in men's lead climbing competition has stagnated and he agreed.

According to him the difficulty in the mens semis has been 8c or c+ and in the finals 8c - 9a for at least the last ten years. He also thought the reason the style is a bit low-percentage weirdness is that the setters can barely redpoint 9a, so what do they know about onsighting 9a really?

Maybe WCs should be set with 3 hard routes, one set each by the top 3 climbers from the last round...  Max points in all 3 gets the win.

 

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