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Topic split - gap between onsight and redpoint performance (Read 6835 times)

Ged

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Jonas, am I right in thinking that you're onsight grade has stayed fairly similar for a while, but your redpoint grade has gone up a fair bit? That's just the impression I've got from what you've written on various threads. If so, what did you do? Live near good projects? Or more than that? It sounds like we have fairly similar os grades (7c+,occasional soft 8a},but I've been nowhere close to redpoint ING 8b+. But maybe that is just lack of trying ones that suit my style.

Interested to hear what your magic bullet is.

jwi

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I had fairly developed endurance for a male climber ten years ago, but I was too weak and had nothing like the required strength endurance to climb 8b except the most endurancy ones (and those are always just one onsight by a prepubescent girl or redpoint from a retired lady away from getting downgraded by a bitter guidebook writer in the next topo anyway).

I think it is fairly common for climbers who onsight close to their RP max to be very good in the aerobic-alactic style (short boulderproblem/shake-out forever, rinse and repeat for thirty-forty metres). I know that I used to be really good at that. Better than I am now. I definitely rely a bit more on motoring through quickly and hoping to have luck with sequences that I used to.

For me the key to improve on RP was to get (slightly) stronger, to spend a lot of time working on strength endurance (which according to received wisdom improves quickly Ė but not for me), and to find soft ones that requires very little boulder strength.

Living close to a gazzillion routes is both a help and a hindrance. It helps that there is a lot to choose from, but a hindrance that it is so easy to loose focus and go somewhere else. Also, forcing people to go the crag I want to go to is not easy if it is wet and other places are dry... But mostly a help.

spidermonkey09

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Thats interesting. There are 6 grades between my OS and RP grades, whereas looks like its 3 grades for you two. That makes sense for jwi if hes an endurance beast and lives near loads of endurance routes, but I can't work out whether Ged or I is the outlier for UK climbers!

Duma

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A whole number grade is a lot, even for UK climbers I reckon.

AJM

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Thats interesting. There are 6 grades between my OS and RP grades, whereas looks like its 3 grades for you two. That makes sense for jwi if hes an endurance beast and lives near loads of endurance routes, but I can't work out whether Ged or I is the outlier for UK climbers!

I have always tended to think 3-4 is about average. Some of my skillset plays to redpointing (I can remember and execute sequences pretty well), and some plays away from onsighting (not great at committing to the unknown whilst already pumped), so I would tend to self define as a weak onsighter. I have typically hovered at 4-5.
Edit: usually 4, but more likely to progress by drifting to 5 then back to 4 than 3 then back to 4, if that makes sense

abarro81

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My view is similar... I would generally consider:
-  3 or 4 to be "normal" (a gap of 3 for flash and 4 for onsight seems pretty common)
- 5 or more means you're either disproportionately poor at onsight or don't do much of it
- 2 or less means you're either disproportionately poor at redpointing or don't do much of it


spidermonkey09

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Makes sense. Interestingly I would say I'm pretty good at onsighting (perhaps wrongly!) so maybe I just haven't tried that many. Certainly I can't think of many harder routes I've consciously tried to onsight, I tend to prefer to dog up them and then do them first go if possible. Sounds like thats something I could address on future Euro trips!

Duma

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Spidermonkey, am I right in thinking you had a ridiculously skinny pyramid? Is that still true? If so prob accounts for some of the yawning chasm between your os and rp grades

spidermonkey09

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Spidermonkey, am I right in thinking you had a ridiculously skinny pyramid? Is that still true? If so prob accounts for some of the yawning chasm between your os and rp grades

It resembled more a mobile phone mast than a pyramid a few years ago but it is now basically aesthetically perfect after a few years filling it in! Thinking about it, I think the chasm basically comes from a 2 year period 2017-19 where I got really into redpointing; before that period started, the gap was only 3 grades.

abarro81

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Makes sense. Interestingly I would say I'm pretty good at onsighting (perhaps wrongly!) so maybe I just haven't tried that many. Certainly I can't think of many harder routes I've consciously tried to onsight, I tend to prefer to dog up them and then do them first go if possible. Sounds like thats something I could address on future Euro trips!

IMO, if you''ve RPd 8c and aren't at least semi-consistently onsighting the "classically onsightable" euro 8as, then you probably either aren't very good at it or don't do much of it. Obviously not trying to onsight them will put you firmly in the latter camp by default! Plenty of people prefer that, which is obviously fine - you probably get more done that way than trying to onsight them. Blowing a hard o/s up high on a long route can leave you flamed for the day and unable to RP so it's a high risk strategy. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum - I'm almost not interested in dogging up routes I'm likely to do second go as I figure if I can do it that fast I should be having a good flash or onsight try (or trying something harder for longer). But that's just because of what I like doing and in some ways it holds me back (I'd have done a shit load more routes at that level with a different approach). Somewhere in the middle would probably work better for both of us!

TobyD

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My view is similar... I would generally consider:
-  3 or 4 to be "normal" (a gap of 3 for flash and 4 for onsight seems pretty common)
- 5 or more means you're either disproportionately poor at onsight or don't do much of it
- 2 or less means you're either disproportionately poor at redpointing or don't do much of it

My RP has never been more than 2 grades better than my OS, and for a long time it was 1. While I am poor at repointing, I'm also weak, which (if you have good endurance) suits onsighting euro routes, but not repointing in this country, where almost every route is basically a boulder problem, or boils down to a short hard sequence.

jwi

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I'm almost not interested in dogging up routes I'm likely to do second go as I figure if I can do it that fast I should be having a good flash or onsight try (or trying something harder for longer).
+1. (And I can never be bothered to try things on flash either, because people never give me any reasonable sequences. They seem to assume that I can hold small crimps, or get my fingers into tiny slots or pockets.)

Ged

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Thats interesting. There are 6 grades between my OS and RP grades, whereas looks like its 3 grades for you two. That makes sense for jwi if hes an endurance beast and lives near loads of endurance routes, but I can't work out whether Ged or I is the outlier for UK climbers!

I've onsighted a few long 8a (coliseum is maybe the only one that some bugger won't downgrade, fun de chichunne, agent naranja, and that long one at tennessee being the others), and quite a lot of proper 7c+. My hardest redpoint is probably postman pat at ansteys (gets 8a+ in some places, but I think probably worth 8b). So the complete anti style.

My discrepancy is almost certainly down to onisghting abroad on a style I'm quite good at, vs only ever redpointing close to home on short stuff. So maybe I would just need to redpoint whilst abroad, which I never really fancy. But would be interested to know what similar folk have done. Sounds like it's obvious, get stronger!

remus

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Thought I'd apply a bit of #SCIENCE to the proceedings so had a quick look at some of the lattice data. Looks like the average difference between RP and OS grade (to be precise, RP - OS) is 2.6 grades across the sample I looked at. Usual caveats apply, potentially biased sample etc.

remus

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(And I can never be bothered to try things on flash either, because people never give me any reasonable sequences. They seem to assume that I can hold small crimps, or get my fingers into tiny slots or pockets.)

I think this is quite interesting as I'd say Im proportionately better at flashing than onsighting. For me I'll always take sequence beta with a big pinch of salt, what I find generally more useful is knowledge about the breakdown of a route and what particular holds are like (especially on the hard bits).

Wood FT

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(And I can never be bothered to try things on flash either, because people never give me any reasonable sequences. They seem to assume that I can hold small crimps, or get my fingers into tiny slots or pockets.)

I think this is quite interesting as I'd say Im proportionately better at flashing than onsighting. For me I'll always take sequence beta

Donít I know it!  :kiss2:

remus

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(And I can never be bothered to try things on flash either, because people never give me any reasonable sequences. They seem to assume that I can hold small crimps, or get my fingers into tiny slots or pockets.)

I think this is quite interesting as I'd say Im proportionately better at flashing than onsighting. For me I'll always take sequence beta

Donít I know it!  :kiss2:

I'll repay the debt one day, promise!

spidermonkey09

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IMO, if you''ve RPd 8c and aren't at least semi-consistently onsighting the "classically onsightable" euro 8as, then you probably either aren't very good at it or don't do much of it. Obviously not trying to onsight them will put you firmly in the latter camp by default! Plenty of people prefer that, which is obviously fine - you probably get more done that way than trying to onsight them. Blowing a hard o/s up high on a long route can leave you flamed for the day and unable to RP so it's a high risk strategy. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum - I'm almost not interested in dogging up routes I'm likely to do second go as I figure if I can do it that fast I should be having a good flash or onsight try (or trying something harder for longer). But that's just because of what I like doing and in some ways it holds me back (I'd have done a shit load more routes at that level with a different approach). Somewhere in the middle would probably work better for both of us!

I think this is all true. Would be keen for a shortlist of 'classically onsightable' euro 8as if you get a moment so I can ensure I at least try a few in the next few years to redress the balance a bit!

I think the risk of flaming myself on a failed onsight go is part of the reason I haven't tended to try them much tbh. I think I also am fundamentally lazy on holidays abroad and go for steady onsights which I know I'll probably do as opposed to pushing the boat out. Interestingly I'm also yet to do anything harder than my best onsight 'in a day' if that makes sense, although I should have done a few times in the UK. Basically I think I need to try a bit harder! That said, I think the time period where I have been at least theoretically capable of harder onsighting has coincided almost perfectly with travel being extremely arduous/ impossible, which doesn't help!

Kingy

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Sounds like you've never really tried to onsight at your limit Jim. Its not for everybody the megapump you can get on a limit onsight but if you're into it, surely this is part of the attraction, barely sketching up some horrendous sequence by the skin of your teeth by a made up sequence with your eyes bulging out of your head? If everything was nice and comfortable and within your limit and you didn't get pumped then the outcome would be a lot more certain but you wouldn't be at your limit I suppose. In some ways, I can see how it would be more attractive just to settle for a quick RP. Far more efficient to bolt to bolt it, rest 30 mins then smoothly send, JStar style. Can't be much of a buzz tho surely!

I remember in the 90's JB Tribout discussing in the mags (in the OTE Moon vs the World article in 95 if memory serves) the ability to onsight 8a (or flash 8a+) correlating with 8c and onsighting 2 full number grades below a person's RP limit has been widely corroborated in many countries as a kind of world standard for a theoretical 'average' climber (holding true for the lower grades too so RP 6c means OS 6a and RP 7c means OS 7a). The calculation is for a climbers with plenty of onsight practice, trying to onsight routes at their limit.

Taking the UK, as has been discussed earlier, the white/grey rock and lack of practice of many UK redpointers at onsighting means that many (myself included) do not fit this scale in this country. Surely we don't need a specialist UK scale to calculate our theoretical onsight, we just need to recognise that we haven't practised it as much as the Euro's and/or don't have the routes available to practice on or simply don't like onsighting and prefer RP'ing (as did Wolfgang Gullich). The option is there if we choose to get more practice in on our Euro travels. BTW, not all UK routes are desparate to onsight, Defcon 3 is just as onsightable as any 8a in Chulila IMHO. All the holds are well chalked and the line quite obvious.

Duma

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and onsighting 2 full number grades below a person's RP limit has been widely corroborated in many countries as a kind of world standard for a theoretical 'average' climber (holding true for the lower grades too so RP 6c means OS 6a and RP 7c means OS 7a).
Not disagreeing, but pretty sure you mean two full letter grades, not number grades.

Kingy

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Not disagreeing, but pretty sure you mean two full letter grades, not number grades.

Oops, well spotted, 2 full letter grades it is.

Duma

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Thought I'd apply a bit of #SCIENCE to the proceedings so had a quick look at some of the lattice data. Looks like the average difference between RP and OS grade (to be precise, RP - OS) is 2.6 grades across the sample I looked at. Usual caveats apply, potentially biased sample etc.

This hasn't been picked up by anyone but seems pretty odd to me - I'd consider 3 to be a good onsight climber, and less than three a bad redpointer, and if I had to guess at averages I'd have gone around 4. Even more so given my (entirely pie in the sky) assumptions about the lattice data set (grade focused climbers probably more into projecting so as to get bigger numbers to stick a green tick next to on insta...)

2.6 seems really low, are people stretching the definition of onsight (so it means flash...)

Kingy

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I remember being below Biographie in 2005 when Yuji Hurijama was first about to try it for the first time. Did he grab the first draws to frig his way up it and get it worked in the most efficient manner? Hell no, he went for the onsight as a matter of principle. He fell off on the starting boulder problem but it was essential for him to have at least tried before pulling on any draws. You never know! I guess he didn't near onsight the Salathe Wall in 1998 by not trying to onsight the odd hard sequence!

ali k

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BTW, not all UK routes are desparate to onsight, Defcon 3 is just as onsightable as any 8a in Chulila IMHO. All the holds are well chalked and the line quite obvious.
This is true, but they are very few and far between.

Maybe we could start a list to help aspirant UK onsighters? Infinitive Gravity and then potentially some of the stuff at Shipwreck Cove are the only ones that immediately spring to mind. Though onsighting good cons might be the crux at both venues.

Oh, and Brean is a reasonable crag for onsighting. With the odd exception (like Defcon) most stuff on Yorks & Peak limestone is nails to onsight.

Ged

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IMO, if you''ve RPd 8c and aren't at least semi-consistently onsighting the "classically onsightable" euro 8as, then you probably either aren't very good at it or don't do much of it. Obviously not trying to onsight them will put you firmly in the latter camp by default! Plenty of people prefer that, which is obviously fine - you probably get more done that way than trying to onsight them. Blowing a hard o/s up high on a long route can leave you flamed for the day and unable to RP so it's a high risk strategy. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum - I'm almost not interested in dogging up routes I'm likely to do second go as I figure if I can do it that fast I should be having a good flash or onsight try (or trying something harder for longer). But that's just because of what I like doing and in some ways it holds me back (I'd have done a shit load more routes at that level with a different approach). Somewhere in the middle would probably work better for both of us!

I think this is all true. Would be keen for a shortlist of 'classically onsightable' euro 8as if you get a moment so I can ensure I at least try a few in the next few years to redress the balance a bit!

I think the risk of flaming myself on a failed onsight go is part of the reason I haven't tended to try them much tbh. I think I also am fundamentally lazy on holidays abroad and go for steady onsights which I know I'll probably do as opposed to pushing the boat out. Interestingly I'm also yet to do anything harder than my best onsight 'in a day' if that makes sense, although I should have done a few times in the UK. Basically I think I need to try a bit harder! That said, I think the time period where I have been at least theoretically capable of harder onsighting has coincided almost perfectly with travel being extremely arduous/ impossible, which doesn't help!

Depends if you want actual onsightable 8a, or a soft 8a that is clearly 7c+ or less. I think my hardest onsights are routes given 7c+.

To get you started, see my list above (agent naranja, surely only 7c+, fun de chichunne, no idea as its such a weird style, les ailes du desir, maybe 7c+, coliseum, felt the most like 8a).

Interesting your second point about going for steady onsights. I've had loads of trips like that where I was basically terrified of trying something hard, blowing it, being too tired to do anything else, and walking away empty handed. The trips I managed hard os for me, I dedicated them to just getting on 8a routes, and not caring if I blew them. For every one I did, I probably failed on 5. Something that just wouldn't be possible in the UK.



 

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