Elite level routes

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SCIN
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Elite level routes

Post by SCIN » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:27 am

Spragwa's post about the trade show got me to thinking of the number of times I've heard complaints about the Red lacking an abundance of elite level routes (5.14 and up).

I heard one person say the reason there aren't many elite level routes is because of the long spells of less than perfect temps we see here in the summer and winter.

Do you think that's the reason or do you think the Red just doesn't lend itself to that grade of route?
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Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:33 am

they are out there...
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Post by rhunt » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:40 am

I do think our climate has the most to do with it but I also think it has to do with the way the rock is featured at the Red. It is usually just too featured for the elite level.
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Post by Wolf » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:41 am

So get the drill out of storage and go bolt em Piggie.
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Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:51 am

tell ya what wolf..it isn't too fun bolting that far over my head....call me cheap, but I don't want to spend money on hardware , not counting my time, on routes that I will never/ever even get to taste. anything out of the 5.12 range and I'd rather have one of the strong guys bolt it.....allah (cough, cough), etc...now, if sopmeone wants to buy the hardware, I might be convinced.
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Post by Andrew » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:34 am

I think the rock is fine for super hard routes, and I think the red has a ton of potential really good super hard lines. The proplem is the people. I have had this discussion with others before about the red. No offense to anyone and some of our best climbers would agree with me but we don't have many super strong climbers. And the biggest problem is we don't have any super strong climbers that are motivated to develope.

Kenny is probably our strongest current developer, and he is bolting some sick stuff, but I really think you need people who climb mid to high 14 to be motivated to develope and send the stuff locally. Our developers really don't climb that hard.

Another thing that I think is interesting is the fact that at the red almost all sport routes go nearly straight up and down. We also have very few link ups. Many other sport areas have routes that go diangnally across the wall or a feature, and there are many hard routes that are link ups. Don't get me wrong I think this is a good thing. We just have some much good rock that there is no need for linkups and traverses.

Its plain and simple, you need very strong climbers who are motivated to push the limits and spend some time and money. Its hard for a 5.12 climber to determine if a route is 5.14c/d or impossible.
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Post by rhunt » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:46 am

I agree Andrew yet I still think it mostly has to do with climate and the type of rock. The Red has been on the map for over 10 years as a highly concentrated sport climbing area, yet none of the 5.14 climbers who have came to visit thought it was worth settling down here. The reason routes here at the red go straight up is because there is always enough features/holds to go straight up. Which is part of the reason why routes usually stay in the mid 12 to mid 13 range. The red will never have the concentration of 5.14 like many limestone crags do. And those limestone crags are usually in a climate where it is dry and cool most of the year.

I do think we can get a lot more 13+ routes up if stronger climbers learned to drill.
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Post by captain static » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:57 am

I think the climate / temps argument is lame. Mike Doyle's send of Lucifer is evidence of the potential for pushing the grades higher. Sometimes it takes outside blood to break the local paradigm. Look at Petro's send of WTOK and the subsequent surge of new, hard trad lines.

One question I would like to see answered this fall is if 50 Words is impossible or not? It would be interesting to know Bill Ramsey's take on this subject since he is both strong and knows the local stone? I hear though that he has recently moved to Vegas and will be teaching philosophy at UNLV this fall.
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Post by bushwhacker » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:59 am

Most, not all but most, hard routes have manufactured holds - that could be a big reason right there why the Red doesn't have any (or more than one anyway). Look at all the rock in England, and how many 9a's are there, like 2 or 3?

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Post by pigsteak » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:01 am

how many locals guys have sent 5.14 that still climb? I would gladly loan them my drill.

andrew has it right. it is hard to develop routes so far past one's climbing ability.
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Post by ashtray » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:08 am

Andrew wrote:... but we don't have many super strong climbers.
didn't you mean to say
"...but we don't have any super strong climbers."

Again no offense, but if you are offended then you probably need a reality check and to stop being an elitist dip-ass chuffer. Just remember we all suck, some just swallow too.

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Post by Andrew » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:22 am

Strong climbers aren't settling here because of the stone and weather, they are not settling here because it is eastern kentucky and there isn't a bunch of good stone of different varieties near by, or cool hip cities with multiple crags, beautiful cities, and loads of oontz clubs.

We have a few 5.14 climbers but one is moving, which leaves us with a few strong climbers but zero super strong climbers(5.14c/d), and none of the low 5.14 climbers here develope routes.

The word on the street is that Greg is close to 50 words but has been out west all summer and goes off to college in the flat lands soon. He did say that he wanted to do it before the rocktrip. The other word on the street is that doyle will be back in september to do 50 words.

The best part of this conversation is that we are a bunch of armchair 5.14 climbers argueing about something we might not know enough about.

Maybe greg, andrew, tyler, bill, or someone else could chime in.

Some one super strong needs to try skeletor.
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Post by Spragwa » Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:44 am

Andrew and John Schrader are also close on 50 words. The opinion of those in the know is that with the talent coming at Roctrip, it may even see an onsite.
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Post by Saxman » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:15 am

pigsteak wrote:tell ya what wolf..it isn't too fun bolting that far over my head....call me cheap, but I don't want to spend money on hardware , not counting my time, on routes that I will never/ever even get to taste. anything out of the 5.12 range and I'd rather have one of the strong guys bolt it.....allah (cough, cough), etc...now, if sopmeone wants to buy the hardware, I might be convinced.
Pansy. Just think, you could bolt the next project for some elite climber and get your name in the mags. Look at the fame and glory you are passing by with your narrow economically self centered view of route development.
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Post by rhunt » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:31 am

I don't think the climate argument is lame at all. I am not trying to jinks things here but what are the chances that it will rain all three days of rocktober fest weekend or be 85 and humid. What would be the chances of that kind of weather at the VRG in fall, winter or spring?..esp the wet weather....for example. Isn't it the case that Mike Dolye's work on Lucifer was slowed due to waiting on better conditions? Wouldn't he have gotten a lot more harder redpoints in if he had more climbable days on his trip? There are a few manufactured holds/routes at the Red...a couple that are worked on so that they don't seep due to the wettness of KY. But the reason there are not a lot of manufactured holds/routes at the red is the reason there are not that many 5.14's at the red...plenty of holds and plenty of good rest. Remember what the red is, endurance. The Red is incredible for what it is and that's why I love it so much.
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