November 20, 2008
Grades, Grades, Grades
I heart this photo, Tour de France (v7) at Black Mountain, 80s style. People have been climbing up there for such a long time - lots of history - it really makes the area magical. With any boulder, you never know if you're doing something new or doing something an old man ticked off years ago, without a pad. I keep waiting for the 80s to call and ask for their FAs back.
Today was far too short - I really can't stand this whole dark-at-five thing. I think we should have a lunar calendar. Would that even fix things? I don't understand. I quickly did a direct start to Buzz Saw at Black, starting on the waist high crimps behind the tree. Who knows how hard it is, probably about v10, like everything else. Does v11 even exist, or do they just jump from 10 to 12?
Then Amna and I headed over to the far side of the mountain. We split up for a bit, which seemed to work well since she sent Center Visor (v6) and I got Ex-Patriot (v10) while apart. We finished the day around Bang-On with back-to-back ascents of Adamantium Sit (v9) and Round Boulders Arete (V4). Btw, Adamantium sit is not the "Mandala of Black Mountain," as someone's 8a says, but actually kind of sucks in a sharp-owh kind of way. I also fondled Bang-On a bit, but no dice with that first move - hard hard.
I hate to say this, but I hate grade inflation even more. SoCal climbers can't rate boulder problems. I'm losing faith. Ex-Patriot is not a soft v12, but rather a mid-range v10. Adamantium is far from v11. When doing an FA, take a grade off of what you think it is, since you know future climbers will find better beta, have cleaner holds, be more motivated. End of story.
[UPDATE]: My original post was too mean and unjustly singled out one individual - I must have been on the rag or something. I abstracted and cleaned it up with a broom, so while not spotless, it looks nicer than before.