Chris Sharma Esperanza (V14) Video On MVM

Chris Sharma Esperanza (V14) Video On MVM

The Momentum Video Magazine has posted a clip from Best Of The West of Chris Sharma repeating Fred Nicole’s Hueco Tanks testpiece Esperanza (V14).  First climbed in 2001, Esperanza is (by my count) one of the most repeated V14’s in the United States.  Beyond the climbing being impressive to watch, the clip sparked a couple of questions in my mind.

First, Esperanza is yet another example of Fred Nicole’s amazing vision and talent.  Off the top of my head, I am unable to think of any V14 or harder problems in Hueco that were not first climbed by Fred.  Why that is, I have no idea.  Is everyone busy trying to repeat all of Fred’s hard problems or is there nothing harder out there?  Are the regulations getting in the way of exploration?

 Chris Sharma sending Esperanza (V14)Chris Sharma sending Esperanza (V14)

Second, I noticed that Esperanza doesn’t top out which got me to thinking:   how important is it for a problem to top out?  In a lot of cases the top out on a problem is not all that difficult, yet it feels like an integral part of the bouldering experience.  Since bouldering is a fairly contrived activity in the first place, topping out seems like a requirement for a problem to be a true classic.  Then again, the contrived nature of bouldering also means that we often climb any of the climbable surface on a boulder, even if it doesn’t lead us to the top.  I’m confused…

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20 Responses to Chris Sharma Esperanza (V14) Video On MVM

  1. Tom Markiewicz December 23, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Good point about problems topping out. I don’t think it necessarily is a requirement for a problem to top out to be a classic. I think the combination of moves, historical significance, and sometimes the problem relative to others determines its “classic” status.

    I did think similar thoughts though when I visited Morrison where most problems don’t have top outs.

    I know some climbers don’t care either way, but it prefer to actually to top out.

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  2. Jamie December 23, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Regardless of how chossy/awkward rocking over the lip is, its hard deny how good it feels to stand on top eg slashface. seems to be something we all understand.
    i think one of the biggest failures of the new generation is that they show up at areas and do all the hard problems. they havnet pushed the sport in the way that fred or dave have yet and until they start doing that, they will never be held in the same regard.
    also, i think the top out of esperanza has been done but it of the worst quality. we’ll just have to wait to sockface can climb V14 for it to be done from the start 🙂

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    • Narc December 23, 2008 at 9:04 am #

      Do you think this a byproduct of 8a.nu? Repeating multiple hard problems looks better on a scorecard than the occasional FA doesn’t it?

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      • Jamie December 23, 2008 at 9:44 am #

        i totally think this is a by product of 8A and it has lead to a not only a lack of new hard problems but also a bunch of really bad problems climbed so people can “add new boulders”
        its pretty unnewsworthy for climbers like paul to go to switzerland and climb all of the V13s and V14s. Dave already did that, except he did the FAs, repeated the hardest established problems and that was years ago. and now DG shows up and puts up a new V15 (big paw) that is why he is one of the greats and until those guys realize it, they wont be on the same level. Its a lot of work doing FAs, physically and mentally, (I know Dg trys stuff all the time that he doesnt do) which is hard to do. its alot easier for them to just climb V13s in a day.

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        • Narc December 23, 2008 at 9:50 am #

          Interesting. I admittedly find myself doing this as well on a more pedestrian scale. Not because I “need the points” or anything, but there is some level of satisfaction in looking back on the scorecard and seeing high amounts of productivity (regardless of quality at some points). Something to think about as the new year approaches…

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          • sock hands December 23, 2008 at 10:46 am #

            i experimented with just keeping a word document of all my sends, then updating 8a every few months or so… while it did help me come to grips with having a “work session” rather than NEEDING to send something new all the time, i found it to be supremely irritating to actually log all the lines that had accrued… very time consuming and best done in small bites…. this would normally lead climbers to the conclusion that 8spray.spew is bunk and should be dropped from their life, but i’ve resolved not to be a flip-flopper…

            an 8a spray sheet is a marriage, and you do not abandon it in tough times… you work through your differences and create your better tomorrow.

            BWAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAAAA

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          • Tom Markiewicz December 23, 2008 at 10:52 am #

            I don’t like 8a.nu for specifically that reason. I don’t update 8a, but instead keep track on everything locally on my computer in iCal and a text file.

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          • sock hands December 23, 2008 at 11:21 am #

            but then you and your friends cannot search each other’s stuff to talk trash and give big ups… i still have faith in the ability for 8spray.spew to actually serve as a tool for community communication and back talk.

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  3. sock hands December 23, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    it seems that tons of hard, classic stuff has been put up in hueco in the last few years, narcface…. nothing breaking the 14/15 ground, as fred has… and therefore, your point is sound…

    it seems like many of the folks how go to hueco are so psyched to climb tons of stuff that negotiating all the requirements to go back to a new project that may or may not actually go is not very convenient or fun for the strong kids… just speculation, though.

    as far as not topping out… i think that the quality of the initial moves need to be considered in conjunction with the crappiness of the top out or even its possibility.

    if something is super classic, but has a v17 futureistic top out after an obvious finishing jug, should it not be consisered a valid climb just to the jug? all these discussions become very circular because it is very very difficult to impose “validity” ethics fairly, but without specific context.

    at the niagara glen, most problems are considered valid if you gain the lip and drop. part of this is because the top outs are almost always dirty jug hauls. part of this is also because the tops look like chia pets and there is a endangered oak bush species that grows on the top outs so it’s illegal to tamper [clean] or stomp the growth up there. so, even if doable, solid rock, and good walk offs exist, this is an example where an unexpected variable comes into play.

    all that said, i find it crazy that euros will sometimes gain a victory lip, fist pump, and just drop off when there is no reason not to roll over…. but is this different than dropping off the new river wall after dark waters or formula 50 just because the tall exit is often dirty and loose? why not just rap down and clean it once and for all so we can top out?

    it’s all a mess and the bottom line is that like steve mentioned, an ethic will develop for each problem of note after it has been repeated a bunch… some of the rules will be convenient, some will not. …and i’ll fight them all to pad my scorecard.

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  4. sock hands December 23, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    ps: i was told that the “three headed monster” at hueco would flip out if folks rapped down blocks and pried off loose death flakes because of the scars it would leave. true or not, i suspect that this prevents many from cleaning up deathchoss hueco top outs.

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  5. Schyler December 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    i hate 8a.nu for the reason of it promotes number chasing. it makes climbing outside like climbing in the gym where everyone brags about the hardest thing they just did. basically gyms are for training nothing more and in my opinion FA’s are 5 times more important than repeats.

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  6. Ryan J December 23, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    Maybe 50 extra points for an FA instead of 10? Something to think about. In some ways, an FA is even more difficult than an onsight, so maybe 200 extra points?

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  7. sock hands December 24, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    OR, no points for anything and have the top 100 list be for the most visited spraysheets, but expand the side bar to cover down to v5 FAs and down to v7 [!] repeats for all genders [male, female, and salo], with the 25 or more most recent sends rather than just a handful.

    folks could still kinda spray by logging sends, but it would take the competition out of the hands of the individual… one’s friends/peers would keep them on the top 100 list by visiting their page. perhaps even have it so that only unique visits per day are computed so no one gets super ridiculous american idol and logs into their own page a million times. this would keep the most relevant climbers on the easily accessed list and the rest still searchable. nothing lost but the competitive aspects of the site. if you climb v15 but no one cares about you, presumably because you are a POS bastard, then you will not be able to be on the list, since a climber’s only importance to the community should be relative to how supportive and instrumental of a role that climber plays in the community… not based on sends alone.

    for instance, those heart of stone guys are inherently more important to the american climbing scene than, say, v16 climber roland thompson

    regardless, the informative and beta-share elements of the site would be retained despite this conversion.

    the king of the intardweb hath spoken.

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  8. Ryan J December 24, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    good thoughts yo. i briefly changed to log-book but missed the neat little graphs at the top. if those came with log-book, i would be psyched!

    as for v7’s, come down to Chatt, EVERYTHING is v7!!

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  9. sock hands December 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    i likes me some vee sevens um hmmm

    and sum biscuits and mustard um hmmm

    what’s the nearest airport?

    who wants to pick me up late on a friday and be ready to cater to my ever climbing whim until taking me back to the airport on sunday?

    LINE UP!

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    • steven December 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm #

      sockhands,

      atl is the nearest big airport and I’d be more than happy to show you around boatrock & rocktown….I’d need to pass you off to someone who knows the stuff up around chatt a bit better though

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  10. Ryan J December 24, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    fly to Chatt on a good weather weekend and you will get your skin climbed off! bringit

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  11. tissue December 28, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    i asked jens for graphs with logbooks so i could make my moral stand against 8a’s climber neutering project. but alas he lol’d at me. he said his “webmaster make hard work not for me for make grading science big top 5 world leader in popular rockclimbing hits”. in other words, jens wasn’t concerned about my request because i wasn’t even in the north american top 100. in response, i sent him a detailed training outlook for 2009 and promised i’d “make real big top 5 hot climbing action” if he’d offer me some added functionality without the ranking (which would be sooooooooooo [email protected]!*@$#*$ easy).

    he said no.

    i heart him.

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    • Narc December 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

      I like it. Please continue your stand against Southeast bouldering group downgrading as well!

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  12. peter December 29, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    Made my day, tissue. thanks.

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