To 8a Or Not To 8a?

I have one. So do plenty of other people. I get good natured shit from my friends for having one. I’m of course talking about the infamous scorecard. I truly don’t think I have one for the spray-factor although that is obviously a bi-product. Besides, if we’re being honest I don’t really have a whole lot that is worth spraying over. But I am realistic and narcissistic so I realize I am probably trying to spray. Either way….

My scorecard does help me to track my climbs over the years. It is cool to be able to look back and see what I was getting done (or not done) back in ’01. I basically use it as a tool for my own climbing. Of course I obviously spend a lot of my time perusing tons and tons of other people’s scorecards, Dave Graham’s card doesn’t have over 260k views on accident.

Here are the pros and cons as I see them:


  1. Helps you remember what you did 5 years ago
  2. Helps you visualize the concept of building a base of easier climbs to achieve harder ascents
  3. For the ‘sponsored’ athlete it can help increase exposure for sponsors
  4. Provides a large database of routes/grades/comments to browse through to increase your climbing knowledge
  5. Gives you an extra incentive to get that onsight for the bonus points 😉


  1. Increases obsession with number chasing & detracts focus from simply climbing ‘for the fun of it’
  2. Increases spray by default I guess
  3. Exposes you to the editorial rantings of one Jens Larrsen
  4. Wastes many minutes of my day and aggravates my wife

What does everyone think?

Posted In: Climbing Websites, From The Narc


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2 Responses to To 8a Or Not To 8a?

  1. Jake C July 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I decide to stay away from the 8a scene. I prefer mountain project or summit post. Both usually have really good area descriptions and do not really have competitive user rating systems.

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  2. Morgan July 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    For just a logbook UKclimbing is a much better tool. I’ve tried 8a and not found it very user friendly, UKC on the other hand is a breeze, even if the climbs aren’t already set up (as may be the case with your US ticks). Plus you get a funky graph page where you get a breakdown of climbs by year, month, grade, rocktype etc.

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