Writing on his blog about his recent redpoint of his first 5.14d―Escalatamasters (5.14d) at Perles, Spain―James Pearson offers some insight into the fact that sometimes grades do matter:
I loose count of how many times I must have said grades are not important, insisting instead it is the beauty of the climb and the moves that I search for. Yet for the last few years, hiding just a little way beneath everything else, was an urge to succeed only for a number. It might have been small, barely noticeable at times, but there it sat none the less, an ever present hope for something I thought perhaps I would never achieve.
But it’s a nice number, don’t you think? 9a [5.14d]. I hope you can forgive my shallowness?
Check out the full post for a nice recap of Pearson’s effort on the line as well as a handful of nice pictures of the route.
Update: Thanks to the commenter who unearthed this footage of Dave Graham on the route