SLCompulsion - Jun 2, 2007 6:31 am - Voted 8/10Enlightening!
Excellent article covering a topic I've not read much about. It rings very true.
Sometimes I worry about getting TOO comfortable. I remember more than once "boot skiing" jump turn to jump turn down a scree slope then standing with a sort of smug feeling watching other inching their way down. And then wonder about who'd have the last smug look if I twisted an ankle - or worst.
Thanks for writing and summiting.
PS - GREAT old video clip! Makes me want to toss some coils over my shoulder and get out there. Nice find.
mvs - Jun 2, 2007 1:21 pm - Hasn't votedRe: Enlightening!
Thank you! Yep, my friend twisted his ankle on the trail down from Half Dome while making nimble moves around a party of slow folks. He hid his embarrassment pretty well, then we had to hurry down before his foot swelled up too much to get out of his boot!
Never be afraid to be slow, and do what you have to do is the lesson, I guess. I still sometimes "5-point" down things :D
Oh, BTW, since you said congratulations for summiting, I should say that I haven't gotten around to the Matterhorn yet. Maybe this summer, we'll see!
Bob Sihler - Jun 2, 2007 10:13 am - Voted 10/10Hurrah for Class 4-- gets too little respect
Enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing. I thoroughly enjoy Class 4 but sometimes wonder if there’s really such a thing. It often seems to be either a tough Class 3 or an “easy” Class 5.
But I came at my attitude toward Class 4 a little differently. Because most of my hiking and climbing have been done alone, using rope has never been a reasonable option for me. But as Class 2 became boring (and too tiring on all that scree) and Class 3 became mostly too easy, I started gravitating towards harder routes, even getting into some 5.4 mountain routes without the rope. Some of my scariest but best experiences have been in such situations, and I find that I prefer a good Class 4 over almost anything else. That outlook has been dangerous at times, as I’ve embraced climbs that many wiser people would rope up for, but it is what it is. I’ve recently begun getting into roped climbing, and it’s opened up a world closed to me before, but it just doesn’t thrill me the way soloing some rotten Class 4 or 5.2 does; I feel less accomplishment, though I know I’m being much safer and smarter and engaging in “real” climbing, as some define it.
I like the way you detail thoughts we have all had out there, especially in our earlier days on the mountains. And yours is an interesting and unexpected perspective—I appreciate the honesty. Climb on, and safely, and thanks again for articulating what so many of us have thought and felt.
mvs - Jun 2, 2007 5:35 pm - Hasn't votedRe: Hurrah for Class 4-- gets too little respect
Thanks for your long and thoughtful reply Bob! Unlike many of us, you are embarking on roped climbing from a solid base that will serve you well as the routes get longer.
rasgoat - Jun 2, 2007 7:25 pm - Voted 10/10Class 4
Nice subject and article.
I learned to climb class four long before I learned roped climbing. I always gravitiate towards the class four for the same reasons Bob described. It is free and fun, the exposure is thrilling and these types of climbes have been my favorites. Recently I have been learning roped climbing and I now wonder how I will feel on my next super exposed class four route. Will I enjoy it as always or miss the new found comfort of the rope. I feel I will still love the class four, I can't wait to do Capitol, and the Maroon bells traverse as well as the Wilson-El Diente traverse. There is a fine balance of climbing, exposure, and comfort in a class four route that I just crave!
mvs - Jun 4, 2007 3:30 am - Hasn't votedRe: Class 4
Thank you, I always wanted to see the Maroon Bells sometime, have fun there!
darinchadwick - Jun 3, 2007 1:46 pm - Voted 10/10Never alone on 4th class
You are not alone on that journey to happiness on 4th class my friend. I've found myself more attracted to the long airy ridges of low difficulty and high exposure, where one constantly must choose how to most effeciently (speed) and safely (sanity) climb. For me the worst part of all is being paralyzed, and not knowing what to choose. Conversly, what is more satisfying than almost wordlessly deciding with your partner when to belay, simul, or solo. It never gets boring. Great article, glad it's getting read.
mvs - Jun 4, 2007 3:32 am - Hasn't votedRe: Never alone on 4th class
I totally agree, thanks for the comment. Hey if I can get to the artic north, I will call you! Looks beautiful there.
darinchadwick - Jun 6, 2007 5:53 am - Voted 10/10Re: Never alone on 4th class
Sure, contact me before you come. An hours drive takes you to the Lyngen alps, which are sedimentary chaos, very exciting and loose in the summer, or, driving the opposite direction takes you to Kvaløya, clean steep hard granite, so you can have a bellyfull of whatever type of climbing you are in the mood for.
eggheadsherpa - Jun 4, 2007 12:08 am - Hasn't votedInformative Article
I am experienceing this exact phenomena right now in my climbing career and can relate to many of the feelings you expressed here. Thanks for taking the time to type this up!
mvs - Jun 8, 2007 3:46 am - Hasn't votedRe: Informative Article
You are welcome, it's my pleasure. The fact that the subject strikes a chord with you and other folks kind of validates my experience too. Thanks!
camerona91 - Jun 4, 2007 12:56 am - Voted 10/10Great!
I think 3rd and 4th class climbing is definitely understated and underappreciated by climber. Personally, I am at the point now where I feel safer leading vertical rock on a mountain thatn I do with the loose scree and wet rock. It is an interesting dilema and is highlighted nicely in this article.
mvs - Jun 4, 2007 3:40 pm - Hasn't votedRe: Great!
I totally know that feeling :-D.
mvs - Jun 4, 2007 3:27 pm - Hasn't votedRe: This
You are welcome, Tazz, all the best over the summer!
Little_Mole - Jun 4, 2007 1:57 pm - Voted 10/10Philosophical
Thank you very much for this almost philosophical article! At this time I am at the point you are describing at the beginning: more and more I'm bored with the easy ground and I want to get higher and start with more difficult "ways", but at the same time I'm afraid to slip ...
With your article you are giving me some good thoughts to think about, and I'm sure I will read it more than once because a lot of truth is in your words.
And besides, I think this article could change some things in my head. To become a better climber. And to become a climber who is happy and free.
Thank you very much!
mvs - Jun 4, 2007 3:23 pm - Hasn't votedRe: Philosophical
I couldn't hope for any more positive reaction. Thank you so much!
MoapaPk - Jun 4, 2007 11:18 pm - Voted 10/10low maintenance
I just don't like to carry all that stuff. So if I can't get there (and back) with 50' of tubular webbing, a carabiner and two 10' slings, I'm not going.
EDIT: I must add that I am grateful to some people -- such as CP0915 -- for leading me up sections that are a little beyond class 4.
mvs - Jun 8, 2007 3:49 am - Hasn't votedRe: low maintenance
You can still do a heck of a lot with that mindset. Once I did a long 5.0 ridge with 20 feet of A0 bolt ladder. I took what you took, and threw in 2 alpine aiders. Viola!
tonyo - Jun 5, 2007 8:39 am - Voted 10/10Excellent article
Thank you for this thoroughly enjoyable article. Your assessment is right on. I stopped several times to think, "Hey, that's how I feel" or "That's so true". You are an excellent writer, and I could have pulled any of several quotes from your article, but the line that kind of puts it in a nutshell for me is "Breathe, and go one step at a time."
Thank you for posting.
mvs - Jun 8, 2007 3:53 am - Hasn't votedRe: Excellent article
Thanks for the compliment! My wife told me I have to do the dishes, and I read this to her to justify lazing at the computer more. Damn...it didn't work :-(. Happy climbing!
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