Not A Fluke

I’ve been attempting more V5 problems since I completed my first one earlier this month, with varying levels of “success”, measured in number of moves I can make before falling off.

I tried one this weekend where I slipped off a hold so hard I couldn’t feel my fingertips for a few minutes.

Today, I examined the move, the options, the balance, and the remaining holds. Then I attempted the problem again.

Success! My second V5! Yaaaaasss!!

I puzzled through a challenging-to-me V3 and V4 before that. Hip turn, hip drive, hang angle, feet high, leg extension, timing. So many details. So satisfying to piece it all together.

I credit today’s tenacity and progress to the guy working on the steep V8. Climb, fall, study, session, climb farther, fall, study, session, repeat, repeat, repeat. He finished the problem.


  1. Question from the peanut gallery: How do they determine the ratings you talk about (the V # stuff)? Is it a written down code of some sort? (so many of these type holds plus these angles and this height equals a V-something) Or is it a more subjective thing that the people at the climbing center determine?

    • It’s a very subjective thing that differs by gym and route setter. I can really only measure my V5 relative to the routes I’ve been climbing here, because the route setter crew doesn’t change drastically between resets.

      I’ve heard people say other gyms are harder. I’ve heard people say other gyms are easier. So I’m satisfied that this isn’t too far on either extreme. Not that it really matters, since everything is relative, and I’m mostly measuring myself over time.

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