After living in Gothenburg for a month I’ve come to know a somewhat different attitude in how climbers look at and consider the importance of grades. In Stockholm I always felt it was the heart and soul of many conversations in the gym or at the crag and undoubtedly the goal for most climbers training systematically; but here it feels like the quality of the problem or route comes first, why the grades also feel a bit off when climbing outdoors. It’s like climbers here rather focus on the line and rumour of an ascent being worthwhile, and I almost feel it’s unpolite to ask about the difficulty..
Or maybe it’s just considered rude to talk about grades on the westcoast; as if it’s there just as much in the minds of climbers but not fully accepted to talk vividly about? Anyhow I feel the humility towards the grading process is a bit healthier here, not so infected or hysterical as I experienced it in Stockholm. What difficulty I manage as a climber shouldn’t reflect who I actually am as a person or my place in the climbing community; I’ve always longed for this philosophy but never acutually met many climbers living by it.
Of course I look to grades in my own climbing and aim towards certain goals for myself. There can be great motivation in striving for a route of a certain grade or difficulty, but I’ve also experienced how terribly bad one can feel when not living up to these wishes and dreams. It can make you feel like such a lame climber and give the self confidence a kick in the crouch.. And even worse it can make you start comparing yourself to other climbers in a unhealthy way! To get away from this grade-hysteria there’s really no other way than to find acceptance in the fact we all have different qualities and strengths, but also weaknesses that can hold you back. For me I think I’ve arrived at the right place and the right climbing community; where grades are secondary. At least this is my first impression…? Might be I’m just blissfully ignorant. 🙂
”Alf” at Häller, superhard or supereasy.. Who cares? It’s the best problem I’ve climbed in the area!