Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Master Blaster V9? More like V7 (or Chasen-6)

I've seen a few YouTube vids of this short, powerful and sharp-as-hell problem throwing out V9, which is the guide book grade for the problem. Now...I would say it's all relative to the climber and depending on your preferred style and strengths this problem may be (like any other problem) harder or easier. That said:

1. No harder than V7. I'm basing this on a couple of general thoughts and experiences at Tram:

  • Tram is generally overrated. Some problems have classic ratings (reads: JTree Ratings) such as Franks Roof (IMHO the hardest V3 in the entire park). But a two-grade diff from the guide book? How is this possible?
  • Grades were inflated in the guide to attract attention to the place. There are a number of problems that over the years have either taken downgrades or have been discovered to be really soft. One of which is Vanishing Point. NO SINGLE MOVE on that entire problem is harder than V7, yet the problem goes at V9 consensus. This argument excludes problems where easier beta has been discovered such as Gluttony (V8 potential downgrade to V7) and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (V7 actual downgrade to V4).
  • Not much harder than Re-Animator. Most of you probably know this problem as "Slot Machine". Notorious for its accuracy crux (i.e. hitting that tramslot), but moderate at V6. IMHO soft for the grade compared to something like Flight of Osiris. Given that Re-Animator is moderate V6 and Master Blaster not being that much harder, I can't say this problem is much harder than V7. V8 would be extremely generous and more like sugar-bagging.

2. Condition Dependent. That start hold can be pretty slick from the angle it's at and, like most any climbing problem/route, better to wait til you're freezing your ass off before attempting.

3. There's a very slightly dimpled, three-finger sloper about a foot underneath the farthest right-hand crimp that makes compressing this baby a lot easier, and allows you to skip the farthest right-hand crimp altogether.

Nonetheless this is a great little power problem and I'm extremely happy that it's finally getting some well deserved traffic. Props to ma' boyz Chasen, JPace and Laggy for putting this shit down like Bosses. These guys always inspire me to push harder and I'm always stoked to follow their lead in crushing hard problems!

Edit 7/27/2014: Sent it. Yeah it's a pretty hard V7 but nonetheless I felt this was still within upper V7 range. Hard for the grade. Soft V8 (low in the grade) is reasonable as well.

Edit 8/9/2014: After further consideration, IMHO the problem falls within the 7/8 range, thus V8- (low in the grade).


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