8a has always seemed to be a really big, unattainable, almost mystical number to climb. Lately, it doesn't seem so far fetched for me to picture myself completing a climb with a number like that.
Since I can now say that I climb v10, it seems silly that I have never even attempted anything harder. I've always had, and continue to have, this attraction to climbs that just happen to be rated v10. I'll walk up to something really pretty and invariably it always is rated v10. So naturally, thats all I've climbed. Since my spree earlier this month I have made it my small quest to break out of my habit and try an 8a or v11.
I started thinking to myself about all these hard climbs that I wanted to do that I didn't know the ratings for (all turned out to be v10 by the way...). So I started asking people who climbed harder than myself what some of their favorite climbs were. This inquiry turned to whether or not any of them were actually v11's.
"You should try Rumble in the Jungle." One friend said. "That's a v12." I replied.
It felt wrong to skip v11, 8a, all together and go to v12. So I began my research for a v11. I looked in my Hueco guide book and found that after v10, the amount of climbs that exist at the v11 rating or higher drops considerably.
"v12 in Hueco is easier than v11 anyway. You should just try a v12." my friend said...
I can't believe that. What is wrong with v11? In Europe there are tons of 8a's. You could say it's a popular grade. So why are there so many more v10's?
Is it because they are easier?
Do people just not like uneven numbers?
Whats the deal?
So, I am now on my search for the perfect v11, for me. I don't want a gimme either. I don't want to hear ANYONE say, "Oh that thing is really v10."
The search is on.