Note from the editor:
I’ve only been climbing for a few years. It was somewhat of a casual hobby, and over the past year I’ve stepped up my game a bit. I still don’t consider myself a ‘climber,’ but with any sport where you’re a beginner you are alway looking up the ladder (maybe somewhat literally, in this case) to your new challenges ahead. I’m not even close to thinking about sending a 5.14, but this flow chart is a great guide for anyone looking to take it to the next level in your sport. It’s not just about going hard on the wall, but treating yourself right off the wall.
5.14 represents the pinnacle of our sport. Sure, there’s 5.15 and someday there will probably be 5.16, but 5.14 separates the good from the great. It’s the grade that puts you in the top 1% of climbers. You can’t just be-tall your way past cruxes at this level. You need to have flawless technique, and you need to be really, really f***ing strong, physically and mentally. Few ever achieve it. In fact, according to our reader survey (Climbing No. 331), the majority of climbers believe 5.12 will be the hardest they’ll climb in their lifetime. But loftier grades are certainly possible with enough time and dedication. So why aren’t you climbing 5.14?
Note to boulderers: Replace all instances of “5.” with the letter V.
Source: Climbing Magazine