Abaddon (8A+) is one of the most popular boulders of this grade in the US bouldering Mecca Red Rocks. The American competition climber Zander Waller recently forced a flash ascent of the line and quickly downgraded it from 8A+ to 7C.
If a much-used boulder is devalued by three grades, it makes you sit up and take notice. That's what happened in Black Velvet Canyon in the Red Rocks: The 19-year-old US climber Zander Waller has the 8A+ boulder Abaddon flashed and then downgraded it to 7C. This is not only well received in the comment columns.
Why the aggressive devaluation?
While the young US competitive climber boasted the original grade 8A+ when publishing his flash on YouTube, he communicated his ascent of Abaddon on Instagram with a 7C. This instilled respect in some of his followers, but also caused a lack of understanding.
"Bro, please do an 8B+ if you have to downplay common people's projects here." Another user writes: "Just as it is almost impossible to evaluate a first ascent, so it is that of a flash ascent. To be honest, you have no idea about the concept of grades, regardless of your strength, experience, or both."
Whether Abddon is overrated, suits competitive climbers particularly well because of his long range in overhanging terrain, or whether Zander Waller was simply too strong or just looking for a brief moment of glory, that's anyone's guess. Fortunately, the sum of all evaluations forms a degree, so that individual extreme deviations do not (should not) carry weight.
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Credits: Cover picture Matt Groom