Are You a Gradist Wanker?
Gradist wanker: A tool or a complete dick who takes sadistic delight in passing judgment on others and the grade at which they climb.
How to tell if you are a gradist wanker?
- You remember the grades but not the names of routes
- You judge people as a whole by what grade they climb
- You belittle other climbers e.g. 'That's such a girly problem', 'How can you do ____ but can't do ____? It's an easier grade.', 'Did they seriously spend that long on that route?'
- You socialise with other gradist wankers who bitch about other climbers' abilities
- You get shitty at yourself when you can't climb a problem that is within your 'grade range'.
- You get shitty at others when they can't climb a route that 'they should be able to do'.
I was told more than once by a male that I wasn't really a boulderer until I sent a V5. I didn't even consider myself one. This was told to be. Unsolicited. More recently I've experienced passive douchey judgment from sketching out on Nylon Happy in Porter's Pass but being able to send a few burly bouldering routes in Sydney's South West. Even though my butt is still bruised from attempts trying to send them. No innuendo implied.
It seems I've been lucky to avoid the worst of it. I took offense when someone said I wasn't good enough vis a vis V5 equals 'real boulderer'. All I wanted was to have fun. I only woke up when this particular person called Ashima Shiraishi's V15 send a girly problem. It does do appear to be more of a city dweller thing. Another Weekend Warrior on another mission. However, gradist wankerism can still be encountered from interactions with locals on Main St. in Katoomba today.
So what to do about gradist wankers? Hating a gradist wanker makes as much sense as hating a Death Adder. You don't hate Death Adders, you avoid them. Just as snakes are a part of the natural environment, the gradist wanker is a part of climbing. Complete avoidance? Not always entirely possible however it is a good first line of defense.
Going beyond this taking calling people out on their snippy comments and bitchy behaviour is one method. I have someone that does this and I reciprocate. Just don't be offended if someone calls you out on your wankerism instead of the other way around.
Yes, grades are a rough guide to measure where you are 'at'. But to paraphrase, it's not about climbing some number which is imaginary and somewhat arbitrary anyway. It's not just about clipping the anchors. Climbing is about movement. No-one is saving lives. We climb rocks. Filling altruistic goals. Don't be that wanker judging from afar because someone at your favourite crag is taking a while on a 22 which you think is a 'piece of piss'.