I got this very interesting comment the other day and it really got me thinking. So here is the comment and my response:
Paul, do you really feel like Lucid Dreaming is two full grades harder than Big Paw? Not trying to start an argument or anything, just trying to get a better idea of where these problems stand in your mind. Congrats on the send, it’s super inspiring to hear about you crushing in the freezing cold and topping out on ice (!).
Hey Daniel, thank you very much for the comment. This is a great question and I thank you for posing it to me on my blog. To be completely honest, yes, I do believe that Lucid Dreaming is 2 full grades above Big Paw. I also believe that climbs like Monkey Wedding, Ill Trill, Terremer are one grade harder than Big Paw. As I stated on 8a.nu I believe Big Paw to be a 7C+ addition into Boogalaga (8B). Yes, it is hard to make the link but I do not think that it is that much harder that it deserves the 8C grade, where as 8B+ seems very reasonable. When I think of 8C, I think of a climb that, for me, is very desperate to climb and would be really hard to repeat on command (and for 8C+ it is more like 1 in a million, doing it once is just as much strength and preparation as luck, everything has to come together perfectly for something of this caliber to even possibly happen). Big Paw took me way too little time (3 days, should have been 2 but it got dark) and I am nearly certain that I could climb it on command or get extremely close. This is not the case at all with any of the 8C’s that I have done. There is no way in the world I could do either Ill trill or Monkey wedding again quickly. And this is especially true with Lucid Dreaming. It may take another 12 days for me to link those two moves again. However if you take for instance Dreamtime or the Dagger, both of which seem very similar in difficulty to Big Paw. They are both climbs that I feel that I have a good chance of doing extremely quickly again.
So for me to break it down in conclusion, yes I feel that lucid dreaming is 2 grades harder. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I hope to find a climb one day that rivals the difficulty and beauty of Lucid Dreaming. And in terms of the final difficulty of Lucid Dreaming, I do not know where it will land itself after a few repetitions. If it gets downgraded, I will have no hard feelings what so ever and will just be glad that someone else has linked those two amazing movements. Lucid Dreaming is what it is. To me it is 8C+ and one of the hardest boulders I have ever done along with one of the most amazing and beautiful. The future of bouldering will decipher its grade but I can assure you that it will never be seen as a pile or climb not worth trying.
Thanks again for the great question.