After 8a.nu posted the news that Paul had made the 3rd ascent of The Nest in Red Rocks, Nevada, Dan Cannaday posed an inquiry as to Paul’s thoughts on the downgrade of his Red Rocks line Meadowlark Lemon (8B+, originally 8C). Paul kindly responded with his thoughts. See below.
“That is a very good question, Dan. To preface, my beta on Meadowlark Lemon was very different from each of the ascents after mine. I worked the boulder alone and found a way to get to the top and though it may have not been the easiest it was feasible and that is the way I climbed it. For me, this felt like 8C and I am assuming others would feel the same way. New beta was discovered and refined and thus the downgrade to 8B+. This happens with time and there is no harm in a downgrade when beta gets refined and perfected after the first ascentionist climbs the boulder.
If I was grading the two boulders off of how they felt to me (original MLL beta), I think MLL may be slightly harder as it was more consistently hard than the nest. However, the nest has 1 move on it that is much harder than any single move on MLL. This makes it difficult to grade, however, I do believe it falls within the 8C grade. It is actualy quite interesting because Daniel, Jimmy, and myself did the crux of the nest all differently but thought it to be around the same difficulty. It really shows the strengths of each climber and how we climb so uniquely at our limits.
This is why it is so hard to rate boulders to begin with… we all climb so uniquely and that is what makes our sport so special :)”-Paul Robinson