In order to make our Climbing SIG (Special Interest Group) more accessible to MAM members who may be wanting a ‘higher’ Mensan experience, a one-hour open climbing session is being offered on the 4th Sunday of any month whenever we are climbing at Apex (Overland Park), or this next May and June for instance. There are many technical (and some mental) aspects of climbing we all should learn too; so, if you would like to participate during an hour of free coaching, please contact Mark ([email protected]) ahead of time. Find additional details – like the minimal cost of a day pass and shoe rental – in the March 2019 issue of the Mension.

In addition, following below is a quick summary of the various bouldering grades:

  • VB: Basically, a ladder with large holds.
  • V: Also, a ladder with large holds, just a tad more difficult than a VB. In climbing gyms, it’s typically labeled a VB.
  • V0: A simple climb the uninitiated can do, but it requires some shifting of body weight.
  • V1: Has some complexity, usually you have to figure out the sequence. Still, it is possible to simply muscle up it.
  • V2: Smaller handholds and footholds. Usually it has a crux or two that must be solved. Most V2s can be muscled up, but some cannot.
  • V3: Tricky sequence, difficult balance, foot switching, flexibility demand, or similar issues. Few of these can be muscled up. It is here where you find experienced climbers who climb only occasionally.
  • V4: Think of a V3 that has either much more demanding balance or some holds that are poor. These cannot be muscled up. Here is where most climbers stop their progression. They become V4 climbers and that’s as far as they go.
  • V5: Think of a V4 with poor holds. These are “finger tippy,” pinch grip, or “slopers;” all require a great deal of hand strength and perfect body positioning relative to the hold.
  • V6: Think of a V5 with either worse holds or even more gnarly balance.
  • V7: Think of a V5 with both worse holds and even more gnarly balance.
  • V8: As of this date, V8 is the hardest any of us have ever attempted but we don’t have a clear picture of what makes it a V8.

So, what do you think: Are you interested in gym climbing?