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Brooke Raboteau replicates and rates the box treatment (8C+).

Brooke Raboteau replicates and rates the box treatment (8C+).

Siblings Sean and Brooke Rabuteau climb Box Therapy Rock (8C+) in Rocky Mountain National Park on the same day. In addition to the double ascent, Brooke Raaboutou’s rating suggestion makes you sit up and take notice: 8C.

Once again, the Rabutos impressively demonstrate why they are considered one of the strongest climbing families in the world: in Rocky Mountain National Park, Brooke and Sean climb 8C+ Boulders Box Therapy by Danielle Woods on the same day. After sending her brother back to back, Brooke Rabuto proposes to downgrade her rating to 8C.

After talking with my brother and other rehabilitators, I think 8C is the right grade, especially when I compare the box treatment to some of the standard 8C rocks I’ve tried.

Brooke Rabuto

The first repeaters confirm the grades

Judging by the number of repetitions – including Rabuteau’s brothers there are only five – Box Therapy hasn’t received much attention since its first ascent in 2018. That suddenly changed this summer when Katie Lamb repeated the boulder and became the first woman to advance to the 8C+ grade.

After this historic ascent, the climbing scene intensely discussed the difficulty of the line. Daniel Woods scaled the Tommy Caldwell Boulder Spread Eagle (8A) to 20+ challenging moves with his starting version of the seated position and suggested a difficulty level of 8C+ for Box Therapy 2018. Neither Drew Ruana nor Sean Bailey have publicly questioned that assessment yet Repeat them.

Video: Drew Roana climbs the treatment box

I actually found it easier when planning

Not so Brooke Rabuto. The strong American proposes to devalue the currency to 8 degrees Celsius. On the one hand, she bases her assessment on the conversation she had with her brother Sean and the others who made the rock. “Box Therapy, on the other hand, seemed more like 8C rocks than other 8C rocks I’ve tried.”

Anyone who accuses Brooke Rabuto of wanting to discredit Katie Lamb’s first female ascent of 8C+ boulder while devaluing her currency is walking on thin ice. And in a video by Magnus Midtbo from December 2022, Sean Raboteau talks about how Brock tried the line before and was able to climb it in about one day. He adds: “We both think box therapy might be more like 8C, but it’s a hard 8C.”

Sometimes we make mistakes in our initial suggestions. This is why consensus is so important.

Daniel Woods

And what does top climber Daniel Woods say about currency devaluation? “Like Brock said, grades are subjective and ultimately just a guide to how difficult the line is.”

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Credits: Cover image Finstack