This is Hermann and me at Rifle Colorado. Rifle is a world renowned climbing area; some of the best climbers come here to train and tune up. The most difficult climb here is a 5.14d, which is definitely world class.
HH on Cold cuts 5.11a
Hermann on Pumperama a 5.13a
We are climbing with Hermann about three days a week, at Rifle, it's harb climbing and after a day you are wiped put, so you need a recovery day. Climbing the 5.10 range is still moderate climbing for most people who are in good shape. Once you get into the 5.11 range it gets tough, so you have to start training like for any other sport.
The 5.12 ranges are already fairly extreme therefore strength and experience with climbing techniques are required. This is especially true at Rifle, as it is limestone, very slippery rock, and mostly overhanging. Challenging yes, but great fun. Climbing with Hermann is a real treat, as he is a top climber even at 67 years old. He's climbed up to the 5.13d level at Rifle and that is very hard and it's extreme. I love climbing because for me it's still an area in which I can grow.
I didn't start climbing until late into my 50ies, although I've been friends with Herman for 40 years, he has always been a great climber. Climbing with Hermann is an accelerated learning course, he pushes hard, so you want to push hard as well. He is always there to give you a tip or beta about the climb or about your technique, so if you are in good shape, and strong, you can learn very quickly with him around. Diana is climbing really strongly this summer. She is ready to break through into the 5.12 range. With about four weeks of Rifle climbing under your belt, you can climb most 5.12's in other climbing areas.