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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:14 am 
Ok so heres one to throw the cat among the pigeons and totally confuse those just getting a handle on things. SA numerical grades refer to the technical difficulty of the hardest move on a route regardless of what other moves exist. French grades on the other hand are accumulative, ie if you have a route that has loads of 6c moves and no rests it would most likely get a 7a grade. This is especially true at the top end of the sport where most 9a's dont actually have a 9a move on them they are more likely sustained 8b-8c. What has happened in SA is that we have adopted the french grading system and have then figured a numerical equivalent. This has lead to a huge jump in the number grades being artificially acheived. In actual fact pure numerical grades where never consolidated much beyond 30. The last route I can remember being graded purely on the numerical scale was L'Abraxus which Jono gave 30 as it was a clear step harder than anything else he had done before. And as his previous hardest was 29 this was now 30. To the best of my knowledge this route has yet to be repeated. If it hasnt been repeated then how do others know that what they have done is harder?? How can we be up to 34 already if so few other routes of lower numbers have been repeated? Obviously the shift to a new grading system has affected the way we use the numerical grading system as well. That being so why should we bother with the stupid thing anymore? The french system of accumulative grading is obviously better. (If you have a grade 23 with one move at that grade and another 23 with every move at that grade, are these routes the same difficulty? I think not!) So what say we just ditch the number grades once and for all and wholesale adopt what is fast becoming the world standard grading system?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:14 am 
Dear grigri (who are you?) The SA and French grades are basically the same things. Your idea of how SA grades work is COMPLETELY wrong. We do not grade the hardest move. If we did, L'Abraxas would be 26, Point Break would be 25 and Baracade would be 23. A grade is meant to be an overall assessment of the difficulty for an \"average\" height climber to ONSIGHT the route in good conditions. The assessment of the difficulty to onsight a route is clearly very difficult for someone who's spent days/weeks/months working the moves. I was one of the people who initially introduced French grades. I did this because SA and French grades are the same.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:15 am 
Well thats definitely not the way things were explained to me back when I started climbing. Perhaps people in Natal saw things differently. I just find it pointless to have two grading systems, what were you thinking??


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:15 am 
Unlikely you were told that. The SA Grading system is basically very similar to the Australian numeric system and was originally adopted at MONTESEEL by an Aussie (whose name escapes me)when it was realised that South Africa's old grading system; E1,2,3 F1,2,3 etc was too \"coarse\". The Yosemite YDS, French grades, Aus/South African/New Zealand are all for overall difficulty of a pitch. If you have a bit of intelligence and experience it isnt that hard to convert between them. Saying the world should adopt one system is like saying we should all drive on the same side of the road. The british system is a freak thats hard to convert to elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:15 am 
This thing working again now?? Aah can reply at last. Howzit Guy- first off hope you will take my comments in the tongue-in-cheeky way they were meant, just tryimg to provoke a response in an effort to get some discussion going. Wow so thats really interesting that you both say SA grades are not technical grades. I had always thought they were determined by the hardest move on the route. So its more of an overall impression? And French grades are for onsight? Had always thought they were for redpoint. How on earth do you determine a grade for onsight after working a route for a long time? Spose thats where consensus comes in. Jeez, ok. I learn something everyday.


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