Grading a trad climb

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SNORT
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Grading a trad climb

Postby SNORT » Wed May 08, 2013 6:29 pm

Jimbo good questions but no objective answers. It is where the shades of grey lie and the subjectivity of grading comes in. And that is what gives climbing its character. If it was perfectly scientific then it would not be interesting and we would have nothing to talk about. Come to think about it the "S" or severity grading system is infinitely more objective than the technical grading system and there should not be much debate as to differences in the S grade.

The technical grade is different for everyone and ultimately it comes down to consensus. And of course the bell curve comes into play.

According the Ged Desforge (a British climber who on-sighted Prime Time with Beta) in the UK there around 200 climbers who climb E5 on-sight which is Prime Time's grade at any one time. So there would be lot less than can on-sight E6 say 80 and then E7 10 and E8 1 or 2 if any. So the higher the grade, the less the consistency due to a small pool of consensus. In the UK there are, on the other hand several 1000 climbers that can redpoint the odd E5 or 7a+ or 7b french- so different story.

In SA there is pretty decent pool of long established routes up to grade 22 (E3) that are or have been regularly climbed but as the grade increases the less chance of consensus. There are few routes I can simply go and redpoint at grade 25 but Africa Arete is one of them. So I cannot agree that is 25 to redpoint. But certainly is to on-sight.

So you dudes climbing at the top end need to sort out your own shit with grades.

Up to grade 25 or at least grade 24 there is reasonable consistency/consensus in SA and that is for the on-sight.

I think Uber Huber is 26 to on-sight now but 25 to point. So quite close.

No longer at ease is always 25 to climb.

As for the higher grades who knows. Synapse has never been onsighted as far as I know and I doubt that is graded for the on-sight.

You are climbing well and fearlessly and I presume you fairly regularly on-sight sport 27? If so, you should have a pretty good go at on-sighting Synapse if its graded for the on-sight (which I don't think it is). It is super safe even if you miss out some of the placements as it is so over-hanging. If you battle on it and need a few attempts on it, then it is probably harder than 27? Lemme know.

"It is Time" Rafiki said: to stop doing practiced boulder problems on a rope and start on-sighting the easier hard routes and give them proper grades. I cannot climb those routes on-sight so can't really comment on the grade.

SNORT
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Grading a trad climb

Postby SNORT » Wed May 08, 2013 6:51 pm

BTW Jimbo if I did not have a full time day job, a CityROCK interest, 3 kids that I need to father, mentor, teach and watch playing sport and play taxi to, and a gorgeous wife that is so difficult to forsake, I would probably spend a lot more time climbing and giving Jeopardy and all those other hard routes a go too. Then I could debate the grade. So for now I am content with being a rather good mediocre trad climber but I hope I can still on-sight the odd E5 or 25 - going to the US for a month to get into the mode in July.

Meanwhile there are a few really hard and great routes at Blouberg that need on-sights that are 25 or harder. I am always keen for that so lemme know

Camp
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:13 pm

Re: Grading a trad climb

Postby Camp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:57 pm

Just stick to the 'X' and 'R'. (X = pretty serious stuff which may hurt badly; R = Don't screw it up. You won't live to regret it, but others will.) Seems to have been the standard in KZN for a long time and gives a clear message. Either climb it or don't. Pre-placing gear usually means you will shit yourself less. A very good way to feed the Rat.


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