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how do you grade a climb?
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Partner pianomahnn


Sep 9, 2001, 9:42 AM
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how do you grade a climb?
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Well, in my gym we use the Yosemite Decimal system (5.XX). Before a route is officially rated we take a consensus of at least 3 climbers, and then take the average and that's the route rating. That way we have some consistancy, and a general rating which could be accepted. This also allows it to be less subjective than if the route setter was the only person to rate it.

If you work at a gym, placing anchors shouldn't really be needed. Self belaying with a grigri is the way I do it. Either by aiding to the top of lead walls, or with a top rope. If you need an anchor, you could always place a Petzl Fixe, or something along those lines in the wall for perhaps a fifi, or daisy chain. Because 75% of the walls in my gym are leadable, I just go up with 2 daisy chains and a fifi.

It took me a while to perfect my route setting techniques. Each person has their own ways to get things done in their own efficient way. I tell you though, route setting can be a great workout. My girlfriend sets also, and she ALWAYS works her routes while setting them. I, on the other hand, only visualize moves. That way I don't really know how well it will work, and it leaves the route more surprising to me.

Yeah...sounds good to me.


redpointadventures


Sep 9, 2001, 10:39 AM
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Registered: Aug 6, 2001
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how do you grade a climb? [In reply to]
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Your profile indicates you are climbing at grades 25-30 (5.12 - 5.14 US) inside of 18 months. That's impressive for somone who doesn't understand the rating system. Were do you climb in the Blue Mountians? I here there is some great climbing there.

[ This Message was edited by: redpointadventures on 2001-09-09 11:22 ]


Partner pianomahnn


Sep 9, 2001, 11:02 AM
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how do you grade a climb? [In reply to]
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Redpoint,

As much as I understand your curiosity about his climbing ability and etc., it should be stated that not all gyms partake in the normal Yosemite system, or Euro. Many have their own system, some starting at just 1 and going up. I figured that was where the questions came from.


redpointadventures


Sep 9, 2001, 11:57 AM
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how do you grade a climb? [In reply to]
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I use a similar method to set and rate indoor climbs. Using a gri gri backed up with an ascender, I climb and set with the bucket on a gri gri close by. I first visualize the move, then set, then climb and reclimb the last two moves,and then make final adjustments according to the grade I have in mind. Talk about a workout, two routes and I'm thrashed.

I have my own system to determine difficulty of the ratings themselves. I visualise climbing on lead to dertermine the difficulty.Then I have loose list of requirements for each grade based on my own earlier experience moving through the grades.
Examples would be:

5.7 - No demanding crimps, lots of jugs with just a bit of pump, more balance and foot work than 5.6 required

5.8- A good look at all the types of holds, some high steps, primarily a jug ladder with a surprise difficulty near the end usually requiring balance and strength

5.9-Similar to 5.8, but more crimps, hidden holds or fake holds that require route finding, smears and other foot work tricks, a lack of rests that requires endurance

5.10 and up- I try and model my routes in this range after route cruxes I have experienced outdoors. The upper levels tend to be more subjective so I rely more on the opinion of fellow climbers in setting the grade.I know it's 5.12 when I can't do it.

None of this is written in stone and many characteristics of the grades overlap. I find the most important part of route setting is to mimic the visual/mental aspect of climbing outdoors no matter what the grade.

Be interesting to find out if other route setters have similar lists. What makes the difference between 5.13-5.14?


[ This Message was edited by: redpointadventures on 2001-09-09 12:05 ]


Partner pianomahnn


Sep 9, 2001, 12:13 PM
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When I set out to design a route, I will not finish it until it resembles outdoor climbing. I tend not to keep a route at a consistant grade. That being, I won't set a 12 with a 8 move or hold. But there will be at least one crux, and I will place a few different options out there to finish the route.

I always set a route with a sequence in mind, but even I don't stick to it all the time. I should take a picture of a route I recently set. It's about a 30 foot traverse to the first clip, and DAMN is that a pump fest. Then it's slopers on a slab for about 4 clips, across a 3 clip roof, then 2 more clips on the face to the anchors. I've yet to complete it due to the length of the route. If you start without the initial traverse (which is an option), it's quite doable, at probably a 5.12. BUT, the traverse just makes it twice the route, so I'm sure due to pump, and exaustion, the route would seem that much more difficult, probably sending it into solid 5.12 territory.

I need to set a 13. But I can't climb them, so I wouldn't know where to start.


talons05


Sep 9, 2001, 12:34 PM
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how do you grade a climb? [In reply to]
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Grading routes is very difficult. Basically, I tend to compare them to known routes that I have climbed in established areas with accepted ratings. If it feels about as hard, harder, easier than a climb I've done before, then I can rate it relatively. Now this leaves open for some error as my ability improves. I may think "this isn't nearly as hard as that 5.10b that I did last year" but I would have obviously improved in a year's time, so that might not be accurate.

Sometimes the best way is to go with the consensus method, using the opinions of several different climbers. Also, take into account the length, amount of available rest, and type of moves/number of holds... In the end, it's still all relative.


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