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kriso9tails


Oct 10, 2001, 11:30 AM
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retrograding
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I think that retrograding is general crap. It seems to be done most often by people who have done the routes so many times that of course they're going to seem easier. I don't care too much about how hard I climb, so the numbers aren't sooooo important, but if I get on a climb because I thinf it's a 12a, and it is really a 12d, I might just be a little pissed off. Sometimes grades need to be changed: okay understood, but some of these downgrades seem like the acts of big egos. I've climbed 11s that felt like 9s, but there is still a reason for the grade, be it a single crux move, or a technical requirement. Who cares, if it's graded, just leave it unless the climb has change (ie. hold breaks and so on).

Well, that's my opinion. Anyone have a different take on the situation.



[ Edited title ]

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2001-11-14 19:34 ]


rck_climber


Oct 10, 2001, 11:46 AM
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I'll caveat that by touching on the "Hold Break" issue.

I primarily climb at the Garden of the Gods on extremely brittle sandstone, and the holds are always breaking off - makes it fun as no route is ever exactly the same as last time you climbed it.

The problem I have is that they are changing so quickly that it's hard for grades to keep up. I've jumped on a number of 10s that felt like 11+ and had to bail - that sucks! By the same token, I've hopped on some 10's that felt like 8s since there are lots of new edges from rock breakage.

You're right, it's necessary sometimes, but I think that sand-bagging is worse than over-grading because people end up in over their heads (like me, I'm famous for getting my partner and I in deep ).

Mick

[ This Message was edited by: rck_climber on 2001-10-10 11:48 ]


paulc


Oct 10, 2001, 11:54 AM
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Ok, now to talk about the other side of things. What about all those routes that are sandbagged or graded hard just to make the first acentionist(sp?) feel better because they graded it 12a instead of 11c? No one is perfect, people make mistakes and grade things wrong.

The other factor to this is that is you are climbing 12d, then the difference between 10a and 10b is very small, or even 10a to 10c, but if that is your limit (the 10 range that is) then it is much easier to tell what the correct grade should be.

For example the gym that I climb at (CH in Vancouver) the guys that set usually climb at 12ish at a minimum, but the grading is all over the map. Not to knock them but grading is hard and it depends on so many factors that if they grade a route 5.12, it could be 11+ or 12+ and you don't really know until you get up there and find out for yourself.

Sorry for the rant, just trying to present the other side.

Paul


rck_climber


Oct 10, 2001, 12:00 PM
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I see your point, Paul.

My personal limits set what I can rate things. For me, I feel I can accurately rate (if those words do actually exist together) anything under about 10c, everything else is "Harder" - just can't even begin to place a grade on it, it's just harder than that.

Mick


paulc


Oct 10, 2001, 1:12 PM
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Thinking a bit more about this, the problem with grades is that if you are tall or sometimes short things can be easier, as well if you have the right size hands, that can make a hard crack climb much easier than it would be for someone else.

The other thing is that what do you call a route that has one 11c move and the rest is 9 or 10ish? 11c? So then how do you rate a long pump fest of a 11c that has no decent rests and goes for 35 meters?

These things are really subjective and will always be up for debate. Personally I think that an indication of how many moves are at the rating would be a good thing. Kinda like for aid/long free climbs where you add on the V or VI to denote how many days are required (speed ascents not withstanding). A subscale that can tell you that there are hard moves but then good rests or just one hard move or the whole thing is at the ragged edge. Probably never happen but.....

Paul


kriso9tails


Oct 10, 2001, 5:41 PM
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I was just down in Kentuky and people were talking about the climbs that people want to downgrade. Two that come to mind are 'Ro' and 'Chainsaw'. There was a reason that these climbs were graded the way that they were, so why change the grades? Sure they might be off by a little bit, but I just don't see the point. Some 11- climber is going get screwed when they realize that they can't finish the climb and need to bail.


compclimber


Oct 10, 2001, 8:18 PM
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 Check this out for a discussion (debate) on the subject.

http://www.climbingboulder.com/rock/db/clear_creek_canyon/the_dog_house/big_dog.html

This too.

http://climbingboulder.com/rock/db/clear_creek_canyon/the_dog_house/fiddler_on_the_woof.html.


metoliusmunchkin


Oct 13, 2001, 5:37 PM
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I totally agree that retro grading (I think that's what it's called) is crap. I made the big mistake of doing that a lot as a beginner, though it was kind of different. I would grade routes much higher than they really were, and then when people would ask me what grade I was climbing, it would always sound higher than what it really was. Beginners Incompetence.

Now that I am more wise in the ways of grading, I have definitely climbed things that I have thought were lower in grade then they actually were, though I have never even questioned the grade, and just used the grade as a sort of self evaluation. (Say, I climb a 5.10, and it feels like a 5.8+ to me, I will simply make the assumption that I am excelling in skills, and never think of questioning the grade, or giving it a 5.8+).

I read an older article reacently about Dave Graham. He had climbed what was a 5.14c, or something like that, and he claimed it to be only a 5.14b. This to me was just an act of a big ego (even though the difference in opinions of the grade were not that great, it's the principal of the thing).

Climb ON.
Pat.


kriso9tails


Oct 14, 2001, 1:52 PM
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I think what some people forget is that they need the perspective of some one who climbs at that grade. I got on a 10b last weekend and it felt much easier than most 10s that I've been on. Most of the other climbers around me agreed that it seemed too easy for its grade. The grade did fit however, because a 5.9 climber would find the moves technical and probably bail.

Grading includes so many factors that there is variance in how hard certain climbs of a given grade will feel depending on the climber.


krillen


Oct 15, 2001, 10:52 AM
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It's the new trend. it's the fad. All the hardcore kids are doing it and I want to do it too.

A retrograde should be a WIDE concensus amongst many climbers, both local and visitors. Kris' argument holds water. I go down to Kentucky and struggle on Reaux Champeau, because I don't have the stamina that it requires. Most of the moves aren't that technical (some are) but it's not a technical route. But someone who climbs 13's and uses it to warm up on, will find it easier and easier because he can dial it in his sleep. It doesn't make the route any easier though.


kriso9tails


Oct 16, 2001, 3:19 PM
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Reaux Champeau? Is that the French spelling because all good little Canucks should speak French.


talons05


Oct 16, 2001, 8:26 PM
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I think that a lot of routes are graded wrongly due to the difference between gym climbs and real rock. Someone who may spend a lot of their climbing time in the gym may have a different take on routes than those who spend more time on real rock.


hardcoredana


Oct 17, 2001, 12:27 PM
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I agree with talons. Ratings are screwed up, or at least seem screwed up because gym climbing is so different than outdoor climbing. In a gym, the route setters put up the route with a particular sequence in mind, and while there may be a few variations to this sequence, at least the sequence is easy to read. In a gym, I can usually read the sequence from the ground. But outside, I have trouble figuring out the first five moves, and once I get on the rock, I don't even follow the orignal sequence.

The point is this. Outside, you might be climbing a 5.10b, but because you can't read the sequence easily, it may feel more difficult. Once you know the sequence, then the route might feel more like a 5.10b.

The moral of the story: climb outside as much as possible. It'll make all routes seem easy.


old_school


Oct 17, 2001, 10:10 PM
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I know that rating can be important, but in the end it really doesn't matter, climbing rules, end of story, ratings are just a good way to measure your progress, anyway thats what i use them for.

Thanx
Andy



climberchk


Oct 18, 2001, 12:18 AM
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Right on!


krillen


Oct 18, 2001, 8:28 AM
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Kris: Reaux Champeau is how it's spell in the guide book.

Ro Shampo is much easier but what do you do?


kriso9tails


Oct 18, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Really? In my book it's written as 'Ro Shampo.' I've never seen the other spelling before. I wonder why that was changed in the book.

Somebody was saying that the grades are inconsistant anyways. That's because there's the old school grades and our bastardized system. I've been on 7s that felt like 10s, only because when the climb was graded there most likely was no such thing as a 5.10. I'm not sure what should be done with those climbs in terms of grading.


krillen


Oct 18, 2001, 11:46 AM
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The only way too it, is get the RRGCC and a group of climbers local and visiting, to regrade every route at each crag. and that's quite teh undertaking.

It's in the BIG RRG guide book they were sellign at Miguel's, you guys had the condensed one.


fiend


Oct 18, 2001, 1:46 PM
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ok, a grade should be a consensus right? That's one of the benefits of having a website like this, each area has a forum, if you think a route is over/underrated then you can argue it here and possibly get it changed.

Eg. Just Do It, Smith Rock, Oregon. The great folks at Climbing or R&I magazine published info stating that it was only 5.14b. funny how that works. I read part of an email from Sonnie Trotter (who sent the route in 7tries) which stated that Francois Legrand and Yuji Hirayama (who were attempting the route a few days after Sonnie) had both confirmed the grade at 5.14c!
Just because some canuck fired the route in 7 tries it deserves a downgrade? Even though 2 of the top climbers in the world confirmed it's grade? So, the grade in our routes database still says 5.14c and that's the were it should be until more of actual ascentionists tell me different.


froggy


Oct 18, 2001, 4:41 PM
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Why don't we just climb and do so in our limits. And when ever your feeling a bit saucy than push yourself. I have climbed 5.8's that feel like 5.10's and vise versa. So just climb and have fun!


fiend


Oct 18, 2001, 10:29 PM
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In the Red River Gorge Climbs second edition (the big fat one) it's spelt Ro Shampo in the alphabetical index, and Index By Difficulty.

Under the route description (entitled Ro Shampo) it states, and I quote, "P.S. The name comes from a Japanese game equivalent to 'paper, scissors, rock', so forget the French spelling!"

I can't rember who said what but whoever lost: I bite my thumb at thee.


krillen


Oct 19, 2001, 7:27 AM
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Listen, I'm going to go get my source and show you! I thoght it was spelled your way. I was surprised and that's why I took note of it.


Froggy: We all agree numbers/ratings shouldn't keep you from climbing, but we are dicussing retrograding. You kind of have to talk about grades when discussing it.



krillen


Nov 8, 2001, 10:43 AM
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I had to reharsh this topic from the depths or rrradam would have had my head on a platter for starting a new thread on an old topic

Anyway, lately I've been trad leading a lot of classic routes in my area. One in particular (Rainy Day Woman, 5.9, Buffalo Crag) is SUPER polished at the bottom. for those of you who don't know, when Limestone gets worn it gets slippery like glass. Anyway, the rest of the route was fine, but at the bottom 30-40 everywhere you want to put your feet has this glass-like polish. I almost fell twice because my feet blew off the face. I guess my question is, does this type of thing warrant retrograding? the route is definately harder than when it was originally graded. Any opinions?


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