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MonkeyInTraining


Jun 13, 2010, 3:24 PM
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Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you?
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Hello y'all,

I have been thinking (OH NO RUN AND HIDE!) off and on about the difficulty of grading boulder problems. Trying to improve the way the Hueco V scale describes the problem, without wrecking its simplicity.

So where do issues arise and are they worth changing anything? To me it seems most if not all controversy arises from applying a grade to the hardest move vs the overall effort given.

It seems to me that all arguments of grade and of comparison between Bouldering and Route climbing stem from this lack of description of physical endurance. All climbing is very hard to describe with a number, but I believe some effort to improve the description we now use would be helpful as the sport of bouldering progresses.

So its not a big change I suggest, just a tiny one that would make the V scale much more descriptive with the least amount of change, using a value that climbers can instantly understand and adapt to.

How about adding behind a decimal point the number of moves the boulder problem has, so a 5 move V5 is a V5.5, and a 2 move V10 is a V10.2?

The benefits are that it is easy to do, if you can count to 5 or more, and that it does not change anything in the current system. It simply adds description to the current standard.

I believe if this was done it would allow us all to understand more by giving us an easy to understand data set that relates to endurance for the sport of bouldering. It would give us all another grade to work for, and show an individual what types of climbing the gravitate towards and what they might want to work on.

The best part of this change is that it allows different grades for the same climb given different body types, if someone has to do an extra move due to being short its accounted for and if someone gets to skip holds that is accounted for as well.

Its not perfect and it doesn't describe each moves degree of difficulty, but it does add a huge amount of information in the least amount of space with the least effort.

A similar alternative would be to count only the moves OF THE GRADE and put those behind the first number, so a V8 with 6 moves but only 2 of the grade V8 would be a V8.2.

The point is to provide more description as simply as possible. Whether we need that is up to you the climbing community.

Of course this is just an idea, and I would like some friendly discussion on it. If it offends you, don't worry no one does this yet and you can relax dude! Go climb and be happy.


rockforlife


Jun 13, 2010, 5:23 PM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
Hello y'all,

I have been thinking (OH NO RUN AND HIDE!) off and on about the difficulty of grading boulder problems. Trying to improve the way the Hueco V scale describes the problem, without wrecking its simplicity.

So where do issues arise and are they worth changing anything? To me it seems most if not all controversy arises from applying a grade to the hardest move vs the overall effort given.

It seems to me that all arguments of grade and of comparison between Bouldering and Route climbing stem from this lack of description of physical endurance. All climbing is very hard to describe with a number, but I believe some effort to improve the description we now use would be helpful as the sport of bouldering progresses.

So its not a big change I suggest, just a tiny one that would make the V scale much more descriptive with the least amount of change, using a value that climbers can instantly understand and adapt to.

How about adding behind a decimal point the number of moves the boulder problem has, so a 5 move V5 is a V5.5, and a 2 move V10 is a V10.2?

The benefits are that it is easy to do, if you can count to 5 or more, and that it does not change anything in the current system. It simply adds description to the current standard.

I believe if this was done it would allow us all to understand more by giving us an easy to understand data set that relates to endurance for the sport of bouldering. It would give us all another grade to work for, and show an individual what types of climbing the gravitate towards and what they might want to work on.

The best part of this change is that it allows different grades for the same climb given different body types, if someone has to do an extra move due to being short its accounted for and if someone gets to skip holds that is accounted for as well.

Its not perfect and it doesn't describe each moves degree of difficulty, but it does add a huge amount of information in the least amount of space with the least effort.

A similar alternative would be to count only the moves OF THE GRADE and put those behind the first number, so a V8 with 6 moves but only 2 of the grade V8 would be a V8.2.

The point is to provide more description as simply as possible. Whether we need that is up to you the climbing community.

Of course this is just an idea, and I would like some friendly discussion on it. If it offends you, don't worry no one does this yet and you can relax dude! Go climb and be happy.

In reply to:
How about adding behind a decimal point the number of moves the boulder problem has, so a 5 move V5 is a V5.5, and a 2 move V10 is a V10.2?

I read that, and that was to much.


styndall


Jun 13, 2010, 6:41 PM
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I wouldn't use it, and people climb enough problems with enough different beta that the number of moves in the rating for a given climber will be useless. Also, how would you even count the moves? Is shifting a foot position a move?

Maybe you could give a range, with separate numbers for hands and feet.
So the Scoop at Rocktown would be something like V3.4-8.7-15.


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 13, 2010, 7:21 PM
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Re: [styndall] Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you? [In reply to]
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In reply to the question "how would you count the moves?"

Just by feel, what it felt like to do each part. A move would be subjective, and through this we would probably determine a consensus as to what is a move and what is just an adjustment. As with the current system its still up to the climber to come up with the numbers based on the experience. It simply adds a value to give the climber more to work with when defining the problem with numbers.


jt512


Jun 13, 2010, 7:48 PM
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Re: [MonkeyInTraining] Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you? [In reply to]
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:

So its not a big change I suggest, just a tiny one that would make the V scale much more descriptive with the least amount of change, using a value that climbers can instantly understand and adapt to.

How about adding behind a decimal point the number of moves the boulder problem has, so a 5 move V5 is a V5.5, and a 2 move V10 is a V10.2?

Great idea. Please implement this.

Jay


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 13, 2010, 8:48 PM
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Though I have not posted in a while I am not new to these forums, hence I am wondering if your being sarcastic Jay.

But thanks for the reply! Smile

Another benefit of this addition to the V scale is that it would in short order point out what climbs are using endurance vs technique and power.

Wheel of Life for instance could be given a realistic grade, or it could be decided that after so many moves no matter the height the climb should be rated with the YDS. It would allow the grade of exceptionally long boulder problems to reflect their uniqueness and after some use would likely define when a problem becomes a route.


jt512


Jun 13, 2010, 9:46 PM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
Though I have not posted in a while I am not new to these forums, hence I am wondering if your being sarcastic Jay.

Well, my point is what is your point in opening this thread. You are not in a position to change the V-scale. Moreover, nobody is. So, what's the point of your post?

Jay


jbone


Jun 13, 2010, 9:48 PM
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Hold on a minute....

This sounds more like a closet sport climber getting obsessed about their bouldering scorecard.

If the numbers matter this much to you then bouldering is probably not the style of climbing best suited for you.

The number chasing grade-cyclipedia types tend to migrate towards sport climbing where their tireless pursuit of the perfect number '42' is embraced and even lauded within its circles.

Attempts to mitigate these traits into the bouldering scenes have unfortunately ended horribly and in 3 completely different accounts rumors of cannibalism were even mentioned. Its probably best to abandon such pursuits and go check your rope-gear.

Yeah, forget all this decimal point shenanigans and remember that when you boulder everything is V4.


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 13, 2010, 11:10 PM
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The point is to give a better solution to grading. Despite everyone at some point thinking that they are so full of soul they are above grades, and that anyone even thinking about grades is a sellout, we have grades and we use them all the time to describe what we do.

If guidebook authors found this suggestion useful in making their book better. If it helped people find problems of their ability easier, and compare their efforts over time as well as against their friends, then it might catch on. For me, it would be nice as I monitor my performance pretty closely. My grade of bouldering has become my age, since I don't feel 38, or just don't want to feel 38. Or maybe its my substitution for my age, since getting close to 40 is somewhat... argh I don't want to even think about it.

Remember, your chasing grades if your trying to get stronger and climb harder. You telling me your not into that? You don't have to be an ass and think about others grades, just were you want your own to be.

No I don't spray on about what I can climb, but I feel pretty darn depressed if I am not progressing or putting in the time to at least have a chance of getting better. I like that climbs are graded, because then I can say to myself that in 3-4 months if I keep eating right and put in the time pushing myself I might be able to advance to grade X.XX or V(X) or whatever. Its a measure of progress much like everything else we use to drive ourselves forward. When I was younger I didn't care about my own performance in most things so much as if I ranked up with others I admired (yes I realize this was shallow, but the one it hurt most was me so stop acting hurt!). Those days are loooong gone and now I am just grateful that at 38 I can still advance in grades instead of entering the slow decline I fear is just around the corner.

The fact that some react so negatively to the mention of grades convinces me many people have jealousy issues with pretty much the entire rest of the world. Guess what, there is always someone stronger and faster and smarter then you out there somewhere, get over it.


joeforte


Jun 14, 2010, 5:01 AM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
Remember, your chasing grades if your trying to get stronger and climb harder. You telling me your not into that? You don't have to be an ass and think about others grades, just were you want your own to be.

I try to get stronger and climb harder, but I'm surely not chasing any grades. Half the stuff I climb I don't even know or care about the grade. I rarely use guidebooks, and when I do its to find the crag, or a certain "classic climb" I've been suggested. I care about the onsight, and my ability to handle difficult situations on the fly. That's what I work for in my climbing. I've worked much harder onsighting some 9's than I did on 11's in the same day. The style of the climbing was the difference, and a number will never accurately measure that (nor would I want it to).

Describing endurance doesn't require a number:
Jane climbed long pumpy boulder problems all day.
Dick climbed a bunch of one-move wonders.
The problems I climbed were not as pumpy as Jane's, but were longer than most Dick's.


(This post was edited by joeforte on Jun 14, 2010, 5:02 AM)


I_do


Jun 14, 2010, 5:36 AM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
Hello y'all,

I have been thinking (OH NO RUN AND HIDE!) off and on about the difficulty of grading boulder problems. Trying to improve the way the Hueco V scale describes the problem, without wrecking its simplicity.

So where do issues arise and are they worth changing anything? To me it seems most if not all controversy arises from applying a grade to the hardest move vs the overall effort given.

It seems to me that all arguments of grade and of comparison between Bouldering and Route climbing stem from this lack of description of physical endurance. All climbing is very hard to describe with a number, but I believe some effort to improve the description we now use would be helpful as the sport of bouldering progresses.

So its not a big change I suggest, just a tiny one that would make the V scale much more descriptive with the least amount of change, using a value that climbers can instantly understand and adapt to.

How about adding behind a decimal point the number of moves the boulder problem has, so a 5 move V5 is a V5.5, and a 2 move V10 is a V10.2?

The benefits are that it is easy to do, if you can count to 5 or more, and that it does not change anything in the current system. It simply adds description to the current standard.

I believe if this was done it would allow us all to understand more by giving us an easy to understand data set that relates to endurance for the sport of bouldering. It would give us all another grade to work for, and show an individual what types of climbing the gravitate towards and what they might want to work on.

The best part of this change is that it allows different grades for the same climb given different body types, if someone has to do an extra move due to being short its accounted for and if someone gets to skip holds that is accounted for as well.

Its not perfect and it doesn't describe each moves degree of difficulty, but it does add a huge amount of information in the least amount of space with the least effort.

A similar alternative would be to count only the moves OF THE GRADE and put those behind the first number, so a V8 with 6 moves but only 2 of the grade V8 would be a V8.2.

The point is to provide more description as simply as possible. Whether we need that is up to you the climbing community.

Of course this is just an idea, and I would like some friendly discussion on it. If it offends you, don't worry no one does this yet and you can relax dude! Go climb and be happy.

That system already exists. We call it a long or a short problem, a one-move-wonder or a boulderroute endurance problem. These are terms everyone understands and uses, why complicate it with an unquantifiable number of moves in a problem? You say you want to keep it simple? It already is...


Partner j_ung


Jun 14, 2010, 5:37 AM
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I'll argue that the V scale is satisfactory the way it is. I don't think we need to pin down grades anymore they already are.


edge


Jun 14, 2010, 5:51 AM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
In reply to the question "how would you count the moves?"

Just by feel, what it felt like to do each part. A move would be subjective, and through this we would probably determine a consensus as to what is a move and what is just an adjustment. As with the current system its still up to the climber to come up with the numbers based on the experience. It simply adds a value to give the climber more to work with when defining the problem with numbers.

And just how would this proposed new system take into account a problem with a short, powerful start leading to a much easier highball topout?


jbone


Jun 14, 2010, 10:46 AM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
we use them all the time to describe what we do.

but I feel pretty darn depressed if I am not progressing or putting in the time to at least have a chance of getting better.

The fact that some react so negatively to the mention of grades convinces me many people have jealousy issues with pretty much the entire rest of the world. Guess what, there is always someone stronger and faster and smarter then you out there somewhere, get over it.

Each of these statements go above and beyond the definition of a climber who is motivated by number chasing.

Although this may be beyond your scope of interpretation, many of us holy climbers are 100% satisfied to just get out and be on the rock. If you can allow yourself to dwell on these facets you can easily forget about the scorecard as well as the numbers and in itself justify your pursuit to climb.

Numbers have a way of bringing climbers out who are more concerned with their scorecard rather than that bush they put their pad on or that rock they hauled around for a better seat near their project. Point is number chasers tend to respect only the numbers and justify their being in their pursuit.

I implore you, for the sake of climbing itself, to pursue a deeper understanding of your activities.


maldaly


Jun 14, 2010, 11:56 AM
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I loved the B system but that's not what this thread is about. It's about changing an established rating system.

It's a pretty simple 2-step process:

#1 - Write the best damn guidebook ever for Hueco. Make is so good that everyone has the old guidebook will toss them out and buy the new one.

#2 - Incorporate your new rating system in to your Hueco Superguide. Bingo, new rating system established.

I only say this half in jest. I think its the way the V scale was originally adopted. Verm invented the scale then wrote the book.

Good luck,
Mal

BTW, If you do #1 & 2 above, anyone who doesn't like it can simply ignore it. It doesn't change the fundamental scale.


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 14, 2010, 1:08 PM
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Well thanks for the posts people, interesting opinions to be sure.

In response to a few questions and comments:

Sometimes I climb just to do something, sometimes I climb because I love it, sometimes I climb because I need to and sometimes I climb because its there. Sometimes I climb because its good for me and complements yoga and healthy nutrition to make me feel younger then I am. Grades have always been a part of it, but I have projects that are ungraded that no one else works (not hard, just obscure) and they are my absolute favorite. Its just a question at that point of "can I do this?". One is really long and its been 2 years of screwing around on it to get just over half way up the thing.

I was aware of the guidebook situation, but I didn't start this thread to improve the Hueco scale all by myself. I started it because I had an idea, and remembered what a hostile environment this is. I am in school and the critiques are harsh in class. I suspected this would be a good place to put out ideas, get some negative feedback, and learn to deal with it. Its working I think and I will be more even tempered when someone harshly criticizes my work in class next semester.

That's not to say I don't believe my suggestion on adjusting or adding to the V scale is bad, I think its a logical progression of description and we may see something like it one day. But while I understood before asking that a great guidebook can establish a system like the Hueco V scale I have no intention of writing that guide book. Maybe someday, in which case I hope I remember this idea.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond.

P.S. for holy climbers only: dude your chasing worse then grades your chasing moral superiority through climbing. You cant be selfish and save the world, you can only watch as it dies from a high perch. Go to school and learn a valuable skill in recycling or conservation or urban management or something and do something positive for others and the future rather then hide on a face.


sp00ki


Jun 14, 2010, 1:23 PM
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joeforte wrote:
I've worked much harder onsighting some 9's than I did on 11's in the same day.

you're doing it wrong.


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 14, 2010, 4:16 PM
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edge wrote:
MonkeyInTraining wrote:
In reply to the question "how would you count the moves?"

Just by feel, what it felt like to do each part. A move would be subjective, and through this we would probably determine a consensus as to what is a move and what is just an adjustment. As with the current system its still up to the climber to come up with the numbers based on the experience. It simply adds a value to give the climber more to work with when defining the problem with numbers.

And just how would this proposed new system take into account a problem with a short, powerful start leading to a much easier highball topout?

Its not exactly a "new system" its adding another value to the system in use. It wouldn't account for the situation you describe. It would simply tell at a glance that is is a longer problem. Could be a traverse or it could be a highball.

Its just a dot and a digit or two. To provide more information when the V grades are used at all. Remember the Hueco V scale or any climbing grading system were not created to spray about ones achievements they are at heart topographical map data. Symbols and codes used to indicate what is there, and incentive for climbers to go to that spot on the map (be it a physical map or just directions to the place). Think of this as adding the height to a contour line on a map instead of a tattoo to the chest.

But like I said before, this is more about the feedback then the suggestion. I do appreciate it and your point is very valid. People would expect more from change then they do from the system as it is.

P.S. dont worry summer semester starts soon and I wont annoyingly think in these forums much after that.

P.P.S. This is I see more of a guidebook editors decision on how the book would be more usable to the reader then a question for the average climber. It would not effect the bouldering public unless it was used in a book. And it would only be to make the book easier to move from map to description of problems the reader was interested in.


(This post was edited by MonkeyInTraining on Jun 14, 2010, 4:33 PM)


patmay81


Jun 14, 2010, 5:18 PM
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I don't think this value would be that appreciated.

First off, I know I don't usually like a shit ton of information on what I am about to climb.
Second, the number of moves to finish a bouldering problem is so subjective (I move my hands 3x to my buddies 1- he's 4" taller than me and likes to reach).
Third, grades are more like guidelines anyway. If a climb is 25 V10 moves, I wont even try it because I couldn't even pull off one v10 move. However if its 25 consecutive moves 2 or 3 grades within my range, I'll give it a shot even if I don't think I have the endurance for it.


jbone


Jun 14, 2010, 5:42 PM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:
P.S. for holy climbers only: dude your chasing worse then grades your chasing moral superiority through climbing. You cant be selfish and save the world, you can only watch as it dies from a high perch. Go to school and learn a valuable skill in recycling or conservation or urban management or something and do something positive for others and the future rather then hide on a face.

Your exactly the kind of climber that doesn't get shown secret crags in my neck of the woods.


MonkeyInTraining


Jun 14, 2010, 10:08 PM
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Fair enough Patmay, though if I saw a problem had 25 moves I would go read the description or find some info on it and then go take a look!

Jbone, we wouldn't like each other much its fair to say. I don't think its worth worrying about. But I will mark a 1 under "made the person angry" column.

P.P.S. Jbone, this is a joke don't take it personal, just the Arizona loc and all... "is half your trailer full of trad gear and the other half the meth lab?"


(This post was edited by MonkeyInTraining on Jun 14, 2010, 10:16 PM)


jbone


Jun 14, 2010, 11:50 PM
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MonkeyInTraining wrote:

P.P.S. Jbone, this is a joke don't take it personal, just the Arizona loc and all... "is half your trailer full of trad gear and the other half the meth lab?"

I think the question you really are asking is if the meth you buy is from Arizona. Also I own a RV, not a trailer, makes it easier to sell to college kids in California when your mobile.


sp00ki


Jun 15, 2010, 1:47 PM
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Re: [MonkeyInTraining] Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you? [In reply to]
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I wish there was some way to block this sort of thread from happening.
I hate the feeling i get when i see a new post in the bouldering section only to find yet another ridiculous thread "proposing" a new way to approach grades.


yanqui


Jun 15, 2010, 3:35 PM
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Registered: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 1550

Re: [MonkeyInTraining] Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you? [In reply to]
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Just about everybody I know who's interested in grades already makes some reference to the length (usually in terms of moves) when referring to the difficulty of a boulder problem, but it strikes me as absurd to somehow make this "official". I mean, the exact number of moves is typically something even more subjective than the grade. By all means, tell people you did a 3 move V8 or say you just sent a 15 move boulder problem that seemed like V5 or maybe even V6, but I think it's best to leave it at that and please let's not start debating about the real number of moves in any given boulder problem.

So I guess that means my answers to your questions are: (1) No (2) Yes


joeforte


Jun 15, 2010, 3:55 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Minor adjustment to the Hueco grading system? Or would that anger you? [In reply to]
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sp00ki wrote:
joeforte wrote:
I've worked much harder onsighting some 9's than I did on 11's in the same day.

you're doing it wrong.

The 11 was technical crimps, and the 9 was a dirty, overhanging offwidth. I most likely WAS doing the offwidth wrong, because it was a total grovel. I onsighted both routes, but I worked much harder for the 9. The 11 face felt natural and easy for me.


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