Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
grading routes
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


jayhawk70


Mar 11, 2013, 10:49 PM
Post #1 of 19 (4731 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 7, 2009
Posts: 13

grading routes
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

im not really a beginner. ive been climbing 5 or 6 years. ive heard that the first person to climb a route gets to rate it. ive climbed some 5.10s that i thought were 5.9 and visa versa. individual height and experience alter perspective on how easy or hard a climb is. is there a defined set of rules as to what makes a 5.9, or a 5.10, a, b, or c or other ratings? case in point, i thought Primitive Paradox (GA)was a 5.10, while i dont think the Oyster at Sand rock (AL)is a 5.10a.


JimTitt


Mar 12, 2013, 12:09 AM
Post #2 of 19 (4710 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 7, 2008
Posts: 977

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Anyone can grade a route, it helps to have climbed it but this isnīt essential. The FA is usually the first person that offers a grade and by concencus this is confirmed or not.


sbaclimber


Mar 12, 2013, 2:01 AM
Post #3 of 19 (4691 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 3071

Re: [JimTitt] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

JimTitt wrote:
Anyone can grade a route...
...which I am repeatedly reminded of by the sometimes horrendously differing grades for the same routes in different guides. Pirate


lena_chita
Moderator

Mar 12, 2013, 7:03 AM
Post #4 of 19 (4640 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5659

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

jayhawk70 wrote:
im not really a beginner. ive been climbing 5 or 6 years. ive heard that the first person to climb a route gets to rate it. ive climbed some 5.10s that i thought were 5.9 and visa versa. individual height and experience alter perspective on how easy or hard a climb is. is there a defined set of rules as to what makes a 5.9, or a 5.10, a, b, or c or other ratings? case in point, i thought Primitive Paradox (GA)was a 5.10, while i dont think the Oyster at Sand rock (AL)is a 5.10a.

Grades are merely suggestions. In some places, the FA calls the grade, and it stands as called, even if the community recognizes over time that this route is fairly stiff for the grade, or fairly soft.
In other places, the grade call is more of a consensus effort, and the route grades are adjusted in subsequent guidebooks if the hold breaks, or if a new, more efficient, easier sequence is found that the FA did not use.

Regardless, grade exist so climbers could have something to argue about. IMO, arguing within one letter grade is pointless. it is just too fine a distinction.

In my experience, the closer you are to the average height/body type of your typical FA (most likely a guy, most likely in the 5'7"-5'11" height bracket), the more likely you are to feel that the grades are consistent, at least within the same area. The farther away you are from the mean, the more likely you are to feel that the route grades are all over the place.


dagibbs


Mar 12, 2013, 8:29 AM
Post #5 of 19 (4620 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 886

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

jayhawk70 wrote:
im not really a beginner. ive been climbing 5 or 6 years. ive heard that the first person to climb a route gets to rate it. ive climbed some 5.10s that i thought were 5.9 and visa versa. individual height and experience alter perspective on how easy or hard a climb is. is there a defined set of rules as to what makes a 5.9, or a 5.10, a, b, or c or other ratings? case in point, i thought Primitive Paradox (GA)was a 5.10, while i dont think the Oyster at Sand rock (AL)is a 5.10a.

There is no defined set of rules. Generally speaking, grades are a consensus evaluation of how relatively-difficult a route is in relation to other routes.

Also, generally speaking, routes that were first climbed and graded a good while ago (70s-80s, maybe early 90s) tend to be stiffer graded than routes that have been graded in more recent times. To some extent, this was caused by the Yosemite decimal system originally topping out at 5.9/5.10, before it was extended to a more open-ended system.

And, of course, body size, and individual strengths will affect this. As will experience with different climbing styles. If you're used to face climbing on holds, then moving to jams and crack climbing will be hard, and that style of climbing will feel far harder than the grade.

Further, some routes will feel much harder to on-sight at grade, than to repeat/red-point as compared to others, depending on whether the holds and sequences are obvious or not. For example, a slightly overhanging splitter hand-crack may take a fair bit of work and technique -- but the sequence is usually pretty obvious; while a climb where you have to make a large move to a good hold that is invisible around a bulge can be harder to on-sight, but an overall easier climb, once you know the hold is there.


BillyCrook


Mar 12, 2013, 8:53 AM
Post #6 of 19 (4601 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 16, 2012
Posts: 25

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Climbing is complete anarchy. There are no clear rules or criteria other than higher numbers are more difficult.

Generally the crux of a route sets its rating. a 5.6 with one 5.10 move is a 5.10.

Pedantically in the Yosemite decimal system, 5.10 is 5.10a for the same reason that in the decimal system 22 is 22.0.

Also pedantically, route ratings are logrithmic. There's a lot more distance between a 5.10b and 5.10c than there is a 5.5 and 5.6

Anyone can rate any thing, as anywhere else in life. It'd be nice if at least 5 or so people climb a route and come to a consensus on rating before any one of those people publish their rating.

I don't think anyone can rate something they didn't climb, but it probably doesn't have to be a clean redpoint for them to rate it. I've hangdogged my way up routes that were beyond my ability and come up with the same rating as others that onsighted them.

As I have progressed in my abilities, I have not found myself less able to accurately rate easy routes. I just don't think I can rate things i can't personally climb.


shotwell


Mar 12, 2013, 9:51 AM
Post #7 of 19 (4571 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 5, 2009
Posts: 366

Re: [BillyCrook] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

BillyCrook wrote:
Climbing is complete anarchy. There are no clear rules or criteria other than higher numbers are more difficult.

Generally the crux of a route sets its rating. a 5.6 with one 5.10 move is a 5.10.

Pedantically in the Yosemite decimal system, 5.10 is 5.10a for the same reason that in the decimal system 22 is 22.0.

Also pedantically, route ratings are logrithmic. There's a lot more distance between a 5.10b and 5.10c than there is a 5.5 and 5.6

Anyone can rate any thing, as anywhere else in life. It'd be nice if at least 5 or so people climb a route and come to a consensus on rating before any one of those people publish their rating.

I don't think anyone can rate something they didn't climb, but it probably doesn't have to be a clean redpoint for them to rate it. I've hangdogged my way up routes that were beyond my ability and come up with the same rating as others that onsighted them.

As I have progressed in my abilities, I have not found myself less able to accurately rate easy routes. I just don't think I can rate things i can't personally climb.

I know a lot of people believe in the whole 'climbing grades are logarithmic' argument, but I don't buy it. I just think that climbs at your current limit feel harder than those that are lower. For example, I can no longer tell the difference between 5.11s. I can't often tell the difference between 5.12a and 5.12c. I can definitely tell the difference between 5.13a and 5.13c. This isn't because there is some huge gap between the 13s, it actually seems to be a smaller difference than 5.11a and 5.11c did when at my limit. It is just that it is closer to the edge for me at the moment.


jayhawk70


Mar 12, 2013, 8:08 PM
Post #8 of 19 (4477 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 7, 2009
Posts: 13

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

thanks everyone for not being smart***s. At least i know i'm not the only one shaking my head sometimes. What "dagibbs" says makes sense to me. I guess my climbing style is mostly frontal assault and cracks and jams give me some difficulty. Also the older rated climbs seeming harder makes sense because i've noticed it more in older climbing areas. I guess i'll learn to climb at the highest rating and then it wont matter. HaHa. thanks again.


guangzhou


Mar 12, 2013, 8:24 PM
Post #9 of 19 (4465 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Posts: 3389

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Where do you climb now. Sunset, T-wall, Foster, Sand Rock?

To me, the more important issue is that rating are consistent within the climbing area.

Lots of issues do arise when you start traveling. Climbing a 5.10 slab route on Yosemite granite is very different than climbing a 5.10 overhang at Red River Gorge. (Two very different techniques)

With the advent of gym, I have noticed that new climbers tend to face climb better than they crack climb. (Generally, not always)


jayhawk70


Mar 18, 2013, 10:15 AM
Post #10 of 19 (4267 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 7, 2009
Posts: 13

Re: [guangzhou] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sand rock, Currahee, Tallulah Gorge, Mount Yonah


jomagam


Mar 18, 2013, 10:23 AM
Post #11 of 19 (4257 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2008
Posts: 364

Re: [shotwell] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

shotwell wrote:
I know a lot of people believe in the whole 'climbing grades are logarithmic' argument, but I don't buy it.

Never heard of it. What does it say ?


lena_chita
Moderator

Mar 18, 2013, 10:45 AM
Post #12 of 19 (4253 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5659

Re: [jomagam] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

jomagam wrote:
shotwell wrote:
I know a lot of people believe in the whole 'climbing grades are logarithmic' argument, but I don't buy it.

Never heard of it. What does it say ?

shotwell pretty much explained it:

Linear thinking: 10c is harder than 10b by the same increment that 10b is harder than 10a.

logarithmic thinking: each subsequent interval is bigger than the previous. E.i., a difference between 14a and 14b is bigger than the difference between 13a and 13b, which in turn is bigger than the difference between 12a and 12b, etc. etc., to the point where the difference between 10a and 10b is really tiny.


jomagam


Mar 18, 2013, 11:04 AM
Post #13 of 19 (4242 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 9, 2008
Posts: 364

Re: [lena_chita] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

lena_chita wrote:
jomagam wrote:
shotwell wrote:
I know a lot of people believe in the whole 'climbing grades are logarithmic' argument, but I don't buy it.

Never heard of it. What does it say ?

shotwell pretty much explained it:

Linear thinking: 10c is harder than 10b by the same increment that 10b is harder than 10a.

logarithmic thinking: each subsequent interval is bigger than the previous. E.i., a difference between 14a and 14b is bigger than the difference between 13a and 13b, which in turn is bigger than the difference between 12a and 12b, etc. etc., to the point where the difference between 10a and 10b is really tiny.

I see. Discussing it seems pointless unless one defines what the metric for the difficulty of a route is. There are so many possibilities; some of which will result in closer to linear, others closer to logarithmic relationship.


ninepointeight


Mar 18, 2013, 3:01 PM
Post #14 of 19 (4182 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 14, 2012
Posts: 102

Re: [BillyCrook] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I don't think it's fair to say that climbing is linear or logarithmic. Since grades are both relative and consensus. Perhaps grades seem logarithmic when thinking of climbs near or at your limit and seem linear when thinking of climbs well below or well beyond it.

Perhaps the true grade of a climb is unknowable..Sly

- An Agnostic


(This post was edited by ninepointeight on Mar 18, 2013, 3:03 PM)


dagibbs


Mar 18, 2013, 8:47 PM
Post #15 of 19 (4129 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 886

Re: [lena_chita] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

lena_chita wrote:
jomagam wrote:
shotwell wrote:
I know a lot of people believe in the whole 'climbing grades are logarithmic' argument, but I don't buy it.

Never heard of it. What does it say ?

shotwell pretty much explained it:

Linear thinking: 10c is harder than 10b by the same increment that 10b is harder than 10a.

logarithmic thinking: each subsequent interval is bigger than the previous. E.i., a difference between 14a and 14b is bigger than the difference between 13a and 13b, which in turn is bigger than the difference between 12a and 12b, etc. etc., to the point where the difference between 10a and 10b is really tiny.


My guess is that if we could find a non-subjective way to analyze and quantify the difficulty range for climbs at different grades, we'd actually find that the division between grades gets smaller and smaller as the grades get higher and higher. (e.g. if we were able to build a climbing robot, and could measure, somehow, and quantify how much force, friction, extension, rotation, etc was needed to make the moves to do a climb, or something like that.)

But, generally grades feel farther apart the higher they go, because our response to training is one of greatly diminishing returns. Or, to put that another way, the closer we are to the limit of what we can achieve, the harder it is to gain any improvement in what we can do. So, we cruise past the easy grades, because we're in a high-return training zone, but as we get closer and closer to our personal limit, we have to work harder and harder to get better, so the difference in grades feels like it is increasing, even if it isn't from a pure physics/mechanics viewpoint.


Syd


Mar 28, 2013, 2:08 PM
Post #16 of 19 (3782 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2012
Posts: 300

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Further to the previous comments, around here, the age of the crag and area also influence grades. Older crags have grades based on the assumption that 5.10 was about as hard as it gets, leading to serious sandbags. In some areas, climbers intentionally sandbag routes for some twisted form of "fun". This leads to routes below the FA's ability being undergraded, making it dangerous for noobs, with harder routes being more reasonably graded. Other areas have grades for new routes set to be compatible with other routes for the area, rather than considering the real route difficulty.
I always check who the FA is and take the grade with a grain of salt.


dac33


Dec 8, 2013, 3:35 AM
Post #17 of 19 (2189 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 9, 2012
Posts: 19

Re: [jayhawk70] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

One of many discussions about what climbing grades mean around the world:

http://people.bath.ac.uk/...17AppendixGrades.htm

if you ever come to the UK, be prepared to be totally confused.


(This post was edited by dac33 on Dec 11, 2013, 2:42 PM)


JohnCook


Dec 8, 2013, 3:54 AM
Post #18 of 19 (2183 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 26, 2006
Posts: 221

Re: [dac33] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There is nothing confusing about UK grades. It's the rest of the world that is out of kilter.


dac33


Dec 11, 2013, 2:41 PM
Post #19 of 19 (1961 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 9, 2012
Posts: 19

Re: [JohnCook] grading routes [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

JohnCook wrote:
There is nothing confusing about UK grades. It's the rest of the world that is out of kilter.

John, Being a Brit, I also think our grades are the best. However there is still a few things I can't work out. Like if the tech grade is also for a on-sight.

If you happen to get the chance please read http://people.bath.ac.uk/...17AppendixGrades.htm

and let me know if I've got anything wrong! Thanks


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$80.06 (10% off)
$8.96 (10% off)
$35.96 (10% off)
$11.66 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook