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Climbing grades
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unbrbldeath


Mar 18, 2014, 8:27 PM
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Climbing grades
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So I've noticed that as the newer guidebooks come out that the grading in them can change, some times drastically. What is the etiquette and process that one should go though in order to find out what a problem should be graded?

I do understand when hold break that the climb may get harder or easier but how are you supposed to know about that if you have guidebooks with no mention of it?


dagibbs


Mar 19, 2014, 9:59 AM
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Re: [unbrbldeath] Climbing grades [In reply to]
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The first thing to remember is that grades are not an objective, measurable, thing. They are a subjective evaluation of how hard or easy it is to climb a particular route or problem. This can, of course, be affected by differences in physical, mental, and technical factors. (Reachy vs not; small crimps vs large holds, power vs finesse and balance moves, overhanging vs not, high-ball or not, etc.) If a climb or problem was initially climbed and graded by someone where it matched their strengths, it might be initially graded fairly easy, but then as others climb it, the consensus opinion of the difficulty could get harder. And, of course, vice versa.

And, the climb can change nature - holds break, smears become polished, etc -- which can change the nature.

Further, mistakes can be made. Wrong line identified with grade, editing error, transcription error, or other confusions. Either old errors can be correct, or of course, new errors can be introduced.

Most small changes (up or down 1/2 to 1 grade) are a result of a change in consensus on the grade.

Most large changes, are the result of something else.


lena_chita
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Mar 20, 2014, 4:08 AM
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Re: [unbrbldeath] Climbing grades [In reply to]
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unbrbldeath wrote:
So I've noticed that as the newer guidebooks come out that the grading in them can change, some times drastically. What is the etiquette and process that one should go though in order to find out what a problem should be graded?

I do understand when hold break that the climb may get harder or easier but how are you supposed to know about that if you have guidebooks with no mention of it?

You know about it by climbing it. Or trying to. Grades are just a suggestion.
V4s as a group are harder than V3s as a group. But any individual V4 might feel easier than an individual V3 to someone. That's why you will hear endless conversations about it, anytime the climbers gather.

Even if the grade is "accurate", e.i. the climbing community as a whole agrees that this climb feels like V4, you personally might often disagree. In general, the farther away you are from an average climber body type/height, the more likely you are to feel that the climbing grades are inconsistent and all over the place.


skelldify


Mar 20, 2014, 5:52 AM
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Re: [unbrbldeath] Climbing grades [In reply to]
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The longer I climb, and the more places I climb at, the less grades mean to me. It's taken me years to realize that grades are just a suggestion, especially since I'm an outlier in height, and an extreme outlier in weight. It seems the grade given to any one route could vary by almost +/- 1 number grade compared to routes of the same grade at another area.


unbrbldeath


Jun 22, 2014, 11:41 PM
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Re: [skelldify] Climbing grades [In reply to]
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Thanks for your help guys you've answered my questions quite well.


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