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philip


Dec 28, 2001, 10:30 PM
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How do the indoor ratings compare to the ones outdoors? I've climbed outdoors but not on anything I know the rating of. I know the ratings can't be precisely compared, I'm just looking for a general idea.


blimpdriver


Dec 28, 2001, 11:08 PM
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On all the indoor stuff I don't think the ratings hold justice. People can cheat to easy. You hear some of these guys talking smack about the 5.11 they just climbed but they didn't tell you about all the extra holds they used.


Partner pianomahnn


Dec 29, 2001, 12:04 PM
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I'll disagree with what blimp has to say.

First, if they used extra holds, they didn't climb the route anyways, so a rating can't be made, nor held up.

Second, if you have experienced outdoor climbers, and they have moved into indoor route setting, their grades will be very comparable to those outdoors. We have two climbers at the gym I work at who have been climbing at least 15 years each. I trust their ratings to be equivalent to those outdoors.

Now, there are certain things that will come into play which make things different when climbing. Indoors, holds are marked, and there isn't much searching. It's quite easy to figure out the sequence from the ground. Outdoors, one can't always see each hold, and can't always sequence it out before hand. These two situations may have technically equivalent holds and moves, but the climbs will be different because of the environment.



kriso9tails


Dec 29, 2001, 2:21 PM
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I find my local gym grades similarily to the grades outdoors in the area. This is where all those anti-graders are right (although I'm saying it for a different reason). It's stupid to compare grades. Different rock formations provide different style of climbing (no s***) so a 5.10 slab is not the same as a 5.10 crack, which is in turn most likely not the same as a 5.10 in your gym.

Also, the grading scale is warped from area to area (and often climb to climb) because the parties responsible for grading all have their own perception on how the scale applies to a given climb. I've walked through some 11s and I've been schooled on a 9 and a couple of 10s. When I was in Chamonix the grades were totally inconsistent. Many gyms have seriously perverted scales, and will sandbag their grades or totally loosen them. When I Was struggling at a certaing grade at my home gym, I could easily walk up one full grade higher at another.

Grades are more qualitative than quantitative (yes, that's what I said) when you think about it. It's more empirical than scientific.

There is no universal comparison, it's just too all over the place, but generally, gym grades are more inconsistent (and thus carry less weight) than crag grades.

*Final Point* If you're going to brag (please don't do it too much), make sure it's an outdoor grade. Indoor grades just don't mean a thing unless it's to someone from the same gym.


Partner pianomahnn


Dec 29, 2001, 7:01 PM
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I redpointed a 5.6c in a gym once. It was a large project for me.


jcs


Dec 29, 2001, 8:42 PM
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Hey Philip,

good question- I think kriso mostly answered it. in my experience gym routes of a certain grade are generally harder than routes of the same grade outside. this is because a 5.9 (or whatever) inside will usually be set as a series of consistently 5.9 moves- easy to do because the route is being made to cater to a climber of a certain level. outside, a climb is generally rated according to the hardest move on it. so there could be a climb like "face the music" (5.12a) at chek, near squamish, that is mostly 5.10 climbing with a single move of 5.12a that defines the grade. a 5.12- in the gym would be more consistantly 5.12, and therefore harder. the climbers i know call climbs like face the music "one move wonders". lots of number chasing climbers like to do these climbs because if they do them they can say they climb 5.12... even though most 5.12's would spank them. weird. anyways, hope this helps- have a great new year everyone! my girlfriend and i are planning to go full moon bouldering on the beach in thailand for new year- what a perfect way to bring in 2002!


philip


Dec 30, 2001, 8:31 AM
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Hi,

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. It's too cold right now but I'm definitely looking forward to doing some climbing outdoors next year. I climb mostly at the gym Earth Treks which is in Columbia, Maryland. It's a good gym and the ratings seem consistent with other gyms I have been to although the ratings on the boulder problems seem a bit loose. I'm asking about the ratings not so much for bragging rights but more because I want a general idea of what difficulty to try when I go outside. I've had some bad experiences climbing outside mostly because a lot of the places I've been to suck. This kind of got me too focused on climbing at gyms. I'm a senior in high school so before I go to college I'm going to try to travel a lot and climb at some cooler places.


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