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Historical Grading Question
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mnutz


Jul 21, 2003, 6:58 AM
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Registered: Jul 22, 2001
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Historical Grading Question
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Was there a time when the YDS system had a set top end? Lately we seem to be expanding on it quite frequently, but was there a time when all the hardest climbs were 5.9+? How long did this period last?

Obviously some people were climbing super hard routes back then. Did all those routes get a certain grade (like 5.9+)? Were they then retrograded, if they saw many ascents, once we started adding more grades to the YDS? Were there climbs rated 5.9+ that would be rated much higher if put up today?


Partner rrrADAM


Jul 21, 2003, 8:29 AM
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I think we (climbers) will always be pushing the grades, just as we haver done since climbing began.

Hell, I climbed America's first 5.9 Open Book in Tahquitz, Ca. put up in the late 50's by Royal Robins. At that time, 12's were unheard of and probably even unthought of... Now they are a dime a dozen.


hyhuu


Jul 21, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Wow! That's a boat load of questions. Last weekend when I was out climbing at Seneca, one of the climber had a very old guidelbook which he let me took a look at. Scanning thru the pages, I noticed several 5.9+ are now rated 5.10b in the new guidebook. One was even rated 5.11a.




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Was there a time when the YDS system had a set top end? Lately we seem to be expanding on it quite frequently, but was there a time when all the hardest climbs were 5.9+? How long did this period last?

Obviously some people were climbing super hard routes back then. Did all those routes get a certain grade (like 5.9+)? Were they then retrograded, if they saw many ascents, once we started adding more grades to the YDS? Were there climbs rated 5.9+ that would be rated much higher if put up today?


bvb


Jul 21, 2003, 10:40 AM
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yep. the yds was developed at tahquitz by chuck wilts, robbins, and the late 50's crew, and was know at first as the tds.

the conceptual top end for climbs was 5.9.

the system really took off in yosemite and morphed into the yds -- the rest is, of course, history.


clymber


Jul 21, 2003, 11:27 AM
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the reason there are som many 5.9+ climbs is because back in the day before the invention of the 5.10 a,b,c etc etc etc noone knew what to call it..there wasa huge conference and they were trying to figure out what to call the next grade after 5.9...someone suggested 5.10 and he was lauged at and they said the a 5.10 would be equal to 6...i will have to find the book that i found that in and quote it for you in here...you can always ask My Gill sure he would be able to help you out alot


mnutz


Jul 22, 2003, 6:30 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. That's pretty much what I thought. Back in the day climbers were putting up 10s and 11s, they just didn't know what to call 'em. So is 5.9+ the world's most sandbagged rating?

hyhuu - I wondered if any guidebooks have updated the old school rating. I'm gonna look through my '71 Yosemite guidebook and see if there has been any changes.


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