Percentages of 12- to 12 to 12+ seems out of whack on Mt Lemmon.


Original Post
1Eric Rhicard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 7,790

What do you think?
If anyone wants to actually run the numbers I think it would be interesting. I know that I have not needed but a run or two on most of the routes in the 12 range I have done. Thus I give them a 12-. Eight to twelve runs will lead to a 12+ rating but that rarely happens for me on Mt Lemmon.


Geir · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,505

Usually I find the ratings to be in the ballpark Eric. I agree it would be interesting to see the number of routes in each grade.

Every time I pick up that book I am reminded of how much climbing there is on that mountain. It's pretty amazing that there is a lifetime of climbing in our backyard.


Jimbo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,305

All I know is it's always harder than the grade that one day I climb it. Thereby easier for everyone else on the day they climb it.


Hendrixson · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 3,205

Using the route finder tool to the finest granularity it allows, which includes overlap, yields the following distribution for the 166 5.12 routes posted to MP:


85 | 5.12a to 5.12a/b
114 | 5.12- to 5.12b/c
20 | 5.12b/c to 5.12c/d
14 | 5.12+ to 5.12d

I think this is more a reflection of the rock, developers, climbers, and posters than of any grade bias. Expanding the edges seems to support this assertion:

97 | 5.11+ to 5.11d
15 | 5.13a to 5.13-

Lora Rivera · · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 0

Hahaha, Jim. :P


Geir · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,505
Jimbo wrote:All I know is it's always harder than the grade that one day I climb it. Thereby easier for everyone else on the day they climb it.
Hahahahahaha

Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 915

What's the hypothesis? That MP is soft and SQL is correct?

Who's gonna decide that it isn't actually a case of SQL being sandbagged and MP on target?

I would suspect that, for Eric, 12- doesn't feel that different from mid 12, but that might not necessarily mean much for the rest of us.

If I'm climbing a lot, 12- might go down in 4 or 5 runs, but 12 b/c might be a 6-8 week project, and that's if I can keep going week after week. Missing one or two weekends might be enough to throw off everything.

Would be interesting to see the data nonetheless.


Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 915

I went through the 20 mid-12 climbs below one by one and eyeballed the rest of a list of 158 sport climbs 5.12a to 5.12d, and didn't see any evidence of systematic downrating of climbs in SQL3 vs MP. In the two downrated climbs below, one is some obscure undone route on that tower near the Troll Wall, and in the other the FA finished in one direction and subsequent climbers found another easier way to go.

I think there are quite a few sandbagged climbs on Mt Lemmon, but for me that's usually related to : 1) Being an older climb 2) Certain FAists who seem to always take off at least a letter grade (EFR isn't normally one of them). 3) Trad climbs where the time needed by the average person to stop and fiddle in gear isn't taken into account.

Maybe that wasn't the question that was asked, but it's the one that was more interesting for me to try to answer.

Sorry for the crappy formatting below.

MP-SQL 3
1 Northern Tights 12 b/c-5.12
2 Metro 12 b/c-5.12
3 Cowpunks 12 b/c-5.12
4 Amanecer 12 b/c-5.12
5 Tsunami 12-5.12
6 Triple Stout 12-11+
7 Cres Sent 12-5.12
8 Special Brew 12-5.12
9 Slip Service 12-5.12
10 Prowler 12-5.12
11 OP 12-5.12
12 Organized Labor 12-5.12
13 Oedipus Complex 12-5.12
14 Montse, Donde Esta 12-5.12
15 Lion's Line 12-5.12
16 Left Route/Project 12-11+
17 Krymptonite 12-5.12
18 Johnny Rotten 12-5.12
19 Jailbreak 12-5.12
20 Huck Finn 12-5.12


Paul Davidson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 585

It's a well known fact that the FA always fights higher gravity than subsequent ascents.


1Eric Rhicard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 7,790

I was not comparing to MP at all. It just seems like I put up a lot more 12- routes than 12 or 12+. Which makes me wonder if I am sandbagging or the rock just tends to produce, for lack of a better word, more 12- climbing.

The rock here seem to have more 5.10 and 5.11 climbs than any other grade. Again I haven't run any data.


Paul Davidson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 585
1Eric Rhicard wrote:Which makes me wonder if I am sandbagging or ...
You sir, old friend and such, are a sandbagger.
It's the sandbag of the elite climber. Weekend warriors just have to adapt to the area and how things are rated and understand who is doing the ratings and what's the bar set at.

And sport climbing introduces a whole new game.
BITD, ratings for things tended to be given based on an onsight attempt.
If Baxter fell off a route at Granite Mountain, it was considered 9+ because they couldn't climb 5.10 but by falling it was harder than 5.9

With sport routes, it's assumed that most people will work the routes until it's a "routine." Changing it to more like a gymnastics routine than like old school onsights which were driven more from a do not fall ethic and move fast in the mountains. Rock routes originally, for the most part, were training for the mountains, not an end into themselves. But things evolve.
Nothing wrong with either method, they're just what they are.

Just need to be as consistent as possible which my experience with your guides says you do pretty well. Any rating is always going to be unique to the individual anyway.

1Eric Rhicard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 7,790

I hear you Paul. I definitely rate with beta which I think for these harder new routes is the way to do it.

If you are onsighting a route and happen to find the perfect sequence first try you say "that's not 11, it's more like 10+".

On the other hand, and this happens a lot on the Lemmon, you misread a sequence or miss a hard to see hold you say "wow what a sandbag"!

Mt Lemmon can be pretty cryptic making it especially hard to onsight some many of the climbs.

I have done a route two or three different ways only to find the last the easiest.

So don't be calling me a "sandbagger" Paul Davidson!


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply