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Crag with the most accurate grades in your local climbing area?

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,647
Jack Sparrow wrote: I have a suspicion for why the red has a reputation for being soft. I think people go to the gorge and one hang the hardest route they ever been on and they think there soooo close to sending then leave empty handed, but they come back to Colorado and go “ it’s so soft in the red I one hung Jesus wept then got on flour power and did all the moves my first go, the grades are so soft.” Or better yet the, classic “ bro I was so close to onsighting chainsaw, I fell right at the anchor, I’ve never came close to onsighting 12a, must be soft.” How ever all of these spraylords have one thing in common NOBODY SENDS, and people don’t seem to realize that the hard part of sending in the gorge is going from a one hang to a red point, getting a one hang or doing all the moves your first time up a route is the easy part here. You have no right to an opinion calling the gorge soft if you don’t send. So now all of you get to tell me why I’m wrong, and what routes you shat on in the gorge and why it’s sooo easy.  Flame on 

Funny, I just had this conversation with couple visiting Coloradians late last fall. They had heard that the Red was soft, and came in with high hopes, then kept adjusting their expectations down, and down, as they fell off the 12+'s, and then fell off 12-'s. and then tried, and started falling on 11's. They weren't the spraylord variety, so instead of saying how soft the Red was, their reaction was, "yeah, sure, the moves are easy one at a time, but Oh boy, putting them all together... "

Still, climbing at the Red is very straightforward, and so is training for it. Once you get that overhanging endurance, it really does feel soft, and so do all other areas where the overall difficulty of climbs comes from managing the pump on overhang, rather than from individual moves.

I had a funny experience in Spain last year. On my first day, we ran into couple climbers from Smith Rock. They were hangdogging this 12a, and talking about how hard it was. I was complaining about the difficulty or a nearby 5.11. We bonded over our complaining, and traded routes. The route they had trouble with was nothing but large pockets and finger buckets on overhanging wall, interspersed with practically-hands-free rests, and I flashed it easily, despite struggling on that 5.11. Meanwhile, they easily stepped their way up the techy 11, carrying a pleasant conversation the entire time...  needless to say, we disagreed about the relative difficulty of those two routes.

 

The threads about accurate/soft/sandbagged routes/areas always make me laugh. For me personally the variability within any given area is so large, it drowns out the variability between areas.

Take Ma Ja's example of soft/sandbagged routes at the same crag. Starry Night is "soft" 12a, Gold Rush is "sandbagged" 11d. The majority/consensus may even agree with him. But my personal experience:
Gold Rush: 2nd go send in summer heat of 2012, when I had only one 12b, and a handful of 12a's under my belt. Thought it felt relatively easy.
Starry Night: multi-day and 6+ attempts before sending in 2017, at the time when I had already sent couple 12c's and flashed 12b, and many 12a's.

Do I know why it felt harder for me? Yes. Some of it is due to my relative strengths/weaknesses, and some has to do with basic geometry. Does my opinion mater to anyone? Nope.
J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Jack Sparrow wrote:

I agree with you, I think we’re making the same point just looking at it from different perspectives. I’m coming from a technical climbing background so the red has always been more difficult for me. If your a gym rat you will definitely climb better there. However if you are a good technical climber the “ sandbags of the gorge” will be a walk in the park, Super slab, soul ram, the gift, samurai. 

Agreed, I also think it gets it's soft reputation from being very easy to onsight at/near your limit (so long as you have decent endurance). Whereas at the NRG, in my experience, some routes feel very sandbagged until the beta is dialed. That's why I said 1-hanging a 13a in the RRG is less of an accomplishment, in my eyes, than 1-hanging a 13a in the NRG.

J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Lena chita wrote:

Funny, I just had this conversation with couple visiting Coloradians late last fall. They had heard that the Red was soft, and came in with high hopes, then kept adjusting their expectations down, and down, as they fell off the 12+'s, and then fell off 12-'s. and then tried, and started falling on 11's. They weren't the spraylord variety, so instead of saying how soft the Red was, their reaction was, "yeah, sure, the moves are easy one at a time, but Oh boy, putting them all together... "

Still, climbing at the Red is very straightforward, and so is training for it. Once you get that overhanging endurance, it really does feel soft, and so do all other areas where the overall difficulty of climbs comes from managing the pump on overhang, rather than from individual moves.

I had a funny experience in Spain last year. On my first day, we ran into couple climbers from Smith Rock. They were hangdogging this 12a, and talking about how hard it was. I was complaining about the difficulty or a nearby 5.11. We bonded over our complaining, and traded routes. The route they had trouble with was nothing but large pockets and finger buckets on overhanging wall, interspersed with practically-hands-free rests, and I flashed it easily, despite struggling on that 5.11. Meanwhile, they easily stepped their way up the techy 11, carrying a pleasant conversation the entire time...  needless to say, we disagreed about the relative difficulty of those two routes.

 
.

I get what you are saying, but if you take a steep (insert grade here) from the Red and compare it to a steep (insert grade here) from another place like CCC, Rifle, Vegas, Maple, NRG, etc....the RRG (insert grade here) nearly always feels easier in my experience, regardless of the type of rock, developer, etc. 

J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
 Cpn Dunsel wrote:

Anecdote ain't data.

Climbing grades are not some monolithic and narrowly construed set of parameters.  

What's your point? Every post in this thread is anecdotal, nothing has been data based; we are talking about climbing grades   Climbing is entirely subjective as you, yourself pointed out. 

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,647
J T wrote:

I get what you are saying, but if you take a steep (insert grade here) from the Red and compare it to a steep (insert grade here) from another place like CCC, Rifle, Vegas, Maple, NRG, etc....the RRG (insert grade here) nearly always feels easier in my experience, regardless of the type of rock, developer, etc. 

For me, places like Maple, Rumney, Red Rocks didn't feel meaningfully harder than RRG. If I had to rank them, I actually would say that all of these were easier than RRG, given that I only climbed there for a week or two, while the Red is most familiar to me, so if the climbing at these areas felt about the same as the Red, then they must be easier, since I'm less familiar with the rock.


Don't have experience with CCC, or Rifle, but NRG is definitely harder than RRG, I can't put RRG and NRG into the same category of "overhanging climbing", because the difficulty at NRG definitely comes from individual moves on most routes, not from overhang.  The overhanging routes at the New are limited to only a few areas, and grades in 12+/13, and only a subset of those, at best.  
Ma Ja · · Red River Gorge · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 109
Lena chita wrote:

Take Ma Ja's example of soft/sandbagged routes at the same crag. Starry Night is "soft" 12a, Gold Rush is "sandbagged" 11d. The majority/consensus may even agree with him. But my personal experience:
Gold Rush: 2nd go send in summer heat of 2012, when I had only one 12b, and a handful of 12a's under my belt. Thought it felt relatively easy.
Starry Night: multi-day and 6+ attempts before sending in 2017, at the time when I had already sent couple 12c's and flashed 12b, and many 12a's.

Do I know why it felt harder for me? Yes. Some of it is due to my relative strengths/weaknesses, and some has to do with basic geometry. Does my opinion mater to anyone? Nope.

Actually, I never said Gold Rush was sandbagged. That seems like a perfect 11d to me. Stary Night seems like a grade or more off to me though, but I definitely hear your point, and it's valid.

Tyler Phillips · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 1,710

Def Dogwood

Ma Ja · · Red River Gorge · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 109
Cpn Dunsel wrote:

Yes, this is one big circle jerk with no point since there is no objective reality.  That is MY point and to go further with the response I also offer:

Once one gets 10,000+ routes under their belt at a couple of hundred crags their anecdotal perspective gains traction.  Until then, not so much.  Most of the people posting here have such little relative experience to even make such distinctions.  This lessens even further the efficacy of the thread and it has no lasting value other than to make a few mopes feel good about having contributed something in the public square.  

Threads like this are popular because so many people can feel correct without anything other than their own set of experiences and no one is actually ever demonstrably wrong.  It's perfect for people that prefer their own perspectives in life rather than a shared reality with others.

Have at it!

~ 30 ~

The main point of this thread for me is, if I think I know what a 12a/b feels like, and you think you know what a 12a/b feels like, when I come to your area and it feels harder or softer, and I compare that to 10 other places, then I'll be able to adjust what 12a/b feels like for me, if it was off from my initial feeling of the grade. I'm not looking for definitive answers, this is just a way to crowd source thoughts on grading at everyone's local climbing areas.

Josh Rappoport · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 26
mathsisfun.com/accuracy-pre…
 
"Accuracy is how close a measured value is to the actual (true) value."
"Precision is how close the measured values are to each other."
 
A crag with inconsistent grading (to quote Zachary K, “…when the 5.10 route is harder than the 5.11a right next to it…”) can be referred to as not having “precision”. However, as all grading is subjective and there is no objective scale, areas can’t display “accuracy” per se
Idaho Bob · · McCall, ID · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 547

In my experience at many areas in North America, it depends on who put up the route.  For example, Joe Herbst routes at Red Rocks.   Watch out, grades in guide books are subject to revision.  The first RR guide book was Joanne Urosite's 1984 "little red book".  Fender Bender, at Sandstone Quarry, a J. Herbst route was rated 5.3.  Now its rated 5.6.  Joe put up some stiff routes and loved offwidth's.  Also depends on when the route was put up.  If it was when the top of the YDS was 5.9,  that route today may seem a little stiff by todays standards.  

J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Cpn Dunsel wrote:

Yes, this is one big circle jerk with no point since there is no objective reality.  That is MY point and to go further with the response I also offer:

Once one gets 10,000+ routes under their belt at a couple of hundred crags their anecdotal perspective gains traction.  Until then, not so much.  Most of the people posting here have such little relative experience to even make such distinctions.  This lessens even further the efficacy of the thread and it has no lasting value other than to make a few mopes feel good about having contributed something in the public square.  

Threads like this are popular because so many people can feel correct without anything other than their own set of experiences and no one is actually ever demonstrably wrong.  It's perfect for people that prefer their own perspectives in life rather than a shared reality with others.

Have at it!

~ 30 ~

Every MP thread is a circle jerk with no point, welcome to MP. Additionally, if suggest that an established 13c at the RRG felt like an 10a at Maple I wouldn't be demonstrably wrong?!   You're logic is flawed and you just sound like someone who can't decide whether you want to be a troll, a Boulder bro, or just a salty individual. Let the Mountain Projecters Mountain Project bro! 

J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Idaho Bob wrote: In my experience at many areas in North America, it depends on who put up the route.  For example, Joe Herbst routes at Red Rocks.   Watch out, grades in guide books are subject to revision.  The first RR guide book was Joanne Urosite's 1984 "little red book".  Fender Bender, at Sandstone Quarry, a J. Herbst route was rated 5.3.  Now its rated 5.6.  Joe put up some stiff routes and loved offwidth's.  Also depends on when the route was put up.  If it was when the top of the YDS was 5.9,  that route today may seem a little stiff by todays standards.  

Surprised nobody has said mentioned this before. James Litz is the first to come to mind for me. If I see a Litz on an FA I know it's gonna feel a bit stiff   

Ma Ja · · Red River Gorge · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 109

So, if grades are subjective, how influential is the FA's suggested rating on the 'eternal' rating? Obviously the consensus will win out over time, but are the opinions of those who climb after the FA, heavily influenced by the FA's suggestion?

Kyle Elliott · · Picnic Point, WA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 1,543
Idaho Bob wrote: In my experience at many areas in North America, it depends on who put up the route.  For example, Joe Herbst routes at Red Rocks.   Watch out, grades in guide books are subject to revision.  The first RR guide book was Joanne Urosite's 1984 "little red book".  Fender Bender, at Sandstone Quarry, a J. Herbst route was rated 5.3.  Now its rated 5.6.  Joe put up some stiff routes and loved offwidth's.  Also depends on when the route was put up.  If it was when the top of the YDS was 5.9,  that route today may seem a little stiff by todays standards.  

Same. Dallas kloke, Fred Beckey, phil Gleason, Chris Christiansen, Viktor kramar, Chris greyell, and a few others are names that typically see on routes that have a stout grade IMO. 


Blake Herrington like to sandbag the approach time. Haha
Joshua McDaniel · · Fayetteville, NC · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

In the grades that I climb, ranging from 5.0 to 5.11/5.12 (with most of my climbing zone being in the 5.7-5.10 range):

New River Gorge: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Red River Gorge: soft to somewhat accurate

NC Crags:
Looking Glass: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Rumbling Bald: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Ship Rock: accurate
Pilot Mountain: accurate
Sauratown: accurate
Moores Wall: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Crowders: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Laurel Knob: accurate to slightly sandbagged
   Linville Gorge
Table Rock: accurate
Hawksbill: accurate to slightly sandbagged
Amphitheatre: accurate

Obed, TN: accurate

Red Rock, NV: soft to somewhat accurate

Rumney, NH: soft to somewhat accurate

RMNP, Longs Peak: slightly sandbagged (maybe just altitude)
Clear Creek Canyon, CO: accurate
Eldorado Canyon: slightly sandbagged

Verdon Gorge, France: accurate
Opierre, France: accurate

Tal Wanish · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 91

Clear Creek with Accurate? Ho boy, you're gonna get some feedback on that one.

Conor Pesci · · everett, wa · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Dan Cooksey wrote: Accurate - any crag where I flash every route I try.

Sandbagged - any crag where I do not.

Bingo!

J T · · Anywhere dry · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0
Tal Wanish wrote: Clear Creek with Accurate? Ho boy, you're gonna get some feedback on that one.

You implying CCC should be sandbagged?!   

Seth Bleazard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 399
Salamanizer suchoski wrote: Accurate;  Tahquitz, Yosemite and Smith Rock... there’s a few more.

Soft; Auburn, Luther, Owens gorge.

Sandbagged; Lassen Ntl Park, Needles, anything Johnny Woodward.

Is raker peak in Lassen sandbagged or is it just the trad lines?

Tal Wanish · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 91
J T wrote:

You implying CCC should be sandbagged?!   

CCC is extremely soft. It's on like every list of softest crags in America.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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