Route Guide    Partners    Forum    Photos    What's New    Journal        
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Subjective nature of climbing grades
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
Page 1 of 3.  1  2  3   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the base of 'Chicken Rock'.
It's hard for me to put an exact number/grade on a climbs difficulty. When I look at the grade assigned in a guide book, I take it with a +/- full grade mentality, it might be harder or easier.

In running, there is distance and time, strength there is weight and reps.

I wonder was the climbing grading system developed around a specific body size and strength?

A tall person and a short person are going to grade the same climb a little differently.
Sustained difficulty versus short bursts of strength.
No standard to pitch length, most I've climbed are around 25-30m and some were a full 50-60m....which can make judging endurance and energy budgeting a little tricky.

Due to the subjective nature of the grading system, is it safe to put climbers into a class range, like boxing has weight classes? Just tossing some ideas around.
Daniel H. Bryant
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Sep 5, 2013
312 points
Jul 21, 2016
You're overthinking it. Climbing grades are meant to be a general indicator of the difficulty. Of course it will vary by the type of route, type of climber, size of climber, location, local history, type of rock, strengths and weaknesses, etc. There's no reason why we need further classifications. Kyle Tarry
From Portland, OR
Joined Mar 5, 2015
96 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Yes, ratings are subjective. No, we should not consider complicating them more than they already are. Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
Jul 21, 2016
Yes, there is such things as subjective grades, even top climbers acknowledge that.
In order to see that in action, go to Red River Gorge Route Guide and do a bit of browsing. Quite a few routes have user grades showing nice bell shape distribution. Some comments will indicate what the grade feels like for shorter or taller person.
amarius
Joined Feb 23, 2012
23 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
J Marsella wrote:
No, Seth, OP is right. Each YDS number(letter) grade should have a handicapping adjustment that will be calculated at the time of the (+/- attempted) ascent. This adjustment should consider height, weight, age, sex genotype, BMI, bone density, current VO2max, 80%HRmax, and shoe size. Also involving a constant with an exponent would help make the equation really pop.


J Marsella..... You left out some other variables...

Temp + Humidity

Wind Velocity and direction

Distance from Road

any potential sexual partners looking on

Drug Alcohol use

Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Linville Gorge!
Sanbagged 5.8 is the same as 5.9 Russ Keane
Joined Feb 8, 2013
511 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Daniel H. Bryant wrote:
Sustained difficulty versus short bursts of strength. No standard to pitch length, most I've climbed are around 25-30m and some were a full 50-60m....which can make judging endurance and energy budgeting a little tricky.


I think climbing grades (outside) already reflect those points. There are many climbs that are given a higher grade due to length/sustained nature of climbing, eventhough individual moves are easier.
doligo
Joined Sep 26, 2008
412 points
Jul 21, 2016
Russ Keane wrote:
Sanbagged 5.8 is the same as 5.9

Unless you're in DL or the Gunks - than it's 5.10b. At least we have a fairly clear system - not four grades (or 5 if you have a good marketing team) like skiing and snowboarding until you are hucking yourself off cliffs and call yourself extreme.
Jack Servedio
From Raleigh,NC
Joined Feb 28, 2016
13 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:
think about your hand size in a place like indian creek.. I'm not to familiar with it but I heard a rule once saying that any crack the size of your hand is 5.9. That same "5.9" might be a 5.11 for the 98 pound sexual partner whose 3 beers in belaying you. Chase Bowman
From Baton Rouge
Joined Jan 27, 2014
476 points
Jul 21, 2016
YDS is subjective, based originally on 10 climbs at Tahquitz Rock. I would guess, but am not sure, that it was consensus ranked by the Sierra Club members who developed it. If you haven't climbed those, technically you don't really know what a 5.0-5.9 is. You make interpretations based on other's interpretations, based on... for all the routes in those ranges you HAVE climbed.

I'd guess its that mentality that has lead to the "old school" vs "new school" ratings. Basically old school ratings seem harder, because the opinion of the person who put it up was less diluted. As the opinion get's diluted, and as we expand the grade range, we stop thinking of "moderately difficult" as 5.5, and start thinking of that range as "easy". So that "easy" climb we just FA'd becomes a 5.5, instead of a 5.3. Ego probably plays a role too.
Brian L.
Joined Feb 19, 2016
81 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:
Speaking of routes in the 5.3 range.. the damn Michael Banks proposal route is assumed to be 5.3 new school.. However felt more like 5.12. But i don't live in California, so theres that. Chase Bowman
From Baton Rouge
Joined Jan 27, 2014
476 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:
yeah the guide book says to take crack beforehand, MP said Meth.. so I went with the guide book. Lesson learned. Chase Bowman
From Baton Rouge
Joined Jan 27, 2014
476 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Guy Keesee wrote:
J Marsella..... You left out some other variables... Temp + Humidity Wind Velocity and direction Distance from Road any potential sexual partners looking on Drug Alcohol use



And lets not forget that drugs and alcohol can help you lead a scary route by increasing confidence and quieting the voices in your head but too much starts to mess with coordination, making it harder to climb. So for example, 1-2 drinks might bring the grade down but 5-6 would obviously bring the grade up. Of course, then we have to figure in the tolerance of the climber to said drugs and alcohol. This is gonna get hairy.
Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
climbing friend,

if the route it feels difficult, it means you are quite weak and must continue sculpting your guns, developing your neck meat, and practicing your technical and mental.

proper style your forearms shall be refreshed at crux during bold flash
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The Nose from the road
Brian L. wrote:
YDS is subjective, based originally on 10 climbs at Tahquitz Rock. I would guess, but am not sure, that it was consensus ranked by the Sierra Club members who developed it. If you haven't climbed those, technically you don't really know what a 5.0-5.9 is. .


what are those 10 climbs? I know the Trough was the 5.0 and the Open Book was the 5.9. Does anyone know what the others are?
Mike Mu.
From hagerstown
Joined Feb 15, 2007
85 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
Mike Mu. wrote:
what are those 10 climbs? I know the Trough was the 5.0 and the Open Book was the 5.9. Does anyone know what the others are?


I think Angeles Fright is the 5.6

Mechanics Route is the 5.8

Open Book is the 5.9
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Rock
Don't forget about high gravity days, it can make some days so hard.

I have climbed dozens of V5s and that one stupid V2 at HP40 I have never been able to do and none of my friends have either.
ViperScale
Joined Dec 22, 2013
201 points
Jul 21, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the base of 'Chicken Rock'.
ViperScale wrote:
Don't forget about high gravity days, it can make some days so hard.


Kinda far out, but not impossible:
gravity anomaly
Daniel H. Bryant
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Sep 5, 2013
312 points
Jul 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo:
Seth Jones wrote:
And lets not forget that drugs and alcohol can help you lead a scary route by increasing confidence and quieting the voices in your head but too much starts to mess with coordination, making it harder to climb. So for example, 1-2 drinks might bring the grade down but 5-6 would obviously bring the grade up. Of course, then we have to figure in the tolerance of the climber to said drugs and alcohol. This is gonna get hairy.


Are you being serious?
Chase Bowman
From Baton Rouge
Joined Jan 27, 2014
476 points
Jul 22, 2016
5.0 - The trough, FA 1936 (.4)

5.1 - Fingertip traverse, FA 1936 (.4)

5.2 - Frightful variation of the trough, FA 1944 (.2)

5.3 - East lark, FA 1950 (.5)

5.4 - Angel's fright, FA 1936 (.6)

5.5 - Ski Tracks (left .6, right .9), FA 1947, 1957

5.6 - Sahara terror (.7), FA 1942

5.7 - Fingertrip (.7), FA 1946

5.8 - Mechanic's route (.8 R), FA 1937

5.9 - Open book (.9), FFA 1952 (aided previously)
Nathanael
From Riverside, CA
Joined May 27, 2011
257 points
Jul 22, 2016
Chase Bowman wrote:
Are you being serious?

It's Seth. Need you ask more?
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
64 points
Jul 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The Nose from the road
Nice Nathanael Mike Mu.
From hagerstown
Joined Feb 15, 2007
85 points
Jul 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
Mike Mu. wrote:
Nice Nathanael


Yes... Nathanael, good list. Keep it handy for future YDS discussions.

I have climbed everyone of those climbs. When I do climbs in other spots, I always think about how hard it is to do THE CLIMBS.

Left SKI track is a good example... 5.6 you say... EZ you say... think about how award it is to do that famous "step across" and how eazy it would be to blow it.

When I climbed Hi-E in the gunks..... I was thinking "this is just as hard as the open book.... Hans could really climb hard."

Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Jul 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
Chase Bowman wrote:
Are you being serious?


Of course. MP is no place for tomfoolery.
Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
Jul 22, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Chase Bowman wrote:
Are you being serious?


Haha, you never cracked a beer at the crag and climbed a pitch or two? I don't know about 2 drinks though. I definitely find Seth's drink criteria true to skiing, when I used to ski/ride with lots of friends at resorts, we'd always hit the park after lunch beer (and I'm a total wuss when it comes to jumps).
doligo
Joined Sep 26, 2008
412 points
Jul 22, 2016
It's better to look at a climb from the ground and be motivated to do the climb based on aesthetics and being excited about it than looking up a route I a guide book and picking based on grade. Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
217 points


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 3.  1  2  3   Next>   Last>>