Forum: GLOBAL / News / Brave and Humble blogs by MacLeod & Pearson Login in to contribute
Brave and Humble blogs by MacLeod & Pearson
  2009-01-23 00:00:00    
"If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start." (In fact, MacLeod confirms the 8a opinion!) Once again, Dave MacLeod delivers some very nice thoughts regarding E-grades and danger etc in relation to bouldermats and the good downgrading explenation by James Pearson.
OffLine Ludwig Davidsson
  2009-01-23 12:12:27    

Dave is by far the smartest climber ever to run a blog. His thoughts are all so right and makes totally sense. Best rolemodel ever !!
Who can seriously think that two crashpads is the same pro as toprope an 30 feet route ?? Please come foreward!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-23 13:55:46    
Here is another quote which may explain what Dave thinks about E-grades,

"Thankfully I had my fleece hat on to pad out my head. What grade would it be with a fleece hat on? I felt a bit dizzy for another go…"

I am sorry but this ironic statement by Dave just give me further understanding on how very strange the E-grading system is.

Bouldermats are one key to downgrade gritstone but what about wearing a helmet or even a small stiff plastic plat as the downhill skiers are using.

I mean, we have learnt that it is very good for the E-grade if you could die. But with a a helmet and that downhill thing you will most probably only get hospitalized on grit, which in fact should lower the grade.
OffLine MYSSAK
  2009-01-23 17:01:45    
I love those opinions without knowledge. I climb Gritstone routes for last 5 year and can say that E-grade is often funny and strange but still makes a sense to me.
Sometime is better climb more and read less.
OffLine TURZ TURZ
  2009-01-23 17:37:56    
Jens could you please answer this?

"As I said before I really would like to delete my account and it would be very kind of you to tell me how to do that."

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ban-jens-from-8a
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2009-01-24 01:05:22    
Jens, I don't agree with you that Dave is supporting 8a's claim that the E-system is broken, not at all. What Dave is saying is that gritstone climbing is more akin to high ball bouldering, and because of that the route grades applied to them become confusing as the era of high ball bouldering is in full swing now it seems. He is saying that one should look towards longer routes (where mats don't make such a difference) in order to see where the E-grades make sense. He is not saying that the E-grade system doesn't work, it is just that climbing is going through a new revolution right now where 20-30ft. is no longer being considered a short solo, but is instead seen now as a highball boulder, and with the addition of pads, the mentality towards what height you don't want to fall from is greatly changing. Considering that a large majority of grit routes are around that range, it is not surprising that the grades given to them as routes are becoming questioned, because the routes themselves are being seen in an entirely new light, and maybe one day with advances in pad technology and climber's mindsets, maybe all grit "routes" will simply have bouldering grades.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-24 16:29:36    
The trad scene in UK is dominated by Gritstone! If the leading British climber says that, ""If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start.", I guess we all should learn from this.

8a and myself have been heavily criticized by pointing out, in the same way as Dave, that E-grades on the high-end is impossible to understand!

In fact, UKclimbing, did post my picture on their first page and wrote an article just to say I was wrong in my critiscism.

It will be very interesting to see if also Dave MacLeod will be criticized for his statement! 
OffLine bak
  2009-01-24 19:29:46    
Jens, you're making the fatal assumption that somehow you have the same experience with E-grades as Mr McLeod. His statements weigh probably a bit more than your ramblings as his impressive resume of gritstone climbs would indicate. I can't imagine you made yourself too popular with the UK community through badly written crusades against the bad, nasty E-grade, whereas Dave posts things that give food for thought and are most importantly tactful.
OffLine Deactivated Butcher of Bowden
  2009-01-24 20:49:26    
Jens, what is it that makes you think the UK trad scene is dominated by grit? As an armchair critic, driven by sensationalist news reporting of big numbers, I thought you might have noticed that both the hardest headpoints (Echo wall, to hell and back, If Six was Nine, Rhapsody, Indian Face, etc) and the hardest onsights on Brittish trad (Fear of Failure, Hollow man, My Piano, Anubis, etc) are not on gritstone.
Have you ever climbed in the UK jens? Until you got all uppety everybody seemed quite content with our grading system. I think a lot of the time when reading blogs or UKclimbing.com, either deliberately or not, you misunderstand what's actually being said. Reading Dave's blog, I got a totally different spin on what he was arguing.
Boulder mats are relatively new, invented long after many hard gritstone trad routes were put up. Undoubtedly it's harder to climb something without pads but the ammount harder varies from route to route. A previously very bold six metres of friction climbing above a boulder mat now feels like a boulder problem. A forty metre pitch might be made slightly easier if the first ten metres are sketchy but by the time you get to the multi pitch adventure climbing end of the spectrum, a pad isn't going to make any odds at all.
Imagine if chalk was now in the same position. Slopey problems might suddenly start feeling a lot easier than the more positive climbing on edges, but that's not the grading system's fault, it's just the nature of technological progress. When someone invented the dish washer, washing dishes became easier. This doesn't mean all domestic chores did.
I think your comments on UK trad climbing always have an heir of not having a clue about them as I'm sure most of Britain would agree. I fear that these tyranical rants on grading systems with which you are greatly confused could make you very unlikable.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-24 21:42:53    

Also James Pearson thinks the E-grading system is impossible!


"From where I am sitting it seems impossible to have a grading system that is based in part on danger, yet “allow” the use of a massive variable like pads."

OffLine Farmor
  2009-01-24 23:34:04    
Just out of curiosity....

Let's say MacLeod is doing an onsight FA of a route far below his maximum. The route has some big fall potential and might be dangerous if falling in the wrong spot. How should he grade it? From his own experience or from the expected experience of a climber climbing at his maximum level? The actual danger that MacLeod experience is much lower than for the climber climbing at his max.
OffLine boy-o-boy
  2009-01-25 00:40:47    
Jens, I've defended you many times on this website, but the more I have experienced your comments on here, I've realized you just are not very socially bright.  I don't think I would enjoy your company very much :)  I also noticed that you deleted my comment once already, and I've seen others say the same thing.

If one person calls you a horse's rear, well, it's just one person. If two people call you a horse's rear, well, there may be a conspiracy to label you a horse's rear. But if three people call you a horse's rear, you'd better invest in a saddle.

You my friend should invest in a saddle.  You are one of the most closed minded people I have ever experienced.  I wonder how many times it will take for someone to tell you before it gets through...
OffLine bak
  2009-01-25 00:48:30    
I respect Mr Pearson a great deal as well, but if i wanted his opinion i would go to his blog. Please respond to me directly...
OffLine Deactivated Butcher of Bowden
  2009-01-25 01:43:48    

Jens, if James really thinks E-grading is impossible why does he continue to use it to grade his climbs? From where I sit I don't think he does think its impossible to use, it's just you skewing what's being said, AGAIN. I think James is really talking about the effect pads will have on gritstone routes; a very small part of British trad climbing.

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-25 10:31:52    

If the two leading UK tradclimber say that the E-system is impossible to use/understand on gritstone, I guess this says something.


It is easy to understand the starting point for the E-grading system. It seems very logic and I am sure I would appreciate it much selecting easy onsights on gritstone.


However, the more difficult and dangerous the routes get, the more impossible to use/understand on gritstone?

8a does not think E-grades should be used on the high-end grades. The two, who actually suggest high-end grades in UK, says E-grades is impossible to understand/use. I guess, the next time they have to suggest a high-end grade on gritstone, they would not only give it a E-grade!

OffLine Tim Hatch
  2009-01-25 12:26:18    
@Jens

Neither Dave nor James are saying that "the E-system is impossible to use/understand on gritstone".

Read the above thread (and their blogs) fully.

Troll
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-25 15:03:32    
Dave MacLeod: "If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start."

James Pearson: "From where I am sitting it seems impossible to have a grading system that is based in part on danger, yet “allow” the use of a massive variable like pads."

Is there anybody who think that these guys and the other UK high-end gritstone climbers will only stick to E-grades when they are putting up new routes?

I do think that these guys are the first, from the UK scene, that have realized that we are living in a modern world with crash pads etc and that the old E-grading system have to be modernized!
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2009-01-26 01:20:58    
Dave MacLeod: "If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start."
James Pearson: "From
where I am sitting it seems impossible to have a grading system that is
based in part on danger, yet “allow” the use of a massive variable like
pads."
Is there anybody who think that these guys and the other
UK high-end gritstone climbers will only stick to E-grades when they
are putting up new routes?

I do think that these guys
are the first, from the UK scene, that have realized that we are living
in a modern world with crash pads etc and that the old E-grading system
have to be modernized!


I'm sorry Jens, but now you are changing your previous argument. Orginally you argued that the E-system is just completely broken, it doesn't work to explain anything at all, it's just a crack pot system, now you are changing your argument to integrate evidence so that your opinion is more supported, you aren't sticking to your guns here, your changing your original hypothesis to make it beneficial to seem as if you are right. Dave is not saying anything about E-grades being broken in the least bit, he is saying that Gritstone in general is just ackward to handle because it is a height that gives climbers in general a trouble as far as being able to classify it, because it is the grey area between a boulder and a route. It is not just the grit where we have seen this problem. There was the whole controversy over The Fly at Rumney. Dave did it as a route, 2 bolts over a bad landing, graded it 5.14d. Later it was bouldered, consensus came to be V14, and many of the repeaters said that V14 was a better grade for it that 5.14d, because even though they could boulder V14, they didn't feel that they could climb a true 5.14d route. This is just one example of a route/boulder that is in the grey area. Long enough and with a bad enough landing to warrant the use of a rope, but perspective has changed and more people are willing to go for it without the rope now. James is not agreeing that the E-grades are broken either, he is saying that people need to figure out what proper style is. If you are doing a route, no bouldering mats, if you are bouldering, bouldering mats. If you do a route that was done originally without pads and then you repeat it using pads to minimize the landing you need to be honest about that. Just as if you flash or onsight a route, or climb a route placing gear or with it preplaced, this is another aspect of the style a climber can choose when attempting a climb. And with grit, just as with the Fly, having some pads at the bottom makes a big difference with the inherent danger of the route involved. And that is why Dave says, referring to outsiders like 99% of us on here arguing, that if we want to understand the E-grades, since we are outsiders and don't experience it on a daily basis, that we need to look at longer routes, because they are less affected by "grey area" variables, and thus give a much clearer picture to the reality that the E-grade system does work.
OffLine grigri
  2009-01-26 08:54:43    

I have to agree with Kyle, Dave is by no means saying that the E-grades dont work. He is simply saying that it is difficult to apply them when there are so many different styles of ascent happening.


If you want a clean conversion then perhaps look only at the technical (difficulty) part of the grade, this reflects how hard the moves are and should not change if a climb is done in a safer style (with mats). Of course ones perception of the difficulties may change with the pressure taken off by placing pads, which may explain different technical grades being suggested. In theory the technical grade should not change unless better beta is found. Thats the theory, but better get some true Brit climbers to comment as Im just another outsider giving my best guess.

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-26 11:08:43    

Originally, we said that the ukclimbing conversion table, that all websites and guidebooks in the world have been copying, were wrong.


This was confirmed by UKclimbing, who changed it.


In relation to the E12 by Pearson, we originally said it must be impossible to set a E-onsight grade on something you have been working for months.


It has been confirmed that the E12 grade was not correct.


During the debate, the more I have learnt, the more I have understood how totally impossible it is to use, especially on gritstone, and this has been confirmed by MacLeod and Pearson.

Let us move on. We should not discuss if the E-onsight system is good or bad on the high end. We should be discussing how to change it as we are talking on a debate that will change history!

OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-01-26 13:31:23    

jens you talk so much bollocks. The uk trad scene is in no way dominated by grit, as other posters have pointed out many of the hardest routes are away from the grit, indeed the route that has brought this argument up again is not even on grit!! neither dave nor james are saying that the e grade system is impossible to use they are saying that it is getting harder due to advances on technology, especially on grit where many routes can indeed be bouldered out above pads, which inherently make the routes alot safer!!

We should not be discussing how to change it, you definately fucking shouldnt. have you ever climbed in the uk? have you ever used the e grade system, your rants shout of ignorance and a complete disrespect for something you obviously have no understanding of.


any system would have the same problems when put on the grit. a 5.14 x/r routes without matts may warrant that grade, but what when there is a pile of matts at the bottom, how would you grade it then!


your rants and rambles seem to be boring most of 8a, why not refrain from comenting on grades and instead for once give credit when its due to climbers climbing top end trad!

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-26 13:46:02    

So if it is not dominated by gritstone, please explain what rock is dominating the UK trad scene.


A route that is graded 5.14 x/r or E10 without crash pads might be 5.14 r or E9 with crash pads. The difficulty grading does not change by crash pads but the E-system changes!

I am only talking high-end grading. Have you ever climbed a E9 or harder?

For the easier grades, the E-system seems to be working OK.


The only way to know when to give cred to "top end trad" is by using a grading system.

OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-01-26 14:03:08    
just like you have tried to create a system that indicated who is the best climber in the world and who is dominating world climbing, you now seem to be doing the same with rock types! There is no dominating rock type in the uk, grit is climbed on alot because it is in close proximaty to alot of people, but saying it is dominating the uk trad scene is bollocks, it also doesnt help with the time of year it is, many of the other hard trad areas, the lakes, north wales, scotland, lots of the sea cliffs are not in condition all the time during the winter months (the uk is not famous for its good weather) while the best conditions for grit are when it is cold!

you argue that the use of pads changes the e grade system, i agree as do dave and james, but then you say a 5.14x/r would then be 5.14r which is exactly the same problem!? so what do you suggest??

and i will return the question to you, have you ever climbing e9 or harder, i know how hard i have climbed and I have no doubts it is alot harder than you, but you seem to think I cant comment unless my climbing is up with the best in the world, so then how can you comment???!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-26 14:36:43    
@ Simon: You started by writing, "have you ever climbed in the uk?" When I ask you if you have ever climbed E9 or harder, as high-end are what we are discussing, you get upset and answer that you climb harder then me ;)

It is NOT "exactely the same problem" saying a 5.14 x/r get 5.14 r with crash pads as downgrade a E10 to E9 just because of crash pads.

E-grades was good in the beginning...but once climbers were pushing harder grades and some started to use crash pads it is actually a big mess that we have seen be revealed this summer over and over again.
OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-01-26 14:50:15    

your missing the point as normal jens, I have experience of the e grade system, I use it almost everyday, you do not, it doesnt matter if im climbing e1, I still have more experience of it than you and therefore have a better understand of it than you!

"It is NOT "exactely the same problem" saying a 5.14 x/r get 5.14 r with crash pads as downgrade a E10 to E9 just because of crash pads"

where is the difference??? both are downgraded due to the use of pads!! e10 is not a technical grade! the technical grade will stay the same just as it does with the 5.14, but the percieved danger will change, ie an x/r to and r and an e10 to and e9.

OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-26 16:26:08    
grades are dumb. stop shouting at each other and go climb.
OffLine Herman
  2009-01-26 17:49:09    

Jens,


<Meta discussion warning>

You make the same errors as all non professional journalist, (and a couple of professionals) and all marketing employee's: You explain everything to your benefit. And you also use circular logic to prove tour point (taken a standpoint and then proving this standpoint with the (hidden) use of your own standpoint.

You might want to reconsider these tactics to a more true (and brave and humble) method.

Probably more people would agree with the good (but not by definition correct) points you raise. I'm assuming that that is the thing you want.



A example for each:


If i remember correctly the essence of your statementn is that the E grading system is fundamentally flawed.


But if Dave says: ""If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start."

Which is a remark on the understanding of the E-Grades. However you claim that dave agrees with 8a. Based on that specific quote  you absolutely cannot claim that. (Neither by the rest of the blog,)


You alse write:
A route that is graded 5.14 x/r or E10 without crash pads might be 5.14 r or E9 with crash pads. The difficulty grading does not change by crash pads but the E-system changes!

From the exclemation mark and the context i conclude that you find this very strange and almost beyond believe.

Please remeber that the reason you find this strange is because you feel that the difficulty grading is single and most important factor. Which with the E grade system is not the only factor. If you also consider these other factors there is no problem with the E grade changing if a route becomes less dangerous. With crashpads it becomes a E9, once the protection has proven itself, it becomes E9.

In fact you should be similary baffled by the change from 5.14 x to 5.14 r. (How can the grade change if you add a pad!!!   


Again,
You can be as controversial as you like, please continue.
But please be a little bit more "brave and humble"
In that way this great website, logbook and forum will become a better place.

OffLine Hadi
  2009-01-26 22:05:06    
heyho,

i don't want to attack somebody personally but i think the e-grades fit just perfectly to the English...
you haven't got the metric system, you fill up gallons at the gas station, you pay your fish and chips with pounds and you got the e-grading system. it feels like this is part of your culture, to do everything a little bit different than the rest of europe.

just my 2 cents ;-)
OffLine AI
  2009-01-27 12:34:09    
News flash to Hadi: Apparently the e-grade system is also used in Scotland and Wales and Ireland! Its also commonly known as the UK grading system!  ;-)
OffLine Hadi
  2009-01-27 17:33:42    
shit, you got me ;-)
but this could also indicate the still imperialistic behavior of England and there will be an attempt to establish the e-grades in the whole world and I will be forced to convert grads in a little dark room for the rest of my life...
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-27 18:29:03    

I know im beating a dead horse, but after being kick-off (not just having my posts deleted) i could not hold back anymore. Jens you continue to amaze me with your arogance and stupidity.

Just like the guy tellin you that your journalism is beyond sad i agree, you bash on things you think you know more about then the people who are involved, then you keep changing your stance! always evolving to make it seem like you "told us so" and we are always in the wrong and you, the God of climbing knowledge has to lead us to the promised land.

I think your mentality is starting to come to light for me. your insicure, you sit around all day and bitch in your scandonavian acscent, then start drama on "your" creation 8a, tell people their climbing system is fucked, tell them how "you" would fix it....then when the top guys say that there might be flaws in how it works you toot your horn and use quotes so grossly wrong and rant and rave again. then when anyone who isnt a proven "hardman" you delete what imput they have if it goes against "God Almighty Jens"...or in my case kick me off your site entirely.

Jens you are a weak minded, one-sided person and its obvious that you piss a lot of good people off. State climbing news, dont turn this into tabloids and drama. i feel if you dont you will lose what good thing 8a was, and turn a lot of people off from climbing.

2cents

OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-27 18:32:41    
sorry about the grammer, its probably in need of a fix like climbing grades.....on a serious note if jens kicks me off again then we all can agree he can dish if out, but never take it. criticism is that jagged pill that few like to swallow, but its medicine if absorbed usually helps.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-27 19:59:11    

We delete members who are not using real names.


And as I have never deleted a john doe, my point is proven. Why do you not have the courage to use your real name?

OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-01-27 20:32:10    

your point is not proven, your an idiot! how can i post my old name when you deleted my account? if you dont believe me then why did i have to make a new account?

my name is chad beckelhymer, thats my real name that takes no courage at all. but you were too much of a coward to keep my posts up, or let me stay on this site....what was my opinion too harsh for even you? bash the E grading and the Brits, talk shit about proposed 5.15c's cause sharma and dani said it couldnt be done, talk shit on guys like Fred R...and yet when people call you out you get mad! so mad you erase our coments and delete accounts.

you have never deleted a john doe, that is true, but you deleted me, why dont you dig up some posts from a few months ago when i told you the same thing on your rants and raves about gritstone and the E's, oh wait you cant, but the guy right after me said something like

"i dont think jens liked that, your prob going to get deleted" or something like that. and he was right


This account has been blocked as the member name is not real!

OffLine Maciek Badower
  2009-01-27 23:43:45    
There is some truth in saying that e grades are no grades at all, grading is information and they are hopless at that, also if it is imposible to understand a grading system then ultimately that grading system does not exist, grades are a language and if a language is not understandable by at least one person (100% of earths populace does not understand a language) then it is no language but just noise. Don't You think? What Mr MacLeod said is that gritstone is not the right tool to start learning egrades just like Tolstoy would not be a perfect first book for a kid.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-28 12:59:37    
If, two leading British trad climbers, say that it is impossible to use/understand the E-grades on gritstone we should learn from this.

8a is in the climbing news service and we can just confirm that most of the repeated British trad climbing in 2008, just confirms how impossible it is. In fact, most news have been devaluated. 8a do not want to give a disclaimer for British ascents saying, that statistics say it will be downgraded so do not take the reported E-10 for granted.

Outside, UK, in the rest of the world, there exist a easy understandable grading system for trad climbing.

OffLine David Schonberg Alm
  2009-01-28 18:52:45    


As has been
pointed out earlier in this thread, by no means does any of the above stated
top-end climbers claim anything of the sort. If one were to read the articles
(McLeods/Pearsons) as a whole and not just pick the parts that might be turned
to an advantage from ones point of view, then the message should be quite
clear. They are, as also have been pointed out, musing on the recent debate on
grading (though in the higher grades, as far as I can tell) and the use of
pads.



Now, just to clarify, I do not nor have I ever climbed in Britain, I know
nothing of the grading system, more than what I read about here and elsewere. I
do not climb hard, and probably never will. But thats all unimportant. I
personally like the idea of the E-grading system because of the involvement of
the "danger-aspect", however subjective that aspect might or might
not be. But thats me. I might also have missed some points, but that will have
to be for the moment.



What bothers me is that it is stated for a fact that two well-known climbers
are saying that the E-grade system is more or less useless, and
"impossible to use/understand", at least on grit. Being non-British
myself, I had no problem understanding the meaning of what was said, as it was
pretty straightforward. I fail to see where and in what way any of the two are
joning causes with 8a in that particular matter. Maybe they do, but it is not
stated in their articles. And in the long run, what is so important about
converting grades so that one will be able to compare it to other grading
systems? It seems to me that E-grading will never be comparable to other
systems, as it includes elements apart from the technical grade. Hence, it
simply stands out from the rest and why bother meddling with it? What
difference does it make that "Outside,
UK, in the rest of the world, there exist a easy understandable grading system
for trad climbing."? Is conformity desirable in every aspect of life?




Now, it seems as though the ultimate reason for all
this ranting is to give more cred to trad climbers, at least I think I read
something about it a ways back. Thats all well and good, but is this really the
way to do it? In the end it might be, I wouldn´t know, but I seriously doubt
that anyone will benefit from this discussion. As far as I´m concerned, a
change in the E-grade might be warranted, or it might not be, I don´t really
care because it won´t affect me in the least. I´m just concerned about what
"facts" are claimed, and how they, in fact, becaome "facts"...




Lastly (long reading now..), I´d like to say that I
personally like the possibilities this site offers, and I don´t hold any
grudges against anyone maintaining it. However, I believe that the
"journalistic values" of this site should really undergo scrutiny as
they sometimes are non-existent. Of course, most people reading the articles
and debates posted here are intelligent and can choose for themselves what is
probable and not. The sign of warning is when rumours (more or less) become
facts and word about this person who did this or that gets around.




To finish my own ranting I hope and think that in the
end, no one will care about the majority of what is written here, including this
post.




Live free.



OffLine dynomyth
  2009-01-28 23:22:11    
I 100% agree with David's 1st; 2nd; 3rd; 4th; 5th; 6th and 7th paragraphs.

A.
OffLine Luke Alvarez Luke Alvarez
  2009-01-29 23:06:59    
Jens

You got to climb trad in the UK for a couple of weeks before you continue with this.

1. Grit is not the most important trad rock type in the UK. There are lots of trad rock types, including amazing trad limestone and granite sea cliffs and endless moutain varieties and slate and so on, and they all matter a lot.
2. A lot of the mega E routes are on long 30 meter plus pitches, on granite, sandstone, etc, etc, so pads are irrelevant.
3. Injury or death is a real risk factor on a lot of these routes at all e grades and all levels of difficulty. Trad on a lot of these rock types is very different from highly protectable trad on perfect granite cracks in the alps, and the E grade communicates this very well.
4. I and most of my mates climb trad and sport, and use e grades and sport grades. we understand both perfectly, use them both routinely and appreciate how each performs a different function very well.
5. E grades communicate the psychological impact of riskier routes extremely well. going out for a day of pushing physical limits risk free on a sport trip feels completely different to psyching up for a scary trad route. a route with a high e grade and lower tech grade is a big scary psychological adventure. It's a different game.
6. Sport climbing is fantastic, but so is scary trad. Both are cool and complement each other well. Sport grades work great for sport, and e grades work really well for psychologically challenging trad head games. What's all the fuss about?? where is the love??!

OffLine Luke Alvarez Luke Alvarez
  2009-01-29 23:07:11    
Jens

You got to climb trad in the UK for a couple of weeks before you continue with this.

1. Grit is not the most important trad rock type in the UK. There are lots of trad rock types, including amazing trad limestone and granite sea cliffs and endless moutain varieties and slate and so on, and they all matter a lot.
2. A lot of the mega E routes are on long 30 meter plus pitches, on granite, sandstone, etc, etc, so pads are irrelevant.
3. Injury or death is a real risk factor on a lot of these routes at all e grades and all levels of difficulty. Trad on a lot of these rock types is very different from highly protectable trad on perfect granite cracks in the alps, and the E grade communicates this very well.
4. I and most of my mates climb trad and sport, and use e grades and sport grades. we understand both perfectly, use them both routinely and appreciate how each performs a different function very well.
5. E grades communicate the psychological impact of riskier routes extremely well. going out for a day of pushing physical limits risk free on a sport trip feels completely different to psyching up for a scary trad route. a route with a high e grade and lower tech grade is a big scary psychological adventure. It's a different game.
6. Sport climbing is fantastic, but so is scary trad. Both are cool and complement each other well. Sport grades work great for sport, and e grades work really well for psychologically challenging trad head games. What's all the fuss about?? where is the love??!

OffLine Luke Alvarez Luke Alvarez
  2009-01-29 23:07:32    
Jens

You got to climb trad in the UK for a couple of weeks before you continue with this.

1. Grit is not the most important trad rock type in the UK. There are lots of trad rock types, including amazing trad limestone and granite sea cliffs and endless moutain varieties and slate and so on, and they all matter a lot.
2. A lot of the mega E routes are on long 30 meter plus pitches, on granite, sandstone, etc, etc, so pads are irrelevant.
3. Injury or death is a real risk factor on a lot of these routes at all e grades and all levels of difficulty. Trad on a lot of these rock types is very different from highly protectable trad on perfect granite cracks in the alps, and the E grade communicates this very well.
4. I and most of my mates climb trad and sport, and use e grades and sport grades. we understand both perfectly, use them both routinely and appreciate how each performs a different function very well.
5. E grades communicate the psychological impact of riskier routes extremely well. going out for a day of pushing physical limits risk free on a sport trip feels completely different to psyching up for a scary trad route. a route with a high e grade and lower tech grade is a big scary psychological adventure. It's a different game.
6. Sport climbing is fantastic, but so is scary trad. Both are cool and complement each other well. Sport grades work great for sport, and e grades work really well for psychologically challenging trad head games. What's all the fuss about?? where is the love??!

OffLine Luke Alvarez Luke Alvarez
  2009-01-29 23:08:01    
Jens

You got to climb trad in the UK for a couple of weeks before you continue with this. you might find you like the e grade?!

1. Grit is not the most important trad rock type in the UK. There are lots of trad rock types, including amazing trad limestone and granite sea cliffs and endless moutain varieties and slate and so on, and they all matter a lot.
2. A lot of the mega E routes are on long 30 meter plus pitches, on granite, sandstone, etc, etc, so pads are irrelevant.
3. Injury or death is a real risk factor on a lot of these routes at all e grades and all levels of difficulty. Trad on a lot of these rock types is very different from highly protectable trad on perfect granite cracks in the alps, and the E grade communicates this very well.
4. I and most of my mates climb trad and sport, and use e grades and sport grades. we understand both perfectly, use them both routinely and appreciate how each performs a different function very well.
5. E grades communicate the psychological impact of riskier routes extremely well. going out for a day of pushing physical limits risk free on a sport trip feels completely different to psyching up for a scary trad route. a route with a high e grade and lower tech grade is a big scary psychological adventure. It's a different game.
6. Sport climbing is fantastic, but so is scary trad. Both are cool and complement each other well. Sport grades work great for sport, and e grades work really well for psychologically challenging trad head games. What's all the fuss about?? where is the love??!

OffLine grigri
  2009-01-30 09:25:15    

I cant believe this thread (which actually is eactly the same as the last thread on this subject) is still running. Now to my mind (am I imagining this?) it is patently clear that neither Dave McCleod nor James Pearson are saying that the E-grade is broken or needs to be changed. Just that its tricky to apply it in light of the variables of style people are using. Style is all important inTrad climbing and any ascent needs qualification of style to be described properly, and yes this style impacts the danger aspect of the grade, and may even affect the percieved difficulty grading. Is this so hard to understand????????


Jens Im amazed you are still hammering on about this point. Recently the most eminent climbers and critics in the UK all sat down and had an in depth debate about this exact topic, I do not see any flash of news issuing from the UK that their grades are all wrong and desperately need fixing. Why then do you assume this is the case? Do you really imagine that this tiny forum will convince the whole of the UK otherwise? And last, but by no means least, if you have never even set foot on UK rock why do you imagine that you are qualified to critise their grading system at all??

Seriously Jens I realise you are trying to bump traffic on the site by choosing controversial subjects for debate, but this one has past its sell by date! First go and fix your own grade conversion chart which still does not reflect all the worlds grades, nor does it even include the updated and much improved conversion suggestions for UK grades put forward by Rockfax. And how about fixing all the errors that have occurred from incorrect spelling of route names and incorrectly entered route grades due to a crap conversion chart while you are about it. Clean up your own house before criticising others!!!

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-01-30 11:02:28    
Please, the debate started with 8a saying that the UKclimbing conversion table is wrong. Later they changed it. The conversion table is an invention by them and it has been wrongly copied by hundreds of guidebooks, magazines and website throughout the world.

Dave says, "If you are looking to understand what E-grades mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start."

James says, "From where I am sitting it seems impossible to have a grading system that is based in part on danger, yet “allow” the use of a massive variable like pads."

As the climbing community "allows" pads, the conclusion of Pearson's statement is that it is impossible to use E-grades. No other understanding is possible!





OffLine grigri
  2009-01-30 12:03:56    

That is your understanding of it. To me it reads that James is pointing the finger at pads. From my recollection neither McCleod nor Pearson use pads (correct?).


Obviously the style of ascent is the critical factor. Perhaps routes should have two grades, one with pads and preplaced checked protection, and another for ground up placing all gear on lead no pads.


Think about it Jens, how hard does something feel if you are absolutely shitting yourself above marginal gear and scree? Its frigging hard mentally and physically. Now do the same problem in a safe style - much easier right?

Here is a practical suggestion: you already have two sides to this site; lead climbing and bouldering, why not have a third partition for trad climbing. There is very little relationship between trad and sport, they are two totally different branches of the same overall sport of climbing, just as sport and bouldering are different. Why not make the site reflect this? As for the ranking and equating grades is concerned, I dont know how you acheive that. Comparing bouldering grades with route grades is just as fruitless as comparing trad grades with sport. Seeing as how the ranking is based on unconfirmed grades in the upper spectrum, and there are so many different grades registered (inaccuracies) perhaps we shouldnt take it all so seriously.

Maybe we should have three rankings: Bouldering, Sport, Trad. And then an overall ranking (not to taken too seriously as cross-comparison is difficult).

OffLine Ben Iseman
  2009-01-30 17:54:47    
Jens you continue to parrot those cherry picked quotes to show that MacLeod and Pearson agree with you. Read the blogs again, then read them once more.

Dave's full quote suggests something different. He is simply stating that short bouldery routes do not lend themselves to E-grades very well.

"If you are looking for a truly soul searching lead, go somewhere that
lends itself to it. If you are looking to understand what E-grades
mean, Gritstone is pretty much the last place to start."

This is followed by a picture and a link to Sron Ulladale (Harris) and "Strone – the big stone – somewhere where E-grades will make more sense"

Pearson's full quote leads to the conclusion that pads will affect the grade of a boulder problem. He isn't saying death to the E-grade.

"From where I am sitting it seems impossible to have a grading system
that is based in part on danger, yet “allow” the use of a massive
variable like pads.  The protection mats can offer is in theory limitless and so the amount that they can affect the grade must be relative to this.  Mats
are not just new technology as friends, or sticky rubber once were -
you can only place as many friends as the rock allows, and the friction
won’t get better if you try to put on more than one pair of shoes.  Every other piece of protection is limited, mats are not. "

F*ck man, grow up.
OffLine Benjamin Dereeper
  2009-01-31 09:59:12    
"New records for January" ... yeah.

I think I'm for a part responsible for that :)

Multiple times a day a visit this thread, to see a person who is so narrow-mindedly busy in his own world to misuse other's quotes out of context to justify his own words.

Here in my place we call it a social handicap. There's treatments for this with psychologists. They learn you to listen to other people, see their arguments and try to relate them to rationality, not a selfish world.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-02 09:22:34    

I talked to James Pearson at the ISPO trade show. He is a really nice guy and regarding the E-grades he said. "It is about style, you can use pads or not but if you use pads you can not use the E-grade system."


"Who came up with the definition that it (The E-grades) should be based on onsight? I mean, I do not relate to that when I am suggesting E-grades for something I have been working on."


 

OffLine vladimir arnaoudov
  2009-02-02 14:01:01    
my 2 cents (or rather tuppence:))
1. the majority of trad climbing in the UK is not on grit - this is a fact;
2. the majority of strong Brittish trad climbers are not members of 8a.nu (another fact) because they probably share the view that grades are not that important (personnal opinion) - which means that this forum somewhat lacks legitimacy;
3. E grades on grit are a bit of an oddity - not because of the E grades but because of the grit, for the simple reason that it is often too short and easily protectable with crash pads (my understanding of JP's and DML's opinions and also my personnal experience). E.g. I can think of at least 2 popular E5s in the peak (on grit) that would be given highball font 6A or max 6B with a couple of pads. Most short single pitch trad routes seem difficult to grade with any existing trad grading system.
4. The UK may one day adopt the euro and even become a republic, but it will never give up the E grades:)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-02 16:19:44    

I have said that the trad climbing scene is dominated by Gritstone and i guess you all know that this is correct. I am not talking in a geologistic perspective saying that there are more gritstone compared to limestone. i am talking about the tradscene where most of the climbing happends.


And if you check UKclimbing, you can see that most of their reports are based on grit and if james says we can not use E-grades where people use mats and Dave says it is impossible to understand E-grades on grit.


I guess this is good evidence that we have to assist the top climbers to find a new grade system as these are the guys suffering when they have to suggest a E9 on grit etc.

OffLine Graeme Alderson
  2009-02-02 19:52:39    
You are priceless Jens.

We have a lovely saying here "Engage brain before opening mouth", maybe you should take note.
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2009-02-02 23:29:28    

"I
have said that the trad climbing scene is dominated by Gritstone and i
guess you all know that this is correct. I am not talking in a
geologistic perspective saying that there are more gritstone compared
to limestone. i am talking about the tradscene where most of the
climbing happends.
And if you check UKclimbing, you can see
that most of their reports are based on grit and if james says we can
not use E-grades where people use mats and Dave says it is impossible
to understand E-grades on grit.
I guess this is good evidence
that we have to assist the top climbers to find a new grade system as
these are the guys suffering when they have to suggest a E9 on grit etc. "


Jens, you seriously need to take a freshman philosophy or logic course, get an idea for what constructing a good argument is, because as it is right now you are making yourself look like a fool with your horrendous logic and reasoning, your butchering of quotes to use them to your advantage instead of use them as they are in context, not to mention your incredible lack of oversight to some very important details pertaining to your position.
For one, Jens, you are not British! As far as I know, I can't say if you have ever climbed in their land at all, but regardless, you are an outsider, you are no expert, and you have no where near the experience to assert that a grading system is broken, or that one type of climbing dominates the scene (ie: saying that grit dominates trad). It is like a high school drop out trying to tell an evolutionary biologist that Darwin was wrong, the kid just has no authority to make his argument, because he doesn't have the experience or background to make such outlandish claims. Same goes for you, you are looking from the outside-in and drawing conclusions without even the minimal amount of true experience with the subject you are trying to debate. You are an outsider Jens, get experienced or cease your rants, you don't have any legitimate foundation for your arguments, and without a solid foundation the whole of your theory is shakey, distrustworthy, and ready to topple at any minute.
Secondly, you can't seriously be asserting that just because the most common news on UK climbing is about Grit that it must obviously be an indication that British trad climbing is all about Grit, are you seriously doing that? Now that is one of the greatest fallacies I've seen in a while. Did you even think about what you were implying when you wrote that, or did it just sound good? So what you are saying is that what gets reported in the news is the absolute definitive last answer on what the climbing world is all about. If that's the case, then we are all 5.14 and V14 climbers, because that is what you see in the news, and obviously what you see in the news is the status quo of what is what in the world of climbing. There are no grades less than 5.12 and 5.12's only exist as multi-pitch routes of atleast a Grade VI. Oh, and also there's only approxiametly 50 climbers the rest of us are delusional madmen, because obviously what is reported in climbing media is what is what in climbing, so those of us who are not in the news, well, we aren't actually climbers. Jeez man, you really didn't think about the implications here, and I just found out I climb 5.14, must do it in my sleep or something. Climbing media is not representative of what any scene is about, you can't take a cursory look at what is in the news and think that it indicates what the majority of climbers care about. Climbing media only reports the absolute upper echelon of activity, it is not a fair and balanced overview of the climbing culture. Climbing sport 5.14a is still a grand accomplishment, but when is the last time you saw a news article about it? You don't, unless it is scary and run out or is 20 pitches long or both. What the upper echelon of climbers are doing or care about is not representative of what the majority of climbers are doing or caring about. So it makes absolutely no logical sense to assert that just because there have been a string of hard grit ascents lately that the Brit trad scene is all about Grit. The ONLY thing that you can assert is that at the moment many of the top Brit trad climbers have turned their eyes to gritstone. From that you absolutely can not conclude that the majority of British trad climbers care about grit or use it as the standard measure of their culture. I can just as logically make a counter assertion. Here is my argument which has just as much proof as yours does: The top Brit traddies are climbing on the gritstone because the rest of the UK has decided that they hate gritstone and so they are clogging up all the other trad crags and in defense the top climbers have gone back to climbing on grit. I have as much of a right to conclude that based on the current news as you do to make your conclusion, but both are incredibly silly, ill-informed, and have no basis in FACT, they are simply speculation.
Finally Jens, to reiterate, you are an outsider, and here is a fact: the UK continues to use the E-grade system. Yes, there has been some mild discussion about some things that are problematic in its nature, but by far the majority of people don't give a damn about this argument, they continue to look at routes as E5 5b or E8 7a and nothing more or less. There is no grand revolution taking place, no revolt against the grades of old. This is the important thing to note Jens, because, again, you are an outsider, and if change is going to take place, it needs to arise from within the culture that it belongs to, it is their culture, their heritage, and it is their traditions to do with as they please. So stop your meddling, if you haven't noticed yet, the majority of people don't agree with you, and to try and force change where change is not wanted or needed, well that's very reminescent of imperialism. Leave the British climbing culture to change on its own, it is not your culture, and you do not understand it, nor could you with the lack of experience that you have.

OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-02-03 01:49:46    
nicely written kyle.
OffLine Rus
  2009-02-03 08:33:51    
Jens, your biggest problem is that the E grading system can not be litteraly translated into the Franch or other grading systems and this is driving you mad. And just because you can not make the translation you draw the deeply wrong conclusion that the E grading system is wrong, illogical, etc. Well, you are wrong. Your thoughts look very much like the religion fanatics - if they do not undestand something they deny it and try to destroy it. You would have been an exelent inquisitor back in the dark ages.
Here is a good example - the Eskimos have more than 50 (or was it more than 80) words for snow. When they use any of it a tranlator would tranlate it just as "snow" and nothing else, although every single word of these has it's meaning and makes perfectly sence for every eskimo. What you are trying to proove to us is that all the eskimo words for snow are wrong and illogical because they do not make sence for you! Do you see how wrong you are now? The E grading system is the local language of the Brits. It can not be 100% literaly translated and why should it? If it makes perfect sence for the Brits then why not let it be an serve in favour of the british climbers - they seam to be happy with it! If THEY don't like it, why not leave for THEM to change it! Stop witch hunting, Jens!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 10:08:58    
@ Kyle: I was talking to James pearson this sunday and he told me that you can not use the E-grading system if you use crash pads.

@ Ruslan: It was the Britsi climber who invented the E-grading conversion table. 8a have just copied the table like rest of the world.


8a has pointed out that the conversion table in UKclimbing was wrong and they have changed it.


If the trad climbing scene i not dominated by gritstone, which other rock type dominates the scene?

OffLine Steinar Dahl
  2009-02-03 10:39:37    
Jens, the UK is not like Sweden where one type of rock (granite) is dominating. In the UK there is a variety
of rock types available to climbers like: gritstone, limestone, granite, sandstone, slate, etc ...
OffLine Rus
  2009-02-03 12:17:22    
Jens, in the beginning of your crusade you insisted that the E grading system is illogical and does not make sence and does not work. Now you are saying that the conversion table is wrong. Does it mean that you have changed your mind and understood that the E system is OK as long as it is left by itself and not tried to be converted? May be it is not properly convereted and it will never be, but it is working and makes perfect sence, may be not to you, but to the people who have invented and usinig it.

You can't save the world when it doesn't need to be saved.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 13:15:28    

@ Ruslan: If you check you will see that it all started with me saying the conversion table was wrong and that E-grades does not work at the high end.


@ Steinar: Check the definition of the word "dominated". It just mean, in this case, that gritstone is the most important, compared to limestone, sandstone, granite etc.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-03 13:44:31    
> If you check you will see that it all started with me saying the conversion table was wrong and that E-grades does not work at the high end.

Not so Jens I'm afraid.

It started to rumble when Dave MacCleod gave Rhapsody E11 - a new E grade and it's been rumbling ever since. It gained momentum with Sonnie Trotter's visit, and really picked up speed with the repeats of James Pearson's routes and his Walk of Life proposed grade of E12. Add into this mix the ground up revolution in the USA and in the UK.

As always, the grade debate comes from the climbers operating at ground zero.

Truth be known: it's a perennial topic in the UK

As regards grade tables, the E-grade and French grades, you will never get a true alignment. Many have tried, all our doomed to failure. At best, look at those charts as a rough estimation - just like route grades really.

You will just have to live with that I'm afraid.

Best regards,

Mick

Mick Ryan (based in Ambleside, Cumbria, UK)
mobile: 07809 626818
Advertising Manager
UKClimbing.com...THE BEST CLIMBING CONTENT IN THE UK:

UKClimbing.com Limited
Head Office: 91 Western Road, Sheffield, S10 1LB
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Email: advertising@ukclimbing.com
Vat No: GB 789550080 Company No: 4158450


OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 14:13:21    

@ Michael: I know very well that the E-grades have been debated for years also before the E11 suggested by Dave.


However, if someone is talking about what I was saying in the beginning it is logical that I answer on that question.

It was the British climbers and UKclimbing who invented the E-grade conversion table. It has been copied to magazines and topos around the world. 8a.nu pointed out that the conversion was wrong and then UKclimbing changed it.

OffLine Rus
  2009-02-03 14:42:06    
@ Jens

"...it all started with me saying the conversion table was wrong and that E-grades does not work at the high end."

Well, Jens, the revision of the conversion table started when you rose the topic, and i give you the credit for that, bravo.

But the truth is that it all stared when you said that the E grading system is "stupid", "dangerous", "illogical" "impossibel", etc. You were raving about the system itself not about the table! And then all hell broke loose and you found yourself criticized by tons of people here and on other websites. And now you are trying to dodge it...
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 15:14:40    

@ Ruslan: I have only been talking about the high end E-grades!

Since than, we all know that most of the high-end E-grades news on UK-climbing have been related to massive downgrades etc. In fact, these news show in fact that the E-grade system does not work.

OffLine Rus
  2009-02-03 15:42:47    
"the E-grade system does not work" - then how come you are the only one out of thousands to get to this breakthrough discovery? Or may be you think yourself as Newton or Kopernik? well, think again. And don't tell me that Pearson and MacLeod "confirm the 8a opinion" because this is total bullshit. In fact don't bother to answer me, you are like a broken LP repeating itself on and on - a debate with you is impossible.

You are the most stubborn person I know. And I quit trying to make you understand how deeply wrong you are, it is beyond my powers. I hope you will read again my examples of the Eskimos and their 80+ words for snow, and I hope this time it will ring a bell. But I guess it won't...

To all:
Guys, let Jens write his ridiciculous statements and don't bother to argue. It is like hitting a brick wall with your head - you can never win. We have a saying "The dogs are barking but the caravan goes on".
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 15:55:36    

James Pearson and Dave MacLeod are two other persons that have problems with the high-end E-gradings.


Please do not discuss Eskimos, instead try to give examples that show that E-grades work nicely on the high-end. Nobody has been able to do so. Instead, they, like you, only say I am wrong.


If I should change my opinion, I need somebody that could give examples that the E-grades work fine at the high-end.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-03 15:57:13    
Hi Jens,

British climbers were very grateful for your feedback on the UKClimbing.com grade table (actually from Rockfax).

You are one of many hundreds of climbers to give feedback and we shall continue to update it.

However, out of the many grade tables throughout the world that try to align E-grades to French grades/UIAA/YDS it is only a rough estimate, an honest one at that.

Unfortunately for you, because we all know you like things black and white, it will never align perfectly and there will always be anomalies.

Trad routes, and bold trad routes at that are as much about the whole experience rather than just about technical difficulty, and that is hard to quantify. They won't fit into your r(w)ankings.

Perhaps the greater debate is the whether the E-grade is for an onsight attempt or not, especially at the top end where routes are practised and given a 'hypothetical' E-grade.

The jury is still out on that. We shall report back of course when the UK climbers have resolved that one.

Anyways - enough of grade debates, you seem to be consumed by them for some reason.

Would it not be better to spend your time improving 8a.nu?

There is much work to do on your site.

It is slow to load. You need a unique NEWS page with professional reports.

Your advertising system needs radically improving if you are to increase revenue and hence improve your site.

You need more quality articles, a gear review team, a classified system, better and more destination articles etc etc...

Give me a call if you need some professional consultation: I'll give you an hour free.

Lots of work to do Jens. Get busy, dude!

Best regards,

Mick

Mick Ryan (based in Ambleside, Cumbria, UK)
mobile: 07809 626818
Advertising Manager
UKClimbing.com...THE BEST CLIMBING CONTENT IN THE UK:

UKClimbing.com Limited
Head Office: 91 Western Road, Sheffield, S10 1LB
Tel and Fax: +44 (0)114 2662362
Email: advertising@ukclimbing.com
Vat No: GB 789550080 Company No: 4158450

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 16:41:10    
I commented on your previous conversion table, that has been copied throughout the world, that it suggested that the British climbers climbed 9b or more on trad in 2008.

I am not interested and I do not think it is possible to make a conversion.

Instead, I think that high-end British climbing should be reported with a French grade just like Jordan Buys did last week.

We are not interested to radically improve the revenue. The 8a teams run 8a because we think it is fun...not firstly to make money of it.
OffLine jadajada
  2009-02-03 16:42:16    
Jens, aren't all the grading systems just tools for the community to describe and agree on the difficulty of a climb? I mean, just because there have been many downgradings on the hard grit routes is not an indication that the grading system is wrong. It's just a wrong grade given to the route, which the repeaters will correct.

Pringle suggested 9a for Realization. Is the French system wrong, or is it just a normal adjustment withing the system? Similarly many of Andrada's grades have been checked, adjusted and agreed upon. Or what about the grade of Action Directe? The UIAA system is obviously wrong because there has been discussion about the conversion. These statements are stupid and based on very little information, just like your E-grade statements.

It is probably true, that it is hard to put an E-grade on a short bouldery grit route. Grading on the top end seems very difficult sport and boulder as well! And what about slab climbs? They are often very difficult to give an accurate sport grade. Even if a slab is on your limit, you might not be pumped at all in the end.. So the French system is flawed? We shouldn't use it on slabs?

Have you ever seen a child learn something for the first time? Like when a child discovers what's a police car, it gets so overly excited about it thinks every other car is a police car. A bit like Jens. First it was all about time comparison grading, now it's all about bashing the E-grading system... I just wonder what is next. It's been a while without any serious bouldering downgrades/debates about it, and we've seen at least two ascents of an 8C boulder...

Edit: Also, there are many good things in this site, for example it is very good source of news. That's why so many of us visit it repeatedly. It's just that it started as a fun page for logging things on scorecard etc. At some point, if you wish the trend to continue, it really means that you have to increase the level of journalism on the site. This might also include that when you make a statement, you make a clear and consistent one. You can use Kyle Kirks post as an example. I think if you wrote your criticism and comments in a more article/essay like form, it would avoid a lot of confusion and useless arguing. Now for many people it is not clear what you are saying, and frankly, it might not even be clear to yourself. If you did a bit more background research and analytical thinking to form a clear argument, then I'm sure it would be easier for other people to understand it, and it might be more readily accepted. But it is up to you, at least in this current system there is a lot of discussion, the level of which is occasionally debatable. Keep up the good work and keep on improving!
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-03 17:05:39    
> The 8a teams run 8a because we think it is fun...not firstly to make money of it.

Yes same at UKClimbing.com, Jens.

But we have far more fun than you.

Carry on with grade debate Jens, it's fun going round in circles.

Cheers,

Mick
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 17:08:44    

@ xmuli: Thanks. I started the website and lately, because it is growing so fast, I have had to change the way how to report news.

What was wrong with this news.

Regarding E-grades and downgrades compared to French grades. The big difference is that maybe 20 % of the high-end routes are subject of being downgraded but maybe 50 - 75 % of the high-end E-grades.

If you have a E-system where a majority of the reported ascents come with new grades something is clearly wrong.

OffLine jadajada
  2009-02-03 17:27:17    
There are a few things that I could suggest you think over/change. First, was it ever reported like that?

Then, usually a journalist reporting a news must have a story and some evidence to back up that story. A claim made like that is not very newsworthy, since we don't know what you base it on, and whether it is true at all.

So if you were to report that news, the major issue wrong with it are the two MAYBEs. So first you should actually do a bit of research, take a few climbing news sources (8a.nu, ukclimbing and climbing magazine for example), and actually check how many news with debatable grades there have been on the French scale in the last 6 months for example, then how many debatable grades there have been on the E-scale. Compare that with the amount of news with solid, non-debatable grades of the respective scales. Of course, if you want, you can focus only on first ascents, or flashes or redpoints, or ascents in the UK, whatever you want. Then when you actually have something to back up your claim, you can get rid of the MAYBEs and publish a story with accurate numbers, you can explain (briefly) how you got those numbers. Then on those findings you can base your claim about some discrepancies in a system. Sounds like a lot of work, no? But it's also a lot of work to go in circles in the forum.

I believe there are many, very serious and polemic, claims that you can actually base on the statistics you have in your database. But until you actually use those statistics consistently and explicitly, your claims (with 25% margin of error!!) are no better than anyone elses. It would be interesting to hear actually how many of the 8A and over boulders in Switzerland have been downgraded. And I mean actual numbers, not just estimates based on the news.

These were just suggestions, by no means any absolute truth. I'm not even a journalist, but I do value the quality in the news.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 18:17:16    

You have to separate 8a news form what I am writing here as personal comments.


You are writing interesting questions that could be published as 8a news. However, I know that even through research we can not come up with exact figures. News like that will mostly involve words like "maybe".

OffLine grigri
  2009-02-03 18:37:17    
Blow me! I cant believe this is still dragging on! How do you 'know' that research will not produce accurate figures if you never bother to do any???
Images of a tyrannical bald garden gnome with imperialistic tendencies spring to mind. Only this gnome cant be bothered to cover his own ass (ie do some f-ing research) so he is in fact the 'Emperor' with no clothes.

Why must we seperate your comments from the news when you dont bother to seperate your imaginative rantings from the main page? Get a blog page, then we can all ignore it easily! Also while you are about it get a real site with a proper forum. I joined this site because I thought logging routes online was a cool idea, maybe I should just go do that on UKclimbing.com (a real site!)? Seriously Jens, you obviously dont listen to one single word anyone writes here, there is no hint of any movement in your point of view despite the fact that some very influential people are pointing in exactly the opposite direction. Everyone! I appeal to you never to pay any attention to these ridiculous speculations again, its obviously a total waste of everyones time arguing against the terminally ignorant. TURZ TURZ wheres your petition bro?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 19:31:48    

@ Grigri: Nobody has been able to come up with any examples how and why the E-grades work fine at the high-end.

Most are instead just saying that I am wrong.

I must in fact say, the more I have learnt, including discussing with James Pearson, the more I have learnt that E-grades, in general, do not work at the high-end.

As you can see at UKclimbing, more and more E-grades are supported with either french or boulder grades, not counting all the downgrades. I guess this is a proof that I was right from the beginning.


To read 100 anonymous comments at UKclimbing, it is just boring

OffLine grigri
  2009-02-03 20:19:33    
No grades 'work fine' at the top end. Not even Chris Sharma is sure how to grade his new climbs. All grades at best are an educated guess as to how to describe the difficulties on a numerical scale, as if numbers could ever adequately describe the nuances of individual routes.
Im sorry if I sound abusive or agressive but this really gets my goat! Please refrain from using the front page of this site as your personal blog, I cant think of one single other site where this is done. The ranking is a joke, based as it is on ubsustantiated and unconfirmed grading suggestions. Please delete my account, this site is putting me off the sport Ive been with for over twenty years. Cheers!
OffLine jadajada
  2009-02-03 20:22:57    
"What was wrong with this news.

Regarding E-grades and downgrades compared to French grades. The big difference is that maybe 20 % of the high-end routes are subject of being downgraded but maybe 50 - 75 % of the high-end E-grades.

If you have a E-system where a majority of the reported ascents come with new grades something is clearly wrong."

Jens, where is the news and where is your opinion?? This to me is all your opinion, based on some random speculation. Except that you call it news. You haven't proven yourelf to be right either.

I'm not quite sure if the quality of the comments really goes up with having a name in the end..
OffLine jay
  2009-02-03 21:17:15    
"You have to separate 8a news form what I am writing here as personal comments." (Jens, 2009-02-03 18:17:16)

"8a does not think E-grades should be used on the high-end grades." (Jens, 2009-01-25 10:31:52)

You always speak on behalf of 8a, and you comments are not personal. As quoted above, your comments rarely do not include some kind of communal view or ideology pertaining to all who are considered the core 8a team. Unless they lack the ability to type, i presume they agree with what you're saying.

With regard to Dave's comments: they make perfect sense. The established grades in England, France and the rest of the world are based on certain convention for that particular route. If that particular route is graded on the bass that you only use one leg and 4 fingers, than an experience to which the grade relates is not had when you use two legs and 10 fingers for your ascent.
And it works for pads as well; if the grade of certain climb is in part based on the fear you experience, then using pads and removing some of the fear will affect that experience and the grade that relates to your experience.

Personally, i think that system is far better for the type of routes that are often climbed in England.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-03 22:16:27    

@ xmuli: "You have to separate 8a news form what I am writing here as personal comments."

I guess I am allowed to wrote personal opinions here.


8a has officially, from the beginning stated that E-grades does not work on the high-end, since E-grades measures onsight and nobody onsights E9 and above.

OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2009-02-04 05:13:23    
"8a
has officially, from the beginning stated that E-grades does not work
on the high-end, since E-grades measures onsight and nobody onsights E9
and above."

Jens, you keep challenging people to give you evidence that E-grades work on the high-end, but you yourself do not provide any proof that they don't. You used for a short period the examples of James Pearson's routes being downgraded, but that is not significant proof, for many reasons. For one, let's talk statistics, if you took the small sample that you have (a handful of routes at most) and compared it to the entire population of high-end trad routes graded with E-grades, your sample would simply be considered outliers. They do not reflect the norm. Yes there have been some downgrades, I will not disagree with you on that, but proportionally that is not representative of the population at hand. From a statistical analysis viewpoint, your claims are not statistically significant, and if I had the time, I would sit down and prove that claim.
Secondly another problem with your sample that you use as your proof is that a vast majority of those routes belong to a single climber. As I have said before, I mean no disrespect towards Mr. Pearson, but he has had enough of his route downgraded now that it is not valid to use him as an example in your claim here. There is too much controversy over it for it to be viable proof. If you used a test that only has a 50% reliability rating, meaning that it only gave an accurate answer half the time, then it is hard to draw a reliable conclusion from whatever result you get from that test. Say you took an IQ test that only gave the true measure of a person's IQ half the time, would you use that as proof that all IQ tests are broken and don't work? No, you realize that it is an unreliable measure and toss it out of your sample and find more reliable measures for your data. So with James Pearson, like I said, for whatever reason, his suggestions have not held up to the test of reliability (consensus agreement through repetition), so he is not legitimate proof that the E-system does not work. Once again to clarify, I have no agenda against James Pearson, and I do believe he gave his honest opinion when grading the routes, but for whatever reason (mental differences, physiological differences, etc. etc) his grades have not stood to the test of time.
In fact I think that James Pearson's downgraded routes do suggest the the E-system does work. With The Promise, all the repeaters who suggested a downgrade all suggested a downgrade to about the same grade, and there is now a consensus grade for The Promise, so I don't see how that downgrade is proof that the system is broken when all the repeaters all agreed to the same grade for the route? That shows that the system does make sense, they all felt it was the same grade, James was the only one to feel differently, but the reliability of the E-grade system to judge a route's nature was confirmed I think.
Also Jens, regarding all I've said about James here, will you stop saying now that "I talked to James Pearson" "I talked to James Pearson" as I've said already, at this point in his climbing career, he's not a reliable source of information on the subject. Yeah, he says that mats make a huge difference, but that doesn't explain the huge downgrade on The Walk of Life, a route too long to be concerned with the effects of mats, so please, get some legitimate sources. I believe James speaks from his heart about climbing, but regardless, as far as being proof for a structured argument, he is not a valid, reliable source to call upon.
Finally Jens, you make silly claims that have no real implications in your arguments. Yes, it is true that E-grades, as with many other grade systems in the world, did start as giving a grade to a route to show how hard it would be to onsight it. But that has long changed, people don't grade that way anymore, and your statement that people do not onsight E9 is silly and means nothing to this argument, so stop throwing out random things to congest the argument.
Learn to construct a clear argument Jens, lay out your beliefs clearly in a single place so that I don't have to jump around from several conversations to show you that you are talking in circles, all the while making fuss over something that you do not have any real legitimate proof against, and instead merely have a lack of understanding of.
And finally Jens, learn to respond to legitimate counter claims. I laid out a very good argument against you earlier and you addressed none of those things. If you can provide a real solid refuttal of what I claim against you, it makes your argument more legitimate, however when you avoid significant counter claims, it makes your argument seem weak and lacking in evidence and logic.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-04 13:16:31    

@ Kyle:"Jens, you keep challenging people to give you evidence that E-grades work on the high-end, but you yourself do not provide any proof that they don't." This is what I have been saying for a long time!
1. It is impossible to give an onsight grade on something you have projected for a long time.
2. The E-grade is changed by the number of crash pads you put on shorter routes.
3. Both Dave and James, have problems suggesting E-grades.
4. In 2008, some 50 - 75 % of the high-end news were related to downgradings.
5. The E-grades is based on opinions like, "it will probably pop and then you will die". However, if it turns out the piece held, the E-grades go down until someone dies.

It is in the definition of E-grades that it is based on onsight climbing. It is logic that it started that way, and I like it for the easy routes. But then you have to change the definition to something like, "E-grades are based on an onsight attempt, but if you climb E9 or harder, we have changed it to redpoint grading".

I can give good arguments for E-grades when it comes to easy routes but nobody have been able to come up with good arguments how and why E-grades work fine at the high-end. You just complain...

OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-02-04 13:35:45    

1. why is it impossible to give an onsight grade for something that you have projected????

2. Yes the e-grade is changed by placing lots of mats, once again im not sure what your point is. On small routes on grit this obviously can have an effect on the grade, but on bigger routes, many of dave mac's and birketts, matts will make absolutely no difference!! The problem with grit and grades is that many routes can be highballed above mats, this by itself though does not show that the system does not work it just shows its a bit contrived on small almost highball routes, hence why many of the smaller grit routes are also given font grades!!


3. I dont think james has problems suggesting e grades, just he seems to percieve danger different from many of the other top climbers and has a much purer ethic on many of his routes, especially with regards to not using mats. Dave mac has not chosen to grade his latest creations as to be honest I dont think he needs to, everyone who follows trad climbing knows how hard they are, he doesnt want to stick his head out and suggest a big grade that will be shot down by many different climbers and people like you.


4. bollocks, stop making figures up! but does mr ondra not downgrade many the routes he does??? if your arguing downgrades mean the system doesnt work then surely there are arguments for sport grades not working. But no im being silly just like your argument, grades are based on common consensus after repeats!!!

5. the e grade is on percieved danger, different people will percieve routes and the danger differently hence when routes are repeated a concensus is made the grade becomes clearer. Just like many boulder problems and sport routes that end up getting downgrades after repeats!


 


what is to say that in the future people will not up the onsighting grade??? so then what, when they see a route that they want to onsight be it an e9/e10 but it only gives a grade for working it, then what? the system has to be re thought all again.

All your so called arguments for the system not working are nothing more than small pieces of info that you believe backs up your points when in fact if you dig a little deeper they really dont.

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-04 14:13:58    

To give an onsight grade of an E12 is just stupid.


An onsight grad = E-grading should reflect how difficult it is to onsight a route. This means how difficult it is to;

1. Finding the best or a good enough sequence, climbing the whole route on your first try.
2. Finding the best or good enough protection, climbing the whole route on  your first try.


But for E10 and above it is just stupid to speculate on an onsight grade as everyone is climbing that difficulty in a redpoint style.


This means that Dave and James, after having redpointed their projects after weeks, they have to sit down and theoratically speculate above an onsight grade. They have to think and grade the difficulty to find the sequence and protection, based on a person from Starwars.


I mean, let us say that the only available protection is a totally blind cam 00, placed 4 meters to the right of the route and a wallnut 1 placed 4 meters to the left of the route. The best way is of course to climb it with two ropes and two belayers and then you should place pads in a specific way to avoid a major accident.

Clearly, the so called E-onsight grading is not done this way. It is based on redpoint grading. Ok, if it is like this = It is just to change the definition.

However, 98 % of all E-grades are based on onsight grading and the rest of it is mainly based on redpoint grading.

My personal ide to solve the problem is to keep the E-onsight grading as it has always been and stop giving E-onsight grades on E10 and instead give it a redpoint grade like 8a R.

OffLine Simon Hills
  2009-02-04 15:13:32    
you really do have very little understanding of the e grade system. im out. Bored of your ranting now.
OffLine
  2009-02-04 16:15:47    


Jens -I am a professional climber and only because of that I don´t
want to use my real name here.No reason to delete my messages again and again....
You
are such a square and you have no respect.This is so sick.Imagine in
20 years someone is looking at this discussion.I never meet someone
as narrow-minded as you.Why do you think so many people are pissed
off, because of
you?
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ban-jens-from-8a

By
the way:This was the most childish comment ever and a lame excuse to
delete messages."To read 100 anonymous comments
at UKclimbing, it is just boring."





OffLine simpson
  2009-02-04 18:13:43    
Jens, let's try to cut a long story short.

In order not to get too complicated there remain two (b/w) possibilities:

1) You're WRONG. Many good arguments against your claim were brought up but - as stubborn as you are - you are ignoring them as you do in almost all other discussions. Try to face that you're are wrong and stop your little crusade.

2) You're RIGHT. Even if so, the british climbers would NEVER EVER change their grading because you told them so. If there's a change necessary it has to be brought up by the community who actually climb these routes. Even if you made some local start thinking he'll never admit that it was initiated by your arguments - just because of the fact that you are "THE JENS" ;-).

You see, in either case you can't "win". Do us a favour and stop it...
OffLine Kyle Kirk
  2009-02-04 23:13:12    
1. It is impossible to give an onsight grade on something you have projected for a long time.

Jens, do you think that all the "easy routes" were all just established
in a single day, onsight, by some prodigal climber? Were they just
created out of no where, like the Earth in the Bible, just magically
appearred, already with E-grades that fit perfectly? No, at one point,
those routes were the high-end, those were the projects, those were the
"next big thing". Those easy routes used to be the testpieces for a
hard grit climber at one point in history, and many were headpointed in
the same style as many of the newly established testpieces were. So
apparently the Brits do believe that you can give an onsight grade to a
route you didn't onsight, apparently the system works because it has
been sticking around for decades now. It would be one thing to make
that claim if all "easy" routes that came before had been onsighted,
but they hadn't, most  progressive routes (which almost all grades are
progressive at some point in time) were established with practice, but
the onsight grade was still given.


2. The E-grade is changed by the number of crash pads you put on shorter routes.
I
don't know why this is any proof at all, based on what the E-grade
system is supposed to be measuring, that should be exactly true. The
E-grade measures technical difficulty, and then the overall assessment
of the route, which includes DANGER, danger is a factor influencing the
grade up or down. So that being said, atleast to me, and I don't know
why this doesn't make sense to you, if you change the danger of the
route, you change the assessment of the route, which means you do
change the grade of the route. In most of the downgrades the technical
grade has remained the same or near the same (maybe just down one notch
which is not a serious downgrade) the only change to the grade of the
route has been to the E, which was changed to reflect the real nature
of the danger of the route, which is what the system is supposed to do.
At one of my local crags there is a route called Backflip, because the
way the rope and route travels when on lead the rope has a tendency to
get behind the leg of climbers and doing a backflip off this route is a
common occurence. If this route was graded with the E-system, I would
absolutely expect the grade of the route to change is someone rebolted
the route to  redirect the rope in a non-dangerous way, or if someone
tacked a bunch of pillows to the spot where people usually hit, either
one of these occurences would warrant a change in the E-grade, because
the danger has changed. The same goes for grit (or even longer routes,
where maybe the first piece of gear is high up and the crux is low)
when pads are used. If you use a pad, you potentially change the
danger, which means you potentially change the E-grade, because the
E-grade includes danger, so the fact that there is such discrepancy on
gritstone is proof that the E-system works, because you are having to
work with conflicting variables which influence the grade in different
ways.

Once again, I also bring up the fact that with most of the downgrades,
the repeaters have reached a consensus as to what the route really is.
If the E-grade system was broken it would be impossible to reach a
consensus because everyone would be suggesting wildly different things,
but no, they all seperately suggested the same grade for those routes,
which suggests that their system does make sense to them, and that the
first ascentist was off, repeat ascentists all felt with a majority of
the downgraded routes that they were a specific grade, which I don't
see how that is possible if the system is broken and makes no sense at
the high-end.



3. Both Dave and James, have problems suggesting E-grades.

Well James apparently does have a problem with them, we've covered
this, and like I said before, using him as a viable source for your
argument is not legit. About Dave Mcleod though, besides on grit where
as we have discussed there are many confonding variables, where else
has he suggested that he has problems with E-grades (I'll admit I don't
keep up with his blog, many blogs for that matter, as much as I'd like,
school and work keep me far far too busy)? The only thing that I have
read from him is that he thinks that trying to understand the E-system
starting from grit is a bad starting place and you are bound to confuse
yourself if that is your only reference, that is all his blog entry
said, and everyone but you agrees that that is exactly what he is
saying, so you are either too stubborn to see through your own
preconceived opinions, or your english is not good enough to properly
get his point, because he has in no way suggested that the E-system
doesn't work. Please stop using those two blog entries, neither are
proof that the E-system doesn't work or that either climber has a
problem with the E-system as a whole.
4. In 2008, some 50 - 75 % of the high-end news were related to downgradings.

PROVE IT or stop spitting out random percentages

Until you have proof you are not a reliable source for such
information, why? Because you are biased towards seeing downgraded
news, and so you notice it more and it is more cognitively relevent in
your mind, so yes, I know you read lots of climbing news, but that
doesn't mean you have an accurate potrayal of it in your mind because
you do have your personal biases and could easily be overestimating the
amount of downgrades that occurred because you are personally
interested in the subject.

Like I said, back that up with some real math then we'll give that some legitimacy.
5.
The E-grades is based on opinions like, "it will probably pop and then
you will die". However, if it turns out the piece held, the E-grades go
down until someone dies.

Well Jens, how else are we supposed to do this? Yeah, it is true, the
danger rating is speculation (not always true, sometimes people have
found out the hard way prior to the first ascent and giving of the
grade) and until climbing protection is equipped advanced computer
technologies that are able to assess a placement, the rock is it set
in, the weight of the climber, etc. and give a true object measure of
the strength of a placement, it is going to remain a subjective guess
to the aspects of danger. And as I argued with the example of pads, if
a piece is found to hold that was thought to be crap, then yes the
E-grade should change, otherwise the system is broken because it is not
measuring what it is supposed to measure. The opposite should be true
also. Say you have a 30m route with 8-9 good stoppers in what look like
great solid constrictions. Might be slightly run out at parts, but
seemingly is fairly safe. So the route is done, given a safe E-grade,
and time goes on. Then finally someone actually takes a fall on the
route, and the gear which looked so good all rips and the person decks
from the top out. Later it is found out that the gear is crap and it is
none of the climber's fault. If the E-system is working as it should,
that route should be upgraded, as the danger is now know to be much
higher than previously thought. Just makes sense, danger goes up,
E-grade potentially goes up, danger goes down E-grade potentially goes
up. Or here is another example. Take another route which has a bouldery
start with no protection till kinda high, but the ground underneath is
flat, so it receives a slightly safer E-grade. Then the UK gets hit
with a freak flood and through erosion and water travel, after the land
clears, this same route now has some sharp nasty boulders where that
previous nice flat landing was. If the E-grade works right, it should
adjust accordingly, because it accounts for danger.