Forum: GLOBAL / News / Confirmation of grading steps = Time & Tries Login in to contribute
Confirmation of grading steps = Time & Tries
  2008-11-07 00:00:00    
When Adam Ondra repeats hard routes he always comments on how many tries/how long time he needed, i.e. Time Comparison Grading. The easier the route is, for him and as for everybody, the harder it is to confirm or suggest new grades as it only comes down to feeling, compared to Number of tries/Time, i.e. very difficult for him to confirm 8a routes as they are to easy. This is a wild 8a speculation of the current TCG for Adam on routes of his best style. Does the suggested intervalls fit into your track record for confirming grading steps? 8b+ = Onsight, 8c = Flash, 8c+ = 2:Go, 9a = 1 day, 9a+ ~ 5 days, 9b ~ 20 days and 9b+ ~ 50 days
OffLine Matthew Redyns
  2008-11-07 21:58:40    
no, grades are based on difficulty, not tries. again, dumb.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-07 22:04:01    
Do you have a better method to measure difficulty?
OffLine Matthew Redyns
  2008-11-07 22:09:24    
compared to other problems of the grade, that i have done or worked.  Ever try midget maker in the gunks - i assume.  It's a V4 that most people project.  if i spent 68 days on it, would it be 9a+ or sandbag V4?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-07 22:18:08    
So why do not you and others suggest an upgrade of that problem as it seems difficult, "compared to other problems of the grade", you have done or worked?
OffLine Herman
  2008-11-07 23:47:28    
Jens, Offcourse the general idea behind the steps is correct (for Routes) All the remarks about type of routes, holds, personal preference for onsight, terrain, rock type, depressions, ... are ALL correct. but the general idea still holds true. In fact that sytem is the only system that makes the steps themselves constant. And this system SHOULD be used to determine the grades at the top level. Indeed I believe that -in general- wether you climb 6a or 8a on sight you should be able to climb a grade harder (6b or 8b) in about a day. We alway use: 8a onsight =>8b in a day =>8c after work I don't believe that this can be extended any further (i.e. working 100 days does not give a 8c or 9a) to me I'm bad at On Sight and fairly good in working a route. In good form I do: max 7b On Sight 7b+ and 7c in a day (working 1/2 times and then 1 or 2nd attempt 7c+ (and a single 8a) after a couple of days work and ~6 attempts Currently i do in my home gym: <7a on sight 7a, 7a+, 7b in 2nd or third attempt. 7b+, 7c in 6/7 tries except for anything that has bad arque edges. i'm bad at that: <6c on sight 6c,6c+, in 2/3 tries 7a, 7a+ or 7b in 6/7 tries >7b, only when i'm in top vorm and after having climb the route for several weeks / climb similair routes for a period of time.
OffLine Michael Borsdorf
  2008-11-08 00:07:22    
I´m not unconfortable with this TCG-concept. But just on e question: What do you suggest to evaluate the difficulty to find the right beta ? I spent 10 days on my last project, 7 of which I needed to find the right beta. I can not honestly suggest, considering my actual onsight level of 6b, that my project is a hard 7a (it was a 6c)
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-11-08 00:07:37    
What is a "try" anyway? You often see remarks like "Second go". If I start on a route, fall off the crux two thirds up and then work that section 20 times before sticking the moves, and then lower down to tie in and try the route from the bottom again, is that the second go then...? Or the 22nd? And reporting ascents in days seem a bit vague to me. What is a day on a route? How do you measure and compare that to other people's days on the same route? If you care (I'm assuming that is what we do here).
OffLine Anthony Zacchino
  2008-11-08 00:11:44    
Actually, Midget Maker receives the grade of V6 from the sit start since the second move is the crux for most people.  From the stand it is a v4.  The boulder guide does not mention the difference. 
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-08 00:38:54    
it is quite an obvious indicator of difficulty and quite accepted. what is sometimes forgotten are three important things : a)it also depends on level of climber. Something that will require adam ondra 1 day, might be a year-long project of some other climber that we still consider very strong. Quite obvious. b)The "measure" on a single repeat is still greatly affected by the particular conditions in which it took place : ie wheather conditions, fitness/shape of the climber in that moment, talent for the specific style, beta, etc. This means that average on big numbers are significant, one single repeat is only matter for arguing around the climber's guess. A FA is even worse because it might be likely to happen with "odd" conditions compared to normal. c)As ondra said, this indicator is significant in a range of difficulty between the higher onsight limit and absolute redpoint potential of a given climber. You really need to be sure that the climber had to look for the best sequence and spent some time in learning the excercise. Then, time makes sense : few tries mean that grossly figuring the moves in one or two go's was sufficient, a fair number of tries over a relatively short period mean that some degree of neuromuscular and/or small technical adaptation had to happen, longer periods of serious commitment mean that deeper adaptations were necessary, adaptations that might fall into the usual stimulus/supercompensation/peak training theories. so, in my opinion, "time" method could be a good thing to compare routes for which we could easily collect info from many redpoint ascenders , ie popular routes in the 7a-8b range, in popular crags, but doesn't tell too much if we have a very limited sample in fact I collected some of such data for three routes and a smallish sample (asked 10 repeaters for each route). As soon as I have time to look at the reasults I can tell you my personal figure of how many repeaters you might have to ask to be able to make a reasonable guess that route "a" is harder or easier or quite the same than route "b". I am meaning, a reasonable guess in a pseudo-statistical sense
OffLine Herman
  2008-11-08 00:57:23    
@ata If there is a single route with diifcult beta, just leave it out of the equasion, as we grade the easiest way up. If you're always bad ad finding the easiest way, the that is no sweat as can you can stiil use time to compare If somebody came around and gave you all the beta just take along that info into the equasion (i.e. value it as a try or a couple of days work if needed) @Jonas: >How do you measure and compare that to other people's days /tries on the same route? If you care (I'm assuming that is what we do here). No I don't compare climbers. I compare routes by the same climber. That's why the exact definition of days / tries is not important. Jens wants to make a "statistical grade giving machine" a little bit too much. The principle is not that exact.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-08 01:30:44    
herman, I personally slightly disagree on some  your point same route by the same climber might be inconsistent because of many factors. I give you a simple one : you spend one day alone on a boulder problem looking for some very tricky beta that doesn't itself make the difficulty (the move might be actually quite straightforward when you are able to "see" it). Then on some similar difficulty and technical situation you might do another problem in 30 minutes because you were told the trick or, you saw someone else and managed to realize things better. Or, even more simple, days of shitty vs perfect weather conditions. whereas on an average, if you are able (and this is the big question) to put together the information coming from the level of the repeaters and that coming from the time they spent, then on a sufficient number of repetitions odd trends and episodes might compensate each other and you could get as a result "some indicator" that is comparable with other routes. what will be meaningful to compare, is different routes on the basis of large groups of several repeaters, hoping that those large groups are sufficiently similar and consistent with each other This is also why routes within the same crag or area will be "safe" to compare-it may very well be that you take the same 10 "test repeaters" for several different routes! Following, regional crags of different areas will be the most difficult to compare, whereas big holiday crags like rodellar or ceuse should be easy : they get a mixed and varied public from all over the world, so a likely comparison should be possible. Also, they are the easiest to monitor with websites like this.... note that deciding that the "indicator" above gets the name of a grade is a purely conventional matter. You actually had to choose what is agreed as "reference 7b, reference 7c, etc" and then build an indicator-grade conversion...(dangerous, ackward and less interesting part of the experiment imho).
OffLine Nicholas Sherman
  2008-11-08 02:12:54    
A good method for measuring difficulty would be to take into account the level of difficulty, don't you think? Are levels of rain measured based on how long it rains? Is the difficulty of a math problem based on how long it takes one person to solve it? I honestly don't know.... you tell me.
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-08 02:36:40    
A good method for measuring difficulty would be to take into account the level of difficulty, don't you think? Are levels of rain measured based on how long it rains? Is the difficulty of a math problem based on how long it takes one person to solve it? I honestly don't know.... you tell me. Rain levels and climbing a route. What a dumb comparison of something very measurable with something abstract. You cannot measure the degree of difficulty by itself. The whole point is that the degree of difficulty is often in question and a consensus is built by many climbers who comment on how hard or easy the route felt for them. The length of time it takes a climber to send something can surely be put towards how hard it was for them. It is not exact but it does speak to the effort required.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-08 03:08:12    
nocholas, these are possible things. another way to tell how difficult is the math problem is to take 1000 students of the same school grade, give them 1 hour to do it, and see how many of them solve it. of course such a method is unpractical for routes. however for those who even understand some maths. I collected data from 15 repeaters of 3 popular 7c routes in 3 popular crags. Actually they are 50% of my interviews (the other 50% did not answer). I had 8 ans. route a 4 ans route b 3 ans route c questions given : a)How much time? b)Grade redpointed often in 2-3 tries, in several crags (preferably not the same as the one for which I am asking). Transform it into 8a redpoint points and call it p Question a was a multichoice answer : each answer corresponds to a value, increasing with time that we will call t now I wrote a formula : g '= p+ a t where g' is a fictional index of difficulty and a is a paramater to calibrate. the wanted point in this "calibration" is to get the most consistent output from the formula, for the same route, or, an estimated g' with the less variability To be able to used data from all the routes I normalized them to the average of results, ie subtracted the average estimated grade for each route. What I was left with is 15 values of normalized errors. (e=g'-g mean). I then squared them (SE= e^2 ) meaned this (MSE=mean of SE) Squared rooted (RMSE=square root of MSE) then I looked for the parameter a that minimized the RMSE What I can say from looking at the results and playing a bit with them is that :  a)with a sample of 15 repeaters you could say something interesting about the difficulty of a route with a reasonable uncertainty of half a grade more or less. (that is by the way MUCH more than some of us might think)  b)quite surprisingly to myself, the error has some sensitivity for parameter a, but it is not huge. In other words, it seems that we could forget number of tries, just look at the established level of good number of repeaters who climbed the route redpoint (no flash, no onsight) and still get a good figure about the route being "hard" or "easy" compared to others just from that . As you will see below, the reason is that very few people seem to project for long; by far the most redpoints are fast redpoints. by the way, I did not have climbers who took more than very few tries over a maximum of two days to climb their route, and I can observe a great consistency in the level of the repeaters of the same pitch. For instance the last 8 repeaters of a popular (and presumably soft) 7c in an european crag, all declare to climb between 7b and 7c in 2-3 tries For the other two routes I choosed (one of whose is known to be really hard for 7c) all repeaters declare at least several 7c's 2nd go. Also, numbers are not far from what is already well known : the established hard 7c (that really used to be an already famous and not easy 7c+) looks hard in the numbers, the 7c from a place known to be soft looks soft in the numbers. So Jens...if u want to make a statistical grade machine as much as me :D make the webmaster add a simple features that registers the 8a score of a redpoint repeater at the moment of the repeat (if the same guy has at least 10 ascents in the last 12 months, I would add). Then store the data in a secret well kept box, or you would be criticized :D
OffLine jadajada
  2008-11-08 03:40:55    
Seems like a pretty cool idea. But what new does that formula tell you about a route? Does it reveal anything that any of those repeaters could not tell you in their own words in less time that what it takes to fill in the questionnaire? Does calculating the grade through a formula make your climbing experience better? To some it might, but I think there are many others, who just don't really care. As such, it seems like a cool idea, but it just has very little relevance to reality and the climbs themselves. On this forum, it seems to have much more importance than it maybe should. Maybe with the database and automatic datacollection it could become more useful. But again, this feature is done much in much simpler way in But maybe with some time and further development there might be something to it. But probably most people still would believe the climbers and the repeaters opinions about the difficulty of a route much more than what any formula can say..
OffLine Leon du Toit
  2008-11-08 09:32:19    
All statistical statements are conditional. Conditional on assumptions that is. About the nature of probability, the way the 'data' has been generated, the relationships among different measurements etc. Just like the statistical grades will be conditional on a set of assumptions, a specific (and realistically wrong) statistical model, so also the current grading system, of proposition-talk-proposition-talk, is conditional on some assumptions and the experience/data of the climber. Although statistical knowledge may seem more objective because of the ease of communication it allows, it is nevertheless built on highly controvercial foundations about the nature of probability, and hence probability statements. Don't for one moment think that the new system will be 'more objective' than the other one - it might be conditional on different things though, things that are explicit. The 'old' system has the advantage of being flexible and non-centralised. If there is one statistical grading model out there, there will be an infinite amount of others capable of generating different results - you can't use statistics to avoid argument - all it will do is change the terms of the argument, and widen the scope of people who can access the debate. There will always be argument. In many cultures, the oral tradition of story telling is still big, and was very big in the past. Once people started writing down these stories, it made it possible to analyse them in completely different theoretical terms - and so the rise of the armchair critic.  This debate has an interesting sociological dynamic to it. Some friends and me back home, boulder in areas where there is no topo, no guide, and hopefully will never be - we give names propose grades, and sometimes forget about the name and grade... In many ways, is for climbing what Heat Magazine is to celebrities.
OffLine Matteo Lari
  2008-11-08 10:18:20    
Grade grade grade....but don't you have nothing else to speak about? I prefere chat less climb more!!!
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-08 10:42:22    
I like what you said about stats leon! it actually applies very well to my job (i am a phd student in hydrology : ie I do things like the example above-altough more complex-to put together meteorological data obtaining an estimate of river flow discharge, or other quantites in the water cycle). Actually, you can see from the stats if your ideas are totally wrong. but, if your stats work, there is no straightforward guarantee that they do it because of the right reasons, that's to say, because your assumptions are simplistic but generally correct and according to the nature of the problem. @matteo As I said elsewhere, grades and technical stuff are the only safe topics in climbing related stuff. I prefer it much better than talking about "philosophy" of climbing and such : you really risk to be ridicolous and offend the really important things in our activity.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-08 13:43:02    
Hi To grade a route is always a very tricky thing. If  you are lets say 1.60 m high you may have more problems in a route than a guy thats 1.80m.So lets say the shorter guy is working on a route for some days.he has to work out a pretty insane move to get to the next hold.Just to figure out these moves costs him 1 day.Because of his sucess he is motivated for the next day, but too tired from the day before to put it all together.Another day he spent.He takes a break and comes back 2 days later and he sends the route.This was an 3 day effort for him.Lets say the larger guy comes along.He has no problems with the large move and sends the route 3rd go.Now would you suggest to downgrade it or is this just an advanteg of a larger guy vs a smaller one. You know that this can happen.I also happens that the smaller guy has no problems in a route and the larger one just can´t get his feet to his hand or what ever.The route can suit you and you make an onsight of a route that others are projecting for weeks. @ Jens: Time is not THE only method to measure difficulty.Its NOT like that: Adam Ondra did the route onsight, so now we have to downgrade it.I mean he is an professional climber....of course he is good.What did you think? When we go climbing and there is a project we want to do we dont look how much time we spend to do it.....we speak with each other and discuss the route.So we find out where he / she is having problems and where not.We mostly  find out that each person has his own hard section on the route.Sometimes we have the same. Climbing is not the same for every person.This is the reason why time can`t be the best thing to meassure difficulty but it surely is a indicator .Climbing is way too individual to measure it with TIME. To get a grade you simply have to talk with your friend who tried the route.If they feel the same as you do than it`s simple.If you are so much better than your friends and nobody in your circle is able to try it than you always can compare with other routes in this grade. mfg chris
OffLine Davo
  2008-11-08 14:37:48    
I agree with solidchris, height is more relevant than the number of tries...
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-08 14:49:16    
@ Davo: I did not said that high is an relevant.High is in my opinion never an relevant, because you can have some advantage beeing taller but also you can have dissadvantage.I just said that time is not the truly and only thing how you can measure the just have to read exactly!!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-08 15:20:18    
@ Ata: TCG is based on knowing the best/easiest sequence. @ Jonas: One hang-dog attempt is one try. It is not the number of tries that are important but the Time. @ solidchris: Time is not the only factor but the best one when the community should suggest/confirm grades. One reason why the grades have devaluated is just that climbers confirms by saying, "It was super hard", but in reality they did it relatively quickly, i.e. The Emperor's new clothes.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-11-08 22:46:10    
And what about easy routes ? What about climbers in 6a/6b ? Jens, you are not a scientific. Because if it was, you should know that to get a "comparison", you must have a reference. But, I'm sorry, you have not... You theory can works in a stadium, with many climbers trying a route in the day... And this reference will stay "just for this day", because it can be different some days after, or before... Go to Mouries, climb there one year and come back to your favourite steep crag... just to make a comparison... And most of all, your theory is not relevant fot climbing community, because you're just interrested by hight grades and best climbers... "Your" community is not "8b and more" climbers. It looks like if you want to find a way to manage grading, staying behind your computer all the North winter night ! Never forget that grades are not so important... I have a suggestion for grades Jens, Forget the numbers... Easy Not easy Difficult Very difficult Hard Very hard Extreme Close scale
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-09 00:11:12    
It is equally interesting for the 6a/6b guys that the routes/boulders are correctely graded and it is these guys who are best confirming these grades by their personal TCG.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-09 00:16:37    
climbers confirms by saying, "It was super hard", but in reality they did it relatively quickly this thing Jens said is the most important point that comes out of discussions like these climbers in fact like to keep things in scales of gray, to keep a space discretionality and subjectivity, to be able to either call things harder or easier than they really are. I see no other reason why whenever anyone (not only Jens, it was the same with me and others in other contexts) tries to propose attempts of evaluating difficulty on evident, solid, easy and straightforward facts, many people get really upset. Same people who will get even angrier for a personal, subjective opinion of downgrading one route they did or they are projecting what are you worried of? And what are you so serious in playing the grade game for? If it's like that, if there's no hope to relate grades to something "measurable" without too much emotional and personal interference, well, then a grade is a mere verbal appendix like the name of the route. And indeed a poor verbal appendix, I have to add : isn't for instance a name like "la couleur du vent" ( the color of the wind ) much richer in aestethic and poetic content than ist grade counterpart (8a) ? if grades can't be related, even with imperfection, to something that can be clear to everybody who cares to make a little research, then they totally fail in their purpose.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-09 00:23:22    
OffLine Joe Morgan
  2008-11-09 01:43:43    
i like to think that Jens is at least interested in the discussion, why must people like Matthew Redyns call him names like 'dumb' is beyond me. Matt, your 28 years old, you took the time to type something other than constructive help? Jens is putting his thought and effort into a project, have some respect for the man. jeez.
OffLine Dustin Harris
  2008-11-09 06:12:23    
I personally think this is valuable discussion. For all we know this could be the beginning of a completely knew way to judge our sport, let alone unlock some valuable insight into physiology of climbing.
OffLine andy
  2008-11-09 07:03:12    
i find it ridiculous that grades are now turning into equations, there are too many variables to consider. but i have a totally different view of what i think climbing means.
OffLine Fabrizio
  2008-11-09 08:53:09    
Here comes the opinion of "the average 6b guy". In my opinion grading is actually important in the lower end of the scale, especially for those who still have to develop the mental strength needed to lead routes at their difficulty limit. For them a precise evaluation of the difficulty would really help in finding the appropriate routes. This was the case for me before I decided to leave "the comfort zone" systematically, and now I don't care if a route is 6a+ or 6c, I just try and at worst I fall n times. But for people who really want to climb safely, falling the less they can, a precise grading technique IS important. For the high end grades ... I can't tell anything, see you gain in some years ;-) Anyway regarding the grading technique proposed here, what I understood is: - it is realated to a climber already knowing the "easiest way up", more or less like in a gym. - grading steps are proportional to the relative time spent to work out and send the route I am in principle ok with such reasoning, except that as already someone pointed out, the "time" spent on a route is hard to define, especially when it is of the order of days. Regarding the number of tries it has been already pointed out the it is even hard to define "a try". Why not to focus on individual moves? Once the easiest way up is known, the number of moves is roughly known. Now I can measure how many tries eaach move required me, some moves will be onsighted, other moves will require some tries. So if we take a route with a certain number of moves M1, M2, M3 etc, each of which takes n1, n2, n3 tries to accomplish we could figure out a number like D = (M1*n1 + M2*n2 + M3*n3 + ...)/(n1 + n2 + n3 + ...) which will tell us the average difficulty of the moves. Of course you have to define the "move", but this is another problem. An example from my last sunday at the crag, let's say I define a "move" as the number of hand holds. The easiest way up was quite obvious in both cases. route A: about 30 moves, onsight (1 try per move) D = 30/30 = 1 route B: about 15 moves, tried 3 times the 2 move crux, tried 2 times another move, then sent the route: D = (13 + 2*3 + 2*1 + 15)/15 = 2.4 on the topos the first route was graded 6a, the second 6b. Of course as the number of tries per move is related to the actual time spent on the route, this is very close to using time as a comparison.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-09 10:33:49    
eeeek fabrizio there's two kind of "bugs" in your reasoning 1. individual moves are the hardest thing to evaluate on an "average" basis. A whole route is rarely "morphological", a single move easily is easier for some and harder for others (looking at climbers of same level I mean) 2. this all "mathematical" grade guess, altough not "precise"*, has a sense if its something simple where you can collect the needed data easily, even just by some database tricks on this website. The whole point, in the end, is getting some homogeneity. Specially at the lower end it is easy to verify that depending on the place, "6b" could have a different meaning than in others, with our current "guidebook author's opinion system" *Don't think for a moment that an hypothetical "statistical grade" is by itself "absolutely right" to the "tenth of a grade".  The nice thing in this mathematical stuff when done right is that it shows you some boundaries, eg, your 6b would come with an advice that it could very well be 6a or 6c, because there's not enough data for a finer evaluation.
OffLine Fabrizio
  2008-11-09 13:22:46    
I didn't mean to evaluate the difficulty of single moves on an absolute scale, that's in principle not possible as you stated. The number I figured out is just a way to express in more detail what the "time comparison" system does, that is, telling how hard a route is for a given climber, in a given period of his life, so that he/she (not us) can compare it with previous achievements and suggest a grade. Let's say, if today in Zurich wasn't raining :-( and I could go climbing as planned :-( ... suppose I would do a route for which I could calculate D = 2.5. Then I would give it a grade similar to the route that received D = 2.4 two weeks ago in Italy, regardless of the crag, the country, the people and the grading style in use. I just translated into numbers what I personally do intuitively when I try to figure out the grade for a route. Anyway ... this is of course just "rainy-day-induced" grade speculation :-)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-09 13:27:58    
Your personal TCG is the best guideline to grading and then you can take into consideration; Style : A teenager gym rat is probably three grades better in steep overhang compared to a slab. But Style is also dependent on preferances to Open hand or Crimps, Power or Endurance etc. Condition : Temperature and huminty could reflect the difficulty one or two grades. Beta : To have the right beta and sequence is the most important fact to decide the grade. Form : If you are not at your peak you can struggle with doing routes two grades under your maximum level. I will try to put together a diagram that invloves all this including showing have wide the grade steps are :)
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-09 13:39:45    
When i first started climbing i had enormous respect to climbing and climbers.I thought: in climbing you can´t lie about grades.You do a hard route and the community soon tells you: "yes its true the route is hard", or: "no its not so hard as you think". If someone in our group did a hard route, we never asked him how long he had to work.For us, this was never a reason for a grade. I understand you Jens .You want to change the climbing world and try to find a standart by grading routes.I understand you Fabrizio. I´am not climbing so hard that i can say:"I don´t care about grades", but if you want to improve your climbing skills then you better go to a climbing gym.You bouth have something commonality: You want to have an Standart.You want to go to the crag , put out the topo and go for the routes with the grades you fit in.Climbing is so individual that it will never get a standart by grading.Every rock is unique and even this makes it impossible to get an standart.Climbing is an adventure and if the topo tells you: this 6a is easy but you have to sneak up instead of hopping it up , then the adventure is gone.Well protecetd routes with too much information is just like going to the climbing gym.You simply take out the fun of climbing. Look where climbing is coming from.Have some respect to the way climbing once was.It was not assessable in the early days, they just did it for fun and for the movement.If we want to keep climbing the adventure way if we want to keep it special, then we have to stop trying to put up standarts. I remember a route with i first toproped and thought: "No way i never do this in lead", but i figured out and it was an amazing feeling to do it and  it wasn´t the hardest  route in my life but surly the eye opening one.Since then i  don´t care if the route is over my limit, i just try! To Mö: I like your idea really much.Even i know that you just want to shock the climbing community :-) mfg chris
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-09 17:44:47    
I prefer onsighting 7a+ and 7b. If I go to Kalymnos sometimes a 7a+ is actually 6c+. Then the challenge is not the same as I want to climb on my limit. I prefer warming up on 6b+. If I go to Zillertal, a 6c can be 7b and then my day is somewhat ruined as I get to pumped on my warming up. When 8a reports news we would like to report the ones who does the most difficult. We have been reporting on many 8B's in magic Wood that was just 8A. At the same time an 8A is not reported but some are actually 8B. I do not want a precise standard but I would like to give guidelines to the community so we can have better conformity of the grades. We do not want to be so precise so we do not report on halfgrades/slash grades. It is also intelectually stimulation and interesting to understand and describe the practice of climbing grades that have been develop during the last 100 years.  
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-11-09 18:41:13    
...and the same almighty Adam Ondra says on  while comparing climbs in Spain, Frankenjura and Kras (climbing region in Czech Rep.)...    In Spain you must be strong and able to recover in jugs.    In Frankenjura you must be strong and figure out the sequence.    In Kras you must be strong, figure out the sequence and be able to use slippery footholds. So when you go for redpoint, 8b in Spain, Jura and Kras will feel the same. The only difference is that the redpoint in Spain is gonna be on second go, in Jura on tenth go and in Kras on twentieth go. Looks like some routes of same difficulty require more work than other routes.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-09 19:09:35    
@ gravity: "Looks like some routes of same difficulty require more work than other routes." If the routes have the same difficulty they should require the same amount of work.
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-09 19:46:49    
Routes of the same grade may climb very differently due to rock type, crux length etc and this can lead to the probability of doing them in a specific number of tries to vary wildly. For instance, all of the really high level onsights are occurring on stamina routes because they are clearly easier to onsight than thin bouldery techfests. Some routes will have crux moves that are very delicate (or they might jsut be on slippery rock) and thus have a low percentage of success and may require more tries. Maybe 8a can go back to reporting slash grades but this time to give a less precise grading for something. ie. It could be anywhere from 8c to 8c+ depending on your style or morphology. This works better with the YDS scale 5.14-, 5.14, 5.14+ or even just 5.14- and 5.14+. While this would not be popular among sponsors or grade collectors it does provide enough information to a climber while leaving some extra room for each person's interpretation.
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-11-09 21:26:51    
" If the routes have the same difficulty they should require the same amount of work." It is the most stupid thought I have heard from my 24 years of climbing life... We are robots, lead by computers, from the northern Europe...
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-09 23:24:38    
mo, if the routes are closer to your limit than to onsight or warmup level, you are equally good in various styles, and you are good and fast in figuring out sequences and subtle details, yes they should somehow require similar amounts of work. Just go in big places where the grading is really omogeneus and tested in the years, climb there 3 weeks and try yourself...I bet in the last 2 weeks you can get rows of second-third go's in the same quite definite grade range. Well in 24 years of climbing I even guess you did. @Ben onsighting is too dependent on things other than the crude difficulty of the climb to be a good indicator. think about the difference a thickmark on the crucial hidden hold can make.... Eg in céuse you can get really easy onsights because of heavy marking and particular climbing style...but that has not an equivalent when you try to redpoint even just a letter grade harder : I've heard no one saying that's a place where grades are way unrealistic and easy. On the contrary elsewhere I've climbed a few "soft" routes that were almost impossible to onsight. And also, hystorically, the french sport climbing system is a "redpoint" grade...
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-10 01:41:41    
@gianluca I'm not sure whether you are agreeing with me or not or just restating my point differently. onsighting is too dependent on things other than the crude difficulty of the climb to be a good indicator. think about the difference a thickmark on the crucial hidden hold can make.... I agree with you here but it is obvious that (all other things equal) an overhanging stamina route should be easier to onsight than a slippery route with a defined bouldery crux. Eg in céuse you can get really easy onsights because of heavy marking and particular climbing style...but that has not an equivalent when you try to redpoint even just a letter grade harder : I've heard no one saying that's a place where grades are way unrealistic and easy. On the contrary elsewhere I've climbed a few "soft" routes that were almost impossible to onsight. I am not saying that easy to onsight=soft. My point precisely is that the straightforward nature of a route has no bearing on it's difficulty. And also, hystorically, the french sport climbing system is a "redpoint" grade... Don't worry, I will not confuse this discussion further with E grades...
OffLine Branislav Goga
  2008-11-10 08:52:52    
This is not true at all. Your comparison works only in western europe. Adam`s home projects took him ~30-50 tries and are graded 8c - 8c+ now. Somewhere was written, that they are as hard, as the spanish ones, but more technical, so you often just slip from foot-holds, you need a bit of luck to get it. I think you just want to use Adam`s name to propagate your own opinion. What does really Adam think? Did you asked him?
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-10 10:39:48    
Before starting, let me say that I am not in theory against a statistical grading system. If correctly done, as Gianluca states, it can tell something valuable. However, let me tell you that this idea is impractical, for some good reasons. 1) time spent is not the only effort that should be measured. The energies involved, the mental effort in keeping focused and not getting scared, the need of technical abilities, the good use of onsighting techniques. All these are "efforts", and their good/bad use could result in less/more time spent. Which does _not_ mean that you can sum up everything and just count the time as an aggregate, you loose too much information. Everything should be measured. 2) You should take into account that no climbing area will change the grades of their routes because some website suggests so. Some are proud of their "hard" grades, some are proud of calling their grades the proper grades, some are proud of the history that lead to those grades, some just talk shit and have no good reasons. But none will adapt to the other. 3) Even if some would be willing, or even if _all_ would be willing, you would need a starting point. In a statistical grading, the resulting scale should be then fixed to some zero, which is arbitrary (given the different grades in different crags). The, which crag should you privilege? Which has the "correct" grades? Every climber, unless he never moved from his home area, knows that grading style, as well as bolting style, changes a lot from crag to crag. Heck, frequently even in the same crag. But how can you say which is correct and which is not? The very idea of moving to a crag and wanting to climb without a "set up" time on the grades and the style seems crazy to me. Specially if you claim that the reason for such need is that you were pissed off and got your day ruined for not doing so. Climbing, specially climbing and traveling, is also a cultural experience, including also this kind of things. In conclusion, consider Jens's sentence "If the routes have the same difficulty they should require the same amount of work." If the idea of TGC is to let someone state this kind of sentences, then the expectations on a statistical grading system are far way the real information it can give you, and the idea should be probably abandoned. Because everyone knows that the proper sentence should be: "If the routes have the more or less the same difficulty, are more or less in the same style, are on the same kind of rock, protection and exposedness are not so different, and the hardest moves are more or less of the same difficulty as well, they should probably require the same amount of work, and thus, time. Up to plus/minus a couple of tries, taking bad luck and personal conditions into account" The problem with this system is its intended use. If it is given to give some guide to climbers travelling, then ok (but a guide, not a regrading of all the routes). Jens always talks about average when we discuss the system, but he frequently uses this system as a base to comment single performances. And, as a second conclusion, be aware that with this system you are not only trying to get a machine putting out the grade, but also a machine that says if someone is lying or not, when commenting on grades.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 12:22:08    
@ Branislav: Based from the scorecard you can see that Adam is very precise to give his TCG for every grade and when it is not correct he down grades. I do think he is very brave for doing so. It would have been so much easier for him to just use the proposed grade and then his ascents would have, in the short run, been even more impressive. He has earned his respect also from Alex Huber and I guess, when it comes to the high end grades, the community is listening to the 15-year-old. @ Sandro: 1) I fully agree that everything matters but the best guide line is, according to me, TCG. 2) There is always an adoption process going on, this is the main reason we have all these downgradings. But we need some upgradings to. 3)I fully agree but but I rather explain my theory short and leaving all your obvious fact. It is given to guide the community and especially less experienced climbers how to suggest and confirm grades. Whenever there is an unrealistic TCG personal best, I sometimes comments. When the many climbers set a TCG personal best on the same route/boulder I sometimes comments. History shows that hundreds of ascents news 8a have reported have actually been devalued afterwards. I just try to make the community aware about that grades are not fixed and that they can be changed. I guess the community like when the grades are correct and as a proof of this we have the half/slash grades, which think is unnecessary.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-10 13:32:50    
Jens please understand that climbing is unique.Stop trying to make it so markable.If you want to onsight an 7b and in the end it turns out that it was a 6c+ than tie in and try the next one. If you are going to crags, where you know that it is over or underrated than just add or subtract the grade you want and go on. Climbing is not about grades!! I can´t hear it anymore.Grade here grade there, get over it.Just Climb! It will not change just beacause we discuss it here.Deal with it and have fun.
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-10 13:54:12    
@ Jens: The problem with the negative comments you are receiving is probably all about this removing all the obvious facts behind, and remaining with a simple general statement as TCG, that nobody feels to be applicable to everybody and to every route. Take for example your comment of the last ascent of Charlotte Durif. To support the fact that 8c+ was "questionable" according to you (i.e., that you think she is lying, possibly also to herself), your comment was "If she can do an 8c+ in two tries she would be able to do 9a in some days and maybe Realization, 9a+ if she projected the route for some months." First of all, assuming TCG is valid, you should have said something like "If she can do an 8c+ in two tries IN AVERAGE she SHOULD be able to do 9a in some days and maybe A 9a+ (maybe Realization, but not necessarily) if she projected the route for some months" From which the conclusion would be: Good job! And let's see how the girl keeps up with the hard routes she tries. Because, even if TCG as you state it is valid (which I find questionable, see later), who says you that she is willing to invest some months on a 9a+ at this point of her climbing life? Should she do it just to prove you that she can? Now, she _may_ have actually suggested 8c instead of 8c+, as two tries might actually seem very little work. But this number (two) DOES NOT tell the effort she put in those two tries, nor the feeling she had. And DOES NOT tell you that she will solve the other 8c+ she will climb in the same amount of tries (assuming she does not improve from now, which I am sure is a wrong assumption). So, two tries actually seems very little work to me as well, but I remember of some routes at my limit that I also climbed "quickly", but investing so much effort that I could not honestly downgrade them. So I rather not conclude anything on this, unless I have more information. Now, back to TCG. I question the fact that there exists a global TCG. There is obviously something like that, but it depends _a lot_ on the climber. Are you really so confident that it works for any climber (i.e., any level), male and female, with all the peculiarities people has? Are you really so confident to apply it to some personal best? Because there is nothing _unrealistic_. Things are actually true or false, and by claiming something false you better provide some facts, not some statistics. I think that the general idea is ok, but the scale is not. For example it does not hold for people for which the onsight level is much closer to the limit level. I had many 6c+ AND 7a as onsight or second go, and also some 7a+. This when I was in shape of course (I unfortunately cannot climb at the moment). But my feeling on most 7a+, 7b and 7b+ was that either it was fitting my style, in which case I could have a chance (but no clue on the number of try), or that I had no chance at all, no matter how long. Ok, maybe if I were to work many months, but that's not trying anymore, that's training. And training has a limit as well, specially at the very end of the scale. Now, the final question is, do you really believe TCG works so well that people should grade according to it? I don't think that it is the number of tries that makes us suggest a grade, assuming we are honest, but that it is mostly the _feeling_ we have while trying, which does not come out in any number. Climbing is a personal experience, and grading is such as well. Sharing the grades is a real mess. I would never question half grade of the performance of somebody I don't know climbing I route I could not try based only on a theory, as you did. As I said, using TCG in this way becomes questioning people's honesty. And this is something one should do only when he is 100% sure about what he talks about.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 14:19:19    
I am just saying that TCG is the best way for the community to suggest/confirm the difficulty on routes/boulders on their personal limit. And as I have said earlier, TCG should be accompanied by assumptions on having the correct beta, favourite style, good conditions and in good shape. If not a possible 7a can be as difficult as an 8a. It is easy to criticise...but could somebody come up with a better alternative I would be very interested.
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-10 15:10:22    
But do we really need another one? Because there is already a way. People ascending a route propose a grade, based on their experience and their feeling. Then other people trying the route during the years confirm or changed the grade based on their experience. When enough opinions are gathered, some grade can be more or less decided. That's it. Everything else according to me is bullshit. It is not the role of the community to change grades of routes they didn't do, just based on speculations of whatever information they have. For so much I respect Alex Huber, for everything he is, I don't like when he speculates on the grade of Akira by questioning Roughling capabilities on other routes. The route is there. Repetitors, if any, will tell, and until then the grade is a big questionmark. Moreover, proposing a fixed grading rule, or applying such a rule to other's people climbs, won't stop grading inflation. Complying to some grading rule is as absurd as requiring people to climb Action Direct before grading a 9a, even if this is something I would sign a petition for. But it won't work, and will just attract criticism. So, there is a better way. To wait. Or to go and try climb it, if you can. But if you want a way to re-grade instantaneously a performance according to side informations, well, there is none.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 15:44:17    
The one we are using know is based on feeling and time. This is not an invention, it is common sense as somebody said here. I am just introducing TCG in order to make the community's difficulty measuremnet more precise. Why should we wait years why places like Kalymnos and Magic Wood are adjusted. The reason why it takes years is only natural as climbers like to do personal best and they defend them by saying - It was super hard, i.e. Yes, I think the clothes of the Emperor is very nice. 10 years ago, there was very few grades that were devaluated as it has been the last few years. I have made a quick diagram that might explain my theory.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-10 15:47:43    
I agree with Sandro. We don´t really need a new standart (yes I am calling it a standart) to suggest/confirm the difficulty on routes/boulders.It´s allready there.Ok, it´s not faultless, but that´s the thing.That´s the adventure.Climbing isn´t all about grades.It´s about you and the Crag, the movement.If you climb a route and it feels like 7a for you than have the courage and mark it as 7a.Grades just tell you how the route setter felt it and that is very often a wide range.I don´t fear to loose my face infront of anybody when get asked about the grade of a route ,even when i know he is so much better than me that he won´t have one problem in this route. I mean what about the fact that you should have some respect for the guy who bolted this route.In your whole discussion there is no talking about this.Personaly i find this very interresting too. I like the way Alexander Huber said it.Just wait for more ascents and talk with the guy who did it.With this info you should grade it.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 16:01:19    
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-10 16:51:20    
That is perfectly fine if your goal is to give (relatively unexperienced) people some additional info to improve their grading ability. Even if there is some difficulty in deciding what "7b+ onsight maxclimber" means. How many 7b+, and which ones? They should be 7b+ confirmed by this very scale from a lot of other people, or it would not work. Assuming people knows their max onsight is very close to assume they know how to grade. But my personal opinion is that it is absolutely not fine if you use it to re-grade climbs of other people without trying them. And when it happened, as of course you still can do it, I can't help but finding it very annoying. You can introduce this grading guideline, which makes sense, but you can't claim that people that did not follow the guideline probably gave wrong grades. I really hope you also agree on this.
OffLine Jorge
  2008-11-10 17:00:57    
The difficulty and lack of precission to grade a pretty easy route for someone is a good point. There are many hard 7a/b routes in  sectors with a majority of 8th's just because they are graded by people who doesn't really feel big differences between 7a and 7b. Furthermore, they usually have repeated these routes hundreds of times and their feelings doesn't have to do with the real difficulty. I think the model is more exact as the climber's level is higher. That is due, in fact, to the style point. A 9a climber is supposed to be more balanced in all the styles. Altough for a 6a climber style could mean many stairs on the diagram. Also, I guess's points system doesn´t agree with this model Good job with this thoughts and theories Jens anyway. It is always interesting trying to know more about this complex sport
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 17:08:45    
I agree also on that. The thing is that as 8a being a trustful source of information we can not just publishing everything. You would be amazed how many times we actually deny or search more info before we publish news about ascents. Often we also get information that climbers are faking ascents and in some cases we have made articles about this. And as you probably did know, most of the news we published glorifying ascents in magic Wood some years ago have been devaluated. There are many guys out there who should be glorified but as they keep the grades low, they do not get the sponsors. The 8a policy is to publish the news but in some cases we make personal comments. As we have doping and cheaters in all sport, there is also some in Climbing as there is actually much easier. However, this is not the important thing here. You should also bare in mind that the topo producers set and define grades based on information available. 8a do the same thing.  
OffLine Tiago ROCHA (mendigo)
  2008-11-10 18:52:30    
O LOCO MEU ESSES GRINGO SÓ VIAAJAM! PUTAQUEPARIU Cada momento é cada momento, cada cadena é uma cadena, a cada dia existem um milhão de variantes que podem influenciar na cadena ou não da via! psss
OffLine User Deactivated
  2008-11-10 19:19:27    
You know what ? The best improvement for the future is to make some polls (hosted by outside webservices) in home page. If the "community" thoughts are important. So, grades are really not important, and grades will just stay as an information... 7c+ or 8a... who cares ? The differences is it so hard to manage ? When you warm up in a 6a or 6a+, does it makes a big diference ? The same for onsight ! But more important is the style. I prefer to warm up in a steep 6c with big holds in a roof, tan a fingery 6b in a slab... So, more than tries, style is a best info. About Time comparison... When you are training, on a year, are you sure to have the same level 365 days a year ?? Is it not possible to be bad one day and strong one week later ? I have climb my first 7b+ and my first 8a in 6 month... But my feeling of difficulty was the same in both route, just because I was becaming stronger... Your theory can works only at Time Zero, for a climber on the top...  
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-10 20:17:13    
@ Mö: I have said that TCG should be complemented with; Style - Crimpers or Slopers, Steep or Vertical, Endurance or Short etc Condition - Is it hot and humid or cold and dry Beta - The best possible sequence Form - Good or Bad shape or maybe Peak This means that you may need the same amount of time to do a 7a as an 8a. However, when we are talking on ascents of the high-end personal record grades, we can more or less assume that these four factors are optimal and therefore let the TCG be an indicator of the grade.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 07:48:03    
@ Knut: I guess most guys who set a personal record is doing it when they are in good shape. Of course TCG supports and confirms when you become better. If you do an 8a after 10 days of work in February and in october you do another 8a in 1 day, it is progress.
OffLine Sune Hermit
  2008-11-11 08:55:47    
Jens: How will you tell if a guy just got better or if the route should be downgraded? I think this is a big problem for your theory - if a guys climbs an 8a after 10 days in february and then in october does an 8a in a day, the logical result from your theory would be to downgrade the 8a from october based on time and effort - I can just imagine how you would claim "Based on time and effort evidence, there is no way the october ascent could be 8a".... So how would you tell the difference between what should be downgraded and when the guy just got better?  
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 10:43:49    
I guess this guy has been climbing more routes between february and october possibly modifying his TCG-steps. If the other ascents not show a tendancy for changing his TCG, I guess he could suggest 7c+ if it is a FA or comment "soft 8a" if it has been done before. He could also take into consideration; Style, Beta, Condition, Shape and Luck. How would he grade a route he did after 10 days of work in your "feeling" system
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-11 10:45:08    
sune I guess he would lookback into one's scorecard or logbook up to a given time. score changes the same way, it tells how strong you've been the last 12 months, not forever. Btw, I strongly hope that Jens wants to use this system on "average" basis. I mean : perfectly possible that you are usually climbing around 7a in a few tries, then you get a lucky day on a lucky 8a route, perfect conditions shape style, etc, and you get it in two days or even less. You find outliers in every kind of  phenomenon. But, if you ask 20 repeaters and almost all of them had such an "unexpectedly easy" experience with the route, that's quite speaking... I hope no one will comment against this last sentence since it is something clear well before this discussion, the only thing you can answer is that you don't give a fuck about grades-then please ask yourself why you are on this website.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-11 11:09:03    
A possible (minor) flaw that hasn't emerged in 60 comments (and indeed is a problem for our ordinary "opinion and experience" system) "historical style bias" that means : in the 80's microcrimpy bouldery vertical routes might very well have been the coolest thing on earth, and people was oriented towards that style. Now we favor different kinds of stuff, and that bouldery wall climbs are a bit in the shade. If we could take a climber from the 80's with a time machine, he would probably be heavily oriented towards is own style, and viceversa. So in the end we should either upgrade many 80's walls, or downgrade most recent stuff beyond "garde inflation" or "softness". Indeed the unfashionable, less practiced style in a period will always be upgraded with this system. That's something that even "averaging" doesn't fix, because the average is made on the same period in climbing history. Unless you run the thing for 100 years.... :D
OffLine grigri
  2008-11-11 11:29:32    
Well Gianluca you and Jens seem absolutely adament to defend the power of statistical mathematical models over us emotional humans!! As a concept it sounds interesting, and yes it would be nice to have consistent grading at every crag, ending all the arguments (what we gonna talk about down the pub then??). Anomallies such as differing experiences due to a route suiting one body type better than another can be sorted out by ascertaining a mean rather than average value, rejecting results way out of line with the model and perhaps weighting results that fit the curve exactly with more value when calculating the mean result. This should lessen the deviations and further pinpoint the accuracy of your results (dont ask how to do this mathematically!) However time over days is a very crude standard of measure (a full power route will tire my core power in one or two tries if it is at my limit, after that I might as well go home and rest, a purely technical stamina route will allow me many more tries in a day before my forearms quit working.) So you may need different models for each type of route. Also you need to find a way to factor in Heat, humidity, lenghth of time spent training in the gym off the route (power routes I would train very specifically for without necessarily being on the route), body type, previous climbing experience, mood, biorythmn cycle, how much attention your belayer is paying, last meal eaten, number of beers drunk at the pub the night before, and how many joints you had at the crag!! Good luck, Im glad you are the mathematician and not me! I dont care much about grades although do use them as a vague guide to progress (some routes are easier than others, a lot depends on who opened them and proposed the original grade, this adds character to a crag, something your statistical models seek to destroy!). I am on this site because I thought it was a cool idea, being able to store my logbook electronically (hell I didnt even have a logbook befor 8aNu!), Im not a top climber so the whole competition aspect is a joke to me. One last very important point: Swearing at us average climbers wont make us simply go away!!!! But maybe we should just go away and leave you guys to it, you wont have many members then!!!!!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 12:08:20    
In the beginning 8a had most hard core members. Today, almost all new members are "average climbers". Who is swearing at you? One of the guys, if I remember correctely, who have been swearing towards me, is actually you!
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-11 13:20:59    
Sorry Jens but i don´t see the progress.Your method is for sure as flawed as the current one.Many members from the website YOU invented are against it or don´t see the specific way it is going to.So either you explained it bad or (and that is what i think) the whole idea is just to theoretically and not really a alternative.It seems to me that it doesn´t involve all the aspects of climbing.Good days and bad days for example.This you can´t measure. I don´t know how many members here do train for climbing.I do a little but for me still climbing is the best training for climbing.So after 2 years of climbing i still don´t know my rhythm where i should climb and when not.I mostly figure this out when I`am going for the first route.So i don´t know when it is good to projekt hard thing or hweh not, i just do it.So if I have a good day I do a 7a+ or a 7b 3rd go.If i have a bad day I have to project it and probably come back some other day.The route felt hard but i got the feeling that i could send it.So i come back (on a good day) and sent i 1st try (with no training in between).That actually happend on my first 7b+.So how should i feel about the route now.YOU tell me Jens !! @ grigri i agree with you in your first graph!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 13:29:07    
I guess I am explaining it bad as I have only tried to explain how the current grading method works. Most experienced climbers would say it is common sence. I have already mentioned that TCG should be supported with Good or Bad days, i.e. Form or Peak. I have said it is just a guideline not some kind of proof. Regarding your first 7b+ I think you did the right thing saying it is "soft" as you did it fast and I guess you are actually right, based on the scorecard info of that route.
OffLine solidchris
  2008-11-11 14:23:22    
First of all: I like you Jens.There is so much that i like here at, really! I read the discussions you have with the other members with joy.Sometimes i wonder why they don´t get your point and sometimes I can´t agree with you. This time I wanted to get in the discussion. because the hole thing went the wrong way.During all this i figured out that it´s not only about TCG.It was about the grading itself.You wanted to invent a system that would help the guy (who did the first acent) to find the right grade.But TCG can´t be the best thing.The first reply that entered this discussion was against you and you asked: Do you have a better method to measure difficulty? Many climbers told you different ways, and the discussion drifted into the wrong way. Now you told me: Most experienced climbers would say it is common sence. 1. This is an attack on my personality, I never done this to you Jens. 2.How many understood you wrong, and would you say that they are all unexperienced?I would say Mö is an expienced climber but you dind´t got his agreement on this! So maybee it is not that TCG is not working, it is just not the only thing that matters when it comes to grading--->  by the time even  you got that(!) and you wrote: TCG should be supported with Good or Bad days, i.e. Form or Peak.Yes, and where we are now.....this is exactly what we tried to tell you the hole time.TCG is a part of it but not the ONLY THING!! No mathematic standarts no chart and  no wtf more of these theoretical nonsense.Just persoanl valuation.
OffLine mrgrafx
  2008-11-11 14:38:15    
Ehmmm... Having read through most of the above, am I correct in thinking that, in essence, the primary goal of 8a pressing for a global system of grading the difficulty of routes is not really related to the betterment of all of us, climbing-kind, but the whole point of 'standardizing' or 'mathemitizing' the grading of routes is so 8a members - and in particular the top guys & girls - can be ranked more easily? Over the years, I've read quite a number of various climbing related magazines and also discussions on fora. If routes new or old were discussed in relation to grading, the discussion hardly dwelled longer than a paragraph, if that, on the subject. Maybe one found it a little harder, the other a little 'softer', but in the end there would be general agreement on the grade, give or take a + or -. In fact, come to think of it, trying to stardardize grading in the proposed way using what are in fact arbitrarily weighted factors, discarding or lessening others, could also be seen as an insult to climbers who've actually opened or climbed the routes. At the least, it tells them that their opinion is under suspicion, being based on an up to now very consensual way of grading that is widely if not almost universally accepted and used. Let us assume that climbers in general are not stupid people and that they think about what they're doing, including their grading. If so, why has no-one called out before, shouting: "Hey, wait a minute! We're TOTALLY wrong, we should completely stop grading the way we do because it's wrong and silly and is not consistent etc..". As far as I know, nobody ever did - until now, that is. So, why change something that's working? Okay, it is not perfect, but I would say that because of the nature of the sport it cannot ever be perferct, nor was it ever intended to be. Even if there are many similarities, there are also too may differences that simply will never snugly fit into a formula or such. It evolved into what it is now and it will keep evolving, in a natural way. By artificially trying to generalize, we'd loose much more than we'd gain.  If I;ve climbed in Area X and tell someone of my climbs, I tell them I've climbe a 6c IN THAT AREA. That tells much more than if I only state I've climbed "a D10.4" (if that were to be the new, universal notation). By also stating the area, the person knows the type of rock. If I add WHEN I climbed there, he/she would also know something about the conditions. In the end, the grade a route is given now is a consensus thing, evolved from a suggested grade by the one opening the route. So up- and downgrading will always be a part of the game, but in a natural way, not an artificial one as proposed by 8a. Historically, the biggest discussion ever related to grading centered around the idea that humans would never be able to climb anything harder than the sixth grade (VI UIAA). Reinhold Messner and countless others proved that wrong. When this was still ' hot' , the difficulty scale was artificially capped at VI......
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 14:58:43    
When Chris Sharma suggested 9b for Jumbo Love he measured the difficulty by the Time he had invested, if it was a climb of his Style and in what kind of shape he was etc. When climbers put up new hard ascents they always measure the difficulty by the Time I have only said that: Measuring Difficulty = Measuring Time . There is nothing new about that. The new thing is the speculated Time intervall. The difficulty should always be based on the climbers on that level. I have also said that most climbers just use the grade in the guide book. But i started to say that Adam Ondra is actually always giving his Time and if that does not equals the grade he suggest a new. For me it is common sense that TCG should be supported with Style, Beta, Condition and Shape, i.e. it is so logical that I did not think that I had to write that. I am amazed how good the grading scale works but during the last years the fluctuation has increased and the TCG could be used as a guide.  
OffLine grigri
  2008-11-11 16:32:40    
A mathematical system whilst an interesting concept is unlikely to ever be able to account for all of the variables involved, let alone reflect the more metaphysical aspects of a route, such as the atmosphere of a special place, the sublime beauty of the view from the crags or simply the indidual character of the line. Things that, to mind, are more important in describing a route than reducing it all to a number.
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-11 19:47:15    
Hej Jens, why do you ignore the most powerful and, at least to me, most obvious source for grading: THE 8A.NU ASCENT DATABASE! You can directly see a distribution for a given route: some call it 8a, some soft 8a, some even 7c+, some call it 7c+ but still register it as 8a (for obvious reasons  ;-) ) and maybe some as hard 8a. You can see how it is done on the german database of Example: Nightmare, 8b at Eldorado in the Frankenjura: (Translation: What is your opinion about the grading? Upgrade Hard for the grade Confirmed Soft for the grade Downgrade) So, Nightmare is, based on somwhat low statistics, considered hard for 8b, but the average still suggests 8b. The disadvantage of is, that everybody is allowed to give his opinion, independent on if he really sent/tried the route, and therefore is open for misuse. Based on that, I would make the following suggestions: 1) In your entry form for registering ascents - together with the Search&Add function, the guidebook (or later after some ascents the "community agreed grade") pops up. 2) In a 2nd field like "your proposed grade" everybody can enter what he thinks is correct. 3) Out of this, a new and refined grade is calculated and will show up as the new "community agreed grade" when the next user enters his ascent. 4) If you want people to be honest, maybe the "community agreed grade" should be used for the score calculation and not the propose one. 5) Only redpoint ascents (not OS/F) should be used for the calculation. An OS/F which is not at the limit has high error bars. 6) The distribution of grading should be shown for each route. So everybody can see out of that, that an agreed 8a still may feel like an 8a+  for a high number of climbers. 7) If you feel there's misuse, you can remove extreme outliers, but since everybody can see then from the scorecard who proposed what, I don't think there will be much misuse (not more than what you already have on the scorecards currently). From my point of view the whole thing will work much better than TCG because only ascenders are allowed to raise their voices and not someone who never climbed it. The advantage is the good number of samples for the statistics on your site. You tell us each month how many users there are and how many ascents you have in the database. You mentioned a couple of times that many 8B in Magic Wood are now downgraded to 8A. But did the downgrading or the community of repeaters? I think the latter... Grades will definetely settle after some time and repetitions but can help to make this process much faster. May the force be with you ;-) And one last sentence for the sake of TCG: TCG is useful for the FA to start the whole process. All repeaters have their "own TCG" in mind convoluted with style/form/conditions/... when they suggest their proposed grade. A long post about, let's say "common sense" ;-), i.e. how things actually work in the real world out there, just trying to use this powerful database to make the process faster and more convenient.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-11 21:32:02    
simpson, I agree with you. the database is actually the best possible source for similar investigations I only doubt soft/hard declarations are the best thing to pick. not only they are subjective, they are often not totally honest (Myself I seldom said my first route or boulder in a grade was "soft". Even if I usually added the comment later...)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-11 22:24:51    
There are 32 ascents of Nightmare in the 8a data base and one has it as an 8a+ and 31 as an 8b. Very few comments so I guess it is a normal 8b. The most important thing we could do to improve the grading is to make it simpler to also add ascents as projects when you have failed. This kind of information and the Time they spent would mean a lot. As for now, the community can do pretty much would you suggest and we do not want to complicate it further and also the webmaster is super busy and is going for the 7c+. Regarding all the down grades in Magic Wood I actually think it was 8a who started it. We did go out in 2003 saying that it seems, based on TCG, that several boulder should be down graded. All of our suggestion have been down graded one or two steps since then. We was of course heavily criticized which made Björn slightly change the news.
OffLine Wigar'n
  2008-11-12 02:59:24    
P Bulle! Gradspägningen har gått betydligt längre än vad vi någonsin kunde ana. Eller frukta. Där vi satt en gång i tiden - i någons kök...
OffLine Joakim Thommesen
  2008-11-12 11:39:30    
Jens, if you're really interested in this grading-thing, you should adopt what Simpson writes. It's the obvious right way to go - and it's the way that several other sites have been doing it for years (, etc). The sad thing for you is of course that you can't claim it to be an "8a invention". Or maybe you still will?... The "8a community" will not, and have never had the power to up/downgrade anything. This power is reserved for credible climbers, and it will happen with or without the 8a-keyboard-climbers. It's the people who are out there climbing and talking and making guidebooks that set the grades. Not, regardless of what your so blatantly subjective feelings might be. has probably sped up the communicative process regarding the discussion of some grades, but it doesn't have the credibility to change ANY grades from an editorial stand. So claming that is responsible for the downgrading of a boulder would be as smart as to say that a telephone company is responsible for decisions that have been made while using their phone lines.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-12 13:50:23    
@ Joakim: I don't get it. First you say we should make it possible so the climbers could vote for downgradings and then you say, "This power is reserved for credible climbers, and it will happen with or without the 8a-keyboard-climbers." What should it be? Then you say, "It's the people who are out there climbing and talking and making guidebooks that set the grades." This is exactly what 8a does. Why can a guide book author set the grade but not 8a. Are we not in the same business? The only thing is that we have 10 or 100 times more reliable sources of information. We are not claiming we are responsible, but we often giving suggestions!
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-12 17:02:20    
Jens, you wrote "...we do not want to complicate it further and also the webmaster is super busy and is going for the 7c+. " Are you serious ??? I absolutely can't understand why you don't use that big advantage your database offers. Instead of clarifying some priorities internally, you go on and on bugging us with so called "innovations" like TCG. This is in fact "complicating it further"! Sometimes you like to show your importance and professionality when showing off your website hits, ascents and members increase. Then, when you are in the right mood, you behave like the godfather of climbing telling the community what to do and what not to do. And then you tell us the webmaster is too busy to realize such a simple algorithm because he prefers to work his project? It's not rocket science and it would defintely add much value to your site. To me, this doesn't match with the professionality you claim to possess...
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-12 17:24:43    
Hi Simpson, This is a feature I also suggested a long time (and probably others did as well), but it is far from being "a simple algorithm". First, you have to take into account that the database in its present state is far from being perfect. The same route is frequently registered with dozens of mispellings either in the route or in the crag name. Given the dimension of the db, this can possibly only be solved allowing a large set of 8a users to _change_ the database (i.e., for ascents of _other_ people). Possible but risky. Click-and-add features will make it better for the future, but the database is already huge and hugely incoherent. Second, you should take into account that the simple algorithm would require a recalculation of the route grades whenever an ascent is added/changed. This requires some engineering decisions that are not so simple, given the number of potential write accesses to the database. Third, there are countless other details that can go wrong that only the webmaster knows of, and probably many other he doesn't know until they do. This is a major innovation request, with major added value, but that requires a lot of work. @ Jens: a guide book author tipically have climbed most of the routes himself, and for the remaining ones he tipically speaks with people knowing the routes. Unless you talk about guide authors just stealing info from other guides.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-12 17:29:27    
The webmaster is working full time and this year he has been climbing more than ever. He has a long list of bugs and prios and then he has to maintain the site. We get many suggestions every week and some of them we put up on the prio list. It would take some hours to develop/implement and maintain what you are suggesting and at the moment we can not give high priority for that. I have more or less been injured for 18 months so I have had plenty of time to work with the data base, report news and also discuss in the forum. I guess it is interesting for the 8a members and all the visitors to knew that we have had a dramatic increase this year. I am fully aware that I make mistakes sometimes but this has to do that I am producing and taking maybe 100 decision every week regarding If I would aim to be perfect i guess I could only produce 50 % of what i am doing now :) @ Sandro: During the last six weeks I have spent at least 100 hours correcting the data base. I am only commenting the hard core routes, I guess the normal topo author has not typically climbed the hard core climbs himself. I guess I am speaking with people knowing the hard core routes more than the average topo producer.
OffLine Sandro Bosio
  2008-11-12 19:01:41    
@ Jens: it was not a personal attack. As for the db, we were talking about a general change, not something for hard core routes only. I was simply explaining the problems involved (as I see them of course). Never been ever close to claim that you are not working on the db, but you will have to admit that what you did is polishing the top of the iceberg if you consider all routes and not only the hard core ones, and that the only possible solution can come from people all over the world, knowing their local routes and making the needed changes. As for the guides, again, I was not talking about hard core routes, for which you may actually have more information (or at least have it more quickly) than a guide editor. But still a guide editor, for routes he did not try tipically gives the grade according to the suggestions of the one that put up the route, and of the repetitors he talked with, not according to its speculation. Although I also know of few but prominent guides where the grades of both new and old routes are arbitrarily changed due to very questionable politics (let's make this 7b a 7a, so people will feel this crag is fucking hard, and we will look as super-machos). And besides you don't make guides, but only more-or-less private and more-or-less harmless comments, so I don't see the point in this part of the discussion. As a total offtopic, it would be nice to see the correlation between people posting and people being suffering from injuries... it seems to be pretty high...
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-12 19:51:06    
Sandro, of course "simple algorithm" was an oversimplification, but my point was that it is far from being impossible. Once you really decide to implement it, it will just take time but it is nothing others haven't solved before. PS: Not injured ;-) Jens, to put it in a more friendly way than before. I, and I guess the majority of users (who are more or less interested in grades otherwise they wouldn't have a scorecard ;-) ), would benefit from it and like this system. And in the end, I'm pretty sure you personally would like it, too! I would really appreciate if you and your team could take the time and effort for this. Winters are long and days are short in Sweden - go hacking ;-)
OffLine Joakim Thommesen
  2008-11-13 10:08:40    
Jens, I think you mix up who I mean when I talk about "credible climbers" and "8a-keyboard-climbers". With "credible climbers" I mean people who has actually done the boulder/route, as opposed to "8a-keyboard-climbers" speculating about whether a certain boulderproblem, which nobody has graded, should maybe be 8C+. Stuff like that - that's what I'm talking about. People like that will never have any influence over the consensus of grading - except from maybe inside their own heads.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-13 10:46:56    
@ Joakim: Why should 8a then follow your suggestions that we should make it possible for 8a members to anonymously vote for down gradings.
OffLine José "Easton" Oliveira
  2008-11-13 13:02:51    
Grading a route shouldn't be made by tries or time in a route. Its a question of morphology of people. Maybe a route isnt so hard for an high climber, than an short climber.. Most of times these questions can be very difficult to answer, cause there are so many factors that can decide if a route is hard or not. Other factor is the way a climbing is feeling that day...Psicochologic factors are also a cause a doing or not a route... So in my idea, i think that grading a route is more than tries and time..
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-13 13:27:26    
Of course it is more than time and tries, but I think this is the base.
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-13 16:56:10    
Jens, no one ever mentioned that the grade voting should be anonymous. Every repeater who registers a climb stands with his name for his vote. From my point view - which matches with that of Joakim - each repeater is automatically a "credible climber" for just having done that route or - like you suggested - even failed on it. Although, allowing climbers who failed on a route to vote for the grade is a bit dangerous. If I got on a 9a, I'd certainly fail but I'm so far away from climbing 9a I couldn't give a serious vote (same like for too easy Onsights).
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-13 17:38:29    
@sandro: It is in fact a very simple thing to implement. I think that they would have to ignore ascents that were spelled wrong or give users a list of possible route names that are very close to what they are typing (also very easy). All that they would have to do is keep ascents in one database (which they already do) and keep another table in a database with the route/boulder name and the grade. Each time someone logs/changes an ascent they convert that grade to an integer value (ie 5.14a=16, 5.14b=17) add them up and divide by ascents and assign the concensus grade to the problem. Easy. I'm sure they have other stuff that is more pressing but nothing behind this site or the proposed changes is difficult, just time consuming. And... I have tendonosis in both elbows from a monthlong trip to Yosemite....
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-13 18:21:05    
simpson and joakim   incidentally, I think that in "grade polls" anonymate is one of the keys. If I did a certain route as my first 7b and think it is soft, I would be more inclined to voting the downgrade anonymously, rather than stating loud that It was not my first 7b, but rather another 7a+ same if it felt hard, who would believe you as it is your first route? and if you already did several routes in that grade...would you be that nasty to your belayer to downgrade his/her route? Or, would you dare to suggest the upgrade and hear everybody saying it's because you just did soft routes in the upper grades? :D By the way the above mentioned dynamics are the reason why I don't like opinion-based grading, in the case when you have big ascent databases to look at.   @ben looks nice. would you then assign the calculated grade for scores, or leave it as a simple indicator? @everybody looks clear that me and jens are talking and thinking about two very different animals. He is looking for a mathematical guideline to grade from even one ascent, because he cares about the credibility of the news he's publishing Myself, I am more interested in a reliable way to compare the difficulty of  very popular routes and confirming or cancelling the rumors about some places and or routes/boulders to be unrealistically easy (or hard) for their grade. I'd say that my route is more safe, jens' one more ambitious...
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-13 18:54:58    
Gianluca, my personal best RP is Lal Bab, Tonsai which is graded 7a+ in the guidebooks as well as by the majority here. In fact, I would propose a downgrade for my personal best to 6c+ or even 6c :-o In addition to that I did a couple of 7a's in Tonsai/Railay but in my "home area" Frankenjura my personal best is 6c+ although the style of climbing is rather similar. What conclusion should I draw from that? Upgrade my Frankenjura achievements? I don't think so. Railay grades are known to be soft, but this is not really reflected in the database here. I wouldn't hesitate a second to downgrade my personal best if this is the key to get things straight! Besides that, if it is your first of a certain grade you can change your proposal after you did some more of that difficulty. No problem! I get more and deeper satisfaction when I know the grade is real and I'm not cheating myself. PS: I'm not a notorious downgrader, for many routes I did I would propose an upgrade, even for one or two in Railay ;-)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-13 20:00:19    
In the system of today, you can put in and suggest your personal opinion. Of course it is easy for the webmaster to make a calculation of everybody who has done Lal Bab. However, the thing is that out of the 259 registered ascents of Lal Bab, 254 is 7a+. That would not help much to use that voting. Am I missing something here as it seems you all agrees on that calculation system.
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-13 21:31:32    
You are really close to get my point ;-))) Too few members make use of the possibilty to register for example Lal Bab as what they think is correct. This may have different reasons: - lazyness: they just use they guidebook grade, so they don't have to make up their minds and give a proposal. - don't care: Lal Bab is one of the easiest climbs at Tonsai itself, so it is used as a warm-up for many of the 8a & above climbers. They either don't care about the lower grades or don't feel the difference. - the score: let's not deny that. Many are surely driven by the higher points and because it's the guidebook grade they think it's ok. - maybe some really believe in the grade of 7a+ and I am completely wrong. Why not? Not only 8a don't have the truth - I don't have it either ;-))) I think if all the redpoint repeaters (not OS/F as I mentioned before) would be kindly but actively asked what "Lal Bab, 7a+" really felt for them in the register form, they would more likely give their proposal (at least if they would receive the same points all others get...). In the current system all the honest repeaters are just "punished" with a lower score and nothnig will change with respect to the actual grade. With the proposed new system each vote becomes an active part of the settled grade. So each repeater has than the privilege and opportunity to determine "the real grade" (if there is such a thing...). If he really uses this opportunity is a different question but he might feel that his opinion is in fact important. As for myself, some time ago I deleted all the ascents on my scorecard (you even quoted me in the "most memorable moments" topic) because they became too important for me and obviously they still are, otherwise I wouldn't participate in this discussion ;-) But if I had the feeling that my vote would be part of the settled grade, I'd really be motivated to re-enter my ascents because the registration then had some meaning for the community (grade-wise). And, for they case that I am in fact the outlier for this particular distribution, I could then see it from the grade distribution and accept my personal best ;-))) Although it's offtopic: Anyone here who likes to confirm or reject the grade of Lal Bab or the medium & lower grades in general in Tonsai? If I'm right with Lal Bab it's the perfect example for your "Emperor's new clothes" comparison ;-)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-13 22:20:48    
We have a system where you can do exactely what you are suggesting. If we were to increase the focus on grades, it would formeost mean that I would have to be criticized more than ever. I do not think grades are that important and I do think it would be better that the community learn that no grades are fixed even if you read it in the guidebook. I think that it would be the guys climbing 7c that would say Lal Bab is 6c+. It is just natural that a 7a+ like you ;) still say this is your personal best, i.e. that you say that 7a+ is your personal best. It is the name of the game no matter the grade.
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-14 04:19:23    
@gianluca Why should you be scared to give your opinion? And how is that being mean to your belayer? I like climbing beautiful lines that inspire me and want to be able to climb harder only so that I can try even cooler lines. Your honest opinion on a grade helps everyone when they are picking routes to do whether they are just having fun or picking a project. I do not care about rankings, people should be made aware of the consensus grade but they are entitled to their own opinion and may want to be ranked on that. @Jens The focus of your site is grades. It is a ranking/tracking site and you report the hardest sends. How can you increase this focus? I do not think that people would react negatively to a grade consensus calculation. More accurate grades are appreciated by everyone when travelling and it will help people measure their dicks with greater precision.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-14 07:05:37    
Whenever I say something in order to get a more precise grade I get criticized. I am sure there will be a massive critic if we make another grade column in the add routes/boulder feature. A consensus calculation is easy to fix but as very few actually put their honest grade, it would not say much, Lal Bab is the best example of this. @ Joakim: Your scorecard is a pefect example of somehow who always is taking the highest suggested grad possible. If you really would like to have the votings, you can start by putting your opinions in your scorecard.  
OffLine Hlynur Haf
  2008-11-14 09:09:22    
Let's just asume that this TCG theory of yours works. How have you taken the amount of motivation required to go past ones personal best into your calculation? I know I can do 8b, my friends say I can go harder, but do I really want to? Lack of motivation is always a bitch. But trying something ground up more then 10 times is just boring. Have you got a solution for me?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-14 10:03:56    
You can say that the the climbing difficulty scale also are measuring the motivation. Take Sharma as an example, I guess he is one of the guys redpointing the most in the world, i.e. Realization 9a+, Es Pontas 9b and Jumbo Love 9b, are examples of this.
OffLine Hlynur Haf
  2008-11-14 11:07:42    
That's not a very good answer. In fact, it's not an answer at all. Since the subject is your TCG theory. How can you calculate the amount of motivation that is required for your project? Using Sharma as an example is not a very good one. The boy onsights 8b+ for breakfast. When was the last time you practiced this theory of yours on yourself? A more average climber. How long does it take you to go beyound your personal best? Route or boulder of your choise. Have you considered the fact that TCG is only applieable for people between certain ages?  
OffLine Joakim Thommesen
  2008-11-14 11:12:00    
Jens: My scorecard is a joke - just as this site is one. When I register on less comical sites, like and, I always report the grade that I feel is right. But, then again, both these sites have the voting option that does not have. And you don't have a clue what you're talking about, as usual. Have you done the boulders on my scorecard? Do you know anything at all about them? One of the 7C's there, for instance, is suggested 7C+ by the FA. So I guess you're wrong, then? Assumptions, assumptions...
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-14 15:40:39    
Jens, are you stubborn? Or are you ignorant? Have you read my posts completely? Do you unterstand what I mean at all? Do you use google to translate my posts or what is your problem? I gave several hypotheses why members don't give "the real grade" with the current system and why they might do with the new one. Joakim is just one example. You'll only get criticized when you try to change grades based on your one and only personal opinion but surely not if you give the repeaters the chance to contribute to find a correct grade. btw: a real or correct grade is not necessarily precise...  If you don't want to change anything (for the better) it's your decision because it's your website, but stop making one excuse after the other. Wasn't meant to be a site from the community for the community?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2008-11-14 16:50:52    
@ simpson: I just think it is waste of time an energy to add another column where climbers can vote for the grade when we already have one. It would just be strange to see that everybody go for the highest grade possible to get as many points, 7a+ for Lal bab, as possible and then there is another column where you can add that Lal Bab is only 6c+. I do understand why the community would benefit from such a system. I understand your examples and Joakim but I think it would be better to go the other way, to directely put in your thoughts.
OffLine gianluca
  2008-11-14 18:14:56    
@ben belayer as the buddy or girlfriend climbing some grades less than you, that might have made a particular soft route as personal best so you don't want to downgrade out loud. clearer?
OnLine simpson
  2008-11-14 19:41:26    
Jens, as I said, it's your website and your decision, but I honestly think that you are wasting a great potential :-( I hope I made all my points transparent and at least the members who spoke their mind seemed to agree with the basic idea. Maybe you'll reconsider it sometime...
OffLine grigri
  2008-11-14 21:03:13    
Hi Jens, I know I have blown my crdibility in this discussion by saying I dont care about grades, in part this is because right now I am only returning to climbing after a long break. I can remember a time (and I hope to be there again soon) when grades were an important measure of my progress. A measure made very confusing and frustrating by gross variations in our local grades. Eventually I had to laugh it off and just climb. I state that the poetic side of our sport is more important to me, this is because I had to focus on this side to keep motivated, the grade chasing in an imperfect grade structure was just simply too frustrating! If the grading here (in South Africa) had been more consistent it would have been much easier to stay focussed on advancing my ability levels.- So homogenous grades are desirable! even at my lowly level. Simpson's idea is a good one, please dont give up on it! There could be three fields: guidebook grade, honest opinion grade, and the 8aNu community average of that opinion. If it was made clear that this was just an average of 8a members opinions then no-one could possibly point a finger at you as trying to lay down the law. I know a lot of people have attacked you recently about grades, I hope you can ignore all the shit and see that an idea like this is sensible and good. It would actually be a step forward in advancing what you have already created. 8a is a great site, you have set the standard for many things in this realm! All this does not help you with people reporting false grades for FA's, I think this a very complex one to solve. Perhaps some math genius can design some software that would calculate all the variables and suggest a grade for us!? Perhaps a logbook/training program that could do that and even tell me when I am being lazy and need to get off the couch (or away from the computer!:-)) and go train!!
OnLine Ben Iseman
  2008-11-15 01:03:28    
@gianluca I understood you the first time but I have never climbed with anyone who cared so much about numbers that they couldn't hear that I thought something was soft. The challenge of climbing a route is very personal and it is only against yourself and your own performances that you can/should measure. You said above that it was 'nasty' to downgrade something that your friends/belayer was trying. Wtf?