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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / Era Vella should officially be called 8c+ Login in to contribute
Era Vella should officially be called 8c+
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-04-20 00:00:00    
Era Vella is a stunning 45 m line in Margalef that was put up by Chris Sharma in 2010. He called it a soft 9a and the FA was actually done during a warming-up try. Quickly it become the most repeated 9a in the world and based on several comments and personal best, 8a started saying it might be 8c+. In 2015, Jonathan Siegrist did it and said was like an 8c and 8a started to report it as 9a (8c+). Later also Magnus Midtbö and Seb Bouin reported it as 8c+.

Interesting is that since Midtbö's ascent in 2015 (c) João Giacchin , only four more guys have done it included Alex Megos last week. Previously, it had been done five times every year. In the big databases it is in fact not considered 9a any longer and that goes also for the Vertical-Life app based and published in cooperation on Dani Andrada guidebook.

During the last few years, we have seen some popular hard core routes in the Lleida area beeing down graded in order to fit with the international level. Probably, we will see more down gradings in the area, as a chain reaction, as others that are already contenders of being down graded, now need to be compared with Era Vella being 8c+, although hard for it's grade.

Grades are the number one criteria for the media selecting and reporting ascents. Since 2002, 8a has in order to present the most accurate, sometimes commented the grade. In practice, it is not average consensus that change gradings. Instead, it is more like in the Emperor's clothing, somebody speaks out and then later repeaters follow.

It should me mentioned that 8a thinks it is just natural that most climbers do not bother giving personal grades and instead focus on just the beauty of the route. On the other hand, the climbing community should be thankful towards the guys sharing their personal view as otherwise we would all climb 9a and we would not understand how hard and give appropriate credit for the first guys doing 9a's more than 25 years ago.
Click to Enlarge Picture
OffLine David Aran
  2018-04-20 16:46:15    
officially? are you kiddin us??
OffLine Jose Agustí
  2018-04-20 16:49:26    
Honestly, I think thst without having done the route anybody can say anything about Era Vella. I can not understand your interest in downgrading all the routes that are cataloged as Soft in each level. Climbers need to start on the next level by trying the easier routes in this one, it is logic that when an alpinist wont to climb a 8.000 meters mountain he or she would not start by the K2, and maybe he or she choose G2 or Cho Yu... Why climbers cant try and do petits 9as as a step i their progression to achieve the goal of become a better climber and ending by doing harder routes or grand 9as? Where is the crime?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-20 16:57:42    
Four months ago, Dani Andrada published an update of the topo including a down grade of Era Vella to 8c+. The two biggest data bases for hard core routes have also down graded it.

8a do want to publish the most correct news as possible. Reporting Era Vella as a 9a would in my world be considered fake news.
OffLine El Tuttle
  2018-04-20 23:28:39    
The premise of this, www.8a.nu/forum/general/bold-italic-routes-in-scoprecard, and what you intend to do, is a nice feature to let the ascensionists do the arguing for us.
Why are we discussing this? It's only 9a. Sometimes the consensus makes it hard for the grade. Sometimes not.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-21 07:47:20    
My point is that you should only use the ascensionists comments as an indication of the grade. We should not calculate ascensionists grades to get a consensus grade as most do just take the topo grade.

I guess Era Vella has been done 37 times out of which just a handful have said it is 8c+, however many more have said it is very soft or actually sent 8a a message saying it just might be 8c+.

One very good reason for not down grading it is actually that they do not want to discredit their friends personal best 9a ascent.
OffLine Robert Kasper
  2018-04-22 22:29:18    
and these "news" will be repeated endlessly for the next 10 years because you may have been rigth?
OffLine Gonzola
  2018-04-23 04:10:11    
Like the pumped forearm picture that has appeared during the last 10 years.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-23 07:57:12    
I think it is important to spread the message in order to minimize the grade inflation and also to show it as an example showing that grades is not just about climbers consensus.
OffLine Jakub Nadolski
  2018-04-23 10:20:17    
Didn't Chris Sharma commented on Era Vella grade topic year or two ago ?
I believe he said that for him route is still same grade as it was on FA it means 9a?
OffLine Robert Kasper
  2018-04-23 11:17:49    
give us a little break. This story has been here for about the 20th time and most guys got over the fact that some routes are overgraded allready 3 years ago.
OffLine V
  2018-04-23 12:40:36    
come on Jakub, Sharma grades supersoft and has no say in this, only Jens knows real grade of routes! He grades precise like laser from his armchair
OffLine V
  2018-04-23 13:01:30    
here is proof that only Jens is qualified for grading routes: https://www.8a.nu/forum/news/jonathan-siegrist-does-era-vella-9a-8c-on-his-third-try
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-23 13:22:08    
I have talked with Sharma and his only comment on Era Vella is that he thought it was a soft 9a and that he actually did it during a warm-up. I do not think Sharma has climbed Era Vella that last years so it is hard to change his view on Era Vell.

Yes, it seems that within some years after I have said route/boulder or even a big area might be overgraded, it gets down graded. The simple reason to predict this is gathering info from climbers and in general use the Time Comparison Grading, i.e. too many personal best indicates overgrading.
OffLine KlemenP
  2018-04-23 13:44:09    
@V: Haha, you're so right!

Chris Shulz exactly three years ago [2015-04-23]:

"...when Jens thinks he is right, there is nothing anybody can write in the comments to change his mind. I bet anybody 20 Euros that the next time Jens mentions Era Vella he will say it is probably 8c+. Eventually he will drop the probably and just call it 8c+. Then he will boast for years about how 8a corrected the grade of Era Vella."

The funniest thing ever :D
OffLine V
  2018-04-23 13:55:18    
KlemenP that whole thread is so hilarious! Jens is the personified self-fullfilling prophecy of the climbing world, a missunderstood genius.

But Jens on a more serious note, why not man up and climb the damn thing, since you seem to have set your heart to downgrading it? i heard rumours it is supersoft like Mozzarella di Buffala..
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-23 14:15:38    
It is true that I was the first one who came forward saying Era Vella might not be 9a. The reason why we since posted it as 9a (8c+) was that we did not publish fake news. The official grade correction was, however, made by Dani Andrada in the new updated topo four months ago.
OffLine Jeff A
  2018-04-23 14:47:59    
I don't know Jens, here's a thought why even stress yourself out each night about this issue? Just stop reporting Era Vella sends on this page altogether? Moving forward, just let the individuals that actually climb this route choose the grade they feel most passionate about and let it show up in the sidebar on this page and leave it at that? After 37 sends and counting this route is hardly news anymore. There's absolutely no historical significance surrounding this route, especially compared to Action Direct. It's only a matter of time before some <10 yr old flashes this route and only then will it even be newsworthy. Still do you want to be the one policing the crag and database whistleblowing as soon as this extremely psyched youth attempts to report this route on your site as 9a?
OffLine M
  2018-04-23 17:28:03    
- Funny thread, all you make me laught a lot -
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-23 17:48:52    
Currently, we draw the line at 9a for normally make some sews meaning that in the future, we will not report it, unless it has been done by a female or a very young or old person. We will report it as 8c+.

I think it is very important to not publish fake news. Sometimes, I know almost certainly that the reported grade is inflated and not correct which make my job hard. I am glad that Dani Andrada has changed the grade on Era Vella.
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2018-04-23 18:36:50    
Using the term "fake news" here is exagerating. Keep the term fake news for "real" fake news. I hope you can all appreciate the pun :-)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-23 18:49:11    
In regards, Era Vella I have received so many comments over the years saying that it is just an 8c+ but they did not want to spit it out being afraid to discredit their friends and also Sharma.

It is the same with Mind Control a previous 8c+ and many more. Nevertheless, we had to continue to report it as a 9a, which in retro perspective was actually fake news. There are many more examples like this.
OffLine Lorenzo Cambria
  2018-04-23 22:40:40    
Era Vella has already been done by a female...

https://www.8a.nu/scorecard/mar-alvarez-f/routes/?Ascent&AscentListViewType=0&GID=fcfc785ca271c780ae233c6138c479af
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-24 07:56:20    
Sahsa Digulian, Angela Eiter, Mar Alvarez and Anak Verhoeven have all done Era Vella which was reported as 9a when they did it. When Muriel Sarkany did it we reported it as 9a (8c+).
OffLine KlemenP
  2018-04-24 10:01:03    
Ah, so Muriel has told you it's only 9a(8c+) back then? That's strange, UKC said she had this to say about her ascent:
"I'm so happy after sending Era Vella my second 9a !!!!!! thanks Chris Sharma for bolting this amazing 50 meters long King line."

Obviously it seems she thought she did 9a, but apparently she was wrong?! Poor Muriel...next time she should ask Jens what is and what isn't 9a before spending all that energy... :D

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2017/09/era_vella_9a_by_muriel_sarkany-71307

But nevermind me and my opinion Jens - keep going. I find this whole armchair grading debate quite funny :)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-24 11:09:15    
In order to present as accurate news as possible, 8a started to write 9a (8c+) for the ascents after Jonathan Siegrist. As I have said, I think it is just natural that most climbers just take the topo grade when they share their ascent... but from now, the topo grade is 8c+ :)

So in comparison to the other website, we presented more correct news
https://www.8a.nu/ch/news/era-vella-9a-8c+-by-muriel-sarkany-43
OffLine KlemenP
  2018-04-24 12:41:58    
Ah, OK, so you say Muriel clearly didn't know what she was talking about and her statement is clearly invalid. After all, you know she took the topo grade anyway and if asked, she would probably say it's "only" 8c+ for sure, right? And even if she'd say it felt as 9a to her, that is not true because other people presumably told you it's not? And surely they know better, even if they do not want to go public with their opinion. But they told their opinion to you, so you're now better qualified than her or anyone else to tell the real grade of Era Vella. All other sites that reported it as 9a were just fake news sites but 8a.nu was(is) accurate and true.

Got it.

BTW, to me, 8a seems a little soft for a news site, I propose a downgrade to 7c.nu.
OffLine Emil Eriksson
  2018-04-24 12:47:57    
In Sweden we call it 4-, but thats primarily for the lobbying against the swedish climbing covenant ;)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-24 12:50:52    
Era Vella was 9a in the topo and also by the consensus when Muriel did it. Almost none of the ones who did it officially proposed a down grade so of course her statement seemed spot on at the time.

However, 8a had gotten info so we thought it was more accurate to report it as 9a (8c+).

Now it is 8c+ in the topo and this is how we will report it in the future.
OffLine KlemenP
  2018-04-24 13:44:55    
"Now it is 8c+ in the topo and this is how we will report it in the future."

Wait...so now you say you'll just take the topo grade in the future? Hmmmm...

You can't make this stuff up... :D
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-24 14:05:43    
Of course, if somebody wants to upgrade it to 9a again, we will report it as 8c+ (9a). Grades are delicate and we try our best to give our readers the most accurate news as possible. From a historical perspective, it seems we have done a pretty good job, in regards as correct grades as possible, so far.
OffLine KlemenP
  2018-04-24 15:41:11    
Pretty good job would be putting together something like this article on gripped:

https://gripped.com/routes/the-era-vella-downgrade-debate/

But you, you just muddy the waters all the time...
OffLine Gonzola
  2018-04-24 23:45:24    
Jens, it does not matter what you think franctly speaking. You run 8a.nu and your agenda is biased.
If this thread was open by some other climber it could be classified as something worth commenting for.
Plus, grade inflation only impacts high end sportsman, which is not the pareto at all. Elite climbers, who are living from sponsors should be worried.

I don't see elite people commenting, or people that really have stakes in the climbing game, except for you.

Best regards
OffLine Gonzola
  2018-04-24 23:53:32    
Asd
OffLine Bojan
  2018-04-25 07:45:08    
The basic 'problem' of Gripped's article is the author believes the grades are objective reality, the facts ("1) Era Vella is 9a 2) Era Vella is very slightly easier than 9a...")
Which of course is not true. What repeaters are measuring here are (supposed to be) their own feelings of difficulty of the route. These 'feelings' have their natural variability -- some feel it's easier and some feel it's harder (as e.g. current topo grade).
There are several reasons for this variability: strength and weaknesses of particular climber in specific route, experiences with grading, different betas, weather conditions... and also several sources of bias (repeaters know the existing grades of others and tend to stick with it, they want to respect grades given by specific stars/friends, but also sometimes want to downgrade for the ones they don't 'like'.
In measurement theory we should say the object of grading is changing, the raters are different (and baised) and their grades are not independent.

So it's nonsense to argue this route is 9a or not. There is no such thing as 'the difficulty grade of the route'. But there are the grade suggestions of particular climbers (aka personal grades) and their (public) comments about the difficulty of routes. So anyone who want's to argue what a consensus grade of a particular route should be must:
(a) know all those 'personal' grades and comments about the grade
(b) clearly state what procedure (can be as simple as median or as complicated as writing an article) he used to form consensus grade from (a).

Note not only (a) (personal grades) are subjective, but also (b). There should be tens or hundreds of (a), but millions of (b) in a '9a route'. So no, there is no such thing as 'route grade'.
OffLine Philippe Vaucher
  2018-04-25 08:38:32    
@KlemenP: Thanks for the article. I agree this is how it should have been done: facts, reasoning, explaining of the reasoning then conclusions.

With Jens we often only have the conclusions. Then we have to ask for the explanations, which come bits by bits and sometimes contractict each others, and then the reasoning is usually in the circular form which frustrates everyone.
OnLine austin howell
  2018-04-25 15:38:03    
or perhaps we could admit that some routes are soft like fresh mountain powder, and that's why there's a difference between a "9a climber" and a "solid 9a climber" and everybody knows which one you are when your only route of the grade was soft...

wait. you're right, that's absurd. I'll excuse myself from conversation....
OffLine md
  2018-04-26 09:15:48    
It seems that Era Vella is a pure endurance route. These are always tricky to grade, i.e. appear to be easy for the grade if you're above the level and feel hard if you're just at or slightly below.

Example: I can very easily repeat the most popular endurance 7a at my home crag 5x in a row. This feat doesn't even feel harder than 7a to me, as there are obviously no hard moves and there are always good holds where you can shake out. But my level is clearly higher than 7a. Now tell a climber who just manages to send the route that he has to do it 5x in a row - I'm sure that task would at least be perceived as a 7b or maybe even more.

So who has the most objective view on the grade of such endurance routes? Are these the climbers who have (clearly) more than the required fitness, or is it the ones who just have the right amount?
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-26 09:26:25    
https://www.8a.nu/articles/rating-in-theory-and-reality-everything-is-relative

"A grade doesn't tell you how hard a route is in absolute terms, but it's in fact a measurement of the effort and the time put in by the climbing community in order to succeed on a particular route/boulder. The time/success ratio, for the climbing community, will step by step confirm the grade."

It should be underlined that this means that the grade should mainly be based on the guys being at their personal limit doing a 7a or 9a that have the greatest saying.

An 8a climber saying that a 7a route is too soft just because he can do it 10 times in a row is not of such great interest.

In the case of Era Vella, it is obvious that the facts, giving so many personal best, suggest it might be 8c+.
OffLine Ido Vlaardingerbroek
  2018-04-26 12:14:29    
I'm sorry but you're contradicting yourself a lot in this last post.
In the case of Era Vella it's the guys who have done harder who say it might be easier than 9a while the ones who are at there limit say it feels harder than any of the 8c+'s they have done.
Also for instance Alex Burrows spent much more time and specific training to do Era Vella than for any of his 8c+'s. So this indicates it's harder than those.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-26 12:23:01    
It seems that most of the guys doing hard routes do not give personal grades, they just use the topo grade. Two guys with a personal 9a best have sent me mails saying it should be 8c+ but that they do not want to go public with this.

For Alex it just might be harder than the other 8c+'s he has done but that does not say it is 9a, it just might be that it is a hard 8c+. Sure he can say that for him it was a 9a but in the end with so many repeats it is rather the facts then personal opinions that set the official grades.
OffLine Tapir
  2018-04-26 12:30:29    
Hi guys, it seems like here is the same like in any other websites..
I think that if someone wants to discuss about grade of any route first he has to send it!! So if anyone of you send eravella and thinks its 9a ,ok, just tell to others your opinion, but if you doesnt, why you are discuss or even blame jana or any other guys they are not right!?..
I think the reason why 8a.nu(jens) is reporting these things about some grade/route is that they think its important for the comunity because not everyone is searching in database what the climbers which did the route fell about its grade.. this means that if someone published new topo or update and downgrade od upgrade some route its normal to say this to the rest of comunity and in this case when eravella is someones best it could be bad news for them.. but they send the route and only they can say somethings about grade..
Dont speculate about their feelings.. go to climb eravella and me and lot of others will like to listen your opinion!! Nice day to all :-)
OffLine Tapir
  2018-04-26 12:30:32    
Hi guys, it seems like here is the same like in any other websites..
I think that if someone wants to discuss about grade of any route first he has to send it!! So if anyone of you send eravella and thinks its 9a ,ok, just tell to others your opinion, but if you doesnt, why you are discuss or even blame jana or any other guys they are not right!?..
I think the reason why 8a.nu(jens) is reporting these things about some grade/route is that they think its important for the comunity because not everyone is searching in database what the climbers which did the route fell about its grade.. this means that if someone published new topo or update and downgrade od upgrade some route its normal to say this to the rest of comunity and in this case when eravella is someones best it could be bad news for them.. but they send the route and only they can say somethings about grade..
Dont speculate about their feelings.. go to climb eravella and me and lot of others will like to listen your opinion!! Nice day to all :-)
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-26 15:31:48    
Please look at the grade inflation and you will understand that is not the best thing to just reported ascents and grades and make a topo. It the Era Vella case, Dani Andrada has down graded it in the topo although almost everyone have reported it as a 9a.

Please also remember the Mind Control route, which nowadays are considered 8c although most have reported it as 8c+. Some ten years ago, Gabri did it and was spot on in his 8a comment. " everybody knows it's only 8c...but nobody will ever downgrade it :-P"

Before Moroni's comments I had speculated that it might be 8c, also based on "anonymous" comments send to me.

I think it is great if the climbers use the topo grade and let the sometimes controversial grade changes be done by topo producers as well as data bases like 8a.
OffLine Bojan
  2018-04-27 10:20:24    
Don't forget the primary role of the grade is to give info about the difficulties you may expect when you try an unknown route. If this info is not 'exact', there is no problem. You just recognise a route is maybe a 'plus' too hard for you and you choose another route or try it later.

The problem is some guys and media are convinced the grade is something objective and their exists sth like the 'true' grade of a route. And from here they use grades as the basis for rankings of the climbers/routes, i.e., who is better/best/first or which route is harder/first of the grade etc. which is wrong. If someone wants to compare, grade (whichever--personal or even consensus) is a bad basis for doing this -- if you want to compare go to the competition!
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-04-27 10:59:54    
I totally agree and because of that, 8a try to avoid presenting slash grades as they indicate when a route is not 8c+ or 9a but instead exactly in between. Further more, we always use ranking game in order to say, it is just for fun. The 8a users can choose to take part in the game or just have a log-book and it seems almost all like to be part of the game :)
OffLine pbla4024
  2018-04-27 11:47:39    
English biologist Richard Dawkins wrote interesting article called "The tyranny of the discontinuous mind". It discuss problems you get when you try to split continuum (even multidimensional) into ordered set of "boxes".

https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/12/issue-essay-line-dawkins

Surprisingly, it seems to be quite relevant for climb grades.
OnLine Endre Verden
  2018-05-01 21:05:32    
8a.nu lack the posability to tick the route (topo grade) and give personal grade.

So there is noway of knowing if a said grade is just a tick(topo grade) or actually a personal grade.

Start by giving the climbers the ability to give personal grade, but it must not be a requirement.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-05-08 08:57:51    
Why should you record both a topo grade and a personal grade. It must be easiest to just record the personal grade like Adam Ondra and others do.

Two guys who have done Era Vell has sent me messages that they think it is: "soft 8c+" and "8c/+". Both said they wanted to stay anonymous but wanted to share their opinion. All in all, four guys have now sent messages to 8a saying that 9a is wrong but they do not want to go public with it.

Like five years ago, 8a started to speculate if it was 9a, in order to make the news as correct as possible. The reason why we started to speculate was some repeaters sent personal messages and also that many did quick personal best with Era Vella.
OnLine Endre Verden
  2018-05-10 11:36:59    
Because sometimes you have a opinion on the grade, sometimes you don't.

Many do not care about giving their opinion, they climb.

Sometimes you know you made it harder than it is, because you did something wrong. Then it can be hard to give an accurate opinion.

Sometimes you do not have experience in the grade, and do not know if it is correct.

Sometimes you are so way above the grade, that it can be hard to distinguish.
etc...

There are many reasons for either giving or not giving personal grade.

You mention several times "climbers" just take the topo grade.
As 8a grades are a mess of topo grades and personal grades, you have no way of knowing if the grade given by a climber is topo or personal, if they havn't made a specific comment about it.

It's just one feature this site lack.
In the same way, it's impossible to know if someone have rated a route to be terrible (-) or just don't have an opinion on how nice/ugly/good the route is.

There is only two reasons for not changing this.
The lack of will and capabilities of this website.

And that it will mess up the database even more, even if the data is bad, it has been constant like this (I think), which give some stability over time.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-05-10 15:00:51    
We think this puts too much focus on the grades as most actually do not bother. It might be possible to add routes in an advance mode and if so we might consider it...but once again, I think the system works pretty ok already as it is :)
OnLine Endre Verden
  2018-05-10 15:29:33    
Then I suggest that you stop saying "...as most do just take the topo grade...", "...most climbers just take the topo grade...", "...they just use the topo grade..."

On your site there is no way of distinguish if the climber gave a personal grade or just ticket the route with the topo grade.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2018-05-10 16:57:58    
If you have recorded 100 climbs and always recorded the topo grade, it seems that person use the topo grade. However, you can mark it as soft or hard and that most hardcore climbers do. The bottom line is that even with a personal grade box, i do not think many would have used it. Take Era Vella as an example, I am sure it would have been the same.

You do it and as many do not want to discredit Sharma and friends they would not like to post a personal grade. Even if they did Maybe some would anyhow mark it as 9a even if they thought it personally was easier. Grades are delicate and I think it works great as many topo producers use it for changing grades.
OnLine Endre Verden
  2018-05-10 17:46:59    
How do you know someone recorded 100 topo grades or 100 personal grades?
Out of 100 climbs, it's likely that they more often than not would agree with the topo grade.

A route can be soft or hard, and still be within the grade.
Soft does not equal a downgrade suggestion, and hard does not equal a upgrade suggestion.

So when someone state hard on 8a, you can't distinguish if they think it's hard within the grade, or for them personally it was harder and a different grade.