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Forum: GLOBAL / Editorial / Grades and ethics questioned Login in to contribute
Grades and ethics questioned
OffLine 8a.nu
  2019-05-31 00:00:00    
Quite frequently we get mails in regards questioned grades and ethics used by the top climbers. These guys always want to stay anonymous but they send them in, in order for the news to be correct. Take it with a pinch of salt but here they are. It should be noted that historically, when we get this type of news frequently, they are often down graded once the news is out.

9a: Papichulo 9a and Thors Hammer
8c+: Estado Critico 8c+, Era Vella, Underground, Cabane au Canada, Esclatamasters, Bain de Sang, Jungle Speed, La Reina Mora

8B+: The Big Island, Practice of the wild, Spray of Light
8B: The Never ending story, Golden shadow, Mooiste Meisie

It should be mentioned that many of the above have previously been questioned. Further more, we sometimes receive info in regards climbers using bad ethics in regards onsight ethics or using too many crash pads etc. Normally we inform the climbers but clearly we do not publish such info as we expect it also sometimes come from "competitors".
OffLine Sebastian Peace
  2019-05-31 11:46:58    
If they did the climbs, they can give as many personal grades as they want. I just don't understand why they don't publicly log their ascents here and create drama without participating in the discussions. Maybe, they don't want to be called out but they are doing it themselves in a way without having to stand up for what they say. Same for the ethics.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-05-31 11:49:16    
Most people do not want to speak out, i.e. The Emperor's new clothes story :)
OffLine pbla4024
  2019-05-31 12:00:47    
La reina mora is not a downgrade. FA was given as 8c and first repeat as 8c+.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-05-31 12:04:36    
The official grade is now 9a as seven guys have recorded it as 9a on 8a. I do not know how where this upgrade come from in the beginning.
OffLine JLH
  2019-05-31 16:41:51    
There is no such thing as official grade in climbing...

The story about Reina Mora:
"The Reina Mora is an obvious crack that has the same start as "La Rambla Original" and allows to reach the relay in a more direct version. When Nicolas Favresse succeeded in August 2010, he thought to have made the first ascent and proposed 8c + for this path. He did not know that Ramon Julian had chained him in 2008 and had listed 8c. Dani Andrada then made the path and leans instead for 8c + / 9a or 9a. In January 2012, after her success, Alizée Dufraisse estimated the ensemble at 9a."

And please stop talking about climbing 'ethics' when you are describing variability of grades. In most cases this variability has nothing to do with ethics, it just shows natural variability of people estimating the same 'object'. People just give grades they feel, probably different, different for so many reasons...
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-05-31 16:49:21    
I agree that there is no such thing as an official grade so this was a bad word from me especially since I have said so for 20 years now.

Reina Mora is up on the list as most lately have referred it to be 9a but I have been hinted that this is dead wrong.

Grades and ethics are two different subjects in this article so it seems you have missunderstood the headline.
OnLine Alex Barrows
  2019-05-31 17:03:39    
"using too many crash pads"
I didn't know there were rules on this. Could you please send me the appropraite specifications so that I don't use too many?
OffLine pbla4024
  2019-05-31 17:11:49    
Axiom Holloway-Gill:
Number of crashpads allowed belongs to set N0 but does not belong to set N*.
OffLine Jason Crank
  2019-05-31 17:56:40    
Number of crashpads can alter the start of problems. There have been people called out for "squat" starting otherwise sitstart problems (I feel like there was some controversy over Americans on Steppenwolf 8B, but I can't find any references). Theres been some talk about The Mandala in Bishop - many stack pads to start one move higher than the original Sharma start. There's frequently a stack of pads to get into the start of Celestial Mechanics at Stonefort. Those are just two that jump to mind easily. I generally try to start as low as I can - if I think the pad is helping prop me into the start, I'll try without it.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-05-31 18:04:01    
If you use more then one pad you should mention.
OffLine Henning Wang
  2019-05-31 19:38:51    
Like Jason said, Jens is talking about pad stacking not the amount of crashpads. You can use 40 pads if you want just not more then at most 1 (sometimes none) on top of eachother to start the problem (unless otherwise spesified obviously), be that standing or sitting.
Another classic example of this Jason is Kheops assis in Font, established as 8C starting sitting ass on the ground (no pad), then repeated with an american sitstart (also known as crouching) and downgraded to 8B+.
The actual sit still unrepeaded as far as I know, the crouching start repeated quite often and claimed as Kheops assis..
OffLine Kenny Walker
  2019-06-01 11:00:26    
Sitstarts, crouching starts, one pad, two, a stack of pads... bouldering is a great game but when problems are dependent on whether you’re lying, sitting, squatting, crouching our standing, and on what number of pads, then it becomes a bit absurd. Proud lines with obvious starts will always rule.
OffLine Joakim Thommesen
  2019-06-01 23:49:58    
Give your average American climber half a chance and they will succumb to doubious ethics - crouching starts, multiple starting pads, pre-clips, knee-pads and what not.
OffLine Lorenzo Cambria
  2019-06-02 17:36:35    
grades are subjective so this discussion has no sens 9a or 9a+ is like 7a or 7a+ who can really tell the difference.
OffLine kilian kolb
  2019-06-02 20:12:43    
Tim Emmetts thoughts on Era Vella seem to apply to this: "Seeing as Sharma, Ondra and Megos propose EV being 9a and that’s before the foothold broke, perhaps now it settles at this grade. If you want to downgrade it maybe accept that you’ve had a good day or think about downgrading your ego instead."


Maybe grade discussions should be held by climbers who tried a route themselves, and everyone else should just stfu.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-06-02 21:41:40    
All but two of the mentioned routes and boulders have been commented by climbers who have done them.

The grade inflation shows that the climbing community is that that good to get good grades. I would say estimate that half of the climbers would not like to down grade they just go for the topo grade. We have seen many climbs that have been down graded although 80 % have "confirmed" it previously. Sometimes it is like the Emperor's new clothes. Nobody wants to be the first to down grade but once this is done... many follow.

8a was the first media who said that many boulders in Ticino and Rocklands should be down graded. Many did not like that but nowadays, 50 % of the old hard core boulders have been down graded.

Dave Graham put up the Story of Two (Grading) worlds as a super hard 8C in order to stop the grade inflation. Some actually thought it should be 8C+. Now it is considered a soft 8C :)
OffLine Jason Crank
  2019-06-03 14:56:09    
With respect to TSOTW: that is the point of "Benchmarks". Its the point where things cross over. Anything that feels harder than the benchmark is atleast that grade. Anything that feels easier than the benchmark is less than that grade. I remember someone commenting that they had done Radja, the first proposed 8B, and saying its strange that it was soft for the grade - I disagree, its natural from the first thing that marks a new level to be the lowest part of that level. Over the line into the next demarcation, but just barely so.
OffLine Jens Larssen
  2019-06-03 16:26:10    
I agree on what you say but do not forget that new sequences can be found down grading benchmarks...
OffLine Franz the Stampede
  2019-06-03 21:22:57    
Excuse me, what is the credibility of somebody who wants to stay anonymous AND YET lecture top climbers about ethics?

Also, climbers are training better than ever, have more resources than ever. They should stop imposing their fitness as a measure of the grade but rather go back to use the grade as the measure of their fitness.

Climbed 8c and found it easy? Try 8c+. What about you being stronger than you thought rather than the climb being soft?