Downgrades not by average opinions but also by facts


Sunday, 7 February

Grades are based on subjective opinions but potential downgrades are normally not based on averages of these opinions. Instead, in practice, there is often an element of “The Emperor’s New Clothing”. The reason for this is that most climbers avoid giving personal grades but instead just go use the "topo grade", which is just fine. Other possibilities are of course that a new sequence has been found, the use of knee pads or a broken hold.

The latest example of this is The Big Island in Fontainebleau, which until two weeks ago was the most repeated 8C with 20+ ascents. Then Lucien Martinez did it calling it 8B+ and now also Antoine Kauffmann said the same thing. Basically, both of them used the fact that they had never done an 8B+ before as part of their logic saying it could not be 8C.

Here is the first 8a grading article from 2002. "Rating is based on individual subject suggestions and confirmed by facts and results by the climbing community.

In other words, in some cases, individuals and the media could actually suggest downgrades even if they have never been on the site. 8a has done this for the last 20 years in order to try to present as correct news as possible. If the next repeater of The Big Island calls it 8B+, we will start reporting it as such.

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