Should grades be for redpoint or onsight

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Should we grade routes for onsight or redpoint?

Total votes: 7

Posts: 268
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:48 pm
Real Name: Guy Holwill
Location: Cape Town

Should grades be for redpoint or onsight

Post by Guy » Wed May 18, 2005 8:22 am

Believe it or not - ALL grading systems worldwide are for an onsight effort (for routes). Boulder problems are definitely graded for \"redpoint\" - ie they assume that you know the beta.

Should we change our route grades to be for redpoints? I'm not sure that there would be a difference - except on a few highly technical routes that might get downgraded.

I'm also not sure that we haven't already started grading for redpoint - ie when routes get downgraded because someone finds an easier sequence. Some examples: Bolero (Mine), Thundering Typhoons (Peers Cave), Happy Hooker (Mine).

The effect of grading for redpoint is that you could end up with 24's that would rarely get onsighted because nobody would find the extremely cunning knee bar on the crux.

Steve B

Onsight/red point grading

Post by Steve B » Wed May 18, 2005 12:28 pm

(1) \"All grading systems worldwide are for onsight effort (routes)\"

Changing our grading system for redpoints would be rather odd in light of the above.

(2) The bulk of our grades are for on sight ascents.

This is not to say that the grade was determined by someone doing an onsight ascent. What it means is that such a system was established and thereafter existing grades were used as the reference by which to grade new routes on the same principle. Clearly in the upper end of the grading system this is often done by extrapolation and might be inaccurate. Be that as it may, changing all the grades of our routes would be silly - because it's a colossal inconvenience to do it. Can there possibly be any advantage to outweigh this?

(3) Some of our routes are graded for the easiest known sequence by someone who has done the route a lot of times. Which is simply stupid because it means that the route is then inconsistently graded in relation to the bulk of the other climbs. The classic example is indeed Bolero at The Mine. Of course it's fun to lap it in flip flops carrying dumbells when you are becoming a small-pond climbing god, and then it's so incredibly cool to downgrade it. But is that meaningful to anyone except you and your buddies? No it isn't. Now that I'm old and useless I'm embarrassed at having played such silly ego games when I was younger.

Let's stick with what we've got and rectify the few silly anomalies that we know of.

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