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 Post subject: To down or not...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Posts: 183
I've had a discussion with some people on the fact of downgrading a route or not . If a super mega hard route has been climbed umpteen times does it mean the grade should be lowered ? Maybe it just means that we as climbers have improved over the years or the route fits the style of these climbers . What about sandbagging a route ? A lot of people are cautious when opening a route that someone else may have a different opinion on the grade .
Its understandable if a route was opened and you missed some key hold that allows a rest point or such , but what if the only holds are what you see . There's no one allowing you to downgrade a route .
What's the views ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:09 pm 
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Location: Durban
Real Name: Russell Warren
The grade is supposed to be given for an onsight attempt anyway so I think quite a few routes will appear soft at the grade once the sequence is known. Once you know the sequence it (in my opinion) becomes almost impossible to grade for an onsight. At the risk of stating the obvious the climbs that only have one obvious sequence should have the most consistent grading.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:23 pm 
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anything that Dom climbs should be downgraded, g a y hand and all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:32 am 
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Onsight grades are good to a point, but few people(in SA) can onsight beyond 29 regularly. Would a climber have to onsight a soft 32 to down grade it to 31? Does the onsight rule change at some point near 26? Onsighting trad beyond 26 would be a feat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:34 am 
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Yeah imagine if we let some hard climbers figure out some technically difficult route & then downgrade it from a 28 or something to a 14, just because they have figured out the moves!

Some climbs are always thin, even if you have a solution & others are physically brutal, so they will always be the same grade, but others are very technical, requiring the correct sequence of moves. Once one has got these taped you can repeat the climb time & again. At this point you could grade everything as a 13 (ask Hector). Obviously if you barely finish the climb you may not be the one to get the grade right! As its all subjective, one needs to have a depth of climbs completed to decide a grade...no doubt there are lots of readers of this forum who would have an opinion... :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:15 am 
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We read about all these routes been opened in the Eastern Cape in the SAMM, but what if the routes are been sandbagged ? Not on purpose but you just tend to climb in the same area or same type of rock . On trad of course its a total different perspective but who've heard about Steve McClure's onsight of a 5.13 (??) trad line in the US . Maybe we need to go and check out the routes in this Eastern Cape .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:18 am 
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'Sport routes are generally graded for a redpoint ascent. The exception to this is easier routes which tend only to be onsighted. Where the grade emphasis switches from one to the other is a grey area but most grades above 7a+ will be redpoint grades.' -Steve Mc Clure.

Sorry Guy, but he should know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:22 am 
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Firstly, the grade of a route should depend on how physically hard the route is if compaired to 'solid' routes of the same grade doing the optimal sequence. And secondly, how technical the crux sequence is = how onsightable it is. This is where the trouble comes in, experience plays a mayor role in 'reading' the rock and what you have in your bag of tricks.
Normally the grade of a harder route settles by concensis because most people have to work the route and therefore the best way is found. Easier routes are climbed any-which-way and therefore get a rough grade.
But does it really matter if a route is a 16 or 17? Gospal Express at The Steeple in Monagu is the great example of a route that is not about climbing for the grade but the experience.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:48 am 
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Nicodemus wrote:
anything that Dom climbs should be downgraded, g a y hand and all.


I only look for the soft ticks. It's a pity most of my friends/climbing partners can't do them, despite the fact that the problems are always ripe for the downgrade.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:10 am 
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dom wrote:
Nicodemus wrote:
anything that Dom climbs should be downgraded, g a y hand and all.


I only look for the soft ticks. It's a pity most of my friends/climbing partners can't do them, despite the fact that the problems are always ripe for the downgrade.


*sigh that was boring... better get yourself up to Jozi so we can rip you off properly


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:25 am 
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Nicodemus wrote:
dom wrote:
Nicodemus wrote:
anything that Dom climbs should be downgraded, g a y hand and all.


I only look for the soft ticks. It's a pity most of my friends/climbing partners can't do them, despite the fact that the problems are always ripe for the downgrade.


*sigh that was boring... better get yourself up to Jozi so we can rip you off properly


Sounds like a great plan - I'll leave the best rock in SA, for the worst.

You're a genius, Greg, an absolute genius.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:51 am 
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dom wrote:
Sounds like a great plan - I'll leave the best rock in SA, for the worst.

You're a genius, Greg, an absolute genius.


Forgot you don't do high stuff like strubens (cause that's high dude)

Could always go away somewhere ... like early Nov, next trip planned


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:57 am 
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Nicodemus wrote:
Could always go away somewhere ... like early Nov, next trip planned


Come down here - there are tons of soft ticks.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:12 pm 
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dom wrote:
Come down here - there are tons of soft ticks.


fingers are still screwed... so takin this month off... but should be all good early Nov and maybe come down late Nov


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:21 pm 
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Nicodemus wrote:
fingers are still screwed... so takin this month off... but should be all good early Nov and maybe come down late Nov


cool, give me some notice and I'll try organise a Rocklands trip.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:54 pm 
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ummm,... theres this little button with PM on it, it means private message, or better yet use windows messenger or the like. Whats really boring is reading your private conversations in a public forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:03 pm 
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Got to agree with Grigri , if you cannot comment on the subject then log off . More interesting to read about the views of other climbers about the downgrading of routes , whether allowable or not and if anybody out there has climbed in the Eastern Cape .


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:38 pm 
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Grigri wrote:
ummm,... theres this little button with PM on it, it means private message, or better yet use windows messenger or the like. Whats really boring is reading your private conversations in a public forum.


Dude it's probably the most exciting thing that's been on this board for awhile..

Cool Dom will let ya know


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:52 am 
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\"about the downgrading of routes , whether allowable or not\"

...of course it is allowable, but do not expect the opener of the route to like the down grade. But if there is agreement between a few experianced climers who feel strongly enough, have some good reasons & comparisons...then it is down. Or we will have false grades. In most cases expect strong discussion or an argument. If the down grader has onsighted the route his argument will carry more weight.

Beware Natalians like to onsight 12s & 13s...then downgrade them to 9s.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
I tend to open more routes than I repeat so my grading tends be all over the place and I usually welcome a second opinion in adjusting the grade but Marshall is correct in saying that there will be some discussion involved.
I have often sand-bagged myself on my own routes because I was in a good climbing mind when I opened the thing and gave it a lower number.
At the end of the day it is not so much about the grade of the route for me but the quality of the experience I had climbing it :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:20 pm 
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For sure, if enough climbers who have climbed the route agree (hmmm!) then a new grade should be assigned whether adjusted up or down. However simply because a route sees many repeats does not mean that it should automatically be downgraded. There are too many other factors to consider, accessibility, popularity of the crag, quality of the route etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:24 pm 
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Why the popularity of the crag ? What if the route is at some obscure place somewhere in Lesotho but still a beautiful line . Downgrade the route then because of the walk in to the crag . The grade is still just a measure of difficulty but how many of us can actually say we don't bother about the grade . [/img]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:19 pm 
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I agree
Accessibility and popularity should not affect grading which is a measure of difficulty.

I think as much as possible (i.e. whenever guides come out) grades should be adjusted based on consensus. It is the responsibility of the author to do a wide consensus of opinion (as Guy used to do)

Lastly, all routes should be graded on the redpoint as any trick that is uncovered by working the route could be figured out on the onsight. If a knee-bar makes a route 2 grades easier the route, the route is easier than was originally thought and should not stay at the old grade. Otherwise, there would be lots of soft routes. I do not see a reason why this should not apply to all grades


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:06 pm 
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...'poularity of the crag'. A route at a more popular crag will see more repeats than one at an obscure crag. But the fact that it has simply been repeated often should not imply an automatic downgrading. Grading should always be on consensus and in relation to other routes (some established long ago) of the same grade.

Relating back to long established routes guarantees consistency over time and stops 'grade creep'. There are several routes locally that are overgraded. Lets hope future regrading will be done in consultation with as broader spectrum of climbers as possible and not simply at the whim of a few guidebook editors!


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