/ Routes and grades and styles

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BusyLizzie on 09 Dec 2012
I climb regularly at the Reading wall, and am climbing 5+s and the occasional 6a there. Yesterday I enjoyed very much an afternoon at The Castle - but found myself climbing 4+s and the occasional 5. How much of this is a matter of getting used to a different style of route-setting, and how much is it a real difference in grading? It doesn't matter, really, because I do this for fun!
Stone Idle - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to BusyLizzie: Same as at a real crag, really. So long as the grading is consistent across the board (and most times there is just the occasional aberration or sand bag), you can have fun without getting spanked too hard - and on a wall it seldom matters much
Siderunner - on 09 Dec 2012
I think the Castle is fairly tough with its grading compared to other London walls, except Amersham. Certainly I find I can add a half grade when I go to westway or a full v grade when I went to the old Arch.

For me the castle is also in line with outdoors, I often come back from outdoor climbing (portland or Spain) and find I operate at the same level back at the wall. Occasionally the castle seems harder, but that's because I'm reasonable with my feet and good at finding rests outdoors, whilst a bit low on power endurance for indoors.
Tom Woolgar - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to BusyLizzie: the eternal question about grading differences! A lot of the serious route setters do travel around the various walls in the Uk to set routes so a lot of the grading/style of route setting should be fairly even. Some walls can still be miles out though and then it gets demoralising when you are off your normal grade. I've started logging my indoor routes at Manchester CC on http://www.climbstar.com for my own training purposes but its also good to see if other people have found the route difficult or easy for the given grade. It's not so demoralising when others have also found the route hard! Reading CC is part of the same business group so i pretty sure their routes would be on there too.

Happy Climbing!
BusyLizzie on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to all: Thank you guys - these are very comforting comments!
GrahamD - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to BusyLizzie:

In my experience, wall grades can vary by as much as 2 grades between different walls. Also some walls will make routes harder just by spacing the holds more and this will obviously add disproportionate difficulty for some people.

In short comparing what you climb grade wise between different walls is not a reliable measure of progress IMO
GridNorth - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to BusyLizzie: You would think that there would at least be some consistency at the same wall but even that seems impossible. I can cruise 6a and 6+, on sight at my local but there are a few 6b's that stop me dead in my tracks, even after several attempts. That has to be wrong. I can also see that some of those 6a+'s would be considerably harder for a shorter person as they would have to smear on the smooth wall to make an intermediate move in order to reach the next good hold. The best way to achieve consistency would be to allow the people climbing those routes the most to suggest grades.
Ava Adore - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to BusyLizzie:

I well remember being severely spanked by the Castle grading last year . You are not alone!

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