/ Confused on grading

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Supadeano86 - on 17 Feb 2013
Hi guys.
I'm a bit confused on the grading on a route. Now this may be a simple one but I have to ask.
If a route is graded as a HVS that's obv a lead climb and graded. If u top rope the climb does it maintain the same grade?
Might sound stupid but I just don't know
I'm guessing it may do as the route doesnt change just the method in which I get upit
henwardian - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: The route will also have a technical grade associated with the overall HVS grade. This will probably be 5a or 5b, that is the grade you climb when you climb it on toprope.
Rampikino - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

Grading is a funny old business.

If you top rope an HVS 5a then it is still a 5a. Is it still an HVS? Hmm, in name only I guess.
Supadeano86 - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Rampikino: so yes it's a 5a. Not a HVS anymore. So does that really relate to the indoor wall grading system.
Fraser on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:
> ...does it maintain the same grade?

Yes, it maintains the same grade, it's just that you top-roped an HVS rather than led one.
Rampikino - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Fraser:

It remains an HVS in name only. The adjectival part of the climb has been nullified by the top rope
In reply to Supadeano86:
> So does that really relate to the indoor wall grading system.

Indoor grades are French/Sport, very different to UK Trad grades.

Try this: http://www.rockfax.com/publications/grades/


Chris

PS Climbing more than 4 years and you still don't understand?
GridNorth - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: Yes and no. The grade is the grade is the grade as published but I think you are talking about how a route feels. Individual pitches may be the same technical grade, 4c, 5a, 5b etc. but the adjectival grade, HVS, E1, E2 etc. attempts to give information about the seriousness and overall feel of the climb as opposed to the technical difficulties of a pitch.

Second question: Again no it is nothing like. Most indoor walls use the French Sport climbing grading system and it is very difficult to make comparisons. I know 7a indoor climbers who cannot lead HVS climbs. For what it's worth and it's not a lot,a climb graded F6b equates to UK 5c in purely technical terms but placing gear and finding the correct line can be difficult for those who have started indoors and in most cases dramatically curtails their trad ambitions.
turtlespit - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: note that the 5a is a UK technical grade, which grades the hardest move on the route. It should be the same as a UK 5a in a climbing centre, though a lot of centres are using french sport grades now.

Top roping a trad route is far easier than leading it. On lead you'll hang around longer to place gear, and will make moves more statically than if you were on top rope.
Supadeano86 - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to turtlespit: yeah I understand that cheers. Just wondered on top roping to leading.
As stated it obviously makes the route easier. Cheers guys
Paul Hy - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: you should only claim the grade when you've lead it. If you TR HVS you put it as such in your logbook, it doesn't mean your grade is that. A UK tech grade 5a or 5b = (so the book says) a French grade F5+/F6a outside not on plastic! P.S. i see you've been climbing for more than 4 years yet only 15 routes in logbook tut tut.
Bulls Crack - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to Fraser)
>
> It remains an HVS in name only. The adjectival part of the climb has been nullified by the top rope

Not the 'sustainediness' of it
Bulls Crack - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to turtlespit:
> (In reply to Supadeano86) note that the 5a is a UK technical grade, which grades the hardest move on the route. It should be the same as a UK 5a in a climbing centre, though a lot of centres are using french sport grades now.
>
All of them I would have thought?!
Blue Straggler - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
>
>
> PS Climbing more than 4 years and you still don't understand?

Bit harsh!
jkarran - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

The grade is just a number (or equivalent) in a book or on a server somewhere. How you tackle the route will determine your experience of it but it won't alter the number in the book.

It gets a little more complicated where enough people over a long enough time tackle a particular route in a particular style for whatever reason (eg soloing as a warm-up or redpointing a bold slab) which skews their perspective and eventually skews the results of grade voting on sites like this which can eventually feed back to guidebook grades. I don't think that's really what you were asking though is it?

Generally routes feel easier to top-rope. There's no weight of rope and you're free to commit more fully to low probability moves.

jk
Trangia - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply:

At indoor walls the grading seems to go up to 5+ then from 6 upwards it's 6a, b,c etc sometimes even 6a+ like one I climbed last night. I do find the mixing up of a, b and c with + or - somewhat confusing, particularly as every grade is so subjective anyway.

As for trad if you are doing a multi pitch HVS surely it's HVS for the whole party whether second or leader? The only unwritten understanding is that it's more serious for the leader, or leaders if you are leading through. No guide book would say "HVS for the leader, Severe for the second", would it?
GrahamD - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

The climb will always appear in the guidebook as HVS 5a with no qualification howevert The HVS 5a experience is supposed to refer to the on sight lead experience.

If you top rope it the guidebook won't change - you will just get a very different experience. Guidebooks do not try to grade specifically for a top rope experience. There are no bragging rights associated with top ropes.
tlm - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Paul Hy:
> i see you've been climbing for more than 4 years yet only 15 routes in logbook tut tut.

I've been climbing 20 years, and there are no routes in my logbook...

Trangia - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Supadeano86)
> [...]
>
> >
> PS Climbing more than 4 years and you still don't understand?

Oh come off it! I've been climbing for over 50 years and I still don't understand! :)

When I started the only grades were
Easy
Moderate
Difficult
Very Difficult
Severe
Very Severe

There were no technical grades, no indoor walls and bouldering was something you mucked about on large rocks near your camp site, apart from at Font where colour graded circuits existed (I think even then although I didn't go there until much later).

It is of interest to note that there were however, numerical grades on Southern Sandstone with a table relating to an adjectival system as follows:-

Moderate (and easy) 1A
Moderately Difficult 1B
Difficult, easy 2A
" hard 2B
Very Difficult, easy 3A
" medium 3B
" hard 4A
Severe easy 4B
" medium 5A
" hard 5B
Very Severe 6

The Guide Book Stated "It was taken as axiomatic that no climb on an outcrop can be classified as Grade 6 because this is reserved for high mountains....of mountain length....inescapable and involve great technical difficulty and the handling of veggetation and poor quality rock". In the 1947 guidebook 5B was the highest classification used. The 1956 guidebook introduced a grade of 5C as more difficult climbs began to be done.
alooker - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: I see it like this. A climb is HVS 5a in the guidebook, and would be HVS 5a for a leader. In most cases it would just be the 'technical' part of the description when you choose to top rope, which would be 5a - this is because you are on top rope and aren't facing the same mental pressures as if you were leading, this is a huge part of traditional climbing. Indoor walls should not have the british adjectival grades and it makes me laugh when I see it occasionally (looking at you North West face in Warrington!)

It's not quite as simple as that however and variations will always come to light. For example, occasionally a climb can be just as/more dangerous for the second. A poorly protected traverse pitch with gear before the crux would be an example of this. Best thing to do would be to claim an 'HVS 5a' but make sure you say it was on top rope/second.
duchessofmalfi - on 18 Feb 2013
Let's put it this way: Would you feel the same about leading the HVS (instead of top roping it)?

The HVS grade is for leading the climb. A lot of the answers here are equivalent and differ only by semantics:

* You climbing a UK technical grade 5A
* You top roped an HVS
* You climbed an HVS in name only

all mean more or less the same thing. The climb, of course, remains HVS 5a.

Ultimately it really doesn't matter as long as you don't kid yourself (or misrepresent yourself) that this was the same as leading it. Mind you, if you do kid yourself and this was your limit, you'll quickly realise the error of your ways when to attempt to lead the next HVS!

While a lot of people treat grades as bragging rights or a ladder to climb or a motivational tool, the primary purpose of grades and guidebooks is so you can choose routes appropriate to you ability so you can enjoy climbing.




Trangia - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
>
>
> the primary purpose of grades and guidebooks is so you can choose routes appropriate to you ability so you can enjoy climbing.

Spot on!
Skip - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

What about this:

Rock Hopper @ Sennen, M,6a ????

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=247592
GridNorth - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:

> While a lot of people treat grades as bragging rights or a ladder to climb or a motivational tool, the primary purpose of grades and guidebooks is so you can choose routes appropriate to you ability so you can enjoy climbing.

Good answer. French grading of course encourages exactly the opposite. :-)
tlm - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

I must say that I always have to apply a degree of interpretation to any grade anyway, so can't really just use grade as a measure of if I can climb a route or not. If it's juggy and steep, I will have to drop my grade considerably when compared to something requiring reach, flexibility and cunning.
Martin Bennett - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Paul Hy:

" . . . i see you've been climbing for more than 4 years yet only 15 routes in logbook tut tut."

I've been climbing for 48 years and have kept a diary of each and every route but you won't see it - why would anyone but me be interested in it?
Paul Hy - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin Bennett: i do it because i want to keep a log just like you have kept over the years, but the difference is that UKC was not around when you started yours but it was when i started mine. If my climbing buddies want to see what i've been doing they can look, if they don't, they don't, simple as that really.
Now i have quite a few climbing buddies, but before when i've asked for partners i'd only go with someone who's got a history as at the end of the day it's your life on the end of the rope.
Paul Hy - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to duchessofmalfi)
> [...]
>
> Spot on!

x2

Andy Long - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Supadeano86)
>
> The climb will always appear in the guidebook as HVS 5a with no qualification howevert The HVS 5a experience is supposed to refer to the on sight lead experience.
>
>I agree. British grades imply an on-sight lead. Top-roping turns it into a training exercise and of course nullifies any future lead. As does pre-placed gear.

Milesy - on 24 Feb 2013
So you lead an HVS, 5a but you second a 5a, but would that same logic apply on multipitch? The second may not be doing the lead, but the overall grade might take into account the belays between pitches, where a fall for the second might still have bad consequences?
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to Supadeano86)
>
> What about this:
>
> Rock Hopper @ Sennen, M,6a ????
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=247592

what's going on with that one then...?
Milesy - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

6a move right off the ground?
JFraser123 - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Paul Hy:
Worth noting that a UKC logbook is a trust based system, someone could log routes they have never been anywhere near. Also many people may choose to make their guidebook secret, or just forget to update it (the case with the op?)
JackHatton - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86: you have the technical grade ( 4a,4b,4c,5a,5b ect)that tells you how hard the hardest single move on that pitch is then you have hs, vs, hvs, E1 extra had more to do with severity of the climb I.e. general hardiness of the climb, how run out/ safe the protection is on the route. And thats what makes up the English grading system
Offwidth - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Pretty obvious BS. The adjectival grade must take into account the difficulty of doing the moves. Even above the softest landing in the world a 6a move would be not much below VS.
Ramblin dave - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Isn't this one of those cases - like Balcony Buttress or Sunset Slab - where guidebook writers bend the rules a bit because it feels like a better and more useful description of the route?
craig1983 - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to JackHatton:
> And thats what makes up the English grading system

*British*
Kemics - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Supadeano86:

Multipitch grades have caught me out before thinking it only extends to the crux pitch.

E3 5c,5b,5b. etc

I think, "I let the manly man take the crux pitch and i'll mop up the easier stuff which is probaly only E1 5b as an individual pitch" ....and then end up bricking it because I've suddenly found myself on a pitch which didn't feel far off E2/3 5b. Doh.
Offwidth - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I think you mean Verandah Buttress (which is really S 4c when you know the trick) so at HVD 5b there is a big gap to M 6a. Sunset Slab is almost definitive HVS 4b these days and is only one tech grade off a pretty common grade and IMHO an excellent use of the UK system.

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