/ Fiend's E0 Grade

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Chris Fryer - on 30 Jul 2002
As he wont let it rest and mentions it at every opportunity, I'm curious. Think its a good idea or a crap one? Basically the idea is the gap between HVS and E1 is too large, so E0 fills the gap.

I personally think its a crap idea as its not necessary.

Opinions?
Adam Lincoln - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:

HVS - E1, big gap? Bollox!
CragHead - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:

Hmm I think it good idea!
Toby_W on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer: We do need more grades. I think we should have a second set of technical grades to cover the awkwardness of a route. You know those moves where you're lying on your belly grunting & wiggling your feet in the air while trying to reach behind your head to remove yourself from the position (and cursing the sod who suggested doing this route at all).
Seriously though E0, sounds like a girls grade to me!
Cheers
Toby
FH on 30 Jul 2002 - proxyserver.lcb.ac.uk
In reply to Chris Fryer:

The gaps are personal, where they appear is where an individual is pushing their own personal grade.

Nick Ward - on 30 Jul 2002
I think after his oting on Sunday, he may be about to announce plans of an E1+ grade, especially for leicester
FH on 30 Jul 2002 - proxyserver.lcb.ac.uk
In reply to Toby_W:

"I think we should have a second set of technical grades"

We have - V grades, if guide book writers applied these then Bingo!
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Chris Fryer: It's not at all that I "won't let it rest", it's more that I find it genuinely relevant (and indeed useful) to various discussions that crop up.

In reply to Adam Lincoln: Try telling that to all the people arguing here and indeed elsewhere about HVS and E1 grades (ref: The Sloth; ref: 3 Pebble Slab).

In reply to Nick: Naaaa I'll just accept either: I was too crap and non-committal or I don't have enough confidence in my gear or Sorceror is hard for the grade or the conditions (tired and sweaty) were problematic.
Jon Greengrass on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to FH:
I think he means that current grading systems, don't take strength into account enough.

Why don't we add an other grade for strength, and redefine the technical grade purely as that, a techical grade the preciseness needed to complete the move.

wee Davie on 30 Jul 2002 - spider-loh-tb014.proxy.aol.com
In reply to Chris Fryer:
Adding a new E grade won't help the fact that grades are already so subjective as they are.
Think of how some E1's are easier than some VS's you've done. It certainly applies in my case. Every crag is different. In an imperfect world the sytem as it stands is relatively ok...?
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Chris Fryer:

> Fiend's E0 Grade Chris Fryer 9 of 8 15:41 Tue

Grmmmmph what have you done?!?!
daveP on 30 Jul 2002 - 143.52.6.57 whois?
In reply to Chris Fryer: Its a crap idea - there is no large HVS-E1 gap. It just so happens that a lot of people climb at HVS/E1 level, so a lot of soft-touches/sandbags get discussed more often than, say, E4/5 routes (cos less people climb these grades).

Plus E1 is often a personal milestone so people will wittle on about grades to try and establish if they've climbed E1 or not.
hoseyb - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:

Can we have a technical grade to show how much adventure and sick humour can be had on the route?
eg.
Opening Gambit-ish. HVS 4c, 6/10 bull whips.
FH on 30 Jul 2002 - proxyserver.lcb.ac.uk
In reply to Chris Fryer:

E0 is akin to V8+

http://www.rockfax.com/miniguides/bgrades.html

And who uses that!
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to daveP: Refer to my reply to Mister Lincoln above. Additionally:
~ If most people are climbing and discussing around that grade, all the more reason to improve matters around that grade.
~ Aside from all the debate, the amount of grit routes (if nothing else) that fluctuate from HVS - E1 depending on guidebook is further justification.
hoseyb - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to hoseyb:

>6/10 bull whips

actually a bit obtuse

how about 60% Indy

cleddy on 30 Jul 2002 - mail3.williams.co.uk
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

And another grade for the influence your height will have on the technical grade!!!!

The gap in grades is rather personal I think. The people I climb with who are climbing at a similar level have said they found HS to be a very wide grade which made getting from S to VS quite a long process. I did 1 HS and then went on to VS, not seeing an appreciable difference between the grades. I also don't find these much less difficult than the HVS's I second. In my case I think that the reason for this is that being short, I've had to use v small hand and footholds even at S and am therefore not daunted by them. The people I climb with are over a foot taller than me, so often reach up to a jug in 1 move, which takes me about 5 to complete!!!!

(I don't have an issue with being short - it makes me better at other stuff, like crouching down for traverses under overhangs! It's on climbs like that, that I get my own back on the bastards who place gear well out of my reach!)
Simon Tyler on 30 Jul 2002 - host213-123-249-109.in-addr.btopenworld.com
In reply to hoseyb: e1 is only mild es anyway....
Toby_W on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend: Taking some of the comments made (and bearing in mind I'm a sad engineer) you could refine the profiles on here (for example) to include height, weight and relative strenght along with some feedback on how hard you've found various climbs you've done. Then you could grade the climbs (online guide) so that when you clicked on a route it told you the grade for you.
I don't think this would be a good idea though as you'd lose so much of the bullsh*t potential of climbing along with endless conversation topics for the pub.
Cheers
Toby
daveP on 30 Jul 2002 - 143.52.6.57 whois?
In reply to Fiend:

"If most people are climbing and discussing around that grade, all the more reason to improve matters around that grade. "

Why? People need to understand that grading is subjective and there isn't always a concrete grade to be pinned on a particular route.

ANyway, say you published the next stanage guide with the new E0 grade - yes you would eliminate the HVS/E1 debates, but you would provoke HVS/E0 debates and also E0/E1 debates.

And to whoever said "who uses the V8+ grade?" take a look on the ukbouldering database and there are quite a few graded as such.
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Jon Greengrass on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to cleddy: Oh yes that definitley sounds like a good idea :o)
so how far have we progressed

Technical grade 4c,5a,etc...
Strength grade wimp,hardman,ironman,etc...
E grade for effort and stamina diff-E10
X grade for danger and protectableness of the route X0-X10

Oh and don't forget every route needs to have have at least 3 sets of these grades applied to it, for those 5 foot and under, them that are 5 to 6 foot and cheating bastards over 6 foot
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to daveP) Refer to my reply to Mister Lincoln above. Additionally:
> ~ If most people are climbing and discussing around that grade, all the more reason to improve matters around that grade.

Rubbish it means we should get a consensus of which route is which grade. Anyway, as Offwidth will no doubt come and tell us most are operating someway below this level.

> ~ Aside from all the debate, the amount of grit routes (if nothing else) that fluctuate from HVS - E1 depending on guidebook is further justification.

See previous response or in this case blame the author.

Really I am not sure I can think of too many that are incorrectly graded. HVS is a bit of an odd bugger anyway and one that I always approach with some suspiscion cos tis almost bound to have some gnarly uniqueness on it especially on grit.





Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to daveP: True it is subjective but I don't see a problem with a bit more accuracy. I'm not really touted anything more specific than that one grade....nothing as outrageous, say, as an extra "danger" grade applied to all routes which is the sort of thing that would clearly never be accepted......................

> ANyway, say you published the next stanage guide with the new E0 grade -

Well as it happens I am currently in negotations with Grimer...

> yes you would eliminate the HVS/E1 debates, but you would provoke HVS/E0 debates and also E0/E1 debates.

I doubt it as the HVS-E0-E1 gaps would now be sufficiently small for debates to be minimal - even if they did occur they would be less problematic and heated.
John Rushby - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

what about +

just stick a plus on the end and it will indicate that it is a top end HVS.

IMHO the differance between 5c and 6a is such we should have 5CC

oh, and the volume on my amplifier goes all the way up to 11
cleddy on 30 Jul 2002 - mail3.williams.co.uk
In reply to Fiend:

Maybe we also need a grade for influence on grade dependent on how much you've climbed on that rock type.

I have heard on here grit climbers saying that they find limestone really difficult and therefore have to drop grades, but having mainly limestone experience I find I have to drop grades on grit.

There's nothing like making an already complicated system more complicated - keeps out all the crappy no hopers/beginners/top ropers as they can't understand the guidebook!!!!!
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Horse:

> Rubbish it means we should get a consensus of which route is which grade.

But we don't. The arguments go on and on. 3 Pebble Slab would have been resolved years ago if it was genuinely one grade or the other.

> Anyway, as Offwidth will no doubt come and tell us most are operating someway below this level.

Well if he's right and HVS-E1 isn't the most popular grade area, then the debates aren't just due to the popularity of those grades but instead due to a genuine gap - thus justifying E0.

> HVS is a bit of an odd bugger anyway and one that I always approach with some suspiscion cos tis almost bound to have some gnarly uniqueness on it especially on grit.

Hence E0, to cure that oddness by taking it's gnarliness into account - esp. on grit.

Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to John Rushby:

> what about +

> just stick a plus on the end and it will indicate that it is a top end HVS.

Or we could stick a minus onto some E1s giving E1- . Or we could give it a split grade HVS/E1.

Or we could just call it E0. Which is more elegant and fits with the grading continuum.
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

E0 will do nothing to deal with these things, sorry mate I can't even believe we are debating this. E0 is a daft idea and I can't think of any good examples of where it would sort anything out.

TPS would be argued about if it were a VDiff (which it is), E3, E0 or given an FH boulder grade.

The Vice. Those with soft hands will always think it E6 but you'll never convice Mr Mysterious its anything other than a sunday stroll across the park to get a paper.

Etc, etc. Grades are not definitive, they are a consensus. Some routes get pretty much 50:50 split and will always be argued about whatever you call them. Forget it.
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

And perhaps the most pertinent quote from the thread penned by your goodself:

"Like all grades, individual routes are open to debate and different people will have different opinions."

Exactly so why f*ck about with what we already have.
Skyfall - on 30 Jul 2002
Many people seem to find the VS to HVS gap quite big as there are a lot of old very awkward HVS's that (still?) haven't been upgraded.

HVS to E1 is not a particularly big gap IMO - it's probably just that a lot of keen climbers get up to around VS/HVS and then find it hard to move on.
Stefan Kruger on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

> Or we could just call it E0. Which is more elegant and fits with the grading continuum.

In my humble opinion, suggestions to add new grades in the gaps is treating the symptom, and not the disease.

It's silly to believe that the HVS/E1 gap is any wider/more problematic than the HS/VS or E2/E3 gap.

Fundamentally, these questions arise from a poor understanding of the UK grades -- an easyish-but-bold (3PS) route can get a 'harder' grade than a brute-but-safe (Sloth) route. Just because you can climb a particular E2 doesn't mean you'll never fail on a VS.

The arguments regarding the grades of specific routes should be dealt with in consensus, within the current familiar scale. Adding in-between-grades opens a whole new can of worms.

So, is 3PS HVS or E1? Who cares? Suffice to say that it is borderline, and what's required should not come as any surprise to potential suitors after studying the guide, and eyeballing the route before setting off.

But rest assured that for every potential E0 you can find there is a potential E1.5 or an E5.5.

Rick on 30 Jul 2002 - bert.cs.bham.ac.uk [webcache.cs.bham.ac.uk]
In reply to Chris Fryer:

as it stands we can't resolve which routes are which grade because of the subjecivity - height / strength / experience of climber etc. This is why there's that useful bit in the guidebooks underneath the route name/grade saying 'easier for the tall', 'hard at the grade', 'thrutchy', 'balancy' or whatever. This gives a far better indication as to whether the route in question is going to be over/under graded for each individual climber.

Yes we could formalise the languge as suggested/ridiculed in above posts, and you'd end up with E1 5b EftT4 HatG6- T3 B4+, but imagine how conversations would sound in the pub. Nah, the english language is more adjecteval than any grade system could be.
John Rushby - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Horse:

YOu have a point.

All that will happen is that 3 pebble slab will gt E0.

Those who climbing well into the E's will say it is still HVS and those who shit themselves doing it will claim it as E1.

We are splitting grades based on what? No consensus exists.

As I see it HVS with 5a is the benchmark for that grade, with 5b stiff but well protected and with 4c easier but necky.

What will E0 5a look like

answer - a bit like HVS 4c
Mike Whittaker - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:

Although I am definitely in the very trad camp and usually would abhor such dicking about, it does seem to make a lot of sense, the argument I feel is not so much about the gap between HVS & E1 but rather the breadth of difficulty these grades encompass. If E0 was inserted in to the present system, (and how fortunate and appropriate a grade is that!)
then perhaps there will be a lot less dickin' about with present HVS's etc, the overall effect hopefully will be to narrow the range of difficulty that the current grades: VS & HVS cover. Hopefully, gradually, grades will return to where they should be and attrocities such as I've heard today - Cave Arete E1! my arse! (E0 I'd accept) won't be so frequent. Just takes a brave guide editor, Fiend you've just nominated yourself in the role, which area would you like to be on the guide book team for?
Adam Lincoln - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to John Rushby:

Exactly! Well put sir!
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to John Rushby:

Thanks John sums it up nicely.
Charlotte on 30 Jul 2002 - ppp-225-17-16.friaco.access.uk.tiscali.com
In reply to Tony W:
'Seriously though E0, sounds like a girls grade to me!' - I am shocked at your blatently sexist attitude Tony W! :-) hehehe!
sanchez on 30 Jul 2002 - 129.234.132.126, 129.234.4.1 [wergilb.leeds.wwwcache.ja.net]
In reply to Chris Fryer:
unless you're climbing right on your limit then the 'big gap' between HVS and E1 shouldn't pose a problem. I thought half the fun of climbing was that little bit of uncertainty about a route. I've pissed up E1s and struggled like a bastard on HVSs, thats the joy. The guide book should give you an idea of the difficulties you're likely to encounter, but to know for sure you have to get on with it. at the end of the day you have to climb the route yourself and the guide book won't be there to hold your hand on the crux. where do you draw the line:
mild severe, mild bit more severe, bit severe, severe, bit more hard severe, not quite very severe, very severe. ok, i'll stop being a tw*t.
Tyler - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:
This reminds me of that bit in Spinal Tap where the guitarist says his amp goes up to 11 and the interviewer asks "why not make 10 louder?".

In reply to fiend:
I'm so flabbergasted by the pointlessness of this idea I'm struggling to construct an argument against it, there is no leap between HVS and E1.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Ropeboy - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Tyler:

Oh yeah Fiend is an excellent climber and a gentleman, BUT if he was to mess with the existing grades I'd say OI, FIEND, NO, you have pestered us enough with silly E0 thing now pack it in!

(sorry Mr Enfield)
seth not logged on on 30 Jul 2002 - apsn04.zeneca.co.uk
Grades aren't an objective property of a route, they're a subjective consensus taking into account various things: technical difficulty, strenousness, exposure, protection, friability, commitment, how sustained it is, and more.

At any grade you're bound to feel like down grading a route if it happens to get graded for something you're strong on.

There's nothing particularly wrong with adding more grades, but it won't help. And trying to separate out all the factors in the adjectival grade to give a multi-dimensional grade will just result in an unworkable mess.

Removing labels like "Extreme" might. With the Oz system, say, it's harder to get hung up on particular boundaries. I can see the motivation to suggest "E0" but would there be such contention if Chequers Crack were "17 5b" and 3PS "18 5a"...?
Chris Fryer - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Tyler:
"This reminds me of that bit in Spinal Tap where the guitarist says his amp goes up to 11 and the interviewer asks "why not make 10 louder?".

Possibly one of the funniest and most succinct observations on the matter so far.
Skyfall - on 30 Jul 2002
>
> HVS to E1 is not a particularly big gap IMO - it's probably just that a lot of keen climbers get up to around VS/HVS and then find it hard to move on.

Responding to myself here - which is sad, but there you go...

extending my thinking a bit - isn't it simply that your "average" person with a bit of training/dedication and an ok head can lead around VS/HVS. That's possibly your average serious weekend climber's lead grade. Some of them will be pushing E1 on occasion eg TPS and similar. After that you're starting to look at people with some talent and/or the motivation/time to really work at it. Hence, around HVS/E1 will indeed be the natural stopping point for a lot of people.
hoseyb - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Horse:

>Etc, etc. Grades are not definitive, they are a consensus. Some routes get pretty much 50:50 split and will always be argued about whatever you call them. Forget it.

Hear Hear! All I want to know from a grade is "Am I going to struggle?" and "If I fall off, is it going to be really, really bad?"

The current grading system plus a bit of common sense (try looking at the route, heh?) fulfills that quite happily.

anything else I would just want for the ego trip...

wreckers slab = 30% indy
3PS = 10% indy

he he

hose

...I guess 100% indy would require minor avalanches and lots of nazi's
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Horse:

I'm not f*cking about with what we already have (unlike, say, replacing an entire grading system with Vsomething....or adding an extra danger grade after every route in a guide), I'm offering one solitary and small (if pertinent) enhancement.

In reply to Stefan:

> It's silly to believe that the HVS/E1 gap is any wider/more problematic than the HS/VS or E2/E3 gap.

Not so silly when you consider the evidence points that way. BTW, think a bit more about the first "gap" out of the two others you mentioned.

> The arguments regarding the grades of specific routes should be dealt with in consensus

But as you yourself admit...

> So, is 3PS HVS or E1? Who cares? Suffice to say that it is borderline

Many notable routes don't have a consensus.

In reply to Rubbishy:

> Those who climbing well into the E's will say it is still HVS and those who shit themselves doing it will claim it as E1.

Alternatively those climbing well into the E's will say "It's never E1 but it is bold for HVS so E0 is about right" and those who shit themselves will say "F*ck me that was too bold for HVS but yeah the climbing is quite easy for E1 so E0 is about right".

> We are splitting grades based on what?

Need and usefulness as evidenced by the, errr, evidence.

In reply to sanchez:

> I thought half the fun of climbing was that little bit of uncertainty about a route.

That is true but even E0 would leave a certain amount of uncertainty - just less than the anomalous amount there is around HVS and E1 now (e.g. "I've pissed up E1s and struggled like a bastard on HVSs"). There has been a very admirable tendency throughout British climbing to increase the accuracy of grades (breaking down extremes, introducing tech grades, regular grade debates and attempts at consensus) and E0 is just a small extension of that.

In reply to Tyler:

> there is no leap between HVS and E1.

Refer to 1. The many HVS/E1 grading debates on RT. 2. The many HVS/E1 grading debates in the RF database. 3. The fluctuation of grades between recent guides. 4. (If applicable) experience out on the crags.

In reply to JonC:

> HVS to E1 is not a particularly big gap IMO - it's probably just that a lot of keen climbers get up to around VS/HVS and then find it hard to move on.

> isn't it simply that your "average" person with a bit of training/dedication and an ok head can lead around VS/HVS. That's possibly your average serious weekend climber's lead grade. Some of them will be pushing E1 on occasion eg TPS and similar. After that you're starting to look at people with some talent and/or the motivation/time to really work at it. Hence, around HVS/E1 will indeed be the natural stopping point for a lot of people.

Quite possibly, in which case what I said before applies: If the jump from HVS to E1 is more of a psychological or intimidatory sticking point, that in itself is a good justification for an E0 grade to smooth over that jump, to allow climbers to move on in a couple of stages.

In reply to hose:

I suppose E0 could also apply to some of the weirdo mud+rubble things you climb too....the easier ones anyway.
Ropeboy - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

I appreciate what you are trying to do here and on the surface it sounds reasonably enough, but for me there is enough messing about with grades as it is, look at all the bouldering grades, sport, US, Australian, etc and now all the regradings that Rockfax have done in their latest guide I feel that enough is enough. We've got a system that although odd at first to the begineer works well and we have grades that people love to argue over, so lets leave it alone.

Besides if you ironed out the HVS/E1 thing what would climbers have to do in pubs and forums up and down the country?

"3PS is never E0, more HVS"
"No way, is it E0 more like E1"

the arguement will continue just the grade they argue over will be different.

J
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1412-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Ropeboy:

> enough, but for me there is enough messing about with grades as it is, look at all the bouldering grades

One thing I can't understand - why are people so happy with 3 extra f*cking grade systems (V, B, Font) not just supplementing but actually overwriting tech grades, yet get so damned negative when one minor and entirely compatible addition is offered to route grades??

> now all the regradings that Rockfax have done in their latest guide

One of the reasons for E0 is to compromise between some stiff old BMC grades and their corresponding soft upgradings in Rockfax.

> "3PS is never E0, more HVS"
> "No way, is it E0 more like E1"

See my previous replies - isn't it just possible that people will actually start agreeing on something because that something is graded well??

Or perhaps I am not being negative/pessimistic/dismissive enough...
Ropeboy - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

> enough, but for me there is enough messing about with grades as it is, look at all the bouldering grades

"One thing I can't understand - why are people so happy with 3 extra f*cking grade systems (V, B, Font) not just supplementing but actually overwriting tech grades, yet get so damned negative when one minor and entirely compatible addition is offered to route grades?? "

cause it's bouldering, and they're odd anyway :-)

"One of the reasons for E0 is to compromise between some stiff old BMC grades and their corresponding soft upgradings in Rockfax. "

but that would take all the fun out of argueing over insignificant thing called numbers, people put too high an importance on grades and numbers. What often disappoints me is when you meet other climbers they often want to know what grade you climb.

Sorry about my previous post, you can have your new grading system if you like, I guess I'm just happy with the one we've got knowing that there are soft touches and sandbags out there and part of the fun is discovering them for yourself.

J :^)
captain paranoia - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to you lot:

Look, since grades are subjective, rather than objective, and climbs have an infinite variation in difficulty, as does the weather, the climber etc, any quantised grading system will always be open to criticism at the transitions between grades.

If you add an E0 grade, all that will happen is that you lot will start saying "Badger's Brush, E0? My arse - it's never more than HVS".

Sheesh.
captain paranoia - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Ropeboy:

> people put too high an importance on grades and numbers

Hoorah! Well said that man!
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to hoseyb:
> (In reply to Horse)
>
> Hear Hear! All I want to know from a grade is "Am I going to struggle?" and "If I fall off, is it going to be really, really bad?"
>
> The current grading system plus a bit of common sense (try looking at the route, heh?) fulfills that quite happily.
>

Exactly. And a slab climber is never going to agree on a nasty offwidth grade and vice versa whether they are called HVS, E0, E1 or Mount bloody Everest.

As to all the other grading systems, who cares what the boulderers get up to. I still only use the English Technical grade. I simply don't see the justification for yet another intermediate grade or the apparent need it is supposed to fulfill. Just escapes me.
Mike Whittaker - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Horse: Yes but polarised climbers should never grade routes anyway! The fact remains VS/HVS grades cover a massive number of routes, surely people remember the stats I produced? I'm afraid geology did not conspire to produce that skew to the grades, we did it, and perhaps we should address the balance.
Al.Smith on 30 Jul 2002 - spider-loh-tb013.proxy.aol.com
In reply to Chris Fryer:

I think the usefulness of the E0 grade was summed up in the first three responses to Fiend's original posting;


http://www.ukclimbing.com/caff/forums/t.php?t=17566
Horse on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

But the justification for this bastard grade is that it will stop the arguments, not redress the statistical skew or our own interpretation of the geology. We will still argue till the cows come home.

Also I would hope that by the time one is climbing HVS/E1 one would have some vague understanding of the grading system, knowledge of how to use a guidebook, to read a route and match what is on the page with what rears above you. If you can't then sticking in another grade is not going to be of any help at all.
John Gillott - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

"I'm afraid geology did not conspire to produce that skew to the grades, we did it"

You sure about that Mike? Take your average piece of vertical rock, put a crack in it and scatter an average number of breaks and pockets about and I reckon you're more than likely to have yourself a route in the VS-E1 range. To look at it another way, is the shortage of routes graded Easy down to neglect of all those staircases scattered about the crags?

Fiend wants to have it all ways: that there is a bigger gap between HVS and E1 than between other grades; that there isn't but it's a good way to settle arguments about particular climbs; that there might be and this is an area that lots of people climb at so let's sort it out, blah blah blah.

As I said on the other thread, take a look at the top and bottom of the E2 graded list in PGE--just as big, if not a bigger range, that within the HVS and E1 ranges. That's the nature of grades; there's a range, and there are climbs that sit near the boundary.
Chris Fryer - on 30 Jul 2002
Cat meet Pigeons? heh heh.
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1534-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Horse:

> But the justification for this bastard grade is...

One of several justifications for this minor grading improvement.
Fiend on 30 Jul 2002 - usr1534-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Chris Fryer:

Yes. Actually thanks for starting this thread Chris. It's useful for a new idea to see how well it stands up to criticism (even if that criticism is often laced with negativity and pessimism), and I'm very pleased with how well E0 can be justified (some new reasons for it have even come out of people's criticisms).
Chris Fryer - on 30 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend: No worries. It had to be done though, If I hadn't I'm sure someone else would. Maybe some good with the bad, but I doubt the rest of the climbing population will take to it.

In spite fo all the arguments I still dont think its necessary, then only reason people see a need for it is that its a sticking point for many people, making that psychological step to E1. If you arent good enough to make the step, stick to HVS. No nannying.
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Graham on 30 Jul 2002 - modem-2965.python.dialup.pol.co.uk [webcacheB10a.cache.pol.co.uk]
In reply to Fiend:

> It's useful for a new idea to see how well it stands up to criticism (even if that criticism is often laced with negativity and pessimism)

You've been taking lessons in posting from Jade, haven't you?

G



John Rushby - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

what about 5.9
Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

> One thing I can't understand - why are people so happy with 3 extra f*cking grade systems (V, B, Font) not just supplementing but actually overwriting tech grades, yet get so damned negative when one minor and entirely compatible addition is offered to route grades??

Because the bouldering grades are complete and linear systems. You propose ruining a complete and linear grading system by adding an extra step in a gap that isn't any wider than any other gap.

It's not a problem with the system! If there are outliers, or badly graded routes, then that should be redressed by regrading those within the current system, not by introducing some fudge to retro-fit the system to encompass the outliers.

It's a bit like saying "my car is cheaper in Germany than in the UK. Let's change the pound/euro exchange rate to fix this".
Fiend on 31 Jul 2002 - 213-48-76-105.bra.cvx.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

> Because the bouldering grades are complete and linear systems.

I don't think that's answering the question I'm asking which is a bit more subtle...

> You propose ruining a complete and linear grading system

No, I propose enhancing a improving a c & l grading system with a small addition which is entirely compatible and fits in perfectly.

> by adding an extra step in a gap that isn't any wider than any other gap.

Refer to all the previous times I've refuted that criticism.

> It's not a problem with the system! If there are outliers, or badly graded routes, then that should be redressed by regrading those within the current system

Except it doesn't work. Some routes are regraded (usually upwards) and are then obvious soft-touches people complain about. Others don't get regraded at all and people complain about them being too hard. If those issues could be resolved by simply changing the grades (and in many cases away from HVS-E1, they can), I'd have never thought of E0.
Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

> No, I propose enhancing a improving a c & l grading system with a small addition which is entirely compatible and fits in perfectly.

Well, I don't agree. You're adding a whole grade step. In order for this to 'fit perfectly' the gap between HVS and E1 must previously have been TWICE the size of ANY other gap in the scale for your new & 'improved' scale to be linear. Can't you see the glaring insanity here?

> Refer to all the previous times I've refuted that criticism.

You have never refuted this criticism in a coherent way. The same grading arguments will arise at any gap in the scale. A random example: Archangel -- is it bold E3 or soft E4? Or is it E3.5?

The fact that there might be more widely published grading anomalies around the HVS/E1 mark is simply because they get more press in that this is the range where the majority operates. From this it doesn't follow that this gap is in any way different from any other gap on the scale.

> Except it doesn't work. Some routes are regraded (usually upwards) and are then obvious soft-touches people complain about. Others don't get regraded at all and people complain about them being too hard. If those issues could be resolved by simply changing the grades

..and all this is equally true at ANY grade! Grades are subjective, and will always be open to debate. These issues can not be resolved by adding extra grades. The only way they can be resolved is to have 100 people climb them and take a vote, aka consensus. It builds with time.

But for the borderline routes (which, incidently, your proposed scheme will generate more of. Twice as many, in fact), the current scheme (adjectival + tech) tells you the nature of the route regardless of which side of the borderline it falls: E1 5a or HVS 4c tells me the same thing of what that route is all about.

Martin Brierley on 31 Jul 2002 - 130.246.240.41 [wwwcache3.rl.ac.uk]
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

I have to agree with the step size issue.

There seems to be a bigger step between E1 and E2 than between HVS and E1. there's certainly a bigger step between VS and HVS.
Nick Ward - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Chris Fryer:
may be the addition of a "+" or "-" to a grade may make more sense then, as this can be apllied universally across the grading system, to indicate a grade that may be considered harder/easier than the average...
Horse on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

Ever felt like you were banging your head against a brick wall on this one, thats why I have given up on it. You can only find so many ways to say the same thing.
Horse on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Nick Ward:

....and we could also put "S", "T" or "N" after the plus and minus to indicate whether it is harder for shortarses, streak of piss or boring farts of normal stature.

Add to this a "V" symbol that would indicate that visitors to the area may find it a grade harder and we might have covered all the bases.



captain paranoia - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Horse:

you missed the weather variable, how pissed you got last night, whether you're trying to impress the girlfriend, whether someone's taking photos. Come _on_, let's at least _try_ to get a proper grading system ;-)
Horse on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to captain paranoia:

Thanks for those suggestions I will try to incorporate them into the grading matrix I have started working on. Basically this aims to be like Select A Crag thing at the back of On Peak Rock.

When complete no climber should have to go on a route that isn't exactly matched to the mood and form of the climber at any given particular moment in time.
Nick Ward - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Horse: and we difinately need a TR grade as well...
Carless - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

I must say I admire your stamina supporting E0 in the face of plenty of good reasons not to have it (or are you one of those in the pub 10 mins after the arguments finished says "And another thing....." ?).

Sorry tho' have to say crap idea.
The VS-HVS-E1-E2 system has been around for ages, everyone knows it - why complicate it further?

There are just as many discussions about all grade barriers, not just HVS-E1.

Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Nick Ward:
> (In reply to Chris Fryer)
> may be the addition of a "+" or "-" to a grade may make more sense then, as this can be apllied universally across the grading system, to indicate a grade that may be considered harder/easier than the average...

Well, that would certainly maintain linearity, at least.

Mike Whittaker - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

> Well, I don't agree. You're adding a whole grade step. In order for this to 'fit perfectly' the gap between HVS and E1 must previously have been TWICE the size of ANY other gap in the scale for your new & 'improved' scale to be linear. Can't you see the glaring insanity here?

Yes you are correct the gap is not twice the size. However, I believe that the grades VS,HVS & E1 togther cover levels of difficulty equivalent to four other grades.
So inserting this grade would eventually even up, and HVS's that people get so worked up about would not be regraded E1 anymore.

I'm not for or against Fiends suggestion, but I do believe that HVS & VS cover more ground than other grades.
Nick Ward - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

and would allow for more personal interpretation...

The whole issue of whether or not there is an overly big gap between HVS and E1 is one that will always be argued about, and never resolved. I think the gap is more noticable, becouse of the psycological leap... I used to climb at around E2 ish, and found the jump from HVS to E1 harder than E1 to E2. After a long time off, I'm now struggling to break through to HVS, and finding that a bigger leap than I did before, and I'm looking forwards to the leap from HVS to E1, and thinking that that also will feel harder than before...
Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

> I'm not for or against Fiends suggestion, but I do believe that HVS & VS cover more ground than other grades.

That may, or may not, be the case. Looking back on my own experiences, it always seemed that the current gap, that is the one between your current top grade and the next, was enormous, certainly bigger than the previous one.

I am not sure that I agree with you, at least not for the limited part of the grade spectrum that I am familiar with. Looking back, VS, HVS and E1 seemed to be roughly the same width. Roughly. If anything, I'd say that the step between VS and HVS is more of an issue than HVS to E1.

I guess it all comes back to subjectivity again, seeing that what makes a route a certain grade is not in any way absolutely defined. Routes are only graded relatively to other routes. Route X is grade B since it's harder than route Y at grade A.

The lower grades may appear to span more since, as you're learning, you're faced with routes that may require skills you don't yet possess. For an accomplished climber, the gap between E2 6a and E3 6a will -probably- mainly come down to balls. For a budding VS leader, the difference between say Hargreaves Original and The File might seem enormous, if you can't yet jam.
John Gillott - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

Mike, more ground in what sense? An 'objective' measure is pretty much impossible; let's face it, what would that mean, number of holds of a certain size, angle of rock? Well, that's not on is it. If you go by the numbers who can climb at a certain grade or who find certain transitions hard then you run into the problem that on something like a normal distribution of numbers operating at certain grades we should expect a peak. The fact is that the peak exists at these grades. This explains both the complaints from this band of climbers, and its volume.

Do you agree with me btw on why VS, HVS & E1 are very common grades?
Anonymous on 31 Jul 2002 - unc050000001.lancs.ac.uk [wwwcache3-ext.lancs.ac.uk]
....I believe that the grades VS,HVS & E1 togther cover levels of difficulty equivalent to four other grades.

What is this beief based on? The fact that there are more VS - E1 climbs than say E3-E5 climbs?
I'm not sure why you'd expect a standard distribution of nos of routes across the grades.

Interestingly I dont think that anyone operating at a higher level (E4 or above) has found the gap in difficulty between VS, HVS and E1 any greater than those between E1, E2 and E3 - which does indicate that is a largely psychological barrier...

MarkM
GrahamD - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

> I'm not for or against Fiends suggestion, but I do believe that HVS & VS cover more ground than other grades.

Some guides already recognise this and apply a MVS grade. I personally don't accept the need for another step because the subjective differences between routes starts to span a couple of grades, which helps no one.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Anonymous:

> What is this beief based on? The fact that there are more VS - E1 climbs than say E3-E5 climbs?
> I'm not sure why you'd expect a standard distribution of nos of routes across the grades.

I think what Mike meant wasn't the actual number of routes, but that the difficulty in that band is wider than in any other band on the scale.

Debatable, but certainly not impossible.
Fiend on 31 Jul 2002 - 213-48-172-100.bra.cvx.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

> In order for this to 'fit perfectly' the gap between HVS and E1 must previously have been TWICE the size of ANY other gap in the scale for your new & 'improved' scale to be linear.

Firstly it fits perfectly not necessarily in the linear aspect, more in that it doesn't try to replace the system and fits "linguistically". Less tangible concepts perhaps but ones that give it more neatness and appeal. Secondly the system doesn't have to be linear with perfectly equal gaps.

> The same grading arguments will arise at any gap in the scale.

Well, I can only find so many ways to say the same thing, but they don't - at least not nearly to the same extent.

> A random example: Archangel -- is it bold E3 or soft E4? Or is it E3.5?

Indeed a very random example because I have never seen nor heard anyone arguing about it before.

> The fact that there might be more widely published grading anomalies around the HVS/E1 mark is simply because they get more press in that this is the range where the majority operates.

Again, I can only find so many ways to say the same thing, but as I've said before that is in itself a good reason to cater to the masses and give climbers more information around that standard.

> The only way they can be resolved is to have 100 people climb them and take a vote, aka consensus. It builds with time.

Splendid. Well as soon as all the HVS and E1 grades settle down universally accepted grades (which they would if they were given E0 but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of this entirely hypothetical speculation), that will be great. But it's not going to happen. How many arguing climbers and how many years does it take??

> But for the borderline routes (which, incidently, your proposed scheme will generate more of. Twice as many, in fact)

No it won't. The whole point is to resolve borderline cases - the gap between HVS and E0 and E0 and E1 would be sufficiently small to remove any problems. See previous replies.

In reply to Carless:

> I must say I admire your stamina supporting E0 in the face of plenty of good reasons not to have it

When I see a good reason I will acknowledge it.


> The VS-HVS-E1-E2 system has been around for ages, everyone knows it - why complicate it further?

Equally: Why add sport grades for sport routes? Why subdivide Extreme into E-numbers? Why add British Tech Grades? Why replace BTGs in bouldering with up to 3 other grades? Why have P-grades in Yorkshire? Why have Rockfax symbols?

E0 is merely another small improvement to a grading system which has been continually improved. Nevertheless it seems to be generating a lot of hostility for such an incremental improvement.

> There are just as many discussions about all grade barriers, not just HVS-E1.

See previous replies - evidence points the other way.

In reply to Nick:

> The whole issue of whether or not there is an overly big gap between HVS and E1 is one that will always be argued about, and never resolved. I think the gap is more noticable, becouse of the psycological leap...

Which, as I've said, is in itself a good reason to cater to climbers around that standard.
Nick Ward - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend: and one that I agree with. The grading system has never been static.. there has been a long history of it evolving, why the big concerns over the intorduction of an E0 grade? It makes sense to me...
Mike Whittaker - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to John Gillott:

> Do you agree with me btw on why VS, HVS & E1 are very common grades?

If you are referring to the comment -

take a bit of rock with a load of cracks in it scatter a few pockets etc on the side and you'll end up with a VS/HVS

Then I can see what your saying but I think it'd only be able to explain a concentration of routes between a wider grade range - say Severe to E3

John Gillott - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

Yep, fair enough, I might have put it a bit too strongly. I'll go with the Severe to E3 thing, but suggest that within that the most common (not largest number necessarily) would be VS to E1. Just look at the number of VS's on Stanage for goodness sake.
Stefan Kruger on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Fiend:

Well.. I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
Mike Whittaker - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to John Gillott: Yes but that is just taking one crag into account, and with Stanage you may have a point. Though I'd say in a fair system, those VS's are really between S (Paradise Wall) and HVS (Fern Crack?)
John Gillott - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to Mike Whittaker:

I am of course wary of getting into an argument about numbers with someone who has created a comprehensive database. I thought you might trip me up as well by suggesting that VS in itself is a wide grade! (Fern Crack, good VS though in my book. Paradise Wall soft, agreed).

I think we can all agree it's a subjective business. But to pull together two points, Fiend and your good self should think about possible reasons for a focus on this grade range other than there being a grading anomaly:

a. there are lots of climbs at this grade not because the categories are too broad but because geology, in many areas, does slightly tend (with the emphasis on slightly) to create climbs in this range. This is perhaps especially true of grit, the proving ground for Fiend's system it would appear;

b. VS--E1 happens to be the grade at which a large number of climbers operate, again not because the categories are too broad, but because a reasonably fit person, with some experience, a little training and fairly frequent climbing will find that this is their natural level. Inevitably, therefore, the jump to the top of this range will appear hard for these (relatively large number of) climbers.

Mike Whittaker - on 31 Jul 2002
In reply to John Gillott:

> I thought you might trip me up as well by suggesting that VS in itself is a wide grade!

I already had

> But to pull together two points [...]

I can only agree with those points John, though they don't on there own prove the non existence of my previous points. If I can ever be bothered, I might put some thought into using my data to try and make a more convincing argument. Though as I've said I'm deeply trad and would not really like to see E0 happen, though I can see the arguments for it.
fiend's assistant on 31 Jul 2002 - m239-mp1.cvx1-a.lee.dial.ntli.net [inktomi2-lee.server.ntl.com]
In reply to Chris Fryer:
it seems that E0 wont be catching on formally,BUT its a great grade,informally.so chill out and let it slip comfortably into your psyche
Fiend on 01 Aug 2002 - 213-48-74-232.bra.cvx.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to fiend's assistant:

> it seems that E0 wont be catching on formally

Don't be so hasty. Notice that Alan James, Mick Ryan, Chris Craggs, Grimer et al have all been conspicuous in their abscence and lack of any criticism...
Offwidth - on 01 Aug 2002
In reply to Fiend:

Its oft said silence might be good news or very bad.

What you really need to do is put up some new routes and submit the grade as E0. I agree VS and HVS are too wide but the whole UK grading thing is a typically british evolved mess: arbritrary levels of difficulty of arbritrary width measuring technique and overall difficulty independantly with no real link other than a general correlation. Its still good fun to use though.
kevin stephens - on 01 Aug 2002
In reply to Offwidth: On the contrary, the British grading system is not a mess, but an excellent way of defining the physical, technical and mental/spiritul strengths needed for success on a climb. Long may it remain so. I've already told Fiend where to stick his E0.
Fiend on 01 Aug 2002 - usr124-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to kevin stephens: And I've already told you to go fuck yourself.

Oh no, wait, I haven't yet.

Go fuck yourself.





(you get irrationally hostile over a suggested grade improvement, only fair to be hostile in return. pity as i entirely agree with the first, rational part of your post.)
kevin stephens - on 01 Aug 2002
>
> Go fuck yourself.
>


Dear Fiend, you need to learn how to chill out and be more relaxed.

Ok so the "interesting" idea that emerged from your nether regions has met with less than universial approval, and shoud return to whence it came.

However the debate comprising 95 (so far) posts has helped to pass a few rain soaked evenings for the sad people that inhabit this cyber world.

You are still young, my friend an I am sure you will have future opportunities to make you mark, hopefully in doing some decent (even new?) routes, which will be of much greater benefit to the climbing community than a worthless and meningless addition to the grading system. After all quality (stars) matter more than grades anyway, it's just that operating on the edge of your grade (beit physical, technical or mental/spirital)makes the experience of that quality excuciatingly tangible and exciting.

Finally, I am sure you will be pleased to know that you are the ony person to share a unique quality with John Redhead, him being the only other persion on ukclimbing to tell me to f@*k myself. Only in his case it was due to me, a lowy punter (arn't we all)questioning the mural he painted on Cloggy. Although that was soon washed off by the rain, it lasted longer than your E0 grade.

Kevin
Fiend on 02 Aug 2002 - usr1371-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Dear Fiend

Patronising insult.

> Ok so the "interesting" idea

Sarcastic insult.

> emerged from your nether regions

Insult.

> sad people that inhabit this cyber world.

Insult (although not specifically to me).

> than a worthless and meningless addition to the grading system.

Insult.

> Although that was soon washed off by the rain, it lasted longer than your E0 grade.

Insult (of sorts).

You see why I can't take you seriously?? Nor be bothered to reply courteously?? A load of snide comments (that started *before* I told you to f-off) that offer no genuine criticism of what I'm proposing.
Martin Brierley on 02 Aug 2002 - 130.246.240.41 [wwwcache3.rl.ac.uk]
In reply to Fiend:

Let's face it Fiend my old son, with opposition like this on an internet site, what chance has it got in the real climbing world?

I am assuming that you lead at around HVS or E1, otherwise you would be suggesting something like adding a grade between say E2 and E3 - for instance E2andabit, or between Severe and VS - almostVS.

I'm sure that everybody wishes their ladder has more rungs on it.
Stefan Kruger on 02 Aug 2002
In reply to Martin Brierley:

> or between Severe and VS - almostVS

How about, wait for it, Hard Severe?
Fiend on 02 Aug 2002 - usr1371-bra.blueyonder.co.uk [cache-cro-hsi.cableinet.co.uk]
In reply to Martin Brierley:

> Let's face it Fiend my old son, with opposition like this on an internet site, what chance has it got in the real climbing world?

You just wait. I have a small army of acolytes infiltrating the climbing scene and gradually spreading the gospel. Soon it will be an accepted part of the climbing scene and the handful of naysayers on here will be left confused and bemused as to how it snuck past them.

Actually the reaction in real life has varied between people getting very angry (like, why?!?!), initially being angry and then realising, upon thinking about it, that there is a lot of sense to the idea, and being open-minded enough in the first place to consider the idea without over-reacting.
FH on 02 Aug 2002 - proxyserver.lcb.ac.uk
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to Martin Brierley)
>
> [...]
>
> You just wait. I have a small army of acolytes infiltrating the climbing scene and gradually spreading the gospel. Soon it will be an accepted part of the climbing scene and the handful of naysayers on here will be left confused and bemused as to how it snuck past them.
>
> Actually the reaction in real life has varied between people getting very angry (like, why?!?!), initially being angry and then realising, upon thinking about it, that there is a lot of sense to the idea, and being open-minded enough in the first place to consider the idea without over-reacting.


Read what you just said then think about your opinions on V grades for boulder problems.......hypocrite!

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Martin Brierley on 02 Aug 2002 - 130.246.240.41 [wwwcache3.rl.ac.uk]
In reply to Stefan Kruger:
> (In reply to Martin Brierley)
>
> [...]
>
> How about, wait for it, Hard Severe?

See! Even you're at it now!
GrahamD - on 02 Aug 2002
In reply to Stefan Kruger:

Or even HS followed by MVS !

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.