/ A better way to grade trad routes!!!

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Quarryboy - on 10 Aug 2012
So I was thinking today on the bus what would make the UK grading system better and I had what I think is a pretty good idea.

Like with grades that are below extreme why donít we have words to represent the appropriate difficulty of each route above the E1 mark. There are several reasons why I think that this is a good idea. Firstly its cooler to say that you are a Very Bloody Hard Extreme climber as apposed to an Extreme 5 climber. Your non climbing friends will also think that you are just as much of a freaking tool as your climbing friends who actually know how hard E5 is.

The second and more important reason why I think it would work better if we had actual words to represent each grade is because it would provide a greater incentive for people to try and climb harder than they do.
I remember when I was 14 and I went from Very Severe to Hard Very Severe and it felt like a massive improvement with the additional word almost multiplying the feeling of accomplishment which I had. In contrast going from E1 to E2 in some ways felt like less of a massive gap because there is no actual difference in the term used to describe the grade, instead the number next to the E was just incremented by 1.

To back this idea up I know quite a few climbers which have told me that having accomplished E1 they lose motivation to push any further and are content with saying that they have climbed in the extreme end of the spectrum not caring about the number that is actually after Extreme.
So how do we fix this? Well the answer is fairly obvious we just start to use more descriptive ways to represent each E grade just like we currently do with Severe routes.

Here is a quick mock up which I made so you get the general idea.

E1 = Extreme (E)
E2 = Bloody Extreme (BE)
E3 = Hard Bloody Extreme (HBE)
E4 = Very Bloodly Extreme (VBE)
E5 = Very Bloody Hard Extreme (VBHE)
E5 = F**king extreme (FE)
E6 = Hard F**king Extreme (HFE)
E7 = Very F**king Extreme (VFE)
E8 = Very F**king Hard Extreme (VFHE)
E9 = Perhaps Too F**king Extreme (PTFE)
E10 = Nearly Too F**king Extreme (NTFE)
E11 = Very Nearly Too F**king Extreme (VNTFE)
E12 = Just Too F**king Extreme (JTFE)
So any thoughts on this kind of grading system,

Thanks,

Quarryboy
EddInaBox on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

> ...
> E6 = Hard F**king Extreme (HFE)
> ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syi62M7dpkw

Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

This is very much in the spirit of system we adopted in Edwardian times. :) A bit confusing, but far more fun. FMF is a grade, BTW ...
Lord_ash2000 - on 10 Aug 2012

In reply to Quarryboy: I like the idea but I think given that climbers now have proper rock shoes and gear rather than a bit of hemp rope tied around their waist that the lower end of the grading system needs to be reworded so that novice climbers can't make out like they are some kind of dare devil rock gods to their non climbing mates in the pub and maybe just to bring them down a peg or two also.
So maybe something like this:

Moderate = Not really climbing
Difficult = Boarder line climbing
Very difficult = Extremely easy
Hard Very difficult = Easy very easy
Severe = Very Easy
Hard Severe = Easy
Very Severe = Moderate
Hard Very Severe = Difficult
Extreme 1 = Very Difficult
Etc.

Might put things back into context. Nothing like taking something out who's never climbed before and saying the route we are going to do first is graded "very difficult", don't worry that means easy. Seems odd.
Stanners - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:
great idea, best suggestion on ukc this year! :P
Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000:
>
> In reply to Quarryboy: I like the idea but I think given that climbers now have proper rock shoes and gear rather than a bit of hemp rope tied around their waist that the lower end of the grading system needs to be reworded so that novice climbers can't make out like they are some kind of dare devil rock gods to their non climbing mates in the pub and maybe just to bring them down a peg or two also.
> So maybe something like this:
>
> Moderate = Not really climbing
> Difficult = Boarder line climbing
> Very difficult = Extremely easy
> Hard Very difficult = Easy very easy
> Severe = Very Easy
> Hard Severe = Easy
> Very Severe = Moderate
> Hard Very Severe = Difficult
> Extreme 1 = Very Difficult
> Etc.
>
> Might put things back into context. Nothing like taking something out who's never climbed before and saying the route we are going to do first is graded "very difficult", don't worry that means easy. Seems odd.

That's fine, until you get to grips with the 'extremely easy' Helfenstein's Struggle :)

metal arms on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Lord_ash2000)
> [...]
>
> That's fine, until you get to grips with the 'extremely easy' Helfenstein's Struggle :)

Could you not just use waist sizes for chimneys and the such like?

Helfenstein's struggle - Extremely Easy 28"
Lord_ash2000 - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Having just looked that up, I think routes of that nature should be filled up with cement or maybe given some kind of caving grade I don't know but it shouldn't be called climbing. Maybe struggling
graeme jackson - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:
My northumberland guide only has Exremely Severe , no E grades. Makes it all much simpler.
The Pylon King on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

E0 Extremely Cool (EC)
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

> E1 = Extreme (E)
> E2 = Bloody Extreme (BE)

I think I've misunderstood the E system. I thought it represented the length of the scream when falling with increasingly large run-out.

E1 = E
E2 = EE
E3 = EEE
...
E10 = EEEEEEEEEE

John_Hat - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

But why is E5 in there twice?
mmmhumous on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: lol
Calder - on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

What happens when James Pearson puts up the first E17?

Definitely Too F*cking Extreme?
Beyond Extreme?
Out of this World Extreme?

And when you run out of these, do you introduce a totally new adjective, like 'Mondo'?

What'd be really clever, is if you use an open ended numbering system after it, sort of like

M1
M2
M3
.....
john arran - on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Great idea, but in your laudable quest for extreme adjectivisation you're in danger of throwing away a lot of really useful information. As it is now it's obvious that E2 is twice as hard as E1, E6 is three times as hard as E2, and E11 only 10% harder than E10, whereas it's not at all obvious how much harder SYPTE is compared to GCSE?
birdie num num - on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:
Num Num likes your grading system, however it needs some indication of the boldness of each pitch. Num Num would advocate dropping the confusing technical grading system and substituting it with an adjectival description of the state of the climbers underpants following the climb.
As an example, E3 5a would become Hard Bloody Extreme with a Caked Brown Gusset (HBE cbg)
Stanners - on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
haha :D
Bulls Crack - on 11 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Or for downgraded E's: Ex-treme
stroppygob - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to birdie num num:

> As an example, E3 5a would become Hard Bloody Extreme with a Caked Brown Gusset (HBE cbg)

Gold!
Cake - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to john arran:

> ... As it is now it's obvious that E2 is twice as hard as E1, E6 is three times as hard as E2,...

Ahhh... So E1 is infinitely harder than E0 then. That makes sense

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john arran - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Cake:

Infinitely harder, obviously.
Wesley Orvis - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000:
>
> Might put things back into context. Nothing like taking something out who's never climbed before and saying the route we are going to do first is graded "very difficult", don't worry that means easy. Seems odd.

I think you are odd, you look and sound like an arrogant tit, I would rather be a shit climber than anything like you, all 7 stone of you.
Lord_ash2000 - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis: I'm 11 and a half stone as it happens. I think you might be better on UK hill walking, it's closer to the sport you do.
Roberttaylor - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy: That escalated quickly!

But yes, explaining to someone that Very Difficult is really easy is a bit weird. I would probably put Difficult at VS level.

Robert (usually a competent climber of new Difficults)
tistimetogo on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

"I used to be uptight, bad tempered, very irritable and stressed but after finding mountains all this has changed,I and am now very calm relaxed and fun to be around."

from your profile. Used to be?
James91 - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000: like it or not a moderate route is still defined as a rock climb and even if it wasn't it would be a scramble. No reason to act all elitist now! I remember leading my first ever diff/vdiff and it felt bloody awesome, inspiring me to do much more.. wouldn't have felt anywhere near as good if we used your grading system!
Lord_ash2000 - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: Yes did think where difficult should be placed, obviously it's relativel to everyone's own ability but yes something around VS-HVS should be about right for the majority.

But at least you understand the point, the grades are a little overhyped at the lower end. Fair enough in 1910 in the rain with loose rock, hob nail boots and nothing but a bit of hemp rope around the waist but these days it's what you put kids on a school activity weekend.
Roberttaylor - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Lord_ash2000: Agreed, that is where actual moves start I suppose.

The argument has been made that, if we didn't have such overhyped names for easy routes, the average leading grade in the UK would shoot up. Saying that you climb Hard Severe sounds better than saying you climb Pretty Easy.

R
mikekeswick - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: Yes to be honest I totally agree with the v.diff sentiment. Around vs/hvs is where real climbing starts. Realistically anybody who isn't a bloater can climb upto severe without any experience.
mkean - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:
I like it but it will increase the size of guidebooks and I already carry too much weight on the walk in! We need simplicity, we need purity and we need to preserve the on-sight ethic: We need the T-grade ;-)

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=434742&v=1#x6133153
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

I hope i bump into you wondering around Keswick one day and i will show all 7 stone of you something i am good at!!!!!!
mcdougal - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to Quarryboy)
>
> I hope i bump into you wondering around Keswick one day and i will show all 7 stone of you something i am good at!!!!!!

Next time I'm in Keswick and see an obese numpty showing a smaller guy how to be a nobber on internet forums then I'll know that I've met the Orvis.

In reply to the OP

Would the prefix "not really" help with the lower grades ie Not Really Very Difficult and Not Really Severe? For the higher E grades just stick F***ing in between Extremely and Severe for full gnarliness value.
Roberttaylor - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to mcdougal: Lol at this.
Kemics - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

Sir, you are a silly person.
Bimble on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Stick in some differentiation for different rock types too. I'm happy up to S/VS on granite & limestone, but after my first trip to the Peaks last week, I discovered I can't do anything above VD on gritstone yet (or I'm just a numpty).
galpinos - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to Quarryboy)
>
> I hope i bump into you wondering around Keswick one day and i will show all 7 stone of you something i am good at!!!!!!

Being a tw*t on the internet?
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to mikekeswick:
Realistically anybody who isn't a bloater can climb upto severe without any experience.

Maybe do the moves yes but deal with the exposure no.

I kind of agree that anybody should be able to when seconding, I find vs quite easy to second and hvs to E1 about my limit, but can i get to leading above diff? No chance, very slow process of improvement. At the end of the day it's all climbing even when scrambling so it's down to each individual at what point they get scared, anyway i will leave it to you real climbers as you call yourselves to discuss, only in climbing do you come accross this arrogance towards beginners.
At the end of the day as long as you are using both hands and feet, moving up rock and having fun, who cares? apart from a few elitist pricks on here who wouldn't say a word at the bottom of the crag?

That is all.
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to galpinos:

Not just on the internet!!!!!
Neil Williams - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

"Maybe do the moves yes but deal with the exposure no."

Indeed, it's quite a step up from indoor leading or sport (the bolt *will* catch you) to trad (the gear *might* catch you), particularly if quite run out.

Personally I see no harm in the gradings as they are, it gives beginners a nice confidence boost when they find out they just climbed something "Very Difficult" even if it really isn't.

Neil
Kemics - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

Do you want some ketchup for that chip on your shoulder? :)

No one's said anything about different climbers abilities (or maybe I missed something in the thread) seems like you just flew off the handle completely unprovoked. 99% of climbers I've met adhere to the philosophy "the best climber is the one having the most fun" even those cranking out the 8's.
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Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Kemics:

I think you will find he was insulting anyone who cannot climb at a high grade, at the end of the day if i only had 7 stone like him to pull up the crag i would also be climbing in the E's. I go to the gym and you never see the big strong sted heads insulting the skinny newbies saying they are not really training as their weights are too light, more the oposite actually!!!!
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

I have no problem with anybody who wants to change the grading system to anything they want, i haven't been in it long enough to care and anyways the quality of rock and position are a lot more important to me than what some skinny tit head computer nerd from keswick says.
Kemics - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

Weight isn't the be all and end all, check out John Dunne and realise weight is a poor excuse.

If you're top roping HVS but struggling to lead Diffs. It's absolutely nothing to do with your strength or weight, it's all in your head. And getting angry with people on the internet isn't going to solve that. Climbing is about over coming your own battles, conquer your fear.
krikoman - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> I have no problem with anybody who wants to change the grading system to anything they want, i haven't been in it long enough to care and anyways the quality of rock and position are a lot more important to me than what some skinny tit head computer nerd from keswick says.

ey! oh! ey! easy man
Dave Kerr - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:
>
> >some skinny tit head computer nerd from keswick says.



I think it's been established fairly unanimously that you're the only person acting like a tit on this thread.
Lord_ash2000 - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis: : I wish I was 7 stone, I'd be cracking out one armers all day. I have said nothing about crap climbers, simply that VD climbs are for most climbers not considered 'very difficult' which is why they are at the bottom of the grading system and surly the name is a bit misleading.

But some advise for you personally, If you can second E1 but can't lead more than diff then you have some major head issues to deal with if you ever want to progress in climbing. It would seem you have the ability to climb to a moderate standard rd so physically on diff and vdiff terrain you should be totally in control of the situation. Couldn't advise you more really, maybe you're just a bit of a wimp when it comes to the exposure, I don't know. What I do know though is that you have some anger management problems and maybe some esteem issues because you can't handle the fact people may climb harder than you.

Yes, I'm a better climber than you could ever be, I can pull on holds and do moves you could never conceive of doing, I'm that much better than you, literally couldn't understand how big the ability gap is.

But you know what? I'm not even that good. I'm better than most by numbers but by grade I'm average. The hardest things I've climbed are barely warm ups for the true elite. I was at the crag the other day and was probably mid range in ability just out of the hand full who were there. The point is, we all have our place on the ability spectrum and I have respect for those better than me, as I admire their skills and wish to learn. But likewise those below should show a little respect too.
Fishmate - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to EddInaBox:

Looked like the top of "The Niblick" at Harrison's.
andic - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

A bit of a hard man are you?

The fact you take pride in suck a destructive tallent says a lot about what other achievements you have to brag about, I'm guessing none.

Offering someone out who you obviously regard as weaker and smaller than you is pathetic and the mark of a coward.
Probably explains why you are only leading diff too.
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Fare point guys, cheers for the advice!!!!!

And i never offered anyone out I said i will show you what i am good at, that could be a number of things, bad day at work, feeling a lot better now sorry to all who have been insulted.
Wesley Orvis - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to Wesley Orvis)
> Offering someone out who you obviously regard as weaker and smaller than you is pathetic and the mark of a coward.
> Probably explains why you are only leading diff too.

Good enough reason if any, i like this comment and you are correct, it's just i get pissed off when people spout that elitist bullshit.

Dave Kerr - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

I didn't see any 'elitist bullshit' on this thread.
Liam Ingram - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Wesley Orvis: Bad days at work...we all have them.

Hope to see you out at the crag.

R
krikoman - on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Boo, fight fight, fight
Orion247 on 14 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy: Comedy gold! I no longer climb at the HBE grades due to a medical condition but I like!
Quarryboy - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to Quarryboy:

Just to clarify I wasn't trying to be elitist in any way by posting this thread, I just thought it might be something practical worth considering seeing as how are current grading system once past E1 is rather bland. It really is funny to get back from holiday to find that some people have actually managed to get themselves so worked up over this. I think its time to GTFO and burn off some of that energy.

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