/ Kalymnos Grades
Having climbed in Kalymnos last October with my 56 year old novice girlfriend (she's a climbing novice not a girlfriend novice - before anyone asks!)who climbed several 5s I'm now in Calpe (Spain)and finding 5+ sometimes unclimbable. In short - yes.
The first couple of times I went I'd have agreed the grades were friendly, recent visits have made me think they are perhaps coming more into line (certainly with UK grades). What prompts me to think this is that my limit sport climbing in the UK and other European areas is 6b+ - 6C and thats exactly my limit in Kalymnos also. It's easy to think of some soft 5's and 6a's in Kalymnos but on my last few visits I've found plenty of 6a's that were anything but easy warm ups.
Yeah, Id say the grades are generally on the soft side.
Having said that I think a lot of it is about the style of climbing. It's relatively easy to OS something like Ivi in the grande grotta as the holds are pretty big (more room for error), well chalked (easy to read) and you can watch a queue of people try it before you have a go. Compare that to trying to OS 7b at cheedale/the tor/cheddar, where it's basically pot luck if you find the right combination of dirty side pulls and tiny feet before your fingers uncurl.
It's the only place where I can (could?) consistently lead 6a and even 6a+.
Yep, completely agree with that. The last trip I made to Kaly (October) I didn't on-sight anything harder than I could in the UK (6b+) and got my arse kicked on a 6a. I think the length of routes (generally longer than other destinations) in Kaly make the lower grades seem even easier. It's difficult to compare a 10m quarried UK route with a 40m 3 Star Kaly Classic.
As a comparison, two trips to France last year (Chamonix and The Pyrenees) in the summer I was climbing the same grades as I do in Kaly.
So are we all agreed that the grades are soft but 6a's are sandbags? I'd feel a lot better if this was true!
If you watch a queue of people try a route before you have a go you're not onsighting that route anymore.
I find some of the Kaly steep routes have massive holds. I have never been anywhere similar. Routes like DNA and IVI are classics because of this, routes of a similar grade are not normally so steep but not as well endowed with big holds.
I think if you don't mind steep the grades do feel soft.
OS, flash, whatever. The point is the same.
They are okay. Maybe slightly soft if the routes suit your style. Took me a while to get used to the rock though. No major pattern anymore. Most routes are within half a grade of what they should be, you get the odd sandbag or path though.
I was going to say yes, but that was based on climbing with the 2007 guidebook.
e.g this route at Ghost Kitchen, was 7a+ noew 6C+ so can believe the grades are being sorted out and brought in line.
Based on 2010 guide, easy to onsight but not 'soft' as such - dont think they're particularly easy to redpoint. Like remus said.
Famous for it no? Never been.
Like the above example illustrated, they have worked on it, 7a+ = 6c+. I would love to see a 2007 guidebook to compare my with my 2010 copy.
I've only been the once, in 2010 I think it was, and whilst I do think the grades are on the soft side, I didn't think they were ridiculously soft. Indeed, some areas seemed to have pretty stiff grades. I recall a pair of 6a's at symplegades which were really tough. As said above, it is often said that the route gradings are coming into line with other areas. Interestingly, my normal max onsight lead grade is a lowly 6b and that has been the case in the UK, various places in France, Sardinia, Sicily and ... Kaly.
A final thought, I do think that the mental side of sports climbing is often overlooked and Kaly is generally very well bolted. So the climbing often seems less serious than in other locations and perhaps that makes routes in Kaly just seem easier.
Elsewhere on the site
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
Nick Livesey discovered the mountains of Snowdonia over a decade ago and finally moved there a year and a half ago, quitting a... Read more
A product review by James Turnbull. James Turnbull at Outside recently took the new Osprey Mutant 38 on a rigorous test in the... Read more
2014 has been a bumper year for climbing publications. Here's a few of the ones that we have either read, or ones that we... Read more
The British climbing scene is very exciting at the moment. It is quite clear that as a sport it is developing at a rapid rate and... Read more