/ sport climbing newbie

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Ciderslider - on 24 Aug 2014
So I've just started to climb some sport and really love it - questions .....
Why do some sport climbs have english tech grades ? Are all punter grade sport routes on limestone really glassy ? Why are sport climbs technically so much harder/more intense than trad ? So what sort of sport grade equates to trad 5b ?
I think I know the answer .... but ..... if I climb loads of sport and try not to eat pies and drink too much beer would it make me a better trad climber ?
Andy Nisbet - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:

> So I've just started to climb some sport and really love it - questions .....

> Why do some sport climbs have english tech grades ?
Don't think they do

Are all punter grade sport routes on limestone really glassy ?
Probably

Why are sport climbs technically so much harder/more intense than trad ?
Because the route doesn't have to go where there is protection, and can choose the most sustained line

So what sort of sport grade equates to trad 5b ?
6a or 6a+


> I think I know the answer .... but ..... if I climb loads of sport and try not to eat pies and drink too much beer would it make me a better trad climber ?
Pass; I like pies!

highclimber - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:



> I think I know the answer .... but ..... if I climb loads of sport and try not to eat pies and drink too much beer would it make me a better trad climber ?

It will give you the physical strength, yes but not the mental strength to pull through a potential 3m fall on to boulders because your last piece of pro is below your feet.
In reply to Andy Nisbet:


> So what sort of sport grade equates to trad 5b ?

> 6a or 6a+


I would say UK 5b equates to more like F5+ in the actual technical grade of the climbing,



Chris
Robert Durran - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:
> So what sort of sport grade equates to trad 5b ?

None. One is an overall grade and one is the grade of the hardest move. They measure different things.
Post edited at 22:44
Ciderslider - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:

Autumn Leaves and flux at windspit both 5c - 5c isn't a french grade as far as i'm aware
Ciderslider - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Thanks Chris - that was roughly what I was thinking - just want an idea of what to expect when i try harder trad on sighting
The Ivanator - on 24 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:
Seems UKC and Rockfax are extending the French grading system downwards, replacing F5 and F5+ with 5a, 5b, 5c as is sometimes found on the continent. All climbs that were F5 in UKC logbooks have morphed into 5a and 5+ routes into 5c's, I guess the 5b's will start to appear over time as new routes are done and existing 5a's and 5c's are re-evaluated.
These grades are Sports grades in a new guise, not UK trad grades.
Post edited at 23:14
Willi Crater - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I would say UK 5b equates to more like F5+ in the actual technical grade of the climbing,

> Chris

You sure about this? I've yet to come across a 5+ sports route with anything even vaguely like a 5b UK move on it. In my experience a route with a single 5b move on it will be around 6a/6a+. One with a few 5b moves will usually be around 6a+/6b. I know you're are more experienced than me Chris, but still have my doubts....
Willi Crater - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:
>.... if I climb loads of sport and try not to eat pies and drink too much beer would it make me a better trad climber ?

In my experience definately. I only do a few trad climbing days a year, but even so am amazed at how easy stuff is that I used to find hard when I wad much younger, fitter, lighter, and only doing trad.

So much so that am looking to do more trad in the upcoming season to see how hard I can trad climb now.
Post edited at 06:36
LakesWinter on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to AndrewW:

In the Peak it seems that Sport 6a feels like E1 5b in terms of the difficulty of the climbing. 5/5+ feel like HVS standard climbing roughly speaking.
LakesWinter on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to AndrewW:

> >.... if I climb loads of sport and try not to eat pies and drink too much beer would it make me a better trad climber ?

> In my experience definately. I only do a few trad climbing days a year, but even so am amazed at how easy stuff is that I used to find hard when I wad much younger, fitter, lighter, and only doing trad.

That's right. Redpoint sport too - it makes you lead far harder moves than I had on trad, it makes trad moves feel easier

Enty - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to AndrewW:

> You sure about this? I've yet to come across a 5+ sports route with anything even vaguely like a 5b UK move on it. In my experience a route with a single 5b move on it will be around 6a/6a+. One with a few 5b moves will usually be around 6a+/6b. I know you're are more experienced than me Chris, but still have my doubts....

You'll have a shock in Haut Provence then.

E
Willi Crater - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Enty:

No plans to visit, so I doubt it. I have climbed a fair few places sport (including Peak district) so I'm not basing my opinion on just one place you know. Don't think they can all of been soft touches. Maybe it's just my perception of UK 5b that is a bit out out of whack.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to AndrewW:
> No plans to visit, so I doubt it. I have climbed a fair few places sport (including Peak district) so I'm not basing my opinion on just one place you know. Don't think they can all of been soft touches. Maybe it's just my perception of UK 5b that is a bit out out of whack.

I don't think you're wrong. I think you have more experience with tough uk tech grades than soft touch sport. I've climbed 6bs without a solid 5b move on them. It's a hard one, take a sport route that is long, sustained and overhanging with relatively easy individual moves versus a slab with one hard move and you soon see a fairly wide spectrum. Converting is messy.
Post edited at 13:14
Robert Durran - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Enty:

> You'll have a shock in Haut Provence then.

I got a massive shock in haut Provence. The grades seemed way harder than anywhere else I've been.
Robert Durran - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> It's a hard one..... Converting is messy.

Inevitably, ecause, as I said, they are measuring different things. It's like asking what height a man's weight of 93kg equates to.

GridNorth - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:

1. They don't
2. Probably.
3. Trad climbs tend to follow the line of least resistance, the keyword being "line". Sports climbs tend to be straight lines and allow you to push it.
4. The comparison is meaningless. The hardest I've climbed indoors is probably 6b+ but I have lead E5. In contrast I know several people at my local wall who regulalry climb 7a but struggle on a VS.
5. No the essence of trad climbing is drinking beer, eating good food and generally having a good time without getting too hung up on grades. :-)
Neil Williams - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to The Ivanator:
Our local wall (Big Rock) does that as well, I asked about it and they said people had said they wanted more granularity in the grading of easier routes. So they added 4a, b, c and 5a, b, c (no +s). They kept 2, 2+, 3 and 3+ though.

Have just been having a nose through the new Dolomites guidebook and I did notice they had done the same for the 5s.

Neil
Post edited at 15:01
Andy Nisbet - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to AndrewW:

> You sure about this? I've yet to come across a 5+ sports route with anything even vaguely like a 5b UK move on it. In my experience a route with a single 5b move on it will be around 6a/6a+. One with a few 5b moves will usually be around 6a+/6b. I know you're are more experienced than me Chris, but still have my doubts....

Me too.
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ericinbristol - on 25 Aug 2014
In reply to Ciderslider:

To get the most out of your sport climbing, learn to redpoint. You will be amazed at what you can climb. And it will feed back, to some degree depending on various things, into your trad.
andrewmcleod - on 26 Aug 2014
In reply to highclimber:

> It will give you the physical strength, yes but not the mental strength to pull through a potential 3m fall on to boulders because your last piece of pro is below your feet.

Having the physical strength to make the move easy removes a significant part of the necessity for the mental strength... easy moves above gear are easy!
Willi Crater - on 26 Aug 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> Having the physical strength to make the move easy removes a significant part of the necessity for the mental strength... easy moves above gear are easy!

Yes, this is what I found. Don't currently do enough trad to get into the right head space, but this is more outweighed by the actual moves feeling easy. Also, when I was doing trad I was never sure how pumped I really was, which used to give me lots of 'moments' whilst placing gear. Now, through pushing myself on sport routes, I have a much better idea of how much is left in the tank and how much I can recover, which makes for a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
James Rushforth - on 26 Aug 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

The locals split the grades there, hence the change. You could also argue it's less elitist, which is no bad thing.

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