/ Sport route grade = for onsight or for redpoint?

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richrox - on 12 Oct 2016
I think if i'm right a sport route gets a grade for how difficult it would be to redpoint, rather than onsight placing quickdrawers as you go, doesn't it?
Onsighting could be the equivalent of not much harder on some, but then lots harder on other routes, eg onsight for a route with just a few hard moves compared to one that needs hanging around on to figure it out, and then if someone's onsight was quick because they got a more complicated sequence right first go it would have been felt to be an easier onsight attempt and "grade" than for someone who had to reverse if possible to rest and keep trying a different way until right and get to the top onsight!
So sport routes can be assumed to be graded for a pre worked out and redpoint ascent, with preplaced quickdrawers?
Dandan82 - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

Sport routes are graded based on the 'easiest' way currently known for getting to the top, so a route with a very obvious sequence might be easy to onsight whereas a different route of the same grade with hidden holds or a complex sequence might be a tough onsight.

Let's not get started on quickdraws...
Andy Nisbet - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

In Scotland, easier routes are graded for on-sight and harder routes for redpoint. Just because that's the way the routes are normally done.
Scotch Bingington - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> In Scotland, easier routes are graded for on-sight and harder routes for redpoint. Just because that's the way the routes are normally done.

At what grade does a route become 'harder' though?
jimtitt - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> Easier routes are graded for on-sight and harder routes for redpoint. Just because that's the way the routes are normally done.

This.
john arran - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

The grade is a consensus or average of people's experiences of having climbed it, so the way they've climbed it will of course be a factor in how hard they thought it was. There is no formula and no step-change between onsight and redpoint, and in realty there would rarely be much difference between the two anyway. It's not like trad, where not having, or not finding, crucial gear could instantly add several grades.
Zebdi - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to john arran:

> There is no formula and no step-change between onsight and redpoint, and in realty there would rarely be much difference between the two anyway.

I'm not so sure about that. If that were true, we would see more 9a/9a+/9b onsights..
4
HeMa on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Zebdi:

> I'm not so sure about that. If that were true, we would see more 9a/9a+/9b onsights..

To some extent I tend to agree... but if talkin' about mortal grades, Arran has a point. At least when talkin' about routes that are not really tricky (delicate slabs), hard to read (lots of hidden or not obvious holds)... so in short when talkin' about stamina based continental limestone bolt clippin'.

Of course, when we're talkin' about the cutting edge stuff, there is a difference. Even if you read the sequence right, minute changes in your body position or how you caught the hold will mean either success (rare) or failure.
Si dH - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Zebdi:
He's not saying that the onsight to redpoint difficulty change is small. He's saying the relatively difficulty of different routes compared to each other (which is what determines their grade) would only change a little if you graded for the onsight as opposed to redpoint.

I agree with this for a particular location/crag/small area. However I think there could be a lot of variation if you look more widely. For example, my view on Kalymnos was that the routes I did there (2012) were all fairly graded for a redpoint when compared to the Peak, where I do most of my climbing, but were far easier to onsight.
Post edited at 10:17
Si dH - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to HeMa:
Anything in the 7s in the UK is way easier to redpoint than to onsight and that is far from the cutting edge.
I have redpointed a full number grade harder than I've onsighted. I know that's slightly unusual and partly represents a lack of onsighting attempts, but it show a big difference!
Post edited at 10:18
Bulls Crack - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Si dH:

That's fairly normal isn't it?
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Si dH:

> He's not saying that the onsight to redpoint difficulty change is small. He's saying the relatively difficulty of different rputes compared to each other (which os what determines their grade) wouls only change a little if you graded for the onsight as opposed to redpoint.

Exactly.

> I agree with this for a particular location/crag/small area. However I think there could be a lot of variation if you look more widely. For example, my view on Kalymnos was that the routes I did there (2012) were all fairly graded for a redpoint when compared to the Peak, where I do most of my climbing, but were far easier to onsight.

Malham is a good example I think. It's hard to spot the holds, many are hidden, and very technical sequences on undercuts and sidepulls with bad feet are hard to read on first acquaintance.
john arran - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Zebdi:

> I'm not so sure about that. If that were true, we would see more 9a/9a+/9b onsights..

I think you misinterpreted what I said. Of course it's always harder to onsight the same route than to redpoint it - usually by a few grades or so. The point is that this few-grades differential doesn't vary very much from one sport route to another, except in pretty rare cases, so Route A will almost always be harder than Route B regardless of whether you're considering difficulty of onsight or difficulty of redpoint. And as grades are just relative references anyway it really doesn't matter whether you consider the underlying assessment to be that of onsighting or redpointing - the grade will still tell you hard hard to expect the climbing to be relative to others of similar grades.
In reply to richrox:

I wrote a bit about this here - http://www.rockfax.com/publications/grades/ - here is the relevant bit for Rockfax guides.

Sport Grade - Onsight or Redpoint

An onsight grade assumes that you turn up at the base of the route and climb it with no prior knowledge; a red-point grade assumes that you have practiced every move on the route until you know it intimately before your ascent and the redpoint grade is the grade of the route on the final clean ascent. Some sport routes can become significantly easier once you know a trick or a sequence, and others barely change in grade at all no matter how familiar they are. For example two routes could both be given 6c+ for the onsight ascent, yet one of them becomes dead easy once you figure out the sequence. This presents a grading problem since, in reality, one of the routes is a lot easier than the other and it is conceivable that someone could hit the correct sequence on their onsight.

What generally tends to happen with grades across the world is that routes are graded in the style that they are usually climbed. So for easier routes below about 6b+ the grade is almost invariably an onsight grade. For routes above about 7b it is almost always given a redpoint grade. In between is a bit of a grey area and the practice can vary from location to location.

Rockfax guidebooks cover routes in areas of mixed sport and trad climbing so we tend to go for the redpoint grade in the 6c to 7a region however we do make a slight qualification of the Rockfax ‘onsight’ grade; we use the ‘first try – easiest method’ grade. This basically assumes that you are climbing onsight, but you do use the correct holds and sequence.


Alan
Zebdi - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to john arran:

True, I misunderstood you. I apologise
john arran - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Zebdi:

To be fair my earlier post was far from crystal clear, and apologies around here are a rare but wonderful sight, so thank you!
climbingpixie on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Bulls Crack:

A full number grade (e.g. 7a onsight to 8a redpoint) is quite extreme! The rule of thumb tends to be three grades difference, so 7a onsight to 7b+ redpoint.
Hamfunk - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:

> A full number grade (e.g. 7a onsight to 8a redpoint) is quite extreme! The rule of thumb tends to be three grades difference, so 7a onsight to 7b+ redpoint.

It's not extreme if you don't care about onsights and if your local area is full of short hard routes which arent easy to read. There's no way i'd be onsighting 7b/+ but then again i stopped caring about onsighting or flashing anything a long time ago.
ian Ll-J - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:

> A full number grade (e.g. 7a onsight to 8a redpoint) is quite extreme! The rule of thumb tends to be three grades difference, so 7a onsight to 7b+ redpoint.

I managed that
Fraser on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:

> The rule of thumb tends to be three grades difference, so 7a onsight to 7b+ redpoint.

I'd always heard it was 4 grades, but it's certainly round about that order of magnitude.

Scotch Bingington - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:
I'm currently trying to go from 6b onsight to 7c red-point. A tall order, but I have my reasons!
Post edited at 13:58
JLS on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

> I'm currently trying to go from 6b onsight to 7c red-point. A tall order, but I have my reasons!

I'm sure you could find a soft 6c somewhere to onsight. This would drastically reduce the grade gap and make the leap to 7c redpoint *so* much easier.
Fraser on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

> rather than onsight placing quickdrawers .... with preplaced quickdrawers?

For futurereference, 'quickdrawers' are cabinets from Ikea.

'Quickdraws' are what you use in climbing.
GrahamD - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> 'Quickdraws' are what you use in climbing.

Or women of disrepute. Allegedly.
JLS on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

>"futurereference"

Is that a German word?
Offwidth - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Now if you added the fact that the lowest grade routes are often just graded plain wrong in modern terms (esp France) due to lazy grading or polish or a combination thereof we may be approaching the ideal advice.
coombsy - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

Agree with Offwidth that poor grading is largely attributed to the polish. Fingers crossed that things improve post brexit.
richrox - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:
Shouldn't that be the other way around, i.e. Harder grade for onsighty? (of t'same route).
Post edited at 18:40
Bulls Crack - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to climbingpixie:

Oh right..not 6c os to 7a rp then? ;-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Laramadness - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

I reckon the op has got it about right, but no-one has weighed in on the vexed question of having the draws in place! I 'justify' this by saying it's a right faff to take them all out after every failed redpoint attempt, but routes can certainly be easier with them in, and some purists would definitely take issue with them being in!
2
Si dH - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> Oh right..not 6c os to 7a rp then? ;-)

No! See my profile
Although it seems it's not as uncommon as I thought.
stp - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Zebdi:

> I'm not so sure about that. If that were true, we would see more 9a/9a+/9b onsights..

Well if you take the average difference between one's onsight and max redpoint as 3 to 4 grades then seeing any onsights at 9a could be seen as surprising. Ondra is the only person to have redpointed more than one 9b+. Deduct three grades and you have his max onsight of 9a.

stp - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

> I'm currently trying to go from 6b onsight to 7c red-point. A tall order, but I have my reasons!

I'm intrigued. What are your reasons?
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Bulls Crack:

No! How can it be ;), redpointing means u've practiced it, onsighting the same thing will be harder... especially in the higher grades, 7a and above perhaps, definitely all 7b or 7c and above for anyone who's able, onsighting means faffing getting yr gear off yr blinking harness, reaching up or sideways to clip the bolty, expending energy n reducing yr endurance reserves, perhaps fighting to stay balanced to do this, perhaps immediately needing a shakeout, perhaps some time to stop yr legs shaking, then u gotta clip yr rope to it next too, loads more effort, but looks effortless if yr a good hanger on and skillful clipper,
Redpoint is just climbing a route u already know u can do if u get it right and just gotta clip yr rope to yr preplaced quickdraws, ... ;)
Scotch Bingington - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to stp:

> I'm intrigued. What are your reasons?

Pretty boring really. I live somewhere where I 've exhausted on sight climbing, so am slowly red-pointing all the harder routes. I could keep banging away at the 7a/7a+ routes, then the 7bs (etc). But I want something harder than this to encourage me to get fitter and healthier. I know I can do the 7a to 7b stuff (eventually) even in my current state of relative flabbiness and poor dietary tendencies. So instead am mostly focussing on a line that I know I can't. Plus it's a pretty impressive line. If I manage then I expect I can then go back and knock off the 7a/7bs fairly quickly.
Dandan82 - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

I've never seen someone use annoying txt speak and yet have good punctuation and full sentences, my particular favourite is "u've".
HeMa on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

> Pretty boring really. I live somewhere where I 've exhausted on sight climbing, so am slowly red-pointing all the harder routes. I could keep banging away at the 7a/7a+ routes, then the 7bs (etc).

The nice thing about working with a lot harder route, is that you also get fitter and better. So soon you might be able to try to OS the low 7s and high 6s.
Fraser on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

> I could keep banging away at the 7a/7a+ routes, then the 7bs (etc). But I want something harder than this to encourage me to get fitter and healthier. I know I can do the 7a to 7b stuff (eventually) even in my current state of relative flabbiness and poor dietary tendencies. So instead am mostly focussing on a line that I know I can't. Plus it's a pretty impressive line. If I manage then I expect I can then go back and knock off the 7a/7bs fairly quickly.

The problem with that strategy is you're building a tall, skinny 'pyramid', and we all know how unstable they are. IMO (and that of perceived wisdom), it's better to build a solid base and increase grades incrementally:

http://www.climbstrong.com/custom/12-8-4-2-1.jpg

You'll be in a better position to work harder routes when they come within the band you're working, and you'll also be less susceptible to injury. Having said that, it's undoubtedly fun to get on routes that are way too hard for us, so I wish you luck and I hope you enjoy the process.

1
Robert Durran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:
> No! How can it be ;), redpointing means u've practiced it, onsighting the same thing will be harder......

You seem somewhat confused by what this is about.

I think the best way to see it is that a "perfect" graded list for onsight will be in a different order than a "perfect" graded list for redpoint (because of how easily read the optimum sequences are). Grade boundaries are just arbitrary cut off points (possibly at benchmark routes) in those lists, so some routes will not get the same grade in both lists. So what this is about is which list we are using.
Post edited at 09:08
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Dandan82:
Pretty much all o'me online stuff is foned.. N a cum from t'yoksha, n am layzee... Aha! new bling username?.....(layzee, rhymes with jayzee, and crayzee, oops, daisy too,....
Post edited at 10:55
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Scotch Bingington:
> But I want something harder than this to encourage me to get fitter and healthier. I know I can do the 7a to 7b stuff (eventually) even in my current state of relative flabbiness and poor dietary tendencies.

What kind of fitter? If cardiovascular wise, climbing fitness and exercise will only make you a little bit fitter than the average non exercising bod. Well, depending on yr training regime, but the grades you mention, you can get away with not being very fit..... I know this because i don't yet do any cardio for climbing, but if i get on a skipping rope for example, i lose control at 1 minute and struggle to make even 2 mins with restarts, and realise how embarrasingly unfit i am, for the 10. 5 stone slim build that i have, capable of 7a redpoint now. Skipping and running r great cardio, but not for me with bad knees. I need to get on a cross trainer, rower, or cycle machine, or ue my bike outdoors as currently can't fit extra gym into budget.
This will benefit my climbing only a bit, but will get me fit.
Just climbing and working on to redpoint a route won't get u fit.
Depending on yr training regime, e.g. Add a day of, instead of climbing, Sets of pull ups, dips, pressups, shoulder press, antagonistic muscle stuff, core work out, even yoga (energetic types), etc, preferably twice a week for better fitness ( 3x better, but then how to fit climbing in?) would be appropriate climbing training that would help fitness too, but skip all that and just do cardio if you just want "fit",.... redpointing won't give you much "fit".
Post edited at 11:24
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
Apologies, i don't understand yr post, i mean why, which bit am i confused by?
What do u mean by "what this is about?", for example...
Post edited at 11:28
JLS on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Fraser:

I can't really fully buy into pyramid thing. The concept looks neat but to me seems flawed as soon as you consider time period. Like over what time scale do ascents drop out of relevance in a pyramid? 1 year? 2 years? A 4 month long training cycle? Unless you are living in Catalunya you are going to be up against it to find the routes needed year on year. Also, some peoples idea of redpointing is a send in three goes in a session, others will take 30 tries in 10 sessions. If you are pushing it to *your* max you will always need lots of sessions (i.e. Sharma on La Dura Dura) this doesn't leave much time in a season to consolidate your base. Like if 8a takes you ten sessions then also ticking a 7c+ and a couple of 7c is going to be time pretty consuming.

The pyramid theory would suggest that it's better to clip the chain on an 8 bolt 8a than falling on the 8th bolt of a 10 bolt 8a+ even if the effort involved was identical. This make no sense. The effort was the effort but the effort to the 8th bolt on the 8a+ vastly increases your chances of ticking the full 8a+ route.
Robert Durran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

> Pretty much all o'me online stuff is foned

Why do you consider using a phone an excuse for shit English?
Robert Durran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

> Apologies, i don't understand yr post, i mean why, which bit am i confused by?

The post I replied to and others seemed to show that you did not understand the way in which grades can be affected by whether they are for the onsight or the redpoint. I was trying my best to help you out.
1poundSOCKS - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

> The pyramid theory would suggest that it's better to clip the chain on an 8 bolt 8a than falling on the 8th bolt of a 10 bolt 8a+ even if the effort involved was identical. This make no sense. The effort was the effort but the effort to the 8th bolt on the 8a+ vastly increases your chances of ticking the full 8a+ route.

I suppose the obvious difference is when you tick the 8a you move onto a different route. So perhaps the greater of variety helps speed your climbing progression in the long term. As opposed to just doing the same moves for longer.
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
Apologies, i find it tedious making corrections, when its obvious what has been said. There's no good excuse, not even laziness, but i find someone picking out the use of "u'll", text speak, on forums where many may be typing at work, in a break, etc, by tiny phone keyboard, when its obvious what is being said, and don't have time to retype to perfection, slightly pedantic.
But i do make the effort when i hear the common verbaliation of pacific, when they meant specific, something which supposedly brightish tv presenters or radio broadcasters often make too, to point out their error,
How many people really care? If it's alot, and we are hear to demonstrate perfect english and grammar, i can be bothered.
I see yr point, fone was deliberate, apologies, but i won't be perfect, i'll try to do better though.
I can be reasonably good with both english and grammar, and it is especially worth making the effort to help those who aren't, or may be dyslexic, or from another language / country, so it is important, and i get yr point well
Post edited at 12:37
richrox - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Robert Durran:
Thanks, i tried to edit my post into a lengthy re-explanation of how i understand grades being for redpoint or onsight, but got sabotaged by the 30 minute limit, it was longer than my op too, can u imagine how sad i feel having typed it from my phone, to have if vanish in a puff of chalk dust! , ... I often get this, will have to type longer ramblings off line and then cut and paste!
I think i understand it ok now, thanks for all the replies and discussion.
Post edited at 12:44
JLS on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

>"perhaps the greater of variety helps speed your climbing progression in the long term"

There is that I suppose. I'll argue that in reality, by the time you've worked and sent the 8a half the season has gone and there isn't enough time left in the season to complete your 8a+.
Bulls Crack - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

I know all that thanks!
1poundSOCKS - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

> There is that I suppose. I'll argue that in reality, by the time you've worked and sent the 8a half the season has gone and there isn't enough time left in the season to complete your 8a+.

Kind of sums up my sport climbing season this year. Was easier to progress when I didn't work...
Scotch Bingington - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to richrox:

Cheers, but I wasn't asking for advice, and don't want it.
Laramadness - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:

Good point about timescales JLS - I too subscribe to the 3 grades between onsight and redpoint grades, but of course there is a grade I can usually onsight, say 8/9 times out of 10, and a grade I might onsight once in a blue moon. Plus there is a grade I can redpoint in one day, often second or third try, a grade I can redpoint after two or three visits and a longer term redpoint grade. My feeling is that longer term projects that need a significant increase in 'fitness' will probably also raise your (potential) onsight grade with them.
8a works on a 12month timescale, which is good for charting progression, but 6 months probably reflects your actual fitness, feeling good on rock etc better.
(that said, my pyramid currently goes 1x7b+ 3 sessions), 1 x 7b (2 sessions), 1x 7a+ (ruddy years of effort!), 4 x 7a (1/2 sessions) so who am I to say!)
Fraser on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to JLS:
> I can't really fully buy into pyramid thing.

'The Self Coached Climber', pp. 182-186 explains the concept, appropriate grade-banding and implementation of pyramid training better than I could. The time scale is simply climbing regularly, say 2-3 times a week, just as you do at the moment. And if you can't find the suitable routes outdoors, then you have to find them indoors, assuming you want to achieve the targeted improvement.

You could argue that in your scenario, climbing 80% of the 8a+ is in essence the same as climbing an 8a. But I believe that success engenders success. In other words, successfully climbing 8 x 7c's, is better for you mentally than failing (even at 80%) on 1 x 8a+. To me, 3 shots to RP a route in a session isn't "pushing it your max". I don't think many people would argue that it was.
Post edited at 13:36

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