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/ How do you say you can climb a certain grade

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keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018

I have what I think should be right , I believe you have to be able to do 6 of what ever grade to say you are ie a 6 c climber or ie E3 5c how do you judge yourself

mrphilipoldham - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I think you can claim to climb E3 when you can climb E3 everything.. slabs, big cracks, little cracks, overhanging jug fests, the lot! Not just one or two of the grade.

Trangia on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

When I struggle desperately to the top of each pitch shaking like a leaf, praying to every god I can think of that I don't fall off. Then I tick the climb in the guidebook and having got up yet another, put on clean pants and announce to the World that I am a Diff leader......

Pursued by a bear - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> I have what I think should be right , I believe you have to be able to do 6 

Why 6? Why not 1, 10, 100?

T.

summo on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> I have what I think should be right , I believe you have to be able to do 6 of what ever grade to say you are ie a 6 c climber or ie E3 5c how do you judge yourself

You might be a guaranteed e3 5c leader, when you've cruised a few e4 6a's, but there will always be routes that challenge that even; due to unique moves, rock type etc.  

ClimberEd - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

something like 'I can climb HVS and the odd E1'.

Most people will take that to mean you can climb most HVS routes, except the odd sandbag or one that really isn't your style. And you can climb the odd E1, either an easier E1 or one that suits your style.

 

Hope that helps. (in 20 years of climbing, that is your answer.) 

johncook - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I use the system, for me, that if I can go to a crag and climb 8 out of 10 routes at a grade that is my grade. Eg, over several visits I can get up 8 out of 10 HVS without being either selective on type, or falling off or using massive pre practice, then I am an HVS leader (currently an aspiration! Approx 6 or 7 out of 10!)

Other people have different criteria. Have a friend who rehearsed, on top rope, an E1. Took him numerous practices, but eventually he lead it. He says he leads E1. Many sport climbers seem to use a similar system, practice the hell out of it, lead it once and that is their grade!

When I go to a crag I look at what the routes look like. If they are an aspiring line I go for it. If I can't get it clean (because it is harder than my capabilities!) I go away and practice technique, my head game, fitness and come back when I am capable.

Post edited at 19:04
nniff - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

If someone stops to watch you climb, shakes their head and keeps on walking, you can’t climb the grade.  

If you’re failing with style, they’ll probably keep on walking with a smile, because you’re in your comfort zone, albeit not faring particularly well at the time, but unlikely to come to any harm and not floundering

 

badmarmot - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I always thought of it as

I climb x grade - meaning I would expect to get up that grade with the odd exception.

I have climbed - meaning the hardest route I have done, even if only one or two at that grade.

 

keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I do like your answer I am of same mind

but a lot of climbers do 1or2 off the grade and think they are that grade of climber. So should we have a standard for what climbers can claim they do

keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

So do we need a set number of clean ascents to say you can climb that grade?

keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to summo:

Good answer that do’s make sense to me also

Coel Hellier - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> So should we have a standard for what climbers can claim they do

I'll go for 2 out of 3.  If you can onsight (when on form and in decent weather) about 2 out of every 3 climbs of grade X, then  you can call yourself a grade X climber. 

This ratio allows you to avoid the sandbags and climbs that don't suit you.  

mrphilipoldham - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I like it when climbers suggest they lead E2, yet get shut down on a HVS I might suggest.. gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside that I don’t ever want to lose. Let them keep bigging themselves up!

Post edited at 19:42
Albert Tatlock - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Perhaps  an old fashion view,  but you could climb that grade ( what ever it was ) on various  rock types ,grit, lime or granite etc in the dry, wet or cold Then you could claim  to be a leader  of that grade 

keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to johncook:

Looks like your quite honest to yourself and capable in your grade and am sure you are moving up thro the grades confidently 

keith sanders - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to badmarmot:

That’s how I judge and answer other climbers 

mal_meech on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> Perhaps  an old fashion view,  but you could climb that grade ( what ever it was ) on various  rock types ,grit, lime or granite etc in the dry, wet or cold Then you could claim  to be a leader  of that grade 

If you can climb E3 granite in the wet you are a lot more than an E3 climber...

MFB - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

That's pretty tough criteria -wet, 4 degrees and windy - maybe 4/5 grades harder than reasonable summers day, not being able to feel fingers is a problem.

mkean - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I'll go for 2 out of 3.  If you can onsight (when on form and in decent weather) about 2 out of every 3 climbs of grade X, then  you can call yourself a grade X climber. 

> This ratio allows you to avoid the sandbags and climbs that don't suit you.  

I like this as it makes the difference between me being an HVS/E1 climber rather than an hvdiff climber. In fact I may once have backed off a mod so hvdiff maybe a push by some accounts.

 

 

Albert Tatlock - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to MFB:

As I said an old fashioned view, but that was an accepted standard , sure it has changed since .

HeMa on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> I have what I think should be right , I believe you have to be able to do 6...

well, this smells like indoor bread climber...

a true hex head would know that in order to say being E3 climber, he’d have to manage to climb pretty much EVERY E3 he touches. 

A sport climber, might say that they are an 8a climber, If they managed to finally redpoint one. A boulderer certainly would. 

thebigfriendlymoose - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So should we have a standard for what climbers can claim they do

> I'll go for 2 out of 3.  If you can onsight (when on form and in decent weather) about 2 out of every 3 climbs of grade X, then  you can call yourself a grade X climber. 

> This ratio allows you to avoid the sandbags and climbs that don't suit you.

Who is this "we", why care, or feel a need to regulate, how others define themselves?

Anyhow, the "2 out of 3.  If you can on-sight" definition will never catch on with sport climbers!  There are a lot more bolt clippers who regard themselves as "8a climbers" than there are those who can on-sight 8a, 67% of the time!

Greasy Prusiks on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Depends entirely on where you are when you're asked.

If you're in the pub you use the grade of that one eliminate you top roped 20 years ago with the suspect hold and tight rope.

Half way up a multi pitch, it's just started raining and the next lead is up for debate? Take what you can climb in trainers, in the wet and take off a couple to be sure. 

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to HeMa:

> well, this smells like indoor bread climber...

It is always best to climb bread indoors though- it’s so much harder outside when pigeons are eating handholds faster than you can pull on them...

alx on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

When even on your worst day you can still cleanly climb that grade.

Misha - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

What this thread shows is there is no single commonly accepted definition.

At the end of the day, it’s about being honest with yourself and with others. Your friends and climbing partners should have a good idea of what you can lead anyway. When climbing or simply chatting with someone new, most people would go into a bit more detail - “I can onsight/redpoint most grade Xs but can manage grade Y on a good day and have done the odd grade Z.”

Lord_ash2000 - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

For me it's when I'm personally confident at saying I can climb XYZ grade. Doesn't mean I can go out on any given day and climb the grade on demand but it means I have climbed several of the grade and will likely climb more of the grade in the future. 

So in bouldering right now I'd say I climb 7C, although I've climbed harder a few times it's currently rare enough for me to say I climb 7C+ or 8A

In trad, it's tricky because I hardly climb trad so right now I'd say I've no idea what I climb. Probably E1 or E2 because I could probably rock up and do that on a good day but wouldn't fancy much harder, even though in thoery I could do much harder. 

Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Apr 2018
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I'm genuinely puzzled (as I'm sure many must be, seeing your post) why you don't fancy climbing above E1/E2 when you say you are capable of climbing technically about eight grades harder. Or perhaps there's a typo in your post?

keith sanders - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to HeMa:

Sorry not an indoor bread climber no wall in 69 when I started and no hex’s.

just pondering the Question I do believe you are right well half, I think on sport routes you should have done 6 before claiming the grade same with bouldering 

Keith s

keith sanders - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Misha:

I expected an honest answer like that from you Misha and I think you are right in what you say. 

Keith s

JoshOvki on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> something like 'I can climb HVS and the odd E1'.

Is it a bit like, if you can climb Three Pebble Slab it is HVS and if you can't it is E1?

keith sanders - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The thing is Gordon in sport climbing   it’s all about the grade and the move not the adventure .

keith s

summo on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I'm genuinely puzzled (as I'm sure many must be, seeing your post) why you don't fancy climbing above E1/E2 when you say you are capable of climbing technically about eight grades harder. Or perhaps there's a typo in your post?

Why? 

It's a good grade to be steady at. If you are happy above VS you can turn up to pretty much any crag, never queue for a route, avoid the polished lines and just enjoy climbing. Think of the routes that fall into this bracket. 

ian caton on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Grading is all over the place anyway. 

Surely it's more a question of saying to yourself what grade you have done. Who knows what's going to happen in the future. 

I have led 15 to 20 e4's, to everyone of which someone would say "That's never e4". I have led one E5. 

So I say to my self I have led e4 deffo.

Mick Ward - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Keith, I just say I'm a complete punter (which is true!) and have done with it.

Mick

Dave Garnett - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to alx:

> When even on your worst day you can still cleanly climb that grade.

Blimey, if the standard is now 100% success at any any time of year, any conditions, any type of rock, any style from protectionless, holdless slabs to wet overhanging offwidths and on your worst day ever, you can put me down for about severe.

No, hang on, VDiff to be safe.

 

ClimberEd - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to JoshOvki:

> Is it a bit like, if you can climb Three Pebble Slab it is HVS and if you can't it is E1?

Hahah, is that still being discussed?

Fredt on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I once climbed an E1, 40 odd years ago, and all of my friends know that.

bedspring on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to alx:

> When even on your worst day you can still cleanly climb that grade.

Nonsense, thats the joy of climbing, you can breeze an HVS one day then the next weekend you pull on your rock shoes and VDiff or something daft shuts you down.

thepodge on 09 Apr 2018

For me, it has to be a reliably repeatable grade. No point saying you are x and then not being able to do it. 

Things are muddied when you go indoors, I'm able to climb to at least 1 grade if not 2 grades higher in Manchester than I am in Sheffield. 

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to summo:

> Why? 

> It's a good grade to be steady at. If you are happy above VS you can turn up to pretty much any crag, never queue for a route, avoid the polished lines and just enjoy climbing. Think of the routes that fall into this bracket. 

I suppose it depends what you want out of climbing – what motivates you. For me, to 'enjoy' climbing was never a simple thing of having an easy time of pure pleasure, partly because it was almost always quite serious and dangerous. An element of fear, of adrenaline, of psyching up etc. was always an unavoidable aspect of it. The challenge, at its best, was: can I get up this thing? Sometimes (by trying something harder) the question was: can I climb better? i.e. better than ever before? Can I really raise my grade? It's nice in life to get better at things you're quite good at. In climbing, there's the amazing thing of, in a real sense, 'entering the unknown', or crossing barriers.

We have a strange juxtaposition of threads this morning, of this one in close proximity to 'Breaking the barrier', about marathon runners pushing themselves. A discussion that you seem to have joined approvingly. Yet, when it comes to climbing, you don't seem to approve of people 'pushing themselves'.

I can't think of anyone I climbed with who wasn't trying to get better. Almost all the best, most memorable routes I did where near the upper end of my climbing ability. With a few exceptions, the easier the climb, the scruffier and less technically interesting it was.

(To work now.)

stp - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

By that definition Adam Ondra couldn't say he's a 9b+ climber even though he's climbed all three of the world's 9b+'s and even climbed the only 9c.

I think being overly conservative just holds you back.

Personally I have no clue what grade I can climb. When in Spain I managed a 7c+. But when at my local wall, climbing in a style that I'm far more familiar with because I've been climbing there all s*dding winter, I regularly fail on 7a+.

So I think you have to approach the question with a bit more flexibility. It will depend on many things like how much time you have, conditions, local grading, style of climbing etc.. You put these these things together, pick a route you like the look of and give it a go. And sometimes it's good to try things that are on the hard side. Take some risks. It's not the end of the world if you get totally shutdown on something or simply fail.

keith sanders - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to stp:

Totally agree with you it’s about being honest with yourself and enjoying all aspects of it.

keith s

JimR - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Its about turning up at a crag you don't know with someone you don't know, being able to lead something without embarrassment. Or is that overly cynical?

cheese@4p - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I always thought that grades were for climbs, not climbers.

planetmarshall on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> but a lot of climbers do 1or2 off the grade and think they are that grade of climber. So should we have a standard for what climbers can claim they do

Do *a lot* of climbers do this? If anything my climbing partners have always been fairly modest about their grade, besides which many these days have UKC logbooks and I can see *exactly* what they have climbed and how recently.

 

C Witter on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

This is a question of tradition, ethics, aesthetics - as well as being about introspection; it is not merely a question of numbers.

Routes that were put up in the classic mode are meant to be approached onsight. To approach these climbs in a different manner is to engage in an altogether different game. I think this probably applies to most routes of E1 and below. This doesn't mean we're approaching these routes in the way those who first climbed them did - we know there is a route, we know the line, we have the security of modern protection and equipment. But, we're giving the route the respect that is due.

Sometimes, of course, we're not ready for a route - and we follow someone else's lead, and build our confidence and eventually repeat the route. For me, this is obviously entirely acceptable, even commendable, and entirely different from top-rope practicing: you accept the role of apprentice, of aspirant, and the aura of the route is left intact. By contrast, top-roping a VS or an HVS or an E1 to practice it, and then leading it, completely eradicates the aura surrounding the route. There's nothing "wrong" with doing so, but any eventual lead will be hollow compared to an ascent that comes after long deliberation on the questions that lodge themselves in a leader's mind when they contemplate an onsight lead or a lead that represents an aspiration to raise one's game: can I do it? Have I got the wit and ability? Am I bold enough? Will I fail? What will be the consequences of failure?

Someone said this kind of out-of-date, boring, trad "ethics" fails to account for redpointing at a top level. Well, Adam Ondra's 9b+ or 9c projects are pushing through astounding technical and physical barriers in the only way that is currently possible: practicing routes. At the same time, he's onsighting 9bs - changing the game, the way these routes might be approached. Us mere mortals may apply the same tactics on, say, an E2 6a. There's nothing wrong with that, if we're being honest with ourselves - if we know we're not ready for a route, that it is pushing at limits that we can only currently aspire to overcome. But, having used these tactics, we will also know that we have not mastered this climb or this grade. We've been forced to compromise. Or, perhaps, we will accept that this route, with its tricky beta and its dodgy gear, can cope with a red-point without damaging its aura, its mystery and its difficulty. That's an issue that is decided somewhere between the individual, happy or not with their mode of ascent, and the collective - those who shape a tradition that is living and changing, rather than being a dusty rule book.

Mastery is the ability to approach routes in the way they ask, with capability and a steady nerve. And so there's no need to ask others what grade you climb at, because, if you take climbing seriously, it's already so internally obvious to you.

Post edited at 10:30
summo on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I don't approve or disapprove of either, but I don't think a day on the rock has to be a skin of your teeth or near death experience to be enjoyable. What's not to like about say heading into cloggy as a 3, climbing a good route you'll know everyone will get up, swing leads, bit of banter on the stances and finish of in the pub or cafe. 

For most people to get to E1/2 they had to put some mileage in at some point, which is no different to putting in leg miles so your body becomes accustomed to running longer distances. To follow your running analogy, it would be more akin to being content with running a 3:15hr marathon enjoying the race, the location etc at a sustainable pace, or do you strive to push it down to 3, or 2:45... 

GrahamD - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I reckon you have to be able to succeed at 90% of any route at the grade, routes selected entirely at random on any rock type. 

jkarran - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

If you have to stick a label on yourself just pick one you're comfortable with using rules you're comfortable applying, that's all anyone else is doing. If you actually have to understand how capable someone is or explain how capable you are then it's far more complicated than a single number anyway, you need to actually talk.

jk

Post edited at 10:34
Wiley Coyote2 - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Why bother Keith when we all know that grades are essentially  just a basis for negotiation? Even leaving aside the sandbags and the soft touches just look at the way they vary from crag to crag, let alone area to area or, on bolts, from country to country. And that's before you start on your own preferred style v the stuff you are rubbish at (in my own case that's crimps). I recently cruised a route at my top grade and told a mate - who I would say is at least as good as me and perhaps better - she'd never do an easier one at the grade but she got totally shot down. We decided it was because I'm good at technical bridging and she's the crimp queen. It suited me and not her and her shorter legs.

As for comparing sport and trad, forget it. According to those comparison charts in Rockfax I can lead bold E5. Well don't your breath waiting for that one. As another mate said to me, when you go back to trad after a long spell on bolts you can't believe how easy the climbing is.....or how scarey. A completely different game.

JamieSparkes - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to JimR:

Precisely this! There's a stark difference between doing a big route with someone who leads HVS regularly and someone who has led an HVS once. Its nice to know which they are before you get there! 

Bulls Crack - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

6? At once?

alx on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to bedspring:

> Nonsense, thats the joy of climbing, you can breeze an HVS one day then the next weekend you pull on your rock shoes and VDiff or something daft shuts you down.

I think you are arguing something totally different. What you can claim to climb and why you enjoy climbing whilst are linked are different. 

What I feel people mostly do is judge themselves too harshly on past best performances (that first and only 7a you over climbed in Kalymnos etc.), these tent poles in to higher grades don't affirm the strong base of improvement that happens over the years.  What I tend to tell the people I train is that all you can guarantee is that this years worst will most likely be better than last years previous worst.

PS. Agree with you regarding the enjoyment aspect.

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to alx:

I see you said in reply to Bedspring earlier:

> PS. Agree with you regarding the enjoyment aspect.

What he said was:

>Nonsense, thats the joy of climbing, you can breeze an HVS one day then the next weekend you pull on your rock shoes and V Diff or something daft shuts you down.

But you're playing with words here. How can that be enjoyable? What you really mean, I think, is something like 'that is the fascination /one of the shocking things about climbing' etc. How can having a hard time (as a typically HVS leader) on a V Diff be an enjoyable experience? If you're really having a hard time on a V Diff, in good, dry conditions, it must mean that you're a bit of a fake, pretending to yourself that you're better than you are.

 

LeeWood - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Might be worth some reflection - who / which audience do you want to present this grand title to ? If its your mates then they already know what you can do. If not then you can say what you like and it doesn't matter … unless you're fixing a blind UKC climbing date. 

Perso I tell folk 'I can onsight 7a on a good day' or 'I occasionally work grades up to 7a' - both of which let you off the hook. The other info useful for pairing up is the grade you can/prefer to warm up on.

Thus knowing ability from cold, and upper limits paints a more complete picture than a one-shot statement - and of course if you keep your UKC logbook up to date (honestly !) then this also helps. 

Misha - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I don’t climb when it’s cold or wet (except in the Alps and then only if necessary), so I wouldn’t even be at VDiff level. Not even a climber basically.  

LastBoyScout on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

These days, I mainly say "I used to be a solid HVS leader, but have climbed a few harder things..."

Misha - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to bedspring:

If you breeze a HVS but get shut down by a VDiff, either the grades aren’t right on those particular routes or you aren’t an HVS climber ;-)

Misha - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to GrahamD:

> I reckon you have to be able to succeed at 90% of any route at the grade, routes selected entirely at random on any rock type. 

Finishing 100% of the route would be better though, otherwise you’d be leaving a lot of an gear all over the place ;-)

bedspring on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Misha:

Or off route, never forget a lovely bloke I know, a handy climber, did inside route The Inside Route (VD) a V Diff, ended up with  just his hand poking out at the top of the crag through a little hole, oh how we laughed

Post edited at 14:02
top cat on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Misha:

> If you breeze a HVS but get shut down by a VDiff, either the grades aren’t right on those particular routes or you aren’t an HVS climber ;-)


Or you have just arrived in Northumbria........I failed to get off the ground on a VD, so climbed a VS just round the corner ! 

phil456 on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to C Witter:

‘well written piece with which I find interesting , thank you

I thought when someone asks what grade you climb at it’s to assess if you are suitable to climb a route with them, I usually give different answers depending on the route. The slightest whiff of an overhang is a large downgrade in ability for me.

 

jcw on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

My own criterion used to be when you reckoned you

could climb half the routes of the grade on sight. 

Post edited at 18:17
alx on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think we are saying the same thing. If your having a bad day and nothing is really working and you can still haul yourself up VS climbs, then you are competent at VS. 

The attitude that you redpointed to death and dragged yourself up one or a few disparate grade XY climbs makes you a grade XY climber is misleading.

Dave Garnett - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to jcw:

> My own criterion used to be when you reckoned you

> could climb half the routes of the grade on sight. 

I still use that for my bouldering grade; I never really got used to the idea that you can practice them, especially indoors.

Misha - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Keith, the basic answer to your question is “very loudly!”  

Iain Thow - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Hi Gordon, this is basically the old SMC's "Ultramontane v Salvationist" argument (climbing as challenge or as enjoyment). Obviously though there are and have always been climbers whose "most memorable" routes haven't necessarily been those where they've been technically stretched. In my own case I've got as much satisfaction out of Squareface, Ardverikie Wall, Heaven Crack and Red Slab on A' Mhaighdean as out of any of the harder routes I"ve done. I think the correlation between quality and difficulty is an extremely weak one indeed.

Fishmate - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> I have what I think should be right , I believe you have to be able to do 6 of what ever grade to say you are ie a 6 c climber or ie E3 5c how do you judge yourself.

Perhaps it is right if the exercise is to give yourself a pat on the back, all too easily. Generally, knowing the grade at which you are solid is useful as a personal reference point to select problems and steer training and to allow others to establish if you would be a suitable partner.

As a boulderer, I wouldn't consider myself a 6B or 7B crusher until I had ticked several problems in various styles (e.g. powerful, compression, crimp, slab, overhang, highball) on, at least, the main rock types, i.e. sandstone, granite, grit etc. I think at least 25 problems or routes as described above allow you to say YOU ARE a comprehensive X grade climber.

I think having climbed 6 routes of X grade allows you to say you have climbed that grade but not claim to be a climber of that grade.

You could do six routes at one crag in one day. That tells you one thing and little more. You are ready to explore further.

 

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Apr 2018
In reply to Iain Thow:

Well, I was generalising, because of course there are some very good easy routes. Ones that come to mind for me are New West on Pillar, Hope on the Idwal Slabs, Crackstone Rib, Moss Ghyll Grooves, that slab at the Roaches with the Neb Finish ... but one really has to rack one's brains to remember them – they're few and far between.

Michael Gordon - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Iain Thow:

I agree that the correlation between quality and difficulty is weak, though it does exist. I'd argue that the correlation between difficulty and satisfaction is quite strong (for most people).

Michael Gordon - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Fishmate:

> > You could do six routes at one crag in one day. That tells you one thing and little more. You are ready to explore further.

If I managed 6 onsights near my top grade in one day that would be some day!

Lord_ash2000 - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I'm genuinely puzzled (as I'm sure many must be, seeing your post) why you don't fancy climbing above E1/E2 when you say you are capable of climbing technically about eight grades harder. Or perhaps there's a typo in your post?

Because I don't do much trad these days. The last route I lead was HVS I think, and that was ages ago. I have climbed much harder in the past with a few E6's and an E7 under my belt but even then being a bit of a trad wuss they were head pointed and lead because i could almost walk up them. 

If I switched my focus back to trad, which is not impossible I'm sure I could quickly get into hard grades again but right now if I rocked up to a crag for an on-sight I doubt I'd fancy anything beyond E1 or maybe E2.

Iain Thow - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Still disagree, there are loads of good easy routes as well as plenty of harder ones that just consist of one or two tricky moves and some filler. I could list hundreds that I've enjoyed as much as routes I've been stretched on (but it would be a very boring read). Obviously an easy route is more likely to have the odd big ledge, but you tend to be moving faster so it doesn't impact on the experience to the same extent as it would on a harder climb. If you get your satisfaction from quality rather than from challenge then difficulty is, well, not quite irrelevant but is a fairly minor factor. As I said before, that's the old "salvationist" argument, and I'm pretty sure it's still true for quite a lot of climbers (presumably decreasingly so as you move up the grades?)

summo on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> ... but one really has to rack one's brains to remember them – they're few and far between.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=52 pick just one grade. Of course we all measure routes differently, but most these have good rock, varied moves and on crags in great places, what is there not to like even if they might be easy climbs to many people. 

 

AlanLittle - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

> So should we have a standard for what climbers can claim they do

No

Mick Ward - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Iain Thow:

Agree with you. For me, soloing Heaven Crack, Hargreaves, Doris's Route or FM is sheer joy. In fact soloing loads of stuff (doesn't need to be premium quality), until you lose yourself in the flow, is sheer joy.

Similarly, doing loads of bolted stuff until once again I'm lost in the flow, is sheer joy.

Mick

alanblyth - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I base "my grade" on the grade I enjoy climbing most, the grade that gives me most satisfaction, maybe my success rate is only 50% for the onsight, and 1 in 10 I outright fail, but that's the grade I'm looking for when arriving at a crag, and where I'm going to be spending most of my time.

Sometimes I would clarify this with my preferred style (ie: ground up, redpoint as required).

I don't really buy into this "mastery" thing, maybe I could do a diff with all the factors against me that people have come up with here (wind, snow, rain, dragon attack), then I could say I have "Mastered Diff" but I would probably stay at home that day so we'll never know.

Post edited at 11:38
Misha - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to alanblyth:

I’m with you on that, I’d be staying at home if dragon attack was at all likely. I suppose one of those evil traditional deep chimneys might be ok as you’d be well protected by the rock. 

Fishmate - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> If I managed 6 onsights near my top grade in one day that would be some day!


Wouldn't it just. I was more alluding to the possibility of going to a crag where the grading is soft, allowing you to tick routes at your limit grade, whereas normally that wouldn't happen. That would fit in with the OP's need to consider themselves a climber of grade X but wouldn't be an honest reflection of their ability.

Jimbo C - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I could say 'I can climb an E2' , but I would not say 'I climb E2'. Only the individual can judge whether it is is the former or the latter that applies to them. For some people it might be 100 routes, for others it might be 5.

AlanLittle - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> If I managed 6 onsights near my top grade in one day that would be some day!

If you can do it six times in a day then it's nowhere near your actual limit.

Fishmate - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to AlanLittle:

Agreed Alan, as clearly stated two posts above yours ;)

Goucho on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

I think this is quite straightforward.

The grade you can REALLY climb, is the grade you can regularly and consistently climb at, on a wide variety of rock types and styles.

The grade you can SOMETIMES climb, is the grade you can occasionally and inconsistently climb at, on certain rock types and styles.

Of course, unless the grade you want to claim you climb at is important from a cock waiving perspective, the difference between the two is irrelevant.

It's the routes, and the joy, adventure, experience and satisfaction they give you that matter, not the grade.

  

MFB - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to keith sanders:

Set out yesterday as a HVS climber, ended the day as a VS climber, just, all good.

 

Bulls Crack - on 10 Apr 2018
In reply to AlanLittle:

But ones onsight limit may be the only actual limit that applies to you? 

Misha - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I think the point is that if you can onsight six routes of grade X in a day, your actual onsight limit will almost certainly be X+1 and possibly X+2. Other than short routes on grit, six routes in a day is a fair bit of climbing. Perfectly achievable if you're comfortable at the grade and the logistics aren't complicated (i.e. single pitch, quick descents, not tidal and so on) but I doubt many people would be able to crank out six routes at their actual onsight limit. For example, my onsight limit is E5 but there's no way I can do six E5s in a day or indeed six E4s. Should be able to do six E3s though. So I'd be comfortable claiming to be an E3 climber ;-)

AlanLittle - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to Misha:

Exactly. If you've just done something at your actual limit you're either physically wrecked and unable to repeat anything like the same level of performance for several days (sport redpointing) or mentally exhausted and in need of a lie down / cup of tea / beer (scary trad onsighting)

Michael Gordon - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to AlanLittle:

Yes, even if the route physically hasn't taken a lot out of me, I'll be on a high and may just feel like doing easier routes afterwards in case I get shut down and it ruins the day. 

I think that the grade you're happy telling a new climbing partner that you climb (as suggested by someone else in the thread) is quite a good way of doing it. And this surely shouldn't be a grade that's 100% guaranteed, but an indication of the actual routes you tend to do. For example, I might say E2/3, meaning I should get up the E2 at most venues; I might try a couple of E3s, though success is less likely. 

Post edited at 07:27
Misha - on 11 Apr 2018
In reply to AlanLittle:

Or indeed physically wrecked after a trad onsight. 


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