/ NEWS: Walk of Life Repeated

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Michael Ryan - on 06 Jan 2009
Dave MacLeod has repeated The Walk of Life, James Pearson's route on the steep slab of Dyer's Lookout on the North Devon coast.


UKC News item: Dave MacLeod's Tendon Therapy: The Walk of Life

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=01&year=2009#n45540
Lemony - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: as in the other thread: "Crikey! Effort!!"

Also a very thoughtful piece of writing about the grade and experience afterwards.
vincentvega - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Quality!!

No messing about by Dave Mac!!
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Great post from Dave. Great effort.

His french grade equivalent seems a tad reserved seen as Vickers thought it was 8a+ with the pegs.
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I'm dumbstruck!

Very good write-up by DM as well. The man's a god.

jcm
Morgan Woods - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

cool....good to see that dave can get down and spend time on it without letting the cat out of the bag....in this age of blogs and up to the minutereporting.
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:

>His french grade equivalent seems a tad reserved seen as Vickers thought it was 8a+ with the pegs

Eh? Not so far from 8a/8a+, surely?

But then mind you Vickers was climbing a different line, of course. Perhaps that's what you meant.

jcm
Skyfall - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:

> His french grade equivalent seems a tad reserved seen as Vickers thought it was 8a+ with the pegs.

wouldn't the french grade be exactly the same with or without pegs? Os it that because Vickers didn't (I think) do quite the same line?

anyway, another top effort my Dave Mac.
Lemony - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to JonC: It's a more direct version of Vickers' line.
teddy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to north country boy)
>
> >His french grade equivalent seems a tad reserved seen as Vickers thought it was 8a+ with the pegs
>
> Eh? Not so far from 8a/8a+, surely?
>
> But then mind you Vickers was climbing a different line, of course. Perhaps that's what you meant.
>
> jcm

Vickers said 8a+ from the halfway-up start as has been reported on here previously. DM says 8a/8a+ from the bottom. This is a big difference.

Graham T - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Bloody hell, thats some repeat, makes an interesting mess of the grading though doesn't it. Mind you Dave Mc is one of the few in the world to really have the right to be able to grade things like that.
Amazing
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Well essentially Vickers did the same climbing on the top wall, and didn;t ahve to place gear which would maybe make it slightly easier. Add the direct start and you would have thought James's route would have been a few notches harder than the orginal line climbed by Vickers.....not according to Dave.
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to teddy: exactly my point. Interesting how James never seemed to offer a French grade for the whole thing...
Stuart en Écosse - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Chapeau!

What a stunning line and a stunning piece of rock.
old skool on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
So, The Promise drops from E10 to E7 and Walk of Life from E12 to E9. Someone has been taking the piss.
Mr Lopez - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: This thread has been hijacked!!! The thread was started by someone else, it had some posts on it, and when i submitted one it said it didn't exist anymore.
Is that how UKC mods try to keep news reporting credibility? By deleting threads that broke the story before them?
Shameful

Anyway, let's see how Pearson works on his credibility now. E12 to E9, world's hardest trad route to average top grade...
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mr Lopez: This happens a lot. Mick as ever....on the pulse. ; )
Reaver2k - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Bloody hell... another pointless grade debate.

I think Dave hit it dead on when he said:

"It would be a shame if our hard E grade climbs, which really are great masterpieces of rock climbs and stories, implode into a black hole of sensationalist rubbish headlines and witch-hunts on ukclimbing.com."
vincentvega - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to old skool:

Maybe actually climbing rhapsody first would have been a good idea!
johncoxmysteriously - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Reaver2k:

Dave was spot on, of course, except that 'would' should have read 'will'.

jcm
Reaver2k - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Haha, agreed.
Michael Ryan - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Reaver2k:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Bloody hell... another pointless grade debate.
>
> I think Dave hit it dead on when he said:
>
> "It would be a shame if our hard E grade climbs, which really are great masterpieces of rock climbs and stories, implode into a black hole of sensationalist rubbish headlines and witch-hunts on ukclimbing.com."

I agree. The magazine headlines were over the top, as well as the proclamation that it was the Worlds's Hardest Trad route.

There has been some very significant down grades of late and climbers are quite right to ask what the hell is going on.

Grades have been a topic of discussion since climbing began.

Andrew Murray on 06 Jan 2009 - 92-232-223-35.cable.ubr08.shef.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Quite an effort - well done that man. Good bit of writing too.
Hardonicus - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Andrew Murray: Get in that lad.
Mark Kemball - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) This thread has been hijacked!!! The thread was started by someone else, it had some posts on it, and when i submitted one it said it didn't exist anymore.
> Is that how UKC mods try to keep news reporting credibility? By deleting threads that broke the story before them?
> Shameful
>
>
So, what happened to my original thread?
Interesting that Dave's blogg seems to gloss over the practice that I had heard rumour of.
Bulls Crack - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Fantastic effort...and not Dave M's 'usual' style ie snappy

This ascent should see some sort of grade leveling out for these types of routes...which is what always happens.
telemarker - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Strong work as always by Dave, especially since he was meant to be injured. Awesome!
Caspar - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to telemarker:

Good effort DM! Though I do feel a little sorry for James..his credibility does seem to be crumbling away beneath him... :S
Michael Ryan - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mark Kemball:

I deleted it Mark...usually I change breaking news into a news thread. Rushed it this time and cocked up.

Sorry about that.
ukb & bmc shark - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Outstanding. Pasties on the house. Unexpected too. Funny he should find Walk of Life a turn-on and Indian Face a turn-off as they seem similar.
Chris Craggs - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Super effort, especially considering the current weather conditions.


Chris
JimR - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Caspar:
> (In reply to telemarker)
>
> Good effort DM! Though I do feel a little sorry for James..his credibility does seem to be crumbling away beneath him... :S


What a crass statement, the guy has recently done two really hard trad FA's recently, I have the utmost respect for his achievements .. and so what if the subjective grades he gave were high ?.. he would'nt be the first climber to do that ... and he won't be the last.
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee: mmm, with 25 runners on WOL I can see the difference....
Mark Kemball - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Cheers, no problem! (Please ignore the email which I wrote while you were replying to this!
Hardonicus - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee: Except Walk of life appears eminently fall offable above a certain height...
Darren Jackson - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Great stuff!... Now, I hope that Dave will be inspired to get on Three Pebble Slab and settle that particular grade debate once and for all.
Mr. K - on 06 Jan 2009
Amazing effort and very insightful writeup. Well done Dave.
Arjen - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:

Read what he said about IF- "There were just two or three holds that were a bit worrying, especially the “brittle spike” that Dawes mentions in his account of the first ascent. Before a lead you could minimise (but unfortunately never eliminate) the risk of them snapping by spreading the force more equally across limbs. The other unfortunate is that if they did snap you would probably die."

I presume that the walk of life is not as brittle as indian face...

but apart from this: a very big WELL DONE to Dave, great effort!
Dan Lane - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Surely James needs his own independant route grader!!
A bit like a independant GCSE exam marker (according to my physics teacher "they never new their parents, thier horrible people!!)

Dan
Mark Kemball - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to dan lane: I was going to add a comment about your English teacher, but then it is only to be expected in one so young!
Rob15 - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: wow incredible, good effort dave!
Dan Lane - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mark Kemball: i mean knew
Mark Kemball - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Anyway, as moderator, what do I do about the grade now? http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=113057 (I've added a note in the description).
Mark Kemball - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to dan lane: There, their, they're! (A physics teacher by trade, completely stuck without a spell checker!)
JimR - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Wait until consensus has been achieved by the BMC specified quorum of mumble mumble mumble
Mick Ward - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mark Kemball:

C.P. Snow's 'The Two Cultures'...

Mick
subalpine - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: i suspected such a slab would be no more than about E9 all along- glad to hear some confirmation..

north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to subalpine: My opinion too. The bottom unprotected section in its own right had to be E10 at least to bump the whole thing up to anywhere near E12????!!! Crazyness, although I can;t say i'm surprised it has come crashing down.
groovypiper - on 06 Jan 2009
Think I mite take my 5:10's back to the shop if they make E9 feel like E12, E8 feel like E11 and E7 feel like E10, probably should return those TNF pants also.

ho ho ho, I jest.
subalpine - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:
> (In reply to subalpine) My opinion too.

i'm glad that an armchair climber can estimate grades more accurately than some of the top climbers;)
simonwhittle on 06 Jan 2009 - user-5445064f.lns3-c11.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to Anonymous:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> i disagree with dave when he says it's only a slab so it can't be harder than e9. given he couldn't do indian face then indian face is definately harder than e11 (seeing as he can do e11) & that's only a slab...


Thats a well written, accurate and meaningful post...

oh hang on, its a load of rubbish
north country boy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Anonymous: he 'chose not to' do Indian Face after TR clean (maybe even flashing it on TR?).

Although they are both slabs, they are very different propositions.
JimR - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:

I think this is where the E grade falls down, give it a French grade and an indication of death / serious injury potential and that's all that matters
Pythonist on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
All congrats to Dave. Credit should definitely be given to both James and Dave for having good eyes for excellent lines, and the tenacity to try them (be it first ascent or repeats)

Mick, is not the bottom line of the news report:
"The question to ask is why was The Walk of Life given E12 7a?"
not just overly inflammatory, especially around here? Not that the question shouldn't be posed, but does it really belong at the bottom of a news report?
JSA - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well done Dave!

It would be interesting to know how many 6b/6c moves there are..
teddy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Pythonist:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> All congrats to Dave. Credit should definitely be given to both James and Dave for having good eyes for excellent lines, and the tenacity to try them (be it first ascent or repeats)
>
> Mick, is not the bottom line of the news report:
> "The question to ask is why was The Walk of Life given E12 7a?"
> not just overly inflammatory, especially around here? Not that the question shouldn't be posed, but does it really belong at the bottom of a news report?

Where would you rather put it?

northnorthnorth - on 06 Jan 2009
Well done Dave Macleod!
john howard 1 - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Awesome effort on a stunning line, nice one.
dread-i - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
DM:..finding I could get 25 runners in...
That's just like me on an 8m VS

DM:..but I’m used to three or four hour leads...
That's uncanny. Just like me on an 8m VS.

Good effort there Dave.

(It's nice to see I'm on the right track for greatness as well ;)

Sean_J - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I'm amused by the extremely ironic google ad that appeared just below the OP - "Climb Three Grades Harder" :D
Caralynh - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mark Kemball:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Anyway, as moderator, what do I do about the grade now? http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=113057 (I've added a note in the description).

LOL go for the middle ground: E10.5 6c++
;-)
Morgan Woods - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Caralynr:

or 5.14 R
JoeL 90 - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Brilliant write up. Really gets across the enjoyment of climbing the thing. Perhaps you could have just linked the entire bolg wrie up as people really need to read the whole thing as the quotes you selected fit well into the write up but just sound provocative alone as no doubt was your intention. The big news is not the downgrade but the ascent. Looks like an amazing climb anyway well done Dave and James.

As i dont really understant E grades would this be about 5.13b/c R? If dave is correct on the grade.
Ssshhh - on 06 Jan 2009
F#@king hell, this headpointing must be piss. I can just about onsight winter V; surely I should be able to go send, like, Parthian Shot.
Michael Ryan - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to JoeL 90:

The big news is the repeat AND the downgrade. The route experience is Dave's and James' alone.

Dave spoke about the first ascent, his repeat, his experience and the grade: all at length.

There are also many subtexts.

Many top climbers are now their own media.

subalpine - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: maybe E8 is more appropriate for 25 odd runners?
Monk - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:


Wow. That is an amazing effort (and I love the fact that this was a route to do with an elbow injury!!!!). Regardless of the grade, this line looks incredible and dangerous and and fantastic feat of climbing.

I do feel a twinge of sadness though. When James' ascent was fist announced on here I was one of the first to comment on the given grade and Sam Orange jumped down my throat. All I said was that it was a bold move giving such a hige grade. Jame's must have been incredibly naive to give a route E12 and not expect a backlash of scepticism. I feel quite saddened that now this ascent will open the whole can of worms again, especially after the promise affair. I suspect Dave M may be a fairly harsh grader seeing as he has downgraded so many things, but with his background of incredibly hard things in, relatively speaking, remote parts of Scotland, I can see why he might view more easily escapable situations as easier than other people weaned on gritstone would. There is absolutely no doubt that James is a world class climber and streets ahead of the rest of us and totally inspirational. I guess it's all part of being the first person to climb a piece of rock - at first it is impossible but later you manage it. It's the same as red/headpointing anything for the rest of us. The problem is, we know the grade in advance. When you feel something is harder than everything else you have ever done, how can you accurately grade it?

I hope this doesn't dishearten him or turn into a spat.
MorganPreece - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Dave u legend!!!! The Promise then The Walk Of Life. Whoooooopsss!! James needs to go back to gradeing school! ;)
Good efort to both of u, Some bold bold climbing.
MorganPreece - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to MorganPreecey: Come on dave grade echo wall!!! E??
Bolt Chopper on 06 Jan 2009 - 78.144.50.19 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Let's not rubbish Pearson's effort though. Awesome effort at de-pegging what looks like a great line.
JoeL 90 - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: You concluded your story with something like 'the big question is why was it given e12' James already gave his reasons when he did it. He should not need to do so again. The story is that the route which looks like an incredible line has been repeated, sure there are other elements to it but this is the key one. It should have ended in congratulations to Dave. I have noticed that you always seem to be the person tasked with writing heavily opinionated news stories while Jack and the others just tend to report whats happened. Im sorry if you have no choice in the matter as you get a lot of flak for it. But this story takes the wrong focus really. Grades are constantly changing and this is only a major downgrade if E grades are used to grade it. If you were to use YDS it would have gone from 13d R/X to 13c R (james gave it 8b right?). Its still a very hard climb with an exceptional line, the fact its been repeated is the news. Grades are subjective and bound to constantly change but quality testing routes will always be there defined by their lines and quality of climbing not the grade.
AlexanderBuglass - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

First of all well done to James firstly and Dave for an excellent repeat.
If Dave can climb E9 with a elbow injury echo wall must be harder than anything else out there?
teddy - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to JoeL 90:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) You concluded your story with something like 'the big question is why was it given e12' James already gave his reasons when he did it. He should not need to do so again. The story is that the route which looks like an incredible line has been repeated, sure there are other elements to it but this is the key one. It should have ended in congratulations to Dave. I have noticed that you always seem to be the person tasked with writing heavily opinionated news stories while Jack and the others just tend to report whats happened. Im sorry if you have no choice in the matter as you get a lot of flak for it. But this story takes the wrong focus really. Grades are constantly changing and this is only a major downgrade if E grades are used to grade it. If you were to use YDS it would have gone from 13d R/X to 13c R (james gave it 8b right?). Its still a very hard climb with an exceptional line, the fact its been repeated is the news. Grades are subjective and bound to constantly change but quality testing routes will always be there defined by their lines and quality of climbing not the grade.

The whole line was not ever given a French grade although it was mooted that the half-version previously climbed by Ian Vickers may have been harder than the 8a+ given to it due to the pegs coming out and some holds consequently worsening. DM seems not to have found the route this hard however.
James Oswald - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Caspar:
Bear in mind he did flash three v13s!! But yes I agree with you. But have you seen him take that fall on committed! Looks terrifying!
Anyway a fine effort to Mcleod for repeating the route.
James
James Oswald - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:
So did James miss obvious gear placements then? How many did he place?
James
James Oswald - on 06 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Did Dave give a french grade for E.W?
James
justin c - on 06 Jan 2009
Oh dear !

Shame i feel sorry for james . He has sponsors to keep happy i guess . . .
Still doesnt take away he is fookin ace climber and a real nice lad!

Deep in all our minds we new it wasnt E12 but who the hell are us mere mortals to comment on such grades . . . . .
Im just surprised he dared to give it this grade!

What happened to the old school methods of grading ? just undergrade it a little then you look rock hard when all ya shit gets up graded! lol
amazing effort from Dave M ! He is the supreme trad master ! Period!
JoeL 90 - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to teddy: Oh right thank you. Must have gotten the 8b bit confused with something else.

gribble - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
My word. Top repeat! The grade battle will always rage on, but thankfully we climb for the joy of climbing, and the appreciation of a good line. Well done both.
Niall Grimes - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c: hello justin
James Jackson on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

What a top effort. Despite all the talk of downgrading, if one wants to disappear up one's own backside, one should bare in mind the fact that the tech grade has 'only' dropped from 7a to 6c. One grade down is hardly unheard of. What's interesting is the adjectival downgrading. I note two points though:

"A solid E9 ascent is still an incredible feat of rock climbing skill and, yes, it’s still world class... And another thing is that a first ascent of a trad route at this level deserves extra respect over and above repeats"

So perhaps despite some recent, high-profile grading cock-ups, the original climbing vision and achievement should not be downgraded!
gribble - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Niall Grimes:
Just got in from the Sheaf Niall...?!
JoeL 90 - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to James Jackson: Spot on. The Groove and this have been much tried by many climbers it seems yet he was the one who got the first ascents.
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I wouldn't mind betting that one day in the far distant future WOL, EW and Rhapsody all settle at around about the same grade and that that grade is neither E9 nor E12. But hey, what do we know?

Slightly curious observation of DM's that it's not hard enough to be more than E9. At 8a/8a+, with snappy holds (according to JP, although DM doesn't seem to agree), and dodgy gear (again JP seemed to think he would have died when he had his fall if a zero cam had ripped on this slightly friable rock, while DM seems to think it's pretty safe higher up), you'd think it was plenty hard enough. It sounds more as though he thought it was too safe to be more than E9. I suppose he may have meant 'not hard enough in context'.

jcm

jcm
justin c - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Niall Grimes:

Hi niall ! Im back ! Where is you ! give us a shout me ode! Been a while !

Speak soon !

Jc
JoeL 90 - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to halo:
one that would seem far from realistic a goal, to most climbers who use this site perhaps.

No need for the perhaps i feel.
Silum - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:


woooow. Congrats to Dave. And thanks for being so honest about the grade as well. I see a mighty e-war of the grades continuing though.
halo on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to subalpine: Makes you think doesn't it, there is a route on Rainbow Slab in North Wales named "Raped by affection", this route has a serious climb up to the first placement which is a Rock one I believe, this route is given the grade of E7 6c.

Anyone who has climbed it such as Patch Hammond for instance will tell you it is a serious undertaking and one that shouldn't be taken lightly.

I would like to know what the first ascentionist feels about this particular route, one of the most sparsely protected slab climbs in Britain.
Wee Davie - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Fantastic. I did not expect anybody to be repeating this one any time soon.
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to north country boy)
>
> I think this is where the E grade falls down, give it a French grade and an indication of death / serious injury potential and that's all that matters

Thats what the E grade in addition to the tech grade does. Unfortunately the tech grade has been corrupted by people using it only for the hardest move. a nonsense, the tech grade should be the difficulty of the pitch irrespective of protection, a single move can be much harder depending on the climbing leading up to it, that is the true tech grade and no other system is needed if used properly.
It would be more use to include a subtext suggesting what the single hardest move is if it was off the deck.
Red Rover - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I think to Dave Macleod it may not have been that bad because he can climb F9a (or 9a+?) and is used to strung-out mountain routes so an 8a/8a+ slab must have felt alright, especially when the gear seems better than that of echo wall JP may have found it harder/scarier because hes a gritstoner/boulderer and the big sea-slab not really in his comfort zone, I dont know either climber very well so this is just speculation. Also, all three of the climbs that JP has done and had downgraded were with him getting the FA which makes a significant differance.
JimR - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to JimR)
> [...]
>
> Thats what the E grade in addition to the tech grade does. Unfortunately the tech grade has been corrupted by people using it only for the hardest move. a nonsense, the tech grade should be the difficulty of the pitch irrespective of protection, a single move can be much harder depending on the climbing leading up to it, that is the true tech grade and no other system is needed if used properly.
> It would be more use to include a subtext suggesting what the single hardest move is if it was off the deck.



With due respect Al, its not quite. eg The grade of E5 can vary from death on a stick to well protected lace up. What I'm saying is that if the french grade is given whether F2 or F8b+ and an indication of protection available then that's really all that's needed. Every one uses the combination of British adjectival and British Technical to try and glean precisely that info anyway. So eg Walk of Life F8a+ reasonable protection(will ball nuts and peckers), Indian Face F7b very poor protection, Arrow Route F3 No protection etc etc gives all the info anyone wants
fimm on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well done Dave, very impressive.
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
>
>
> With due respect Al, its not quite. eg The grade of E5 can vary from death on a stick to well protected lace up.

E5 5a/b = Death on a stick
E5 6b/c = Well protected lace up
What is so difficult about that?
Hidden User 56 on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Great achievement by both Dave and James.

Hmmm, bold but ultimately safeish F8a/8a+ = E9.

Now's where's that grade calculator of mine gone...

Nevermind, I don't need it now.

Andy F
tony on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Fantastic effort from Dave, yet again. And what wise words in his blog regarding the grading. Hats off to James for leading the way on this one.

Could be an exciting 2009 for new hard routes.
rusty_nails - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

You Boiser!!!!

what a peice of news to come into work to on a dreary wednesday
fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: let me be about the 100th person to say well done dave on here, cracking effort giving the speed of the repeat especially

i am not surprised by the downgrading, as I put on the other thread posted a few days ago, it was to be expected.

It throws up all sorts of questions, the main one surrounding James' grading of his first ascents (although there is no doubting his ability to climb hard routes). This leads to the question of why he seems to be overgrading his routes, naievity or pressure from sponsors?
Or is Dave M just very harsh, or out to prove a point? Its a possibility that he recognises that it is increasingly difficult to keep increasing the technical grades of routes, so perhaps hes gets more exposure from downgrading and hence satisfies his own sponsors in that way?

Having watched them both on film and read their blogs, I believe they are both good honest guys (and self evidently brilliant climbers), and its unfortunate that there is such disparity in their opinions.

It is possible to have a discussion about these issues without being disparaging to either man, IMO. Even if you believe that the alleged overgrading/ downgrading is down to sponsor pressure, in some respects thats fair enough, a man has to earn a living after all.
Derbyshire Ben on 07 Jan 2009 - un-defined-address.chevron.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well done to Dave McLeod for the repeat and to James for opening up the line.

I'm dismayed by the gleeful crowing that has accompanied the re-grading of WOL. Have some empathy people and engage your brain before typing.
tobyfk - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to JoeL 90:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) But this story takes the wrong focus really. Grades are constantly changing and this is only a major downgrade if E grades are used to grade it. If you were to use YDS it would have gone from 13d R/X to 13c R (james gave it 8b right?).

Well said.
ads.ukclimbing.com
JimR - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to JimR)
> [...]
>
> E5 5a/b = Death on a stick
> E5 6b/c = Well protected lace up
> What is so difficult about that?

Well .. I found the initial grading of Supersonic incomprehensible using that logic!

chris j on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to fxceltic:
>
> It throws up all sorts of questions

It does, but ultimately they're not really very important questions for 99.9% of us as we won't ever climb that hard and they can be pretty much answered by grading being a very subjective thing, especially at the cutting edge (though not just there - see Al Evans comments in the past about grading routes at HVS that settled at a spread of HS to E2!) and the E grade system having well publicised issues at the higher end.

What's important is that James did a stunning piece of climbing when he lead the first ascent of WoL (how many of us would like to get back on the route after taking such a huge fall and seeing the state of the gear afterwards!) and Dave stepped up to the plate and repeated it with huge panache. Hats off to both of them and long may they continue.

Incidentally one other question - Mark Kemball's post of 19:46 - "Interesting that Dave's blogg seems to gloss over the practice that I had heard rumour of." Care to elaborate on that Mark as I for one don't have a clue what you're referring to there?
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: whooo hoooo a grade debate i gotta get my word in here ..

isnt the e grade the rating for the amount of risk ie fall / death / hitting the deck factor ?

if so then why shouldnt it be given e12 ?
why is rhapsody given e11 ?

the fall factor on walk of life looks greater than on rhapsody

also i expect dave watched the video of james doing the route so he had an idea of the route before he even started it , does this not have some factors in his ascent and grading of the route ?

RupertD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to pauldr:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) whooo hoooo a grade debate i gotta get my word in here ..
>
> isnt the e grade the rating for the amount of risk ie fall / death / hitting the deck factor ?

No.
a lakeland climber on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to JimR)
> [...]
>
> Thats what the E grade in addition to the tech grade does. Unfortunately the tech grade has been corrupted by people using it only for the hardest move. a nonsense, the tech grade should be the difficulty of the pitch irrespective of protection, a single move can be much harder depending on the climbing leading up to it, that is the true tech grade and no other system is needed if used properly.
> It would be more use to include a subtext suggesting what the single hardest move is if it was off the deck.

The tech grade is being used in its original uncorrupted context, that of the hardest single move or short sequence of moves. It was Livesey and Fawcett who began to use it for pitches, hence Supersonic going from 6c to 6a (now 6b?). The UK tech grade was originally a French bouldering grade so is unlikely to have been applied to 50m pitches!

UK adjectival = how hard the route is or feels.
UK tech grade = how hard the hardest move(s) is/are
French grade = how hard the climbing is.

ALC

Fidget - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Awesomely quick repeat, nice one Dave!
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Anonymous:
> (In reply to chris j)
>
> I am with you on this one with regards to your final question, I guess someone at somepoint thinks that they saw DM practicing WOL.

Of course he did. Both James Pearson and Dave climbed WOL headpoint style.

Top rope practice then lead. It's called headpointing.
chris j on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to chris j: I should wake up before I post, in my pre-coffee morning state I assumed 'practice' to be an allusion to something dodgy going on rather than a straightforward reference to rumours of previous practise sessions on the route. My apologies to Mark, Dave et al...
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.148.182.54 whois?
In reply to pauldr:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> isnt the e grade the rating for the amount of risk ie fall / death / hitting the deck factor ?

No. How can you have been climbing for as long as you have without understanding the UK grading system?
This is why the UK grading system is broken - it's seems half the people using it don't understand it.

Bulls Crack - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to north country boy)
>
> I think this is where the E grade falls down, give it a French grade and an indication of death / serious injury potential and that's all that matters

And an indication of where the French grade relates to on the climb ie the risky section? Plus ca change
Morgan Woods - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Given the gear seems ok(ish) just wondering if aground up of this route would be feasible by some wad? would seem to be the next progression in terms of improving style.

Also wondering if any of the peg scars have provided crucial placements/holds.
Andy Moles - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Awesome.

You have to feel sorry for James Pearson, is there any way he would have given it E12 if he hadn't thought it was worth it? Even if he'd said E10 he'd have got oodles of kudos so I can't imagine why he'd purposely overgrade it. It reflects badly on him which is a shame because the emphasis should be on the awesome FA he made.

Interesting how Dave Mac takes into account the location in grade, Dumbarton isn't a serious crag either so Rhapsody must be really quite tricky.

About time Dave went back to Indian Face and proposes E7 ;)
Justin T - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I hate to be drawn in to this debate but...

> I wouldn't mind betting that one day in the far distant future WOL, EW and Rhapsody all settle at around about the same grade

So, WOL is around 8a+ climbing, doesn't require much physical fitness, is in a non-serious location, and (once you've done the first 10m) fairly safe to fall off with around 25 gear placements.

For a quick reminder Dave's description on EW is:

"8a+ up to the roof at 12m, with the smallest BD micro cam for gear
...
After the roof is the technical crux. There are three bits of gear protecting this - a poor Camalot in a very shallow slot, a good wire but in a suspect tooth of rock and wire in dubious rock. It’s dubious because there used to be another wire placement right beside it which was the best of the lot, but the placement broke and fell off randomly in between my visits. Scary!

Right after the crux there is an RP3, quite good but blindly placed. Then a runout to a shakeout.

The shakeout isn’t so good, and afterwards there is final hard section and this is where I fell many times when trying to link it. There is an RP and very poor skyhook at the shakeout, but the placement is in a loose flake of rock so I’m pretty sure they would just pull right through if you fell here. You have to do the final boulder problem pumped, knowing if you fall you will die."

Overall EW is allegedly around 8c, requires immense physical fitness as there's not much opportunity to rest once you commit, is in a much more serious location, and lethal to fall off from the top crux when you're most at your limit.

Doesn't sound like they're anywhere comparable in terms of grade to me.
north country boy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to AMo:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> Interesting how Dave Mac takes into account the location in grade, Dumbarton isn't a serious crag either so Rhapsody must be really quite tricky.

Well yes of course, there is a huge differenc ein difficulty between 8a/8a+ and 8c/8c+.......

Max factor - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well done James. Well done Dave.

In the end of the day they have both climbed the same bit of rock in the same style.

And no, I don't give a hoot about the grading 'controversy'.
Iain Peters - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Anonymous:
> I guess someone at somepoint thinks that they saw DM practicing WOL.

On Saturday, I was in the Hartland area with a small group of Culm diehards, checking route and crag descriptions for the new guide. We got to Dyer's at about 2.30. TWOL was fully chalked up. We knew it would be as one of us had seen a climber on it earlier in the week.

DM turned up soon afterwards and spent a couple of hours on the route, mainly on the lower slabby section. At the same time Nic Dill and Stu Bradbury repeated their new start to Earth Rim Roamer (climbed earlier on sight and ground up!) to the first stance of Earth Sea Trilogy, ERR2 etc, just left of the arete. Brief pleasantries were exchanged as they abbed off.

What is remarkable about this ascent, apart from its obvious difficulties is that this whole slab/wall is in the shade, and we felt cold climbing in the sunshine!

As far as I'm concerned whether the route is E12 or E9 is neither here nor there, the important thing is that this superb but neglected climbing area has been put back in the spotlight. Get yourselves down here and live a little!

GrahamD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Absolutely amazing effort. I assume Dave must have had some inkling that he could do TWOL before heading off down to Devon - its a fair old jaunt.

Given the relative accessibility and benign climate, I guess that a concensus grade will emerge pretty quickly. Interesting that Dave mentions Widdop Wall as benchmark E9 - has he been on it does anyone know ?

Does anyone else feel like a wimp for thinking its a bit cold for rock climbing at the moment ?
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: explain ....
David Peters - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to GrahamD: >Interesting that Dave mentions Widdop Wall as benchmark E9

That's an interesting one as as far as I was aware no one had yet repeated it, despite attention from several strong parties, so I'm not sure how it could be benchmark anything yet ??
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.148.182.54 whois?
In reply to pauldr:
> (In reply to Serpico) explain ....

No. I used to, then when that got got tediously repetitive I pointed people towards Bob's article on UK grading.
Now I've given up completely.
DYOR
Chris Craggs - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:

You are right of course but the system isn't broken - its peoples inability/unwillingness to use and understand it that is the problem.

Maybe it is a bit more complicated than we realise!


Chris
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: right i always thought that the e grade was an indication of the fall risk / amount of gar on the climb / how safe gear is / how far above the gear you are / risk of ground fall ..
and the tech grade is how difficult the hardest move is

if this is wrong please explain ??
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: whats DYOR then is that another grading system from turkey then ?
GrahamD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to pauldr:

The E grade also includes the overall climbing difficulty so yes you are wrong.
Monk - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to pauldr:
> (In reply to Serpico) explain ....

I think Serpico is trying to point out that the E grade is for more than just prang potential. It also includes sustainedness, fall-offability, overall difficulty etc. If it was just death potential we could easily have VS 7a and E9 3b. It is more subtle than that.
David Peters - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to pauldr: You'll need to DYOR on DYOR ;-)
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to GrahamD: i know i just forgot to include that i tried to break it down a bit if i had said overall climbing difficulty then guranteed some1 would have corrected me
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to Serpico)
>
> You are right of course but the system isn't broken - its peoples inability/unwillingness to use and understand it that is the problem.

It's been broken since day one Chris, it's just that we have grown up with it and have used it extensively.

And its not inability/unwillingness to use or understand it - it's complicated and doesn't make much sense - three or four variables in two numbers.
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to David Peters: anyway has anyone here been climbing on scaffel im going there soon ( first time so im quite exited about it )
PeakDJ on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to pauldr:

Paul - the E-grade is the OVERALL difficulty - not just a "danger-rating". It is based on various factors INCLUDING technical difficulty, danger/seriousness, gear availability/quality, exposure, quality of rock, how hard the moves are to read onsight etc etc...

DYOR - do your own research.
Peakpdr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to PeakDJ: oh right CFT .. cheers for that lol

thats what i thought the e grade was but oh well .. anyway hows the foot
James Oswald - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to fxceltic:
How much will WOL being E9 vs E12 really affect his sponsorship money.
I really doubt North Face will sell any less jackets (I do realise he has other sponsors than NF).
James
Steve McQueen - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: This kind of exhaustive grade debate, whenever anyone climbs anything new, doesn't happen nearly as much with other grading systems (trad routes included) which would suggest that something is sick, regardless of whether it's inability to understand or that the system just doesn't work.

When every truly amazing climbing achievement rapidly degenerates into a grade debate in which none of the people taking part have ever climbed the route in question, it really devalues the achievement for everyone.

Grade debate is a healthy thing, or course, when it's conducted between people who have actually climbed a given route. I guess with other grading systems, where sport grades correspond directly with trad / danger grades, you don't see such drastic under/over/regrading going on, because the climbers involved all know what 8a/8c/9a/34/V9/whatever feels like.
stone on 07 Jan 2009 - dyn092170.shef.ac.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I'm sure that in years to come James and Dave will still be famous for putting up the classic trad routes of this generation. No one will care less what grade they initially were thought to be. No one now cares that brad pit or supersonic or strawberries or GBH were regraded - they are just total classic climbs (I might be in a muddle about what things were regraded- my climbing history knowledge is duff). Let's not forget Ron Fawcet and John Dunne (I think) were top climbers at the time but got many climbs misgraded. New Statesman is now thought to have been undergraded- showing that being a top climber does not make you always the most accurate grader, instead of some aim to over-inflate.
Al Evans on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> The tech grade is being used in its original uncorrupted context, that of the hardest single move or short sequence of moves. It was Livesey and Fawcett who began to use it for pitches, hence Supersonic going from 6c to 6a (now 6b?).

It has to be pointed out that that was the grade given to it by Geoff Birtles, as a question "Is this Britains first 6c" Neither Ron or myself ever thought it was harder than straight 6a.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Steve McQueen:

You are right Steve. It is the nature of the E-grade that makes it such a talking point - it always has been a talking point long before everyone could have their say on climbing forums.

Similarly, top climbers have been repeating each others routes and down grading for a similar length of time - nothing new there.
James Oswald - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Anyone know what french grade Echo Wall would get? Presumably harder than Rhapsody as he did it later and did an long (apparently) V14/13 traverse to train for it?
James

fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to james oswald:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
> How much will WOL being E9 vs E12 really affect his sponsorship money.
> I really doubt North Face will sell any less jackets (I do realise he has other sponsors than NF).
> James

for the record I dont think I said it would, what I said was (without checking...) is that this repeat raises some questions, one of which is the perceived issue of sponsor pressure, which often gets thrown out there when a big number goes out and is subsequently downgraded

I personally dont think sponsor pressure is an issue, at least not to crack entirely new grades, climbing at a consistently high level yes, overgrading deliberately no.
a lakeland climber on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
> [...]
>
> It has to be pointed out that that was the grade given to it by Geoff Birtles, as a question "Is this Britains first 6c" Neither Ron or myself ever thought it was harder than straight 6a.

I stand corrected on that

Livesey certainly was going along the lines of the tech grade being a pitch grade, hence him reckoning that the French grade was the UK grade plus 2. So UK 6a was the same as F6c, hmm.

ALC

a lakeland climber on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> Similarly, top climbers have been repeating each others routes and down grading for a similar length of time - nothing new there.

I think the quote is in either Extreme Rock or one of the Lakes articles in Crags: Ed Cleasby after repeating Gates of Delerium on Raven Crag, Thirlmere in under an hour, "Never E5 that! more like E3". Originally given E5 Gates went down to E4 but with loss of a couple of holds is back to E5 in the current guide.

There was a lot, and I mean a lot, of downgrading of routes when the Extremely Severe grade was split into E-grades. This lead to people grading routes rather stiffly, hence the E5 grade being quite broad. It would be a pity if things were repeating themselves and the E9 grade becomes similarly broad.

ALC

HughM - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Steve McQueen)
> You are right Steve. It is the nature of the E-grade that makes it such a talking point - it always has been a talking point long before everyone could have their say on climbing forums.

I don't think it has anything to do with the E grade system in this case. Dave clearly thinks that WOL is both physically easier (both in terms of the difficulty of the crux and how sustained overall the route is) and less dangerous than James thought the it was. Whatever grading system you use that is going to mean a radically different grade.

Anyway, its great to see people getting on these routes so quickly after the first ascent. It's been a while since there has been this level of 'competition' and I think its very heathy.


Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.148.182.54 whois?
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to james oswald)
> [...]
> I personally dont think sponsor pressure is an issue, at least not to crack entirely new grades, climbing at a consistently high level yes, overgrading deliberately no.

The level you climb at has little to do with sponsorship, it's all about profile. Take Leo as an example; he's probably the highest paid climber in the country by a good margin, but what has he actually done of note on rock recently?
SGD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Great to hear Dave has repeated this.

If the E9 6c grade sticks its still an amazing climb and puts it up there with if 6 was nine and Indian Face. Both of which are routes with the potential for serious injury or death.

Fantastic effort by James for putting the route up and Dave for the 2nd ascent.
g taylor - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Am I right in thinking that there is going to be some kind of open forum grade debate with the UKs best known climbers at the next ShAFF?
loopyone on 07 Jan 2009 - 10.7.84.206 [proxy-04.swgfl.ifl.net]
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I haven't read all the posts but from reading dave and jame's blogs thet they may be tyring to create 'hype' by suggesting that each others routes are not as hard as they have been initially graded.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to g taylor:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Am I right in thinking that there is going to be some kind of open forum grade debate with the UKs best known climbers at the next ShAFF?

Yes

"The Great British Grade Debate with the BMC: Nick Colton (BMC Deputy CEO) will chair a ‘Question Time’ style debate on climbers’ favourite topic. On the panel: John Arran, Dave Birkett, Lucy Creamer, John Dunne, Jack Geldard, Steve McClure, James Pearson and Nick Sellars. "

http://www.shaff.co.uk/

johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
>
> It's been broken since day one Chris, it's just that we have grown up with it and have used it extensively.
>
> And its not inability/unwillingness to use or understand it - it's complicated and doesn't make much sense - three or four variables in two numbers.

Please don't post such fundamentally misconceived posts, Mick - on that basis any grading system which used only two numbers would be 'broken'.

I am really getting very tired of this idiotic media-led debate on whether the grading system is 'broken' (absurd word) or not.

There you are, is that nicer?

jcm
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Cheers John. That's nicer.
GrahamD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to jondone:

I don't think James 'needs' to do anything. He is pretty happy that he understands the difficulty of Rhapsody and he made short work of what still appears to be the first E10 - Equilibrium. Good luck to the lad.

Sharma does grade, BTW, covertly or overtly.
IainWhitehouse - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> Please don't post such fundamentally misconceived posts, Mick - on that basis any grading system which used only two numbers would be 'broken'.
>

I was going to put forward a pretty similar argument. I think it is easy to see the potential problems in a system with only two variables but do we really want to dig out Ed Ward Drummonds 36* variable masterpiece.

Besides, all the alternatives that have been suggested as being better (5.11c X etc) have exactly the same problem. In fact they are worse in many ways because (as far as I know) there is no consensus on how to deal with easier run out sections. For example, should a 5.10a with some very very run-out 5.7 on it get an R, an X or nothing? I've seen a route exactly like that given 5.10a (R) - yet the 10a climbing was next to a bolt. E1 5b would have done me fine.

*I am probably exagerating - it may only have had 18 or so variables.

Iain
ads.ukclimbing.com
Matt Vigg - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

You know what UKC needs... it's a mechanism for creating polls. That way someone can create a poll for "Is the E-grade broken?" and when the answer comes back as No (at around 63.8% of voters), it never needs to be discussed again. Ever.
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.148.182.54 whois?
In reply to jondone:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Dave obviously thought Indian Face was a harder proposition, taking risk and technicality (as per the British grading system) into account.
>
I don't agree that he found it 'harder', unjustifiable yes, harder no. By the same token there are Mick Fowler E4's out there on crumbly rubbish that I'm sure he and many others would not entertain trying. By your logic should these be considered benchmarks for the grade?

Hugh Cottam - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I entirely agree with you John. I'm utterly sick of this whole E-grade broken rubbish. It isn't. It's probably the best grading system for trad climbs in the world. Actually scrap the "probably". We should be celebrating the great British climbing achievement that is the E-grade. Obviously any grading system has it's limitations, and only truly becomes meaningful through use. All grading systems break at the top end because the limits are being pushed and it takes time for any consensus to build up.

Compare it to any other grading system for trad climbs and it is by far the most meaningful and consistently applied. Take a look at some 5.9s in the states and you'll get anything between VS and E3.

It's also ridiculous to discuss this whole issue of how good a grading system is, based on the latest E9s and E10s.
remus - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Matt Vigg: your obviously not familiar with the way the forum works. The same topics are discussed again and again, it doesnt matter if a conclusion is reached, the topic must still be debated, its just the way it is :D
220bpm on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Holy feckin jesus mother of gawd!

Dave Macleod. Living legend.
ukb & bmc shark - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Matt Vigg: That way someone can create a poll for "Is the E-grade broken?" and when the answer comes back as No (at around 63.8% of voters), it never needs to be discussed again. Ever.


By the same token there is no point having general elections every four years. Poll for "should the BMC provide bolts?" in 1989 would have a different result for the same poll in 2009.
Matt Vigg - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:

OK I see your point, once every four years it is then.
north country boy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to jondone)
>
> I don't think James 'needs' to do anything. He is pretty happy that he understands the difficulty of Rhapsody and he made short work of what still appears to be the first E10 - Equilibrium. Good luck to the lad.
>

Conflicting opinion of how he 'faired' on Rhapsody circulates, and comparing a 13 metre Grit Route and a 50m sea cliff, two very different things is a flawed principal in the first place.......

James Oswald - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:
How do you propose we grade them then?
McBirdy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Congratulations Dave on leading yet another E9 in double quick time...

Ben
Jus - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to james oswald:

Naturally, prefix short grit routes with 'SGE', sea cliff routes with 'SCE' and longer non grit routes 'LNGE', creating 3 separate kinds of E grades in the process.

Ged Desforges - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> Take a look at some 5.9s in the states and you'll get anything between VS and E3.

Yeah but take a look at some E5 6a's in the UK and you'll get anything between f6a+ and fr7b
teddy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ged Desforges:
> (In reply to Hugh Cottam)
> [...]
>
> Yeah but take a look at some E5 6a's in the UK and you'll get anything between f6a+ and fr7b

True but perhaps to be as easy as F6a+, an E5 would be graded E5 5c a la Heartless Hare. English 6a moves would never get given F6a+, although I invite anyone to prove me wrong!
justin c - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to james oswald:
> (In reply to north country boy)
> How do you propose we grade them then?

I think we dont bother at all! Who really cares and what good will it do ,We are just going roud and round in circles with this same old shit!
Its just suggestive , dare i say that no one will onsight E9 or above anyway,not yet for a while im sure! so sod it ! Gee !
How to deal with hard routes goes as follows¬
If it looks good , you can climb it on a rope and feel good about it then do it!

I have quit grades for this reason and use my own system now and it works way better than any system in the world . check it

easy 1,2,3
tricky 1,2,3
hard 1,2,3
hard very marvelous 1,2,3
Fantastic hard very marvelous 1,2,3
Death very marvelous 1,2,3

GrahamD - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:

The point is not whether James has the breadth of experience to get his proposed grades for new routes correct - it is your assertion that he 'needs' to repeat loads of other routes. He doesn't.

Whether he has repeated Rhapsody or not was not the point - presumably he thinks he knows how hard it is and can mentally use it as a benchmark. As for Equilibrium - that wouldn't be bad experience for grading the Groove or the Promise, would it ? certainly enough experience to propose the grades he has.

The grades of his routes will settle down after oscillating about a bit or the routes will be ignored.
north country boy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to james oswald: Its not a revolutionary grading system i'm proposing, just pointing out the fact that if James' CV s mainly made up of short grit trad routes, and Dave's is made up of longer , mountain trad of a more similar style to the WOL, then you would expect Dave to be nearer the money when comparing routes he has already done and WOL.

Routes of different style can exist with the same grade but the climbing may differ dramatically, it seems to me that teh approach taken by James to grading it, with limited experience of the style has clouded his judgement somewhat.

(Doesn't explain the Promise though Font8a - Font 7b+!?)
Matt Vigg - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c:

But if you have a hard very marvelous 1 and a hard very marvelous 3, is the second route harder or more very marvelous or a bit of both?
Ged Desforges - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to teddy: I reckon there's plenty of grit E5 6a's not much harder than that? Ok maybe not 6a+. but 6b+ for sure, and thats a long way away from 7b
teddy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ged Desforges:
> (In reply to teddy) I reckon there's plenty of grit E5 6a's not much harder than that? Ok maybe not 6a+. but 6b+ for sure, and thats a long way away from 7b


Sure, F6b+ could easily equate to English 6a. Quite a tricky grade for a trad route particularly on a slab.
I Falafelot on 07 Jan 2009 - 172.26.52.121 [proxy3.uclan.ac.uk]
In reply to Jus:
> (In reply to james oswald)
>
> Naturally, prefix short grit routes with 'SGE', sea cliff routes with 'SCE' and longer non grit routes 'LNGE', creating 3 separate kinds of E grades in the process.

Longer Non-grit Routes?!!!

Are you from the peak district, by any chance? There are many many more rock types other than grit!

And what about short non-grit routes?
justin c - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Matt Vigg:
> (In reply to justin c)
>
> But if you have a hard very marvelous 1 and a hard very marvelous 3, is the second route harder or more very marvelous or a bit of both?

Hey Mat !

Your getting it already ! ! just a bit of both lol !

J
Hugh Cottam - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Well name them then please Ged. If you said 6c/6c+ then I'd be more convinced. Plus any E5s that are 7b are more likely to be given an English 6b technical grade.

There will always be exceptions. My point is that for trad climbs the E grade system is as good if not better than anything else that has been tried and is considerably better than a lot of the suggestions that are made in terms of potential improvements.
Jus - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to I Falafelot:

Create as many different E grades as you see to fit the circumstance.
loopyone on 07 Jan 2009 - [proxy-18.swgfl.ifl.net]
In reply to Jus: I climbed an E13 8c last night. Ive called it 'two flights of stairs'.

Next thing is to make a film, write a book and then argue with anyone who disagrees with me and downgrade their routes.

telemarker - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Thats what confused me, he clearly states on his blog that he practiced it. Maybe I miss read the initial post.
Ged Desforges - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam: Track of the cat, can't be more than 6b+. I'm sure i've heard folk say tales of yankee power is 6b+/6c. Central wall at blue scar must be about the same. Some of the E5's on the upper wall in the Avon (whose names i forget) get E5 6a, and are mooted as 7b (although 7a+ probly closer to the mark). Priapism at Blue, again thought to be 7b. The flying Fissure at Dove no?

Even the difference between 6c and 7a+ is pretty hefty. Personally, particularly for limestone and similar stuff, i'd rather have a french grade with an R or X than an e grade, tells me much more.
subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: maybe Dave found an easier sequence?
a lakeland climber on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ged Desforges:

But translating between any two systems is fraught, especially if you assume linearity in both. I've done F6cs that I thought were E2 and others that I thought were equivalent to E5. Ergo the French grade is broken!!!!

ALC
Sankey - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to subalpine: maybe dave finished with his left hand on the arete...
Dave Kerr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I also heard that Dave sacked and burnt Carlisle on his way back north and that several farms on the English side of the border are missing all their livestock.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Dave Kerr:

Jeez that's more like it lads. A bit of humour!
Erik B - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: is Mr Simmonite going to re-write his articles now? only joking

must admit, I wasnt surprised when i read Daves article, the man is hugely focused and ambitious. To me The walk of life was clearly taking far too much focus away from Echo Wall due to one reason and one reason only - The walk of life was given E12.

But what was more interesting to me was his comparison of the route to climbing scottish winter VIII and IX onsight and finding his recent new route Yo Bro VIII,9 as being harder than this particular E9 6c experience. Its about time we got a first hand account of how hard the hard scottish winter routes are in comparison to our world famous trad rock climbs. And gives an idea of how hard Daves grade X's and XI's are!!!

Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I also heard that Dave sacked and burnt Carlisle on his way back north and that several farms on the English side of the border are missing all their livestock.

I heard something else about the livestock.....
Silum - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> I entirely agree with you John. I'm utterly sick of this whole E-grade broken rubbish. It isn't. It's probably the best grading system for trad climbs in the world. Actually scrap the "probably". We should be celebrating the great British climbing achievement that is the E-grade. Obviously any grading system has it's limitations, and only truly becomes meaningful through use. All grading systems break at the top end because the limits are being pushed and it takes time for any consensus to build up.
>
> Compare it to any other grading system for trad climbs and it is by far the most meaningful and consistently applied. Take a look at some 5.9s in the states and you'll get anything between VS and E3.
>
> It's also ridiculous to discuss this whole issue of how good a grading system is, based on the latest E9s and E10s.

Agreed with every word you said.
Hugh Cottam - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ged Desforges:

The only one of those I can really comment on is "tales of yankee power" which I would consider to be harder than 6b+, though I was frightened.

I take your point, but I think there will be limitations in any grading system. Overall I believe the E grade system can be applied more consistently and informatively than the others I have experienced (particularly the American). Yes you will get considerable variation within a particular grade (as your examples display), but I think the E grade with technical grade helps to reduce this compared with single grade systems.

ps.Similar to comments above I've never found the R and X appendage to be very well applied (ie. no consistency).
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Fantastic ascent and all that....


but these post climb right ups are getting as cliched as a fotballers post match interview, grades are the new 'charidee' for these guys.... "grades don't matter to me, it's all about the experience ,but...". I mean as if anyone would give a toss if they'd just done an E6.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) is Mr Simmonite going to re-write his articles now? only joking

He quit. Although I did offer to lend him one of my flame-proof full body suits.
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Fantastic ascent and all that....
>
>
> but these post climb right ups are getting as cliched as a fotballers post match interview, grades are the new 'charidee' for these guys.... "grades don't matter to me, it's all about the experience ,but...".

Spot on. They are all at it.

Without grades, the top climbers who decide to go pro would get diddly-squat in terms of income - even those who shun grades for their routes.
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Ta.. I seem to have forgotten the difference between 'write' and 'right'.
Tris - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Does anyone know what (if anything) James has said about the downgrading, his blog website doesn't seem to have a recent update?
Dave Kerr - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr)
> [...]
>
> I heard something else about the livestock.....


He's got them all stashed away in the Lost Valley...
Owen W-G - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Dave Kerr:

> I also heard that Dave sacked and burnt Carlisle on his way back north and that several farms on the English side of the border are missing all their livestock.

And the flag of Scotland has once more been seen flying in Berwick?

fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to tatty112:
> (In reply to Jus) I climbed an E13 8c last night. Ive called it 'two flights of stairs'.
>
> Next thing is to make a film, write a book and then argue with anyone who disagrees with me and downgrade their routes.

Ive just climbed "3 flights of stairs" and refused to grade it, so there
tony on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Owen W-G:

Never mind all that, I reckon Fort William to Devon and back again in that old Nissan gets an E10 all on its own.
telemarker - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to tony:

haha
Owen W-G - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to tony:

In one pitch?
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Fantastic ascent and all that....
>
>
> but these post climb right ups are getting as cliched as a fotballers post match interview, grades are the new 'charidee' for these guys.... "grades don't matter to me, it's all about the experience ,but...". I mean as if anyone would give a toss if they'd just done an E6.

Utter rubbish. Dave and James et al have never made any secret that they seek out the hardest routes/boulders possible, but if you think that somehow because you become an exceptional climber the things that attracted you to the sport in the first place, ie: 'the experience' suddenly don't matter any more you've seriously no idea about what it takes to become good in the first place: a passion for the sport.
If all Dave was interested in was the grade he'd have taken E12.
This idea that Mick likes to propagate as he hypocritically takes the moral high ground about "The Pro's" having to please their sponsors is rubbish. For a start there's very little money in sponsorship in this country; the majority of climbers just get free gear, with a few getting a photo deal (used to be up to £250 for a magazine), and the very lucky few getting paid a retainer (£2k a year is the highest I know of, hopefully now it's higher).
If you want to know where the real money is ask Mick how much this site receives in advertising revenue. Then you'll see why it's in Mick's interests to court controversy.

subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B: it's easy- once you reach the E grade, everything is doubled- so grade 1/2 are easy/mods, grade III is about D/VD, grade IV is about VD/S, grade V is S/VS, grade VI is HVS/E1, grade VII is E2/4, grade VIII is E4/6, grade IX is E6/E8, grade X is E8/E10 etc..
James Oswald - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Jus:
Do longer grit routes exist? Would any other the routes at Hen Cloud count as LGE?
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: I think we're on a different wavelength pal... and I think you should have replied to Mick.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Serpico) I think we're on a different wavelength pal...

That's reassuring.

> and I think you should have replied to Mick.

I replied to you, Mick's welcome to comment on it, you seem to be in agreement with each other anyway.

Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Papillon)
> [...]
>
> That's reassuring.
>

Damn right baby.
whistler - on 07 Jan 2009
What if DaveM used a hold (or indeed holds) that JP did not use on his ascent? When Steve MClure used an "extra" hold on his route, he got a bit upset and the grade went down as well.
Bulls Crack - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> [...]
- three or four variables in two numbers.

= flexibility

and it's hardly complicated is it?
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:

Yellow Serpico

It's never an either or, but there is a bit of duplicity involved in some pro climbers blogs without a doubt. You see it all over the place.

The poo-pooing of grades has been trendy for decades in some quarters. I laugh when I see a top climber saying that grades don't count and aren't important - its sheer bullshit. The media comes in for a bit of a bashing too - that's trendy at the moment!

Of course, its the experience that counts, but that experience is personal - and often brilliantly articulated by some talented climbers who can also write - and hence inspirational. I know I get inspiration and motivation from some accounts without a doubt.

There's no moral high ground. Make a living from climbing and these days views on blogs are very important. In fact many outdoor companies have reduced budget for convential print advertising in favour of online, that includes personal blogs.

It is hard to make it as a professional climber, you have to do the whole spectrum - slide shows, trade shows, photo shoots, having an online store, coaching, gear advice as well as

So - the experience counts, the photos count, the video counts, the challenge counts, the blog counts and the grade is important.

Oh and your figures are wrong as regards sponsorship, especially your top figure.

And yes thanks, this site is doing well, because we deliver - most of the money is re-invested into the site: Nick's work, Jack and my compensation, we have just taken on Kevin - and guess what, the Director actually got paid for the first time this year - let's see when did this website start - try 8 years ago: Alan James has worked his socks off making this site a success.

I'm very proud of what we have achieved, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Cheers,

Mick
ghisino - on 07 Jan 2009
So, the last three big FA's by JP end up in 2 very harsh downgrades and a "failed downgrade" (since alex honnold did not follow the same exact line on The Groove, but only did the initial boulder)

Still, Pearson is the guy repeating several hard trad routes and flashing 8B boulders...I don't know much about trad, but being a sport climber and boulderer, the second is a massive, world class achievement...

...and if I understood well, at least two of the downgraded FA's were well known, long-lasting projects tried by others as well...so they can't be "easy" by no means.

So, someone said : "bad thoughts are sins, but they are usually right"

My bad tought is that for some reason JP is not much liked in the top end trad community? Could be that he pulled off the best sponsorship of all? Could be that he played some really nasty joke at someone? Or that he is competitive and antisocial?




btw there seem to be many cases like this or the opposite in sport climbing : people getting a lot of downgrades altought many of their routes are already stiff graded (!), people not getting any downgrade altought the general rumor is that they are quite on the soft side (Dani Andrada, who is pretty much liked and respected by anyone), total diffamation of a climber and of any other climber who becomes his/her friend (Fred Rouhling and Romain Desgranges : the second got the reputation of liar from being friends with the first!!!).
Also people getting a lot of downgraded FA's but always in a gentle and progressive way, even with stories to explain that the route/boulder has evolved (Dreamtime and its growing holds...).


???
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:

And further Serpico. All who work and contribute at UKC put there heart and soul into it - they work long hours and are committed.

But please, feel free to slag away.

Courting controversy - what a crock.

Do you know how many articles and news reports we published last year?

How many emails we deal with on a daily basis.

No you don't.

This isn't some tin pot off-the-shelf forum full of juvenile egos - we are a full blown climbing media, one of the best in the world.

Cheers,

Mick
Registered users only on this thread please.

Alan
UKC
Tom Last - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Serpico)
>
>
>
> This isn't some tin pot off-the-shelf forum full of juvenile egos - we are a full blown climbing media, one of the best in the world.
>


Although to be fair, that does sound rather egotistical.
subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> I'm very proud of what we have achieved, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
>

maybe put a decent search engine and some ajax into your pipe before lighting it...
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to subalpine:

Working on it sub-alpine. Lots of development stuff going on.

Cheers,

Mick
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Serpico)
>
> And further Serpico. All who work and contribute at UKC put there heart and soul into it - they work long hours and are committed.
>
And I'm sure they do it purely for the love, the monetary version of 'grades don't matter, I do it for the experience..." eh?


> But please, feel free to slag away.
>
Thank you, would you rather I made sycophantic posts instead?


> Courting controversy - what a crock.
>
I wish it were. I think it started when you commenced your 'sponsored climbers wantonly over-grading for publicity crusade' when Dave Pickford's route got downgraded. The damage to Dave's reputation was of no concern to you, as I'm sure James' isn't either, it's all good site traffic after all.


> Do you know how many articles and news reports we published last year?
>
> How many emails we deal with on a daily basis.
>
> No you don't.
>
No I don't, neither do I care. Do you know what I had for breakfast? It's got about as much relevance to this debate.

> This isn't some tin pot off-the-shelf forum full of juvenile egos.

erm...



JimR - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Come on Mick that's a bit OTT, you are renowned for your headlines .. and you would'nt be doing your job if you were'nt controversial thus increasing the hits on the site. My take on it tis that Serpico is complementing you on this but also stating that the climbers have given their fair and honest assessment of the grades, with that assessment uninfluenced by sponsorships deals. Grades have always been subjective and controversial ... surely is not in a climber's commercial interest to vastly overstate grades cos credibility would get damaged thus rendering them less saleable sponsorwise?
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009

Climber grades a route.

Another climber repeats it, downgrades it.

You call that controversy - get over yourself Arran.

It's being going on for years.
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> Climber grades a route.
>
> Another climber repeats it, downgrades it.
>
> You call that controversy - get over yourself Arran.
>
> It's being going on for years.

The controversy is your implication that routes are routinely over graded to serve the FA's own ego/financial ends.

subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Grades have always been subjective and controversial ... surely is not in a climber's commercial interest to vastly overstate grades cos credibility would get damaged thus rendering them less saleable sponsorwise?

seems to be working for all the other big advertisers out there...
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> The controversy is your implication that routes are routinely over graded to serve the FA's own ego/financial ends.

Well yes they have been. There's no doubt about that whatsoever. Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously.

If you can't accept that you are deluding yourself.

And it's not my implication. It's well known.

Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> The controversy is your implication that routes are routinely over graded to serve the FA's own ego/financial ends.

Actually implication should read assertion as you've actually said this, rather than implied it.
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Serpico)
> [...]
>
> Actually implication should read assertion as you've actually said this, rather than implied it.
Posted this before reading Mick's reply.

Silum - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I wish it were. I think it started when you commenced your 'sponsored climbers wantonly over-grading for publicity crusade' when Dave Pickford's route got downgraded. The damage to Dave's reputation was of no concern to you, as I'm sure James' isn't either, it's all good site traffic after all.
>

Well yes its good traffic but lets not forget who's starting these discussions...the climbers. If a climber repeats something and downgrades it, especially the hardest ever trad climb recorded; why would you expect UKC to stick it head in the sand and ignore it?

Erik B - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to subalpine: aye right!!! think your idea of comparative grades are flawed! what i meant to say was, its good that we have now had a direct comparison from Dave Mac eg he found Yo Bro VIII,9 tougher than The Walk of Life

Im bored shitless with the e grade debate so i was interested in the winter comparison by dave.
In reply to Serpico:
> The controversy is your implication that routes are routinely over graded to serve the FA's own ego/financial ends.

I think you'll find that has been going on for years as well.

It certainly now appears that James has got three major grades wrong by a long way. This could be because of inexperience in grading harder routes (after all he repeated the confirmed E10 Equilibrium so did have something to compare them with); it could be first ascensionist's over exuberance (although that usually only results in a single grade increase); it could be some bad interfering advice he has been given by those more experienced with handling the media; or it could be James deliberately over-grading to attract headlines.

I don't think it is the last one, but I think the other three probably all have a part to play.

Alan
Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Serpico)
> [...]
>
> Well yes they have been. There's no doubt about that whatsoever. Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously.
>
But mostly not at all.

> If you can't accept that you are deluding yourself.
>
So I'm deluded and I should get over myself... I'd still rather give people the benefit of the doubt.

> And it's not my implication. It's well known.
Wording corrected in subsequent post.

Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Silum:
> (In reply to Serpico)
> [...]
>
> Well yes its good traffic but lets not forget who's starting these discussions...the climbers. If a climber repeats something and downgrades it, especially the hardest ever trad climb recorded; why would you expect UKC to stick it head in the sand and ignore it?

I wouldn't, and that was never the point I was making.

Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
> But mostly not at all.

That's correct. They are usually exceptions. It's more difficult these days because there are so many talented climbers out there.

Blogging also helps a great deal....... Dave M and James P being too good examples of top climbers explaining their grading rational.
James Oswald - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
"Dave M and James P being too good examples of top climbers explaining their grading rational."

Rational or rationale? :P
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Silum)
> [...]
>
> I wouldn't, and that was never the point I was making.

See, your post can be misinterpreted aswell...

We may may not have hit it off, be we do have one thing in common, free bag of popcorn (clue) for anyone who can tell me what it is?

fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: isnt it usually about now that john dunne steams in and has a go at you mick?
fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Papillon: youre both using usernames ripped off from hard done by film characters
fxceltic on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to fxceltic: in fact I think serpico might be confusing his real self with his namesake.
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to fxceltic: there's more, both released in 1973.
Mike Stretford - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to fxceltic) in fact I think serpico might be confusing his real self with his namesake.

I hope that never happens to me... I don't fancy years spent with a small canister concealed up my jacksy.

(that might not have made it into the film)
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

>It certainly now appears that James has got three major grades wrong by a long way. This could be because of inexperience in grading harder routes (after all he repeated the confirmed E10 Equilibrium so did have something to compare them with); it could be first ascensionist's over exuberance (although that usually only results in a single grade increase); it could be some bad interfering advice he has been given by those more experienced with handling the media; or it could be James deliberately over-grading to attract headlines.

I don't think much of this post. There are certainly some innocent explanations connected with the psychology of breaking new ground on routes. I'm sure Occam would suggest that the most probable explanation remains that JP found putting up all three of the routes in question more extending than he found repeating Equilibrium or Rhapsody (based on his experience of that) and graded them accordingly.

It occurs to me that JP on his blog gave some fairly detailed grades for Echo Wall. He's surely not been on that, has he? Perhaps they were derived from DM.

jcm
peteJ23 - on 07 Jan 2009
I picked up resonance of The "Brutus is an honorable man" speech from Julius Caesar in Dave mc's blog.

"The hardest climb in the world" etc (Surely designed to be provocative.

However you got to have a laugh Life is too short!
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> I don't think much of this post.

I'd be disappointed if you did.

> There are certainly some innocent explanations connected with the psychology of breaking new ground on routes. I'm sure Occam would suggest that the most probable explanation remains that JP found putting up all three of the routes in question more extending than he found repeating Equilibrium or Rhapsody (based on his experience of that) and graded them accordingly.

I was not asking why he gave them the grades he did, I was asking why he got the grades wrong.

Alan
Nj - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to ghisino:
>
>
> > My bad tought is that for some reason JP is not much liked in the top end trad community?

> btw there seem to be many cases like this or the opposite in sport climbing : people getting a lot of downgrades altought many of their routes are already stiff graded (!), people not getting any downgrade altought the general rumor is that they are quite on the soft side (Dani Andrada, who is pretty much liked and respected by anyone), total diffamation of a climber and of any other climber who becomes his/her friend (Fred Rouhling and Romain Desgranges : the second got the reputation of liar from being friends with the first!!!).
> Also people getting a lot of downgraded FA's but always in a gentle and progressive way, even with stories to explain that the route/boulder has evolved (Dreamtime and its growing holds...).
>
>
> ???

Lots here which is wrong really. Who doesn't like JP? Downgrading a route doesn't mean you don't like someone! All you ever see is loads and loads of (justified) praise for him from all repeaters of his routes.

And Dani A's routes are also downgraded, Sharma, Graham, they have all had it happen to them, it is nothing new.
subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC: too many E's?;)
jonnie - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

The thing I like about UKC is that I can be entertained by another holier than thou Ryan ego trip and then read something decent, interesting and informative like a Jack Geldard article.

All in all a great site is UKC
Simon - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>


What would be a novel idea is wait for a 3rd /4th ascent before passing Judgement on who is right & who is wrong?

I just cannot beleive James can be so wide of the mark, there has to be more to this... IMHO of course!!!

si
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

>I was not asking why he gave them the grades he did, I was asking why he got the grades wrong.

I don't follow the distinction. but in any event the most likely explanation to my mind remains that his honest opinion was, and perhaps even remains, 'wrong' (according to you), and will continue to be so. You don't allow for that possibility.

It's noticeable in all three cases, for example, that JP had much less faith in the gear than the subsequent downgraders. We aren't really going to know who was right about that until we've had a few live-body tests and someone's either been killed or not (and yes, I do know it's held once at least on each of these routes). This wasn't a factor on Equilibrium, where the gear is obviously bombproof as long as it comes into play in time.

jcm
Jimbo W on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

>> but these post climb right ups are getting as cliched as a fotballers post match interview, grades are the new 'charidee' for these guys.... "grades don't matter to me, it's all about the experience ,but...".

> Spot on. They are all at it.

Its not nearly so cliched as the post write-up grading debates on UKC!
Adam Lincoln - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> (In reply to Serpico)
> It certainly now appears that James has got three major grades wrong by a long way.

Three?
Graham Hoey - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
I find it interesting to consider that WOL may be only one grade harder than End of the Affair!

Graham
Silum - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC)
> [...]
>
> Three?

TWOL, Groove, Promise
Will Hunt - on 07 Jan 2009
I'm with Serpico throughout. He's made some damn good points.

I think a lot of the people in the "media' should be disgusted with themselves at the treatment that JP and others have received at their hands. How dare they judge their characters and put that opinion in a public forum without based upon a grade of all things?!

Does it make you shed a tear, Mick, that you can't moderate DMcL's mild slight at your readership in his latest blog?
Will Hunt - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

And as an afterthought I think all we need to take from this is that grading for a first ascent with all other factors considered is bloody difficult.
Adam Lincoln - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Silum:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
> [...]
>
> TWOL, Groove, Promise

Who repeated The Groove? Maybe someone did it whilst i was away. Kevin Jorgenson didn't repeat what James climbed. James' line being still unrepeated.

Bulls Crack - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Funny old world - whenever I come across an over-graded route I count it as a well-deserved bonus...more of 'em I say...can't see what the fuss is about; it's 'only' climbing.
TobyA on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:
> eg he found Yo Bro VIII,9 tougher than The Walk of Life

Is that the second of the third time you've tried that Erik? You're not getting much traction are you? ;-)

So - not too serious - yeah, yeah, aren't all you mixed climbing Scots proper and right hard. We're not worthy etc. And more seriously, I actually thought it was a very interesting comparison. I don't know how you compare and winter onsight to headpoint - but I guess every experience has a certain 'feel' of difficulty. But then again - how many people in the country could onsight VIII or IX,9? Five or six perhaps? Probably about the same number who are able to headpoint a very long and precarious E9 6c. So in that sense it seems like a very good comparison.

BTW - isn't Yo Bro a great name?
James Jackson on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> He quit.

What, writing?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Simon - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Will Hunt:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> And as an afterthought I think all we need to take from this is that grading for a first ascent with all other factors considered is bloody difficult.


Yes this is true - but what I find so incredulous is that all of a sudden James has made a mistake by 3 grades - just via one repeat?!

Give the lad a break here...
ghisino - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Adam Lincoln:
> (In reply to Silum)
> [...]
>
> Who repeated The Groove? Maybe someone did it whilst i was away. Kevin Jorgenson didn't repeat what James climbed. James' line being still unrepeated.

jup, that what I said before, just got the wrong american :D


very interesting comment by someone about JP's poor confidence in protection.

about this I am willing to ask a naive question : during headpoint reharsal of a trad FA, has anyone ever tested gear dropping a haul bag full of stones or sth like that? Is it considered acceptable in a "headpoint" context?
If I was skeptical about some protection and put myself into the mindset of getting totally anal about one particular single project, I wouldn't hesitate to try...
northerngreg - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to ghisino:

Yes. Dave Birkett on his route at Cam Crag in the lakes as seen in the film Psyche. The first test rips out a small bit of gear with ease!
McBirdy - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I don't think it's fair to say that anything has been overgraded here. You just need to fully understand the system.

When climbing in the North of England/Scotland many people routinely add ~1 grade to reach the equivalent grading system that they're used to operating. So long as everyone understands the need to make a similar 3 grade adjustment based on who the first ascentionist is we all know where we stand. No need for all of this mudslinging. It's not that he overgraded these 3 first ascents, he just been using a different grading system (perhaps one he learnt from John Dunne?).

To arrive at a grade that you can have confidence in, first check the E grade, then check the technical grade, then check who got the FA.

For clarity I suggest the adoption of the following table in all future publications (apologies to Rockfax for breach of copyright, but it's just a bit of fun).

http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/90269403

Ben
subalpine - on 07 Jan 2009
aln - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>> When climbing in the North of England/Scotland many people routinely add ~1 grade to reach the equivalent grading system that they're used to operating. Ben

WTF are you on about?

Serpico on 07 Jan 2009 - 78.150.161.8 whois?
In reply to Ben Darvill:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)

> For clarity I suggest the adoption of the following table in all future publications (apologies to Rockfax for breach of copyright, but it's just a bit of fun).
>
Trashing people's reputations always is it appears.
With your contribution this thread (and forum) has reached a new low.
You might want to remember that some of the repeat ascentionists of Dunne's New Statesman have proposed that it be upgraded.
Swings and roundabouts.
lps - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
i think a fundamental point of dave's post is that climbers should be repeating the harder routes around. if you are going to put up an e12 i think you should at least repeat some of the other e11s around so you know it's harder than them? if our top climbers are repeating the hardest routes then at least we know they are benchmarking themselves.
Silum - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ben Darvill: lol
aln - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Bret (rock god): You're absolutely right there.
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to northerngreg:
> (In reply to ghisino)
>
> Yes. Dave Birkett on his route at Cam Crag in the lakes as seen in the film Psyche. The first test rips out a small bit of gear with ease!

And loads and loads of other people, see for example both A Film About Some Climbers and that film by John Dunne whose name escapes me (The Big Issue, maybe?), and even a few people who don't make films about themselves.

jcm
Dave Garnett - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to ghisino:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)

> very interesting comment by someone about JP's poor confidence in protection.
>

Didn't he go quite a long way when he came off WOL on his attempt on Committed 2? I seem to recall something ripping too but I might be wrong. Anyway, not a fall I'd be keen to try and apparently not the clip-up that is starting to be suggested unless he was willfully running it out.
Simon - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to ghisino)
> [...]
>
> [...]
Anyway, not a fall I'd be keen to try and apparently not the clip-up that is starting to be suggested unless he was willfully running it out.


Maybe...

or that James missed some pro - it happens... ?

Si
gnc760 - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Ben Darvill:

Quality
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon:

Just drove over the Snake.

I think Kinder Downfall might be in!
Simon - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Simon)
>
> Just drove over the Snake.
>
> I think Kinder Downfall might be in!


You getting yr axes out then boss?

si
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon:

Somebody needed to. There was a car upside down on the tops.
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Ah, glad you're here, Mick. Interested in your editorial policy vis-a-vis some of the offensive bollocks Mr Darvill has been spouting higher up this thread. I forget your exact words, but 'unacceptable' and 'causing some to view the forum negatively' were some of them.

jcm
Michael Ryan - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Is he rabbiting on about grammar and typos?
Simon - on 07 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Simon)
>
> Somebody needed to. There was a car upside down on the tops.

No one hurt as you could see?

That being the main thing I guess?

Si
johncoxmysteriously - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

No, he's making someone cry, and bringing your forum into disrepute.

And while I'm on the subject, what do your precious advertisers think of threads discussing which celebrities your punters would and wouldn't shag?!

jcm
Michael Ryan - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Time for bed Zebedee.
Simon - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> No one hurt as you could see?
>
> That being the main thing I guess?
>


Just to know Mick?


space monkey - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> No, he's making someone cry, and bringing your forum into disrepute.
>
> And while I'm on the subject, what do your precious advertisers think of threads discussing which celebrities your punters would and wouldn't shag?!
>
> jcm

Where did this go. I was going to show the wife.
Simon - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to space monkey:


All I want to know If the car crash victims were ok?

si
Sam L - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Erik B)
> [...]
>
> He quit. Although I did offer to lend him one of my flame-proof full body suits.

Quit what? His position at Climb? An overhyped article aside, he's still a f*cking good photographer; I hardly think this is a resigning matter.
Michael Ryan - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Sam L:

He's an excellent photographer. Quit the writing bit.

It takes thick skin to write news/editorial for web media - you open yourself up to thousands of people.
Garbh Coire - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Perhaps - but that's the vocation.
Mick Ward - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> Quit the writing bit.

Am sorry to hear that but sympathise with his reasons. Have always liked his stuff.

> He's an excellent photographer.

Isn't he just? So many brilliant photos over the last decade and more. My favourite will probably always be one of John Dunne high on Divided Years. It really captures the enormous, almost 'ship's prow', aspect of that amazing piece of rock. Yet, in the background, you can see a vista of peaks in the Mournes which entranced me as a kid. Magic!

Mick

JLS on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I'm thinking there are just too many people ready to give JP a hard time for stating what he thought WOL should be graded. I was disappointed when DM announced EW to be "harder than Rhapsody" but his position seems to have been vindicated, I mean, who would want to risk the pounding JP has been subjected to?

It would seem unlikely that JP will ever again offer a grade for a new route - surely that doesn't speed reaching consensus?

Seems like JP has poor grading judgement and an out of control hype machine. It's unclear exactly where one ends and the other starts but we should accept poor grading judgement as just one of those things, though perhaps he needs to take a leaf from DM's book and get his hype reigned in and working for him rather than against him.
tony on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> Seems like JP has poor grading judgement and an out of control hype machine. It's unclear exactly where one ends and the other starts but we should accept poor grading judgement as just one of those things, though perhaps he needs to take a leaf from DM's book and get his hype reigned in and working for him rather than against him.

I don't think JP has a hype machine of any kind, let alone one that is out of control. It sometimes seems to be forgotten the way he's taken things forward - his grit routes were ones that had spat people off many times before, the Walk of Life is a fearsome looking beast - and he's the one who had made them happen.

As I've said before, his grading may be a bit wonky, but I have no doubt that he gives the grades he does based on what he thinks to be right, and without a thought as to the headlines and sponsor reactions. However, he should have realised that a grade of E12 was going to attract enormous attention, and I hope he's not feeling too bruised by DM's alternative grade.
Richard Bradley - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I think there is a clue to where all this started on Committed. JP states something close to: 'I want my own E10'. He was trying The Promise at the time. The line of The Promise is noted in the guide book as harder than the E8 7a next to it (can't remember the name). JP had already climbed Equilibrium at E10 and thought (convinced himself?) The Promise warranted the same grade.

JP then had the problem of where to go with his grades on harder routes, The Groove foe example being a LGPOG and all that.
GrahamD - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Ben Darvill:

This will be the John Dunne of the as yet unrepeated Widdop Wall fame ?
JLS on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to tony:

>"I don't think JP has a hype machine of any kind"

I'm as keen a consumer of the pictures and videos of his hard climbs as anyone but surely having a media entourage at all your hard headpoint is a hype machine!

Perhaps what we need a more objective climbing media willing ask the difficult questions rather sycophantically celebrate the latest hard thing?
drysori - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> Perhaps what we need a more objective climbing media willing ask the difficult questions

Which difficult questions? And who are they meant to ask?

JLS on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to katonka:

>"Which difficult questions?"

You don't think the line looks a bit too eliminate?
Wouldn't it be a more natural line to go that way?
Isn't your route really just a highball boulder problem?
Are you really sure the grade will be so high, I saw X climb Y and that seemed like a much tougher proposition?
In reply to JLS:
> Perhaps what we need a more objective climbing media willing ask the difficult questions rather sycophantically celebrate the latest hard thing?

In a sense that is what we have been trying to do with the News reporting on UKC, which is why Mick asked "One question to ask is why was The Walk of Life given E12 7a? "

It is a reasonable question to ask and, to take a current example, nowhere near as awkward as the questions now being posed to Kevin Pieterson by the respected journalists of the BBC and mainstream newspapers. It is also the same question that most climbers will have in their heads after reading Dave MacCleod's blog which, while very respectful of James's climbing, absolutely annihilates the E12 grade.

But the response to this question has been quite defensive by some users of UKC. The media has been accused of fuelling witch-hunts, and of rough treatment. But it is not a witch hunt, it is just an awkward question; and it is not rough treatment since the same media has singing the praises of James Pearson's climbing ability and visionary first ascents; and 'the media' in this case should include blogs.

This has led me to question whether the UKC community really wants a media that asks awkward questions, and tries to get to the bottom of stories. I don't like the fact that the forums are being perceived in a negative light by some people, when in reality there is really good positive stuff going on all over them every day. I don't want top climbers to feel wary of communicating on UKC because of the mauling the might get on the forums, be it grammar pedants picking unnecessary holes in reports by young writers, or new routers scared to commit to an honest grade.

Ultimately though I suspect that such ding-dong debates are going to continue, and the thread viewing figures show that there is interest. It would be nice though if we could try and keep a bit of perspective on it, after all the brilliance of the ascents is not in question, just the arbitrary difficulty rating attached to them.

Alan
Matt Vigg - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

> nowhere near as awkward as the questions now being posed to Kevin Pieterson

It's hardly the same thing, KP is supposed to be representing his country, JP is representing himself and his sponsors. If his sponsors have a problem with anything he's done or does, they can take it up with him and that's fine, but I don't think he needs to be hounded for an answer from anyone from the climbing media. I would be interested to know his thoughts on Dave's ascent, but that's about as far as it goes for me.

By the way, I'm not suggesting you are hounding him, but comparing it to what KP might have been getting from the BBC or whoever, sort of suggests top climbers might expect the same thing one day. I bloody hope climbing never gets to that level of detachment from reality.
tony on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to katonka)
>
> >"Which difficult questions?"
>
> You don't think the line looks a bit too eliminate?
> Wouldn't it be a more natural line to go that way?
> Isn't your route really just a highball boulder problem?
> Are you really sure the grade will be so high, I saw X climb Y and that seemed like a much tougher proposition?

I don't know if you're suggesting that the film-makers ask these questions, but from my experience, the route is that which is decided by the climber. The film-makers and the photographers are there to record the climber's actions. I think you're on very dodgy ground if you're suggesting that the film-makers pre-empt or propose different actions to those which the climber has worked out for themselves.

TobyA on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

> Ultimately though I suspect that such ding-dong debates are going to continue, and the thread viewing figures show that there is interest. It would be nice though if we could try and keep a bit of perspective on it,

There is indeed more to life. Perhaps we could get Dave and James to weigh in on the Gaza debate in "Off Belay"? There they could discuss the mid-East peace process with the same amount of armchair-ness that the rest of reliably manage on E12 debates.
JLS on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to tony:

>"I think you're on very dodgy ground"

I think film makers do want film makers do - the words "SEX UP" spring to mind. I don't believe there are any great conspirises just symbiotic relationships that deter a search for (crap phrase) truth.
In reply to Matt Vigg:
> By the way, I'm not suggesting you are hounding him, but comparing it to what KP might have been getting from the BBC or whoever, sort of suggests top climbers might expect the same thing one day. I bloody hope climbing never gets to that level of detachment from reality.

I too hope that we don't get to that level of reporting, but I think you are referring to the tabloids more than Jonathan Agnew's blog, or Mike Selvey in the Guardian. It think the reporting by those two is the sort of level that I hope we can at least try and model ourselves on. Grand aspirations maybe, but it pays to aim high.

That was my point in comparing to the Pieterson story; good journalism requires you to ask awkward questions. Admittedly the rest of the comparison between climbing and cricket is a little tenuous though.

Alan
JimR - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Of course we want the media to ask awkward questions and raise controversial issues. However for debate to be engaged properly the questions need to be ASKED, rather than a personal point of view put forward and defended by the representative of the media in question.

I also believe that in a responsible debate then some of the more immature comments need removing, else we end upo with a trail of detritus instead of a thread with informed debate

justin c - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Why oh why !

We never used you have this problem years ago , even right up to the first E9's came around. I think we should just think how we used to think about grades . . . What went wrong . . . .

Man we have if used correctly the best system out there! it really is so simple ! ok some routes are hard to grade until a few repeats but man its no rocket science !



Andy Moles - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Interestingly, there's a James Pearson route on Binnian North Tor called Eazy Now which he gave E6 6c, which I've heard from a local repeatist (I'm not going to name names of anyone who might not want their names to be named) might be more appropriately graded E4. It's a short route with a crazy foot-by-ear rockover move just above gear. Apparently James thought the gear was a bit dodgy, while others have considered it perfectly safe.

I'm not trying to fuel any more cynicism about JP's grading, just wondered if he generally has less faith in trad gear than other top climbers? Might help explain the overgrading.
In reply to JimR:
> Of course we want the media to ask awkward questions and raise controversial issues. However for debate to be engaged properly the questions need to be ASKED, rather than a personal point of view put forward and defended by the representative of the media in question.
>
> I also believe that in a responsible debate then some of the more immature comments need removing, else we end upo with a trail of detritus instead of a thread with informed debate

Those are good points. Mick has only really asked questions so far. My post at 6pm yesterday was ill-thought out. I was contributing my thoughts as a user yet I am not in a position to do that. I apologise.

Moderating threads like this can become a nightmare though. Not only do you need to be constantly watching them, people are always quoting replies (quite rightly) which makes removing a thread very difficult since excerpts can appear miles apart. Also people make more than one point in a reply and we don't have the ability to edit individual posts.

Alan
In reply to justin c:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Why oh why !
>
> We never used you have this problem years ago , even right up to the first E9's came around. I think we should just think how we used to think about grades . . . What went wrong . . . .

Eh? It has been present ever since people started grading routes. Nothing new.

Alan
Randy Baird on 08 Jan 2009 - 207.228.182.60 whois?
In reply to AMo:

>just wondered if he generally has less faith in trad gear than other top climbers?

I dunno about that, but from my point of view if somebody was to say, 'here I want you to take this 70 footer onto an RP' (as in Rhapsody) what would you say?

I reckon there's a bit of nonsense being spouted on this thread.
1/Of COURSE James Pearson has a bit of an element of hype behind him (though miniscule compared to the Sharma machine).
2/Of COURSE Mick Ryan & co have to sensationalise reporting and stir it up, at least a bit. Making boring information interesting is the skill of the media that makes us look at it in the first place.
People can claim otherwise all they like but it's not true.
ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c: Man we have if used correctly the best system out there!


Really ? In the face of all the evidence that recent months have thrown up it amazes me how many refuse to question this. Small wonder Steve Mac gave the Elder Statesman HXS - anything between E4 and E8 would have been equally valid. I appreciate its an entirely different route but the variance with what Dave Mac and Pearson had on the French grade and their assessment of the risk was not vastly diffrent as Joel points out above. Multiply the two together though and you get 3 E grades of diffrence in their respective opinions.

Best system for grade debates maybe - but best system for usefullness and comparing difficulty? - I scarcely think so.


Chris the Tall - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> In a sense that is what we have been trying to do with the News reporting on UKC, which is why Mick asked "One question to ask is why was The Walk of Life given E12 7a? "

Perhaps we should start with the question "Why was Rhapsody given E11?", or rather "Why was the film about Rhapsody called E11"?. It has to said that a film entitled "Rhapsody", or "Requiem Eliminate", would have had less appeal. So did the desire for film sales influence the grade ?

But at the end of the day it all comes back to the fundematal issues with grading at the the top end - the grade shouldn't be regarded as an indication of performance, but that's how we all interpret it. Neither JP or DM were claiming to have climbed E12, or E9, they were proposing a hypothetical grade for something that may never occur - an onsight ascent.

Measuring performance is easy in most sports, but not so climbing. Even in sports climbing it's tough, regardless of what 8a.nu might think. Grades aren't scientific, styles aren't simple pigeon holes. But when you add the variables of trad - what gear do you find, how much do you trust it and what level of risk do you accept - you have to accept that you are dealing with something that is virtually unquantifiable
ads.ukclimbing.com
justin c - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> (In reply to justin c)
> [...]
>
> Eh? It has been present ever since people started grading routes. Nothing new.
>
Yes Alan we have had this for many years but not to this extent .
Never has so many routes in such a short space of time had ridiculous over grading! Ok up or down a tech or E grade but most routes being done of recent are hugely over graded . We never had this big big problem before imo.

Is this because of the internet has enabled us to discuss this openly now?
Pre internet era made this just pub talk and not worldwide debate ?

I dun know but what i do know is we never had this problem to this extent .

If anything most routes were undergraded back then , fact !
PeakDJ on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC)
> [...]

> But at the end of the day it all comes back to the fundematal issues with grading at the the top end - the grade shouldn't be regarded as an indication of performance, but that's how we all interpret it. Neither JP or DM were claiming to have climbed E12, or E9, they were proposing a hypothetical grade for something that may never occur - an onsight ascent.
>
Nail & head!

ukb & bmc shark - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall: Grades aren't scientific, styles aren't simple pigeon holes. But when you add the variables of trad - what gear do you find, how much do you trust it and what level of risk do you accept - you have to accept that you are dealing with something that is virtually unquantifiable


That overstates it. They are quantifiable (to a point) but risk and difficulty are best quantified separately. Merged together they amplify confusion.

Morgan Woods - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps Neither JP or DM were claiming to have climbed E12, or E9, they were proposing a hypothetical grade for something that may never occur - an onsight ascent.
>

surely an E9/12 is just harder than an E8 or E7, that is fact....never mind the method of ascent. I'm not sure a theoretical onsight has anything to do with the price of fish.
GrahamD - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Isn't one of the difficulties we have with reporting these ascents and subsequent debates is that, with the best will in the world, you cannot actually verify any facts. Even if grading were totally objective, how many people reporting are in a position to independently verify claims ? In this respect its very different from the Pietersen situation.

Another factor is that there is a tendency to debate overgrading without actually being able to establish 100% whether a) overgrading has ocurred and b) by how much. Two ascents of any route by different styles or partial ascents are surely not sufficient to establish concensus (meaning general agreement - not majority).
Chris Craggs - on 08 Jan 2009
In

>
> That overstates it. They are quantifiable (to a point) but risk and difficulty are best quantified separately. Merged together they amplify confusion.

This may well be true, but don't you suspect that if you add another number (or two) to the grading system it will just add another layer of confusion and another reason for folks to spout on endlessly about how it is/isn't F8a or RX or whatever?

Chris
Chris the Tall - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:
It's hard enough to quantify technical difficulty - what suits one person's strengths (style, shape, technique etc) might not suit someone else - but at least it can be assessed in a relatively uncomplicated manner - ie toproping.

Risk, and the assesment of it, is another matter. How sure can you be about the consequences of a fall on a route like this? Neil Gresham talked about the Red Line on Equilibrium, above which you'd deck, but then what - death ? wheelchair ? break bones ? Or maybe escape with bruises and a good story for the soon to be visited pub ? And that of course assumes that the gear is reliable. Again, assessment is made even harder by the nature of the rock.

And then there is the fact that not only is everyone differant, but they will have a differant approach to risk at differant times in their lives. I'm sure you aren't anywhere near as reckless as you once were, but you probably are still bolder than most people. What will scare the hell out of one person will be straightforward to another, even if they aren't as good generally. Which is why we have all the arguments about Chalkstorm and TPS.

And the point of all this - simply that we shouldn't take trad grades too seriously until the route has been repeated a few times, that we shouldn't be suprised if the grade isn't confirmed, and we shouldn't question the integrity of the climbers involved if that happens - it's inevitable
MK on 08 Jan 2009 - adsl-82-148-53-197.fast.net.uk
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Ace. I haven't seen a thread this busy since [insert favourite TR timewaster].
Offwidth - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:

I think you mean risk and difficulty are easiest 'quantified' separately. ‘Best’ is also a subjective judgement. The E grades never were and never will be broken, they are just a subjective system, sometimes misapplied, and fuzzy (almost by definition) at the top. Well established E (or lower adjectival ) grades are quite simply the best judge of onsightability for ‘trad’ routes as they are the only system that measures that.

My take on E9+ as a bumbly working on guides and with an interest in history is that top adjectival grades were always a bit of a 'shot in the dark', as guestimating subjective averages on ‘new ground’ is an especially difficult task. Even the most thoughtful, experienced, trustworthy climber could turn out to be wrong: that is as time passes, more climbers try the route and a consensus builds. Hence, I think some downgrades suspected of ‘sponsors influence’ were probably down to honest mistakes: missing easier sequences, inexperience at the grade, inexperience with the gear, specific morphology etc. Even if you suspect distortion you have to distil how much is due to the climber and how much the media or sponsors or detractors have 'put words into their mouth'.

Bottom line we have some great trad climbers operating at the highest levels and best of all doing some of this on unfashionable sea-cliffs and
mountain crags. Constantly emphasising the grade differences in such stunning ascents seems to me to be missing the point.
Silum - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Offwidth:

well put
jonnie - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Silum:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> well put

Seconded

Simon - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Simon Lee)
> >
> And the point of all this - simply that we shouldn't take trad grades too seriously until the route has been repeated a few times, that we shouldn't be suprised if the grade isn't confirmed, and we shouldn't question the integrity of the climbers involved if that happens - it's inevitable...



That's probably the most sensible thing said yet...

si
To_Boldly_Go on 08 Jan 2009 - 69.7.138.1 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Well done to Dave. Great effort.. Regarding the never ending grade debate, it is true that climbs get regraded all the time at any level, however at the cutting edge grades do get looked at with great interest even by those who never stand a chance of getting there.

Now I'm probably going to be proved wrong immediately, but as far as I'm aware, very few if any of Johnny Dawes major first ascents (& there are plenty of them) have had their grades changed (eg Indian Face, the grit routes etc) even though at the time he did them, they were as way out grade wise as the current crop of leading routes ...

Knowing Johnny just a little bit, I just get the feeling that making a lucrative living from the sport was never high on his agenda ???
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan and alan james - UKClimbing.com: the biggest problem with UKC is the ability for people to post behind pseudonym's. I was guilty of this years ago but then grew up. Part of the registration process should involve filling in genuine contact information such as phone numbers and addresses and this should be vetted in some way automatically. UKC would change over night, for the better.

Mick, genuinely sorry to hear about dave simmonite feeling the need to quit from internet writing, however, I stand by my ascertions at the time. Dave Mac's repeat and subsequent opinions of the walk of life reinforces what I feel was my correct stance. The other stuff about rhapsody left a bad taste too, however Dave Mac has defended himself and raised the bar as only he can.
justin c - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to PeakDJ:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> But at the end of the day it all comes back to the fundematal issues with grading at the the top end - the grade shouldn't be regarded as an indication of performance, but that's how we all interpret it. Neither JP or DM were claiming to have climbed E12, or E9, they were proposing a hypothetical grade for something that may never occur - an onsight ascent.!

Yeah you are right to an extent it is the top end of the grading system but again it aint that hard surely .Is'nt it in a way the same process as the easier routes , how hard/gear and fall out zone/landing if deck out etc ?
Even if its hard sustained 7a climbing with huge fall out potential but not death then its not E11 or above to me. E11+ should be death off 7a/7b ? Thats it.
Keeping in mind 7b is as hard as it gets really(for now)on routes.
Even the E for effort grading way has to draw a line somewhere, come on if the gear is there then E(silly) can not be given no matter how hard and sustained!
This is where E for effort needs to be taken into account big time, at the top end of the grading system . ?

Either way we will always get this problem forever so i may as well stop right now about this. . . lol
Chris Craggs - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c:
>
> Even if its hard sustained 7a climbing with huge fall out potential but not death then its not E11 or above to me. E11+ should be death off 7a/7b ? Thats it.


Really?

Chris
Offwidth - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

"the biggest problem with UKC is the ability for people to post behind pseudonym's"

I'm not so sure, as some of the banned forum abusers were well known individuals (pseudonym or none). In any case who's going to do all that registration work (would 'automatic' not imply ownership of an illegal database)?

One point that might help would be to stop posts on such threads from newly registered members (as well as annonymouse posters who busily register when blocked), unless they get permission from the moderators.

At the end of the day its only an internet forum: you know some people are joking, others are stirring and some don't know what they are talking about.
johncoxmysteriously - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:

>I appreciate its an entirely different route but the variance with what Dave Mac and Pearson had on the French grade and their assessment of the risk was not vastly diffrent as Joel points out above.

On the contrary, I think their assessment of the risk was very different.

jcm
MK on 08 Jan 2009 - adsl-82-148-53-197.fast.net.uk
In reply to Erik B:
After you geezer, and while you're at it give us your bank details and NI number :p

Having actually bothered to read through to make a boring day go faster (I heart UKC), I think this is a very civilised thread.
In reply to MK:
> Having actually bothered to read through to make a boring day go faster (I heart UKC), I think this is a very civilised thread.

I think this thread has improved dramatically today - thanks for those who posted thoughtfully and constructively.

Alan
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Offwidth: its not only an internet forum, its a community where people hide behind anonimity and creates an environment where talk is cheap and often harmful Why dont you post with your name? I have no idea who you are at the moment. In any other real world community hiding behind a pseudonym would arouse suspicion.
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan and alan james - UKClimbing.com) the biggest problem with UKC is the ability for people to post behind pseudonym's. I was guilty of this years ago but then grew up. Part of the registration process should involve filling in genuine contact information such as phone numbers and addresses and this should be vetted in some way automatically. UKC would change over night, for the better.

Sorry, but I disagree. We confirm emails and don't allow anonymous posters (except accidental ones). It would be far more work to collect the data you suggest, many would find it an invasion of their privacy and I'd agree with them.

I would like more users to post more openly with real names, but the pseudonyms are not anonymous as far as we are concerned. You can find their posting history easily as well as many other aspects of their involvement with UKC and, most importantly, we have a working email address.

To be honest, since we initiated the no-anonymous posters rule, I have stopped seeing this as a problem.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

Alan
In reply to Erik B:
> Why dont you post with your name? I have no idea who you are at the moment. In any other real world community hiding behind a pseudonym would arouse suspicion.

Click on that little '?' next to Offwidth's name, and you can find out all sorts about him, including his real name, which I am sure he'd be happy to give anyway.

Alan
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC: ok, fair points about personal info. anyone can setup any number of yahoo, gmail etc etc email addresses with completely bogus information. Easiest would be to use official eg work/university/company etc email addresses to get round this. I just think its strange how despite the internet being pretty mature now we still accept the concept of nicknames and pseudonyms for communincating with each other. particularly odd in a climbing forum.

Im sure this would stop the majority of defamatory posts about individuals such as james pearson who dont deserve such attacks.
lowersharpnose - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

In reply to Offwidth:
...Why dont you post with your name?...


Who the heck is Erik B? It's hardly less anonymous than Offwidth. To most you are an anonymous poster.

lsn
Chris the Tall - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c:
> Even if its hard sustained 7a climbing with huge fall out potential but not death then its not E11 or above to me. E11+ should be death off 7a/7b ? Thats it.

One of the points I was trying to make above was that it is very hard to determine whether or not a fall will mean death without actually taking the fall and surviving (memories of Seb and the "shipwreck of a flake")

On WOL JP clearly felt that for much of the route, a fall was not worth contemplating. DM on the other hand thought most if not all of the route was adequately protected. As things stand neither has been proved right or wrong
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to lowersharpnose: its my name with surname initialled. Do you not think its odd the internet culture which still prevails of folk communicating with each other using bizzare pseudonyms? If folk have to post using their real names then Im sure they would think differently about what they are posting. human nature, no?
Hugh Cottam - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

The point is that "Erik B" is just as anonymous as "Offwidth". I've tried clicking on the little ?'s as Alan suggested and it still wasn't very obvious to me who either "Erik B" or "Offwidth" are. Which is fine, though slightly bizarre for someone campaigning for no anonimity.
andyinglis - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to lowersharpnose: If you want to know who Eric B is, then why don't you have a look at the back of scottish guidebooks for first ascentionists...... you should be able to put 2 and 2 together....

lowersharpnose - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

Do you not think its odd the internet culture which still prevails of folk communicating with each other using bizzare pseudonyms?

No. I'm lowersharpnose on other forums and have been posting under that handle for years. There are both bad and mad people out there. I have a very rare surname - if I use it a bad 'un would be able to find out where I live and perhaps pop round when I am out (maybe advertised on Lifts and Partners). etc.

lsn

Offwidth - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Sometimes I think I'm becoming Offwidth, then I stop drinking and go to bed. The use of Mrs Offwidth is the one that can really cause sparks to fly (R rated unless your a friend of Lynns!) Of course my website lists my real name and anyone in the Peak area or with BMC links can work it out (no different than Eric B really...B what??? ... although I think Cubby may have told me once). I think 'honest' psuedonyms keep out low level pestering (esp work related or 'visting' non-climbers) and to me match the not-quite-real nature of the site and my interaction with it.

Back on subject, real communities look after each other unless major crimes are committed. Leg pulling and other friendly jokes are fine but these ascents should be mainly cause for UKC community celebration.

justin c - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to justin c)
> [...]
>
> One of the points I was trying to make above was that it is very hard to determine whether or not a fall will mean death without actually taking the fall and surviving (memories of Seb and the "shipwreck of a flake")
>
> On WOL JP clearly felt that for much of the route, a fall was not worth contemplating. DM on the other hand thought most if not all of the route was adequately protected. As things stand neither has been proved right or wrong

yeah man i wanted to edit ma last post by sayin , death or serious injury!

Note to the admins/moderators ! Please can we have an edit post option?

And yeah chris craggs i think this! In most cases, exceptions like the crag may crumble away or fall on top of ya head, but again this is just stupidity and no one would want to climb chossy crap would they? you must understand this one ? what do you think heralds E11 ? would love to know?

indigo on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B: I once met a guy called Oliver Ffwidth - I think he was Welsh hence the Ff - do you think it could be him? I agree though, I don't like pseudonyms.
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Offwidth: good post. Im thinking more of the psychology of the poster and how that affects what they post. Im intrigued by the cubby comment.. tell me more as I dont think Ive ever met him!

as i say i was very guilty of this pseudonym posting when i was younger and I regret it a great deal
Chris Craggs - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c:

I think an E11 would/should be a grade 'harder' than an E10, six grades 'harder' than an E5 and eleven grades 'harder' than an E1.
Just like the E5 and the E1, the E11 does not have to be a death route.

Chris
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

as others have said, you may be identifiable with a bit of inside knowledge and research, but to most people here you are just a forename and an initial. given how little info you have put in your profile, you are pretty much posting anonymously.

like some others here, i have a pretty distinctive name and would rather not be so identifiable through search engines. there is plenty of info about me in my profile to allow correspondents here to make there minds up about what i'm like.

anyway, its an internet forum open to all; you have to accept there will be people you dont know, many with opinions or attitudes you dont share. if you want to have a chat only with people you know, there's always MSN...

cheers
gregor
sutty on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

As was said earlier, a look at the profile and their pictures reveals a lot at times. Posting full names is not always wise when at work so Steve keeps his at arms length on his website. Yours is only the initial but your full name can be found by looking at your gallery on a route with Norrie.

I use my nickname from school onwards as when I was new to the internet I was warned about webcrawlers harvest peoples details. Most people can find me from my threads if they search though my phone no only gets put in emails to those who want it.

Anyway, Well done Dave on the repeat, whatever grade it settles as.
John Gillott - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to justin c)
>
> I think an E11 would/should be a grade 'harder' than an E10, six grades 'harder' than an E5 and eleven grades 'harder' than an E1.
> Just like the E5 and the E1, the E11 does not have to be a death route.
>
> Chris

You can think 1 + 11 should = 11 but it won't make it so! ;-)
In reply to Erik B:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC) ok, fair points about personal info. anyone can setup any number of yahoo, gmail etc etc email addresses with completely bogus information. Easiest would be to use official eg work/university/company etc email addresses to get round this.

Well you can do all that with something that appears to be a real name and real address.

The most important thing here is posting history - check it. If they have been on here for ages then you can quickly get a good idea of who they are and what they stand for. If they are new then that is obvious as well, and if they are spouting aggressively then you probably know that they are hiding something and that you shouldn't take their comments too seriously.

No I don't favour user nicknames, but Offwidth and Lowersharpnose having been posting on my forum for 10 years, and I have even met Steve (now I've blown it). They are far from anonymous in the eyes on many users, and just as anonymous as 'John Smith' in the eyes of new users.

Alan
eraven99 on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
when Will it be clibmed in winter nik
Erik B - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC: im talking about the psychology of the poster, not the reader. was just a thought anyway! Ive been posting on this site since the very early days so appreciate what you have created.
justin c - on 08 Jan 2009
> (In reply to justin c)
>
> I think an E11 would/should be a grade 'harder' than an E10, six grades 'harder' than an E5 and eleven grades 'harder' than an E1.
> Just like the E5 and the E1, the E11 does not have to be a death route.
>
> Chris

Ha good answer chris . . . .like it .
Simon - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to justin c:


Just a thought - when did Partheon Shot become E9?

Was it when the BMC guide writer at the time decided it? I think it was Mr Sharples who wrote that bit...

In 1989 after the FA Dunne said it was HXS - come 1991 - and no repeat - its E9...

Thats what I seem to recall... tell me if I'm wrong...

So what's my point? Just that its settled now as E9 after some ascents - but was never given that by its F.A. So what will the WOL be after the same amount of ascents - time will as they say - tell...

Si
Chris Craggs - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to John Gillott:

Bugger!

Chris
Mark Kemball - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
I'm sure you meant 11 grades harder than Three Pebble Slab!
Bullybones - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Reaver2k)
The magazine headlines were over the top, as well as the proclamation that it was the Worlds's Hardest Trad route.

I was simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by the Climb front cover, as although this piece of rock is the absolute business, how could you not think 'E12? Yeah right'.

On the other hand it's great that hard new routes are getting repeated quickly, and that folk are travelling around to do it. Proper job.

Incidentally, my mate took 2.5 hours to climb an E2 once, and found it so hard he placed 27 runners and thought it might have been E3. Somehow that never got reported.
TobyA on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

> The point is that "Erik B" is just as anonymous as "Offwidth".

Come off it, everyone with any music taste knows exactly who Erik B is, he is Rakim's mate and Glasvegas's preeminent hard mixed climbing OG.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=v9x0xRTao-Q

Yo' feel?
Hugh Cottam - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to TobyA:

Silly old me with egg on my face. I feel a right numpty!
petestack - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to jhenryb:
> Incidentally, my mate took 2.5 hours to climb an E2 once, and found it so hard he placed 27 runners and thought it might have been E3. Somehow that never got reported.

Some understanding about (lack of) length being assumed here? (Might be good going for a nice, big, mountain route!)

Monk - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:
> Easiest would be to use official eg work/university/company etc email addresses to get round this.

This is daft. The email I use for this forum is one set up in my nickname (that people in real life know me by as well) and I have had for maybe 10 years. In that time I have had at least 6 different work email addresses. Equally I have had periods without work/uni email addresses and my only option is to use hotmail etc.

As for anonimity, I don't agree. Sure some people stir, but the name they use is irrelevant if they have a history behind that name. I could easily set up an account under the name jonathon stockwell, but how would you know if that is my real name or not? It makes no difference.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Wee Davie - on 08 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B:

>the biggest problem with UKC is the ability for people to post behind pseudonym's. I was guilty of this years ago but then grew up.

Aye, nae bother Coupall.
Michael Ryan - on 09 Jan 2009
Bloggers

Some thoughts from BJÖRN POHL of 8a.nu

The difficult Walk of life

James Pearson's The Walk of life, on the North Devon coast, has been repeated by Dave MacLeod, who suggests a downgrade from E12 7a to E9 6c. Given the swiftness of Dave's repeat, this seems reasonable, and although E9 6c is still very impressive the downgrade is absolutely massive.

Read more at : http://bjornpohl.blogspot.com/

Some thoughts from Peter "Mayo on my butty Please" Beal of mountainsandwater.blogspot.com

Who disagrees with BJÖRN

"This is a good example of when someone ought to back away a bit and let the dust settle instead of insinuating that another climber is a liar with not enough experience or judgment. I would respect the contributions of a climber like Pearson who has walked the walk a lot more before before I would condescendingly state "everyone is allowed to make a mistake or three."

http://mountainsandwater.blogspot.com/


The Wisconsin based ClimbingNarc weighs in.......

"This of course begs the question: how can two people have such different experiences climbing the same route?"

http://climbingnarc.com/2009/01/dave-macleod-repeats-walk-of-life


And a Mr. Sonnie Trotter weighs in....well not really

http://sonnietrotter.com/roadlife/
Michael Ryan - on 09 Jan 2009
Silum - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

cheers for looking these up Mick
LKPG on 09 Jan 2009 - dsl-tkubrasgw1-fe3efa00-199.dhcp.inet.fi
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I don't think JP will be much affected by this downgrading stuff, the CLIMB- magazines and Committed- dvd:s have allready sold a great deal...

tobyfk - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> And a Mr. Sonnie Trotter weighs in....well not really
> http://sonnietrotter.com/roadlife/

And has also written something about E-grades for the current Gripped magazine though you have to buy the mag to read (most of) it:
http://www.gripped.com/NotesFromTheTop/index.html

E-Grades, What's the Point anyways
Story By Sonnie Trotter

I love the way an apple tastes. It’s unlike anything in the world. When it crunches up into little pieces in your mouth, the sweet juice explodes and the fibres of the fruit break down with each chomping bite. The skin is waxy but equally delicious. Sometimes during the day, I get a particular craving for a Gala apple and nothing else on Planet Earth can take its place. I love the way an apple can survive long hours in my pack, while a banana will only split apart and squirt a brown snotty film over my climbing gear.

The same goes for a perfectly ripe orange. There is something distinctively special about peeling back those delicately thin slices and popping them past the lips and onto the palette. When the beads of nectar erupt in a symphony of wetness and the stringy sheath gets chewed into a heap of tender matter, you realize there are few things in the world as uniquely satisfying as an orange.

So how does any of this relate to the World-renowned E grades you ask? Everything, and I’ll tell you why. The letter E can represent many words: entertaining, effort, ego, take your pick. In this case, the E stands for Extreme, as in Extremely Severe. When ‘Severe’ and ‘Hard Very Severe’ were not enough to capture the intensity of modern rock climbs, British climbers invented the open ended E grades: E1, E2, E3 etc.
These days, the rating game goes up to about E11, but E10 is still a very serious endeavour. I spent some time in the UK recently and played on the gritstone and the rocky sea cliffs of Scotland. I got a fairly rough feeling for the E-grade, especially in the higher numbers and this is what I was able to make of it. The E grades is......

The rest of Sonnie Trotter's article can be found in the December 2008 - January 2009 issue of Gripped.


Mike Stretford - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) Fantastic ascent and all >that....
>
> but these post climb right ups are getting as cliched as a fotballers post match interview, grades are the new 'charidee' for these guys.... "grades don't matter to me, it's all about the experience ,but...". I mean as if anyone would give a toss if they'd just done an E6.
>
> In reply to Papillon:
> Utter rubbish... <rant>

Got some time to kill so thought I'd write a more considered response to your reply (which I did think was a little over the top considering the flippant nature of my post, and more to do with your on going discussions with Mick Ryan).

Where I believe you misinterpreted my post is when you decided I was having a go at these guys... I wasn't, I was just poking fun at something I observe regularly in different disciplines, which is top athletes attempting to affect modesty.

For what it's worth I think it entirely natural that these guys are deeply concerned about grading (the stakes are high!), I just find it a little a amusing that I regularly see this little disclaimer before the grade discussion in write ups and reports (from all of them).

Serpico on 09 Jan 2009 - 78.148.80.12 whois?
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Serpico) In reply to Papillon:
> [...]
>
>
>
> Where I believe you misinterpreted my post is when you decided I was having a go at these guys... I wasn't, I was just poking fun at something I observe regularly in different disciplines, which is top athletes attempting to affect modesty.
>
You're doing little to convince me I misinterpreted you with that statement.
I don't think the intention is to appear modest, but if it is modest why do you presume it's automatically insincere?
Mike Stretford - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico: I don't think it is insincere, just like I don't think you are being insincere now. I think it is natural for any of us to care about how we are perceived by the greater world, and top climbers are no different, so a pattern emerges in how they describe their ascents. I find a little amusement in that, you don't, I think that's all there is to this.

Nice gallery btw.
JimR - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Serpico) I don't think it is insincere, just like I don't think you are being insincere now. I think it is natural for any of us to care about how we are perceived by the greater world, and top climbers are no different, so a pattern emerges in how they describe their ascents.


Perhaps this statement says more about you than about those you are attempting to judge? One thing that was drummed into me as a lad was never to judge anyone by my own standards as we are all different, with different motivations etc etc etc To a top athlete of any discipline punter appropabation is irrelevant whereas peer respect is it all. That to me would indicate that the FA gives it his best shot otherwise he's playing "kick me" with his peers.
Mike Stretford - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR: Not trying to judge anyone, and I don't think your comments are relevant to the conversation I was having.
JimR - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to JimR) Not trying to judge anyone, and I don't think your comments are relevant to the conversation I was having.



You were'nt having a conversation, you were adding a post to a thread discussing grades and first ascentionist's motivations
Erik B - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Wee Davie: I am the god of strathyre and bring youahhhh!!!!

good point well presented! i was feeling melancholy and philsophical last night, 2 days of grieving about much lost cash on the stockmarket, however, things have recovered and Im no longer philosophical!! get it up ye ya showera UKC fuds!
fxceltic on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Serpico:
> (In reply to Ben Darvill)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> Trashing people's reputations always is it appears.

I cant help but feel youre overly sensitive about this issue, perhaps with reason, I dont know.
My opinion fwiw is that nobodys reputation has been "trashed" in this thread.
As I said earlier, its possible to discuss the downgrading without being disparaging about either climber, which is on the whole the context of this thread, I think. I havent seen anybody trashing either James' or Daves' rep.

Mike Stretford - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to JimR:
> (In reply to Papillon)
> You were'nt having a conversation, you were adding a post to a thread discussing grades and first ascentionist's motivations

The the thread title and OP just report a stunning 2nd ascent, the thread then branches of into a myriad of different statements and conversations, such is the nature of internet forums.

orge - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> On WOL JP clearly felt that for much of the route, a fall was not worth contemplating. DM on the other hand thought most if not all of the route was adequately protected. As things stand neither has been proved right or wrong

Although James has taken a very long fall.

J
orge - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to Erik B)
>
> As was said earlier, a look at the profile and their pictures reveals a lot at times. Posting full names is not always wise when at work so Steve keeps his at arms length on his website. Yours is only the initial but your full name can be found by looking at your gallery on a route with Norrie.

Stalker!!

J
Owen W-G - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to orge:

Joining this thread v late, but for my tuppence worth, the one reason why I think JP should never have given WoL the grade of E12 is that, on the Committed 2 vid, he says that he's never done a route like that before. If he's new to that kind of climbing, and he has no yardstick to compare against, it was v bold to declare it the hardest trad route in the world.
Ian McNeill - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I prefer this walk of Life
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HrjBddCTCmk
I Falafelot on 09 Jan 2009 - 172.26.52.121 [proxy2.uclan.ac.uk]
In reply to Ian McNeill:

That, sir, is a mighty good call!
johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Owen W-G:

I don't know about 'hardest trad route in the world'. E12 isn't necessarily the hardest trad route in the world.

And presumably by definition if you do the hardest route in the world you've never done one like it before. I don't find your point logically very compelling.

jcm
mark s - on 09 Jan 2009
this is all getting boring now,time to visit the bang bus ;-)
Tyler - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to mark s:

Does it stop in Leek?
justin c - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to mark s)
>
> Does it stop in Leek?

YES ! ! !
Ian Patterson on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Owen W-G)
>
> I don't know about 'hardest trad route in the world'. E12 isn't necessarily the hardest trad route in the world.
>

If you work up from the equivalent sport grades for a perfectly protected trad route you get 9b/9b+ for E11 and then 9c/9c+ for E12! Since the E grade is supposedly an attempt to provide an equivalant measure of overall difficulty between well protected and more serious routes it would not seem to be too great a leap to say that E12 is claiming to be the hardest trad route in the world. Unless of course there are claims of a loads of trad wads around the world climbing much harder that Sharma, Ondra et al.

Though maybe Simon Lee is right and the E grade is a waste of space.
Ian McNeill - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Ian McNeill:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> I prefer this walk of Life
> http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HrjBddCTCmk

For got to mention the bands name is rather apt in this discussion also as well as the content of the video ....

rather jolly ....

plus this after the discussions of grading is over and the mud is still flying ...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1loyjm4SOa0

whistle ....

johncoxmysteriously - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Ian Patterson:

On the contrary, I am right and attempting to convert sport grades into measuring the difficulty of trad routes is what is a waste of space.

In any case I really don't understand your point. WOL isn't perfectly protected.

jcm
Ian Patterson on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Ian Patterson)
>
>
> In any case I really don't understand your point. WOL isn't perfectly protected.
>

My logic is fairly straightforward I believe (posted on 'another' forum):

'If the E grade means anything (maybe you're among those that think it doesn't) then doesn't it simply attempt to ascribe a number to the overall difficulty / challenge of a climb taking it account the physical difficulty of the the climbing and other factors such as protection and seriousness
Therefore we are saying that climbing a well protected (say) E5 is roughtly equivalent as an overall challenge to climbing a serious unprotected E5. Obviously an individual climber may find one or other easier but this doesn't invalidate the system anymore than sport grades being used for 35m stamina marathons with no hard moves and 10m bouldery routes with desparate moves.

If this is true then its not too great a leap to compare a trad route to sport route based on the assumed continuation of the 2 sport grades to one trad grade giving 9a/9a+ as roughly equivalent to E10. '

Therefore E12 is harder as an 'overall challenge' than the hardest sport route in the world!




lps - on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to north country boy:
> (In reply to Anonymous) he 'chose not to' do Indian Face after TR clean (maybe even flashing it on TR?).
>
> Although they are both slabs, they are very different propositions.

"chose not to" and "couldn't do it". i think if a climber looks at a route & walks away because he isn't inspired then "chose not to" works. if a climbers slings a top rope over the route & then walks away it's "coulnd't doit", regardless of whether they couldn't do it for technical, strength or psychological reasons. we may well find that indian face is harder than e9 simply because it is so much more psychologicaly demanding than other routes. maybe dawes, gresham & dixon were way ahead of their time when they did the indian face? it's a high profile route & only had 2 ascents in 20 years which speaks volumes about it's difficuly. i imagine it'll settle higher in the e9 graded list of slab routes than "the walk of life".
mick o the north on 09 Jan 2009 - 5ac38a5a.bb.sky.com
In reply to Ian Patterson: The E grade is perfect for what its designed for grass roots climbers going for the on sight . That is 99% of us I would imagine . Personally I couldnt give a flying fck what some globe trotting headpointer thinks about it . Also while im on it trying to equate sport grades with trad routes is utter nonsense . Maybe the route is only Fr 6c , but try that 30 ft from a runner onsight and it will have more of a 7b feel . Chalk and cheese the two can never be compared .
orge - on 10 Jan 2009
In reply to Ian McNeill:
> For got to mention the bands name is rather apt in this discussion also as well as the content of the video ....
>
Errr... Is it possible Pearson might be a fan?

J
Toby M - on 12 Jan 2009
In reply to orge:

or maybe the first ascenscionist of the first route at the crag, that was named after another Dire Straits hit.
AJM - on 12 Jan 2009
In reply to Toby M:

Or, to make it more confusing, the FA of Dyer Straits could hate the band but merely be playing on words given that the climb is at Dyers Lookout.......

FWIW, the first major route on that wall was Earth Rim Roamer, which as far as I know isn't a song title at all. It looks to be something to do with the nature of the wall - from Beowulf, a description of Grendel is “Such are the tiresome memories of a shadow-shooter, earth-rim-roamer, walker of the world’s weird wall.”

AJM
Tom Last - on 12 Jan 2009
In reply to AJM:

Oh good one on Earth-Rim-Rover, I though I'd heard it somewhere before, cheers.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Jan 2009
In reply to AJM:

Ah, that must also be where World's Weird Wall comes from. Are they both Pat L? An English teacher in a former life, I think.

jcm
Iain Peters - on 12 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

No. World's Weird Wall is a Pete O'Sullivan route - another teacher though (fine art!).
MarkM - on 13 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Further interesting thoughts from Dave Mac on the route and grade debate and motivation for climbing issues...


http://davemacleod.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-thoughts-from-devon.html

Mark
Steve Parker - on 13 Jan 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> And presumably by definition if you do the hardest route in the world you've never done one like it before. I don't find your point logically very compelling.
>
No, your point is far from logically compelling. You could have done 50 routes exactly like it apart from the small detail that one had a move that was just slightly harder. Owen was quite rightly making the point that you need to be familiar with a particular style of climbing in order to properly assess its consensual difficulty.

Mike Stretford - on 13 Jan 2009
In reply to MarkM: Cheers

Interesting (and quick!) reply to my question 3 comments down. Clears up something I was curious about.

(sorry all for my bad spelling)
AJM - on 13 Jan 2009
In reply to Queequeg:

I'd love to claim credit, but its more down to Google

AJM
lps - on 13 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Wow, has someone(people) climbed E12? and i thought I was a rock god!!!
halo on 19 Jan 2009
In reply to ghisino:

John Dunne regularly lobbed a rucksack / haul bag off routes, when working his fine routes in the Yorkshire area.

I think there is a video of John doing said preparation in the film "Divided Years".

It's out there somewhere.

Adam Lincoln - on 19 Jan 2009
In reply to halo:
> (In reply to ghisino)
>
> John Dunne regularly lobbed a rucksack / haul bag off routes, when working his fine routes in the Yorkshire area.
>
> I think there is a video of John doing said preparation in the film "Divided Years".

Yes, he was testing the lob on Carmen Picasso.


stevieo10 - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Good article by James here on his blog http://jamespearsonclimbing.blogspot.com/
JLS on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to stevieo10:

>"Good article by James"

TWOL

How “hard” did it feel on a scale of 1 to 10 - Answer 8!
How “scared” was I on a scale of 1 to 10 - Answer 8!

Some how I'd have expected one or both of these numbers to be higher to suggest E12 but I guess it's all very subjective...
Coel Hellier - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to stevieo10:

> Good article by James here on his blog http://jamespearsonclimbing.blogspot.com/

One can excuse him giving any grade he likes to these things, but one can't possibly excuse a sentence such as "As you can see from the table, both Kevin and I’s grades line up fairly well [...]." Arrgh, runs away screaming! (Please: "both Kevin's and my grades ...", ta much.) [Sorry, ]

More seriously, it's a pity that JP has interpreted some comments as implying dishonesty on his part over his grades. Surely no-one thinks that? It's just a matter of whether his subjective (but honest) impressions of the grades are somewhat awry. And even if they are that doesn't detract from him having put up some superb lines at the cutting edge.
Erik B - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Coel Hellier: playing devils advocate here, but it appears to me that Equilibrium is causing the 'problems' with james's grading.

what are the other E10's in the UK?
James Oswald - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
"I can see why people could jump to this conclusion, namely that not one, but 3 of my routes have received proposed downgrades (despite only 2 of them being repeated)"


So is he claiming that the groove hasn't really been repeated as Kevin took a different line?
Ackbar - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Erik B: Found these. Now I have to go do some work ;-)

Blind Vision? (Froggatt)
Dr Doolittle (Curbar)
Human Skewer E9 6c (Zawn Rinny) Direct start is E9/10
Rewind E10 7a (Carn Vellan)
M0nkey - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

i didn't want to get drawn into this but got suckered in in the end. I am sure this is all a bit embarrassing for JP - he's had a major wake up call with his grading and his sponsors must be burying their heads in their hands in frustration.

I don't for a second doubt JP is a superb climber but some of his big grades are clearly thought to be well off the mark. I can appreciate his embarrassment but i think it would be appropriate for him to show a little bit of insight here and simply accept he got it wrong.

This whole chat about grades being subjective is frankly nonsense. A first ascensionist can get a grade wrong sure, but the grade doesn't change for each subsequent ascensionist - that's a preposterous notion. I can't be bothered reading up through all the posts again, but JCM made a sensible point when he suggested (paraphrase) that if he had an epic on an E4 would that make it E6. Of course it wouldn't. If JP had an epic on TWOL or the groove or the promise and subsequently got the grade wrong it's understandable. It doesn't however make his original grades right.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to stevieo10:

It illustrates pefectly the problem of grading based on one person and why the grades of the hardest routes need time to settle. What many seem to have forgotten here is that the argument on 'overgrading' should apply equally to Equilibrium if you square the circle of James' experience.

Better conditions, morphology, missing a sequence etc don't only make a big difference on the hard boulder problems.

Take three climbers A , B and C and three routes X, Y and Z
A experiences X > Y > Z; B experiences Z > X > Y; C experiences Y > Z > X. A is self absorbed and sure he is right; B is wiser and knows subjective grades are not the same as individual experience and would prefer more evidence from others; C works for a guidebook team and knows she is good compared to the average climber at climbs like X and bad compared to the average on climbs like Y and from experience with grade standards of the type and from watching others thinks the grades should roughly be Z > Y and Y = X.

davepembs - on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Haven't read through all the posts so may be repeating whats been said but couldn't there be a possibility that JP has overgraded slightly but as he was the FA quite understandable, whereas DM has undergraded slighty, prior knowledge that it could be done, suiting him on the day etc, etc. So a realistic grade after say 10 ascents (although could be some time) may well end up around E10/E11, come back in 20 years and see how it stands? Everyone said Indian Face was overgraded at first, people are more likely to say that it was undergraded now!
Al Evans on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to davepembs: Good answer!
HimTiggins on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to Ackbar:
> (In reply to Erik B) Found these. Now I have to go do some work ;-)
>
> Blind Vision? (Froggatt)
> Dr Doolittle (Curbar)
> Human Skewer E9 6c (Zawn Rinny) Direct start is E9/10
> Rewind E10 7a (Carn Vellan)

To Hell and Back (Hells Lum)
(Rhapsody) Cop Out(Dumbarton) ?
Direquiem (Dumbarton) ?
The Groove (Cratcliff) ??

Jimbo W on 20 Jan 2009
In reply to M0nkey:

Its a shame this debacle because JP is clearly a great climber and has taken a lot of personal undue unfair flak, which represents much more the obsessive predisposition of people on UKC than anything that need be an intrinsic problem of the climbers concerned. However, it seems to me, especially after reading the most recent JP blog, that where things have gone awry is in him viewing the British grading system as a simple scale on which to place his subjective feelings about a routes difficulty and severity. Surely, recognising that you are one very good climber amongst other very good climbers, combined with the recognition that the grading system is at least an attempt to make the subjective value judgement a collective objective, a careful conservative approach is most appropriate. This would also recognise the heterogenous advantages and disadvantages of each individual climber and the fact that what one climber might find a route heinous in difficulty another might find it piss easy and yet both climb on average at the same grade.
GrahamD - on 21 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

Remember also that James is a)young and b) he is not a professional politician or writer. Don't read too much between the lines just yet.

All our views and perceptions get modified as we get more experience of life in general and I'm sure the same will be true here.
Offwidth - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

So what? Where does James say he is certain the route is E12 rather than that was his honest view of the grade then (and now). People experience routes differently and I suspect this will often be magnifed at the top end of what's possible.

So where is the debacle other than in the media response and too many stupid posters misunderstanding the tricky process top climbers undertake when they grade.
Al Evans on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Offwidth: Its even more dangerous than that Offwidth, other people grade things for you (eg Supersonic) so what happens is that afterwards you undergrade everything rather than being honest. Myself and Jim never under or over graded anything, but I'm damn sure Ron did due to the stick over Supersonic, not his fault but something he had to live with.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=106072.
Offwidth - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:

James makes that very point, that people could be tempted into cynical grading in the future as a response to such rubbish in the media. I see providing no grade as maybe the best solution to this, but providing the detail of what it took to climb the route (ie keeping your views on the grade private).

What depresses me most is that the story behind the climb and the acheivement of the climb and the inspiration for others to put up such wonderful new lines is buried under a load of crap about an unconfirmed subjective grade.
ukb & bmc shark - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Al Evans:

A consequence of giving something a grade harder than it deserves (unintentionally) is that repeat ascentionists have an expectation of the difficulty based on that. When they find the repeat substantially easier than expected/feared they can go too much the other way in re-grading it. I think Supersonic stuck at E4 for a long time but is now back to E5.

Fawcetts fat fingers famously made him find a number of routes disproptionately hard. Was that the case for him on Supersonic or was he having an off day ?
In reply to Offwidth:
> James makes that very point, that people could be tempted into cynical grading in the future as a response to such rubbish in the media. I see providing no grade as maybe the best solution to this, but providing the detail of what it took to climb the route (ie keeping your views on the grade private).

These days there is a thin line between the media and 'public discussion'. In this case UKC has done little other than report the facts. Other climbing media have been significantly more sensationalist in their reporting, however that is much the same as it ever was - remember 'The World's Hardest Route' on Raven Tor.

The difference these days is the public discussion on forums which is where the unfounded speculation and opinion comes from. Is this the media though?

Alan
Chris Craggs - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Bit late in the day, but the fact that the route has 25-ish runners must affect the "on sight" E grade - imagine how much kit you would need to carry to cover all bases - especially if the crux is the lower section when you are loaded!
Most of the other routes that have been under discussion have naff all gear!

Chris
Offwidth - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Is this the media though? Mick contested it was.

IMHO genrally its some of the posters here rather than the site management that's been the problem (ignoring Mick's tendancy to stir a little) anyway my media comments were intended to be general.

'I've climbed these hard routes and this seems harder to me' is not the same as 'this is the worlds hardest route' (which needs I've climbed a good number of the worlds hardest routes and this seems much harder). This is not even inconsistent with a hardest prospective grade (as presumably other harder trad routes might be undergraded (or ungraded).
Jimbo W on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Offwidth:

You seem to misunderstand my post. I never argue or infer that he is certain of the route being E12 and quite recognise that his view is an honest genuine one, of which I have no doubt. What I do say, however, is that he, in his recent gradings, appears to use the established grading system, universally recognised by the British climbers to which he is presumably trying to communicate, purely to place his subjective grading of these routes.

What I'm wondering is that in the process of suggesting a grade for a route, whether or not you are appealing to your own feelings, which of course one must, an attempt at objectivity would also be appropriate in the process of contextualisation. The grading system is, afterall, an attempt at objectivity not an indulgence in personal subjectivity, and by invoking the nomenclature of that grading system and communicating your view in that specific context to the outside world, one is doing more than just explaining subjective feelings. Surely, a slight but healthy skepticism of ones own grading is required, a realisation that contextualising your own feelings about a route onto an established grading system need also take account, to whatever small extent, of the ability of others, the relative strengths and weaknesses of your own ability as well as other peoples, the extent of your own experience and the relative nature of the climbs involved?
Bulls Crack - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Simon Lee:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Fawcetts fat fingers famously made him find a number of routes disproptionately hard. Was that the case for him on Supersonic or was he having an off day ?

I wish I had off days doing first ascents like that!
John Lisle - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

Do you really talk like that?

Seriously, I'd love to know.

If you do (and your profile suggests you might), do you take bookings?


Hilarious.

J
Steve Parker - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to John Lisle:

Rolling on floor laughing my erm etc...

;)
Jimbo W on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to John Lisle:

Talk no... ..write... ..yes an unfortunate disposition, but at least its hilarious and not the drab monotomy of an accountant's output... ...or worse...
John Lisle - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

Good on you for being honest!

Why the tarring of accountants though (not me by the way, in case you'd assumed otherwise)? One of the most richly creative and entertaining people I know counts beans for a living.

I guess the fault, if any, is in me - I find it hard not to see certain "styles" as affected....and I'm not a great fan of affectation in any form.



J
Steve Parker - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to John Lisle)
>
> Talk no... ..write... ..yes an unfortunate disposition, but at least its hilarious and not the drab monotomy of an accountant's output... ...or worse...

Well keep it up, geezer. It's definitely entertaining!

;)

Jimbo W on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Steve Parker:

Glad. Its an Irony that in the search of lost time I lose time. Although my grammar probably isn't up to it either... ...it was that damn school I went to.. ..Challoners in Amersham... ...its got a lot to answer for.
Steve Parker - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

Glad you're taking it in good spirits. That was the way it was intended.

Cheers.
Greenbanks - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

Challoners eh? Excellent. Well replied to those brutal and inhumane ripostes to your writing!!
John Lisle - on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to Jimbo W:

When people start dropping Proust references the issue of whether or not a "style" is an affectation is solved.

Jimbo W on 22 Jan 2009
In reply to John Lisle:

> When people start dropping Proust references the issue of whether or not a "style" is an affectation is solved.

I'm sure that is an issue which you find very stimulating. Did you go to Oxford? Or the other place? Or is it because they both gave you the slip? ;)
justbrowsing3 on 23 Jan 2009 - 194.75.129.200 whois?
In reply to John Lisle:
what a stupid thing to say. Talk about affectation. Only in England...
halo on 31 Jan 2009
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

Cheers Adam any ideas were I could obtain the video is it available on DVD perhaps?

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