/ How many climbers hit 7a

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keith-ratcliffe on 12 May 2017
I am researching a short article and would like to know how many climbers in the UK are hitting 7a.
Can anyone give me a figure? Even a ball park one would be useful.
jkarran - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

F7a, font or UK?

F7a I'd say most who try, font few and UK almost none.
Jk
Graeme Hammond - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

42 people?
Rick Graham on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
Try looking on UKC -Logbooks -Graphs -Grades .

Without getting a calculator on the case, it only looks like a small percentage ( 3 or 4 % ? )of climbs logged.
Post edited at 22:26
Greasy Prusiks on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Also what (roughly) do you mean by a climber? Sounds stupid but if you mean anyone who owns rock shoes or only people who've been climbing in the last two weeks you'll get a very different answers.
dr_botnik - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

My mate climbed a F7a and he's shit at climbing, loads worse than me. Saying that, I've only ever managed HVS....
keith-ratcliffe on 12 May 2017
In reply to jkarran:
I was thinking of indoor grades of 7a
wbo - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe: do you think 7a is consistent between walls?

elliot.baker - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Also do you mean leading, or top roping, or dogging up it or whatever? Because I've top roped a handful of 7a's indoors on my first try but I wouldn't even consider attempting to lead one indoors no matter about outdoors.
Pilo - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Not many people can climb Uk 7a it's well hard man. Maybe some "when 6b is approaching a rest" type of people only. They are mutants who train like hell! 150 people last week hit a 7a move.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

My guess, if you look at the population of indoor climbers the answer is between 5% and 40% depending on how you define it.

If you mean once in a blue moon being able to top rope 7a after projecting it then 40%
If you mean lead 7a onsight consistently 5%.
La benya - on 12 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

So few people lead nowadays let alone actually climb outside (compared to the total amount of 'climbers' who are active indoors) that it would be a relatively small number. Plenty are capable, but few have the inclination.
I would guess at about 5-10% of people who actually go outside lead sport climbing on the reg will be at 7a standard.
Steve nevers on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I was thinking of indoor grades of 7a

Indoor grades are often stabs in the dark.
planetmarshall on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I was thinking of indoor grades of 7a

Really? Probably fewer than lead that grade outdoors, at least that's my admittedly anecdotal experience.
mike123 - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Steve nevers:

> Indoor grades are often stabs in the dark.

Now there's a thread.....
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to dr_botnik:

> My mate climbed a F7a and he's shit at climbing, loads worse than me. Saying that, I've only ever managed HVS....

F7a and grit HVS are about the same no? And no, I don't mean the same grade, or the same difficulty, but at the same level of climbing, which is slightly different.
Rick Graham on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny:

> F7a and grit HVS are about the same no? And no, I don't mean the same grade, or the same difficulty, but at the same level of climbing, which is slightly different.

Depending on the climbers introduction path, you are probably correct.

Coming from a trad apprenticeship, I used to find 7a equated to E4.



Kemics - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
Depend who set it if it's indoor. One man's 7a is another centre's stair case
Jon Stewart - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny:

> F7a and grit HVS are about the same no? And no, I don't mean the same grade, or the same difficulty, but at the same level of climbing, which is slightly different.

To be solid at grit HVS and be sure of getting up the horrorshows might take similar levels of commitment and practice perhaps as getting solid at bog-standard limestone f7a perhaps? But you need to be an awful lot better at climbing to get up 10 normal f7as than to get up 10 normal grit HVSs.

With the old sport-trad comparison, I would say that onsighting f6b+ feels about the same level of climbing as onsighting E2. Perhaps this is about the same level as redpointing f7a? Which is therefore a couple of grades off your HVS. All subjective of course, I've done heaps and heaps of trad but only a few sport routes in my whole life, and I usually find getting up a 7a to be a bit of nightmare. Giving up after falling off twice is the usual outcome...
Jon Stewart - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Depending on the climbers introduction path, you are probably correct.Coming from a trad apprenticeship, I used to find 7a equated to E4.

Onsight for both?
Rick Graham on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Onsight for both?

Sometimes
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> To be solid at grit HVS and be sure of getting up the horrorshows might take similar levels of commitment and practice perhaps as getting solid at bog-standard limestone f7a perhaps? But you need to be an awful lot better at climbing to get up 10 normal f7as than to get up 10 normal grit HVSs... I've done heaps and heaps of trad but only a few sport routes in my whole life,

I suspect had you done heaps and heaps of sports climbing you'd find F7a about the same as grit HVS! In short, you perhaps under-value the effort you have to put in to be competent at grit HVS and the perhaps slightly greater variety of techniques needed. Plus the sport routes are probably skewed towards the physical end of the spectrum, and a certain type of physicality at that.

Jon Stewart - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny:

Are you sure you're not just really really bad at grit HVS?
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Are you sure you're not just really really bad at grit HVS?

Hahaha. I've done quite a lot of them. I've also done quite a bit of sport climbing...
wbo - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny: Honestly don't you mean 6a rather than 7a. Three pebble slab to this? Rose de Sables (7a)#overview

seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to wbo:

Oh yeah, F7as in Buoux are nails - but surely everyone knows that and hardly anyone goes there these days anyhow? Correlation is not causation, obviously ;)

My point is not to make an exact point for point comparison, but rather that the whole "oooh 7a, it's a big deal" is perhaps a bit overdone. Maybe 7a is really like E2 for sports climbing, in terms of application. But maybe not.
dr_botnik - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny:

Guys, it was a joke
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to dr_botnik:

> Guys, it was a joke

But like most good jokes it has a kernel of truth!
La benya - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny:

7a is like really safe e3-4 isn't it?
HVS is much easier than 7a to do.
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to La benya:

> 7a is like really safe e3-4 isn't it? HVS is much easier than 7a to do.

7a is only like really safe E3/4* if you're an experience trad climber, which suggests putting in more time in one discipline than the other, ie they aren't the same level of application, even tho they are the same level of difficulty in terms of the moves.

*might be a bit of an understatement here?
La benya - on 13 May 2017
In reply to seankenny

Not sure the climbers experience alters the objective difficulty of a climb.

The 1 E3 I've done was a clip up and was easy in comparison to 7a. I'm not really sure what you're arguing.

HVS is an easier goal to achieve than 7a taking into account everything about the experience (unless an unprotected huge solo).
alx - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

What in particular about 7a climbing is your article about?

Curious reading some of the comments on here and the other punter thread, 7a should be readily attainable by most people.

Robert Durran - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> With the old sport-trad comparison, I would say that onsighting f6b+ feels about the same level of climbing as onsighting E2.

Well, in that case I hope it is just that you are shit at sports climbing rather than me being a lot worse than I thought at trad!
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to La benya:
> In reply to seankennyNot sure the climbers experience alters the objective difficulty of a climb. The 1 E3 I've done was a clip up and was easy in comparison to 7a. I'm not really sure what you're arguing. HVS is an easier goal to achieve than 7a taking into account everything about the experience (unless an unprotected huge solo).

An E3 that was a clip up was probably almost/really a 6b+, so yes, it would have felt easy in comparison to a 7a! My point I guess is that for some climbers, say those who spend a lot of time at the wall and who do a much of their outdoor climbing on sports trips to the Continent, not getting on 7as and higher is selling themselves a bit short. Those very same climbers might also really struggle with a sold grit HVS with a bit of wide or a slopey section.

Philosophically speaking there is of course no "objective" grading, we only pretend there is because it's a useful approximation to reality. Something that short climbers may appreciate more than average climbers.
Post edited at 16:40
JamButty - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
I never quite made it up a 7a even at my "best". Having said that they were always onsight, never really tried or bothered with red pointing, so I suspect I could have got up a few.
Post edited at 17:53
IanMcC - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Never mind the "article" alibi, we know you're in training Good luck!!
stp - on 13 May 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Probably fewer than lead that grade outdoors,

I'd agree with that. It's usually more obvious what to do indoors but the moves are harder to execute, the routes more pumpy overall. But of course it depends to some extent on the wall, the route setting and where exactly outside we're comparing it too.

HeMa on 13 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Well, in that case I hope it is just that you are shit at sports climbing rather than me being a lot worse than I thought at trad!

I think Jon hit the spot, for me as well. Granite E2 (guess) and f6b/+ feel about the same. f6c/+ would then be in the E3 ball park (all on granite and thus relatively safe).

As for someone asking why the interest in f7a, well that is were the real climbing start. Sub f6s are for beginners and grannies. Mid to high f6s for some one to take a bit of effort. And f7s is where the real climbing starts... F8s are up are for the hardcore people (and most non professionals reach that level by clippin' bolts, very few with nuts and cams). Funny thing is one local boys 1st trad lead happened to be a rather nasty (albeit safe) f8a, https://27crags.com/crags/turunvuori/routes/hiidenkirnu stellar line btw.
stp - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I agree with Jon. 6b and 6b+ generally equate to E2. 6c and 6c+ = E3 etc.

But of course there's a definite difference in style of climbing usually. So you may well find one or the other somewhat harder if you're less used it at the time. And of course there's a big difference in rock types. A Pembroke E2 is likely to be completely different to a grit one.
Robert Durran - on 13 May 2017
In reply to stp:

> I agree with Jon. 6b and 6b+ generally equate to E2. 6c and 6c+ = E3 etc.

Are you and Jon saying that an E2 might typically be F6b/+ if it were bolted or that the overall "feel" or "demands" (vague, I know!) of a 6b/+ and E2 are typically about the same?
springfall2008 - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Do you mean Redpoint, on-sight, dogged or DNF?
HeMa on 13 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
For me, same amount of effort to get up and as likely to Onsight. But on the same medium (granite), so sport routes tend to be quite precise, so not your average euro limestone romp up.

Funnily enough, harder steeper routes tend to be easier to onsight here, as they are more easy to read (but often more pumpy and/or fingery).
Wayne S - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
I'm not sure it's a level playing field both ways, if you can onsight trad E3 you can most likely climb bolted F7a, albeit with a slightly different approach. I wouldn't say climbing F7a is any predictor for E3/4 success however.
Robert Durran - on 13 May 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> For me, same amount of effort to get up and as likely to Onsight.

So if "as likely to onsight" you are including there the mental effort and the effort of protecting the E2? So overall "feel"/"demand" similar rather than an E2 being about 6b/+ if it were bolted (in answer to my question!).
Jon Stewart - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Are you and Jon saying that an E2 might typically be F6b/+ if it were bolted or that the overall "feel" or "demands" (vague, I know!) of a 6b/+ and E2 are typically about the same?

I think E2 normally "feels/demands" about the same as onsighting about f6b+. The climbing is more likely to be f6a+/b.
L #4fs - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
Which F7a are you talking about, it comes in lots of flavours?

English
English climbing wall
Spanish
Spanish montenejos
French
French verdon
Etc.

Grades are fun but they are bollocks.
Post edited at 21:05
seankenny - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think E2 normally "feels/demands" about the same as onsighting about f6b+. The climbing is more likely to be f6a+/b.

Ahhh, but "feels/demands" to someone who is an experienced trad climber but hasn't done a great deal of sports climbing. Which isn't necessarily the profile of a lot of climbers these days, and hence why I'm (somewhat fatuously) equating 7a to HVS in terms of "demands", by which I mean demands over a year or two, not on the day.

And #4fs is right, not just in 7a flavours but also E2 flavours (of course we all know this).
Robert Durran - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think E2 normally "feels/demands" about the same as onsighting about f6b+.

Ok. For me onsighting a 6b+ would generally, I think, feel pretty trivial compared with an E2. I must be degenerating into a sports climber in my old age
Si dH - on 13 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I am researching a short article and would like to know how many climbers in the UK are hitting 7a.Can anyone give me a figure? Even a ball park one would be useful.

1000s
Oceanrower - on 13 May 2017
In reply to Si dH:

Or more.




Or less.




Who knows.





Who cares!
ads.ukclimbing.com
HeMa on 14 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Both, but as stated it's on granite, so cracks and rather trivial to protect. And bolted stuff is often a lot more precise and often somewhat reachy or blind (so often tricky to onsight).

Now were I to climb heady stuff on gear and clip bolts on a gently overhanging euro limestone Juha fest. Well, the grade feel might be different.
Michael Gordon - on 14 May 2017
In reply to La benya:

> 7a is like really safe e3-4 isn't it?

Assuming you mean onsight for both, I would say most E3 is much easier than 7a
Northernladlovesgravy - on 14 May 2017
In reply to #4fs:

Grades are fun but there bollocks, awesome!
Greasy Prusiks on 14 May 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

I agree. I think top roping a 7a sport is probably equivalent to top roping an E3/4 roughly (unless you pic an unprotected trad climb obviously) .

I can't even begin to guess what trad lead requires the same amount of training as a 7a.
deacondeacon - on 14 May 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Assuming you mean onsight for both, I would say most E3 is much easier than 7a

Personally I reckon I'd have a 50% chance of onsighting a 7a. E4 would be similar stakes, along with F6B.
Kevster - on 14 May 2017
In reply to deacondeacon:

I think that's the case if you keep climbing, if i stop and hang around, I'd have more chance on the 7a. But 7a is e4 physical climbing wise, though you don't have the unknown or gear thing on 7a, or route finding, or easy bail off, so it's easier imo to get 7a consistently.
Michael Gordon - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks & Kevster:

I'd say it would be very rare for E4 to be as physically difficult as 7a. Obviously the gear thing means that overall they may be not too far apart though. Assuming similar conditions (chalked up holds, knowledge of route etc) 7a would almost always be the harder one to top rope.
DannyC - on 15 May 2017
In reply to dr_botnik:

> My mate climbed a F7a and he's shit at climbing, loads worse than me. Saying that, I've only ever managed HVS....

It's exactly this sort of analytical, peer-reviewed response I was hoping for when I clicked on this thread ;-)

D.
KeithAlexander - on 15 May 2017
In reply to DannyC:



Surely a more sensible answer is at least possible? People that work at climbing walls probably have a pretty good idea of how many people are trying the routes of about 7a or above (especially since a lot of the smaller walls top out at about 7a). Some walls, eg Alien Rock, have a list of new routes and encourage climbers who have done them clean to grade them. So, the week after the route goes up, they probably have a reasonable idea of how many climbers they've had in, vs how many have ticked the 7a-ish new routes.

I don't go to the climbing wall all that much, so this won't be very accurate, but I'd guess at the Peak in Stirling, if there are about 15 climbers, on average 2 will climb 7a in the course of the evening.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I'd say it would be very rare for E4 to be as physically difficult as 7a.

The only direct comparison I can think of are the reto-bolted routes at Trollers Gill and Kilnsey.

Pretty sure The Jim Grin used to be E4 and is now F7a. The Jim Grin (7a)
Achilles Heel at Kilnsey used to be E4, and is now given F6c+. Achilles Heel (retro bolted) (6c+)
davidbeynon on 15 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I hit part of a 7a as I was falling off a 6b a couple of weeks ago. Does that count?
Thelittlesthobo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

If you check out the BMC YCS finals grades there must have been a lot who onsighted 7a on one day alone. I can only reference indoor walls by the way. IMO they were genuine 7a grade climbs and above as they had to split the best comp climbers in the country.

I totally appreciate the variations in different walls settings. We have seen 7a's set which were like ladders to the youngsters where for someone bigger they turned into torture. On the other hand there are 7a's the youngsters cant even consider due to reach etc.

I don't know if the youngsters are improving at a huge rate or (as I suspect) there is a bit of an arms race for Junior teams to be outdoing each other with regards to grades. I saw loads of pictures of young climbers beside some rather impressive grades recently at a particular wall. We visited the wall and realised that they were soft grades and tbh I was a bit disappointed.

We have been all over the country and found that for our development, its was best not to consider grades too much, rather to look for climbs which tested our weaknesses wether they were a 6a or a 7b. It opened up so much more benefits from climbs than just the number written at the bottom of it.
galpinos on 15 May 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Totally agree with this, if only because redpointing indoor routes seems a totally ridiculous activity to many whereas it would seem sensible to the same people outdoors.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

> I don't know if the youngsters are improving at a huge rate or (as I suspect) there is a bit of an arms race for Junior teams to be outdoing each other with regards to grades. I saw loads of pictures of young climbers beside some rather impressive grades recently at a particular wall. We visited the wall and realised that they were soft grades and tbh I was a bit disappointed.

For comparison, I climb at Leeds Wall in the winter, almost exclusively on the main comp wall. Anything 7a or above is definitely not soft (compared to outdoors anyway, not sure about other walls). The junior team don't seem to have much trouble though.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> Totally agree with this, if only because redpointing indoor routes seems a totally ridiculous activity to many whereas it would seem sensible to the same people outdoors.

The same faces I see on Yorkshire limestone and at Leeds Wall tend to redpoint at both, same as I do.
Thelittlesthobo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
We have climbed at Leeds wall and its a great wall to climb at with good settings.

Its difficult for me as I can only reference what I am involved in and that's the kids climbing. There are particular walls which have easier 7a's than others. I have even quizzed walls about it and been told that it can act as an encouragement to the users if they are hitting higher grades and so make them more popular. As such it didnt surprise me that just prior to the youth finals grades went up dramatically on what people were achieving as it would serve to boost confidence and team spirit. However, from a general POV I found it disappointing.

Post edited at 11:40
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

> We have climbed at Leeds wall and its a great wall to climb at with good settings.

The routes on the main wall are really good, just need to take the grades with a pinch of salt.
Malarkey on 15 May 2017
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

I'm sure reach aside the power to weight ratio makes climbing a lot easier for small scrawny teenagers. Watching a few kids bouldering indoors (Vauxwall) a few nights ago I was struck that an extremely powerful one arm swings was just not difficult.

I doubt that kid could do pull-ups, or dips, or ring exercises like me - but given his weight it just didn't seem hard.

i guess they are lucky as they will naturally build the power to match their increasing weight gradually as they age.
Thelittlesthobo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
But if that kid was usually climbing 6a, 6b and then suddenly jumps up to 7a, 7b in one visit to a particular wall?


Not that it really matters but then, if it doesn't then it kinda dilutes the grading system in my eyes
Post edited at 11:49
Mark Stevenson - on 15 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

FWIW there are nearly 1000 logged ascents of Consenting Adults (7a) and over 600 for Rubicon (7a) so in terms of outdoor sport the numbers are certainly in the multiple 1000's although perhaps not into five figures.
galpinos on 15 May 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I stand corrected.

I would have thought that time indoors would be spent "training", i.e. bouldering, campussing, 4x4s, running laps etc, not trying to redpoint the pink 7a+ on the main overhang.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> I would have thought that time indoors would be spent "training"

It is training. Ticking it isn't the point, for me anyway.
Robert Durran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> If only because redpointing indoor routes seems a totally ridiculous activity to many whereas it would seem sensible to the same people outdoors.

If I didn't redpoint indoors, I would very quickly run out of routes to tick. On the other hand, when I go sport climbing outdoors to Spain (or wherever), redpointing seems pretty ridiculous to me because there's a virtually inexhaustible supply of potential onsights to keep me busy.

keith-ratcliffe on 15 May 2017
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
Thanks for this - that is the sort of figure I thought of but derived with some of your analysis.
Post edited at 12:49
galpinos on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Turns out I'm totally wron then. I was tbhinking about dedicated sport climbers, i.e. those people with "projects" who spend the weekend s falling o the same route whilst spending the weekday evenings training for those routes. It turns out my personal experience is obviously wrong! I have redpointed 7a+ but never climbed harder than 6c indoors I think?
La benya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

given that CA is a warm up at the premier sport crag in the country, and one of very few of a low grade there, that doesn't surprise me, however how many of those ascents are repeats?
one of my logbook partners is responsible for 10 of those ascents.

You also have to take in consideration that those numbers are historical as well as current. are we trying to identify how many people have ever climbed a 7a at one point in time, or a snapshot of how many people at any given time can climb 7a? I would have said the latter is much more useful.

(rubicon is also about 6c, and of a very obvious 'indoor' style)
Jon Stewart - on 15 May 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

The jim grin being graded e4 (probably with a couple of pegs in and nowt else) says more about the ludicrous sandbag grading in that neck of the woods than anything. None of the e4s I've done are f7a, more like bold f6b/+ or safe f6c.
1poundSOCKS - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> the ludicrous sandbag grading in that neck of the woods

I prefer to think of everywhere else as soft.
Robert Durran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:
> Turns out I'm totally wrong then. I was thinking about dedicated sport climbers.

No, I think you are right in that there are serious climbers who just train indoors without being in any way bothered about the indoor "tick", but my observation is that they are in a small minority of wall users; at Ratho, almost all the good climbers seem to have redpoint projects. I see indoors onsights as a "treat" and redpoints as training motivators/goals.
Post edited at 14:09
Misha - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> I think E2 normally "feels/demands" about the same as onsighting about f6b+. The climbing is more likely to be f6a+/b.

That's a good point, trad often feels harder than the actual climbing is or should be. Which makes grade comparisons even less precise. Generally, in terms of overall effort for an onsight and assuming a reasonably protected trad route (so ignoring routes which get extra E points for boldness), I'd say:

E1 = 6a - 6a+
E2 = 6b - 6b+
E3 = 6b+ - 6c
E4 = 6c - 6c+, may be some 7as but not many
E5 = 6c+ - 7b as E5 is a fairly wide grade and E5 6b will generally be 7a+ or even 7b, but most E5 6as will be 6c+ - 7a (the bold ones will be 6c and Gresham reckons Right Wall is only 6b+, though I'd say 6c)

So 7a is more likely to be E5 than E4.
Post edited at 14:20
AlanLittle - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I’m with Galpinos on this one. I’ve redpointed (one) 7b outdoors, and never actually finished anything above 6c indoors. I’m in the fortunate position of having more good sport climbing in my grade range within weekend driving distance than I could make a dent in in five lifetimes, so I can’t imagine being motivated to put the effort in indoors. Nor do I believe that short bursts of hard redpointing are an effective use of my endurance training days when I should mostly be doing aerobic mileage at around onsight level.

Now I come to think of it, I did have a 6c+ project that I had high hopes for at one of my local walls a while back, and when I went back confident that today was the day, there it wasn’t any more. Another argument against indoor projects.
KeithAlexander - on 15 May 2017
In reply to La benya:
It looks like about a 3rd are repeats, and the log goes back 30 years.

2016 saw 76 ascents, of which 66 were leads.

Of those 66 leads:
- 5 were Onsight
- 5 with Beta
- 22 red pointed
- 16 repeats
- 9 dogged
- 2 DNFs

I'm not sure what any of this tells us about how many people (where?) have climbed 7a (in the last...?)
Post edited at 14:28
Misha - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Mark Stevenson:
I doubt it's many thousands of people who can climb F7a outdoors, at least regularly as opposed to once getting up a soft touch one. Considering that there are only about 100,000 regular climbers, if that... You see a lot of people climbing hard at the main sport crags around the country but it's always the same people. I'd say there could easily be 1,000, may be more like 2,000 but very much doubt it's more than that.
La benya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

lets make the assumption that the 100,000 figure is correct for regular climbers.

My guess would be that around 5% of people are regularly climbing 7a standard (whatever the trad/ bouldering equivalent). but then 5000 people sounds like quite alot to me.
Robert Durran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

E2 = 6b - 6b+

So are you in agreement with me that onsighting a 6b/+ will typically be considerable easier than onsighting an E2? I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and cross purposes in this thread about what is actually being compared!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:
> But if that kid was usually climbing 6a, 6b and then suddenly jumps up to 7a, 7b in one visit to a particular wall?

You'd need to understand why. For example if the first wall had limited height and was setting bouldery moves when it needed to increase difficulty where the second wall could set long endurance routes you might well get a climber with good endurance that got blocked on the first wall but could handle the second one.

Same if the first wall didn't understand how to set for kids and to make a 7a set large moves which weren't feasible for small people with no opportunity for technique to work round lack of reach.

Of course there can always be soft routes or routes which play completely to your strengths and feel soft to you although others might struggle.
Post edited at 14:47
RockSteady on 15 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Based on the 'Graphs for all users', 65,786 climbers out of 1.2m have logged a 7a on UKC. 11.22% have logged climbs 7a or harder.

On trad, in percentage terms, 10.09% of climbers have logged E1 or harder. Out of 2.8m ascents.

Redpoint 7a roughly equating to being able to onsight E1 seems about right?
Thelittlesthobo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
Hi Tom,

Yes I do understand the limited height issues a wall has to overcome with their settings to be grade appropriate. We come from a bouldering background so replicating fitness and stamina is one of our hardest battles. Doesn't alter the fact that I witnessed a wall that we had visited previously having settings that suddenly either were much more child friendly in hold spacing (Why I referred to youth teams) or seemed a lot softer than previously, ie easier holds. To expand (Edit) on that I believe it to be a good thing that setters are training and learning to set for youngsters. It can only develop them further. However whereas in the past a climber ticked off a 7a, are we now to have things graded 7a(Y) where Y is a youth setting? We don't choose our climbs by grade. We choose them by the moves we see and the holds used. When going to the wall I refer to, we could see straight away that there was an abundance of appropriate settings for a youth which was fantastic but possibly gave the feeling that we haven't suddenly jumped up in climbing ability.

I don't have any issue with this. Its all good.
Post edited at 16:22
La benya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to RockSteady:

thats useless as data to determine how many individuals are climbing 7a
Michael Gordon - on 15 May 2017
In reply to RockSteady:
> Redpoint 7a roughly equating to being able to onsight E1 seems about right?

7a redpoint is miles harder! Not totally sure what it would equate to in onsighting terms, hard E3? Of course it's chalk and cheese really.
Post edited at 16:23
Martin Haworth on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:
I think your grade comparisons are spot-on, although sport orientated climbers will disagree, I've climbed with f7a on-sighters who struggle with E1.
My experience is that if I tie on at the bottom of an "average" E2 I have about the same chance of success as I do on a hard f6b or a soft/mid-grade f6b+.
Once I get on an E3 or 6c I am at my limit and more likely to be unsuccessful, probably due to physical ability.
Martin Haworth on 15 May 2017
In reply to RockSteady:
Redpoint 7a roughly equating to being able to onsight E1 seems about right?

That is clearly nonsense. I don't do any redpointing, but my on-sight limit is f6c and E3. So if we take my f6c on-sight grade and assume I could red-point 2 or 3 grades harder if I put my mind to it that would make red-point f7a the same as on-sight E3.

(Some smart arse will now come along and tell me if I did do some red-pointing then my on-sight grade might be E4)
Post edited at 16:43
Robert Durran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> 7a redpoint is miles harder! Not totally sure what it would equate to in onsighting terms, hard E3?

Working a 7a to death and redpointing it is miles easier than onsighting hard "sporty" (steep, well protected) E3. I would put 7a onsight about equivalent to the E3. Foil and Stroll On would be a good examples of the genre.
Post edited at 16:52
Michael Gordon - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I guess it all depends on relative skill level sport vs trad and onsight vs redpoint. I've onsighted plenty E3s (of varying types) but would have next to no chance at onsighting 7a.
L #4fs - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

Thanks Misha for a bit of sense, in the daftest thread I have read for a long time.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

I think when you get to Youth B and above there's not much difference between an adult and youth route. The kids have plenty of technique and strength to compensate for lack of reach. Maybe some extra really small footholds to give a not-easy but possible alternative to a huge move for a smaller person.

Down at Youth E there's such a massive difference in height, weight and finger size between kids and adults that a route set for adults could easily have blockers for kids and a route set specifically for kids could feel complete nails for adults. It's just as possible to set moves which work for small people but make big people really struggle as vice versa. Some of the Youth E routes from YCS being cases in point.
springfall2008 - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Surely it just comes down to what you are good at and how risk adverse you are. I'm sure I could on-sight a few E1's given I can onsight F6a-F6a+ outdoors but I wouldn't take the risk. Still, I'm quite happy to work an F6b/F6b+
stp - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Personally I would say the latter: the overall "feel" or "demands" (vague, I know!) of a 6b/+ and E2 are typically about the same?

On an E2 it may be difficult to place the gear, runout etc. which will add difficulty. E2s of this type generally have slightly easier climbing compared to those which are safe and easy to place gear. So the overall difficulty is about the same. A sport route is like the safe, easy to place gear route. Because the gear is so easy to place (clip) the climbing may even slightly harder. Though generally I don't think you usually find British 6a moves on F6b/+, just like you don't find them on most E2s either.

Jon Stewart - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> E2 = 6b - 6b+So are you in agreement with me that onsighting a 6b/+ will typically be considerable easier than onsighting an E2? I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and cross purposes in this thread about what is actually being compared!

Another thing that makes it hard to compare is that while I might have the same likelihood of onsighting say 6b+ and E2, I still have to try a lot harder to get up the E2. On lots of E2s I might struggle to get good gear, feel scared, dither at the crux, or feel like I had to really commit with groundfall potential, or have all manner of stressful, exhausting experiences. But on a sport route, I'll either do it or cock it up, without having to do anything really difficult either way. So if I try 10 E2 and 10 f6b+s and onsight 8 of each (therefore equivalent difficulty?) I'll have put in a whole lot more effort to get up the 8 E2s.
Misha - on 15 May 2017
In reply to La benya:
I suspect it's quite a bit less than 5% of the overall climbing population, at least outside Sheffield! I should have said the general climbing population rather than regular climbers - so the 100k would include people who get out a few times a year.

Another way of approaching it is to ask where are all these 7a climbers? To be doing 7a, you'd need to climb outdoors at least a couple of times a month. So if there are 5,000 7a leaders, on an average summer weekend day you'd expect 500 - 1,000 people to be climbing 7a or E4 and above. I don't think there are anywhere near that many, or the hard crags would be mobbed!
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Misha - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
No, I think in terms of overall effort and assuming the same rock type and length of route, I'd say onsighting E2 is about the same as 6b/+.
Misha - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Working a 7a to death and redpointing it is miles easier than onsighting hard "sporty" (steep, well protected) E3. I would put 7a onsight about equivalent to the E3. Foil and Stroll On would be a good examples of the genre.

I agree you've got to compare like with like. Onsight vs respoint is apples and pears.
La benya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

Hmmmmmm.
I'm not so sure. I don't climb outdoors nearly that often (having moved to London last year) but still onsight 7a most times I go out. Once you've got it (the skills, confidence and experience) it doesn't take that much to stay in that zone.

And in my experience on a decent weekend at one of Portland crags they'll be at least 5-10 7a climbers, at around 5-10 crags.
Multiply that by all the crags across the country and allow for the majority that won't be climbing that day you're getting into some biggish numbers.

But who knows?! I'd like to think I'm special but probably not.
Si dH - on 15 May 2017
In reply to several people:
I'm sure this has been done before.

Roughly speaking, I think the 'top rope' difficulty of an E2 is roughly 6a+/6b and an E3 is roughly 6b/+, excluding bold routes. So, if you bolted an E2 it would, most often, become a 6a+ or 6b.
I thought there was a similar consensus on 7a ~ E5, but I've never climbed E5 so I don't know.

Obviously when you are on trad gear, things are harder because (a) you have the physical exertion required to place gear and (b) you are affected by the psychological pressure of being on lead above natural gear and usually not wanting to fall, so climbing far more slowly. I would agree with people saying that leading a trad E2 in this case, for overall effort, is more akin to a sport 6b+, ish. Obviously this depends massively on not just the specific routes being compared but also the climber.

All the above is for onsighting. Redpointing is a completely different beast. I have redpointed 8a but still put my chances of onsighting a random 7a at less than 50%.
Post edited at 21:55
La benya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Si dH:

.... yeah but how many people can climb 7a? Give us a number!
TonyB - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

> on an average summer weekend day you'd expect 500 - 1,000 people to be climbing 7a or E4 and above.

This sounds very reasonable to me. There are a lot of crags in the UK. In a busy day in Chee Dale I'm sure you'd get over 50 people climbing 7a and above and that's just one area.
Robert Durran - on 15 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

> To be doing 7a, you'd need to climb outdoors at least a couple of times a month.

Or, probably more common, go to the wall a couple of times per week and then have a week of euro bolt clipping once a year....... or three times per week for 7b.
mike barnard - on 16 May 2017
In reply to TonyB:

Yeah I definitely don't doubt you get that many folk climbing 7a. I have my doubts about the E4 though!
Thelittlesthobo - on 16 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

I thought this related to indoors. It was mentioned earlier on that it was in relation to indoor grades Fri 22:33.

Sorry if I am mistaken and taken things off on a tangent
Thelittlesthobo - on 16 May 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I agree that a 7a set for youth E would be an entirely different climb for a adult and vice versa. With the popularity of kids competing/climbing indoors its obviously a natural progression that awareness of kids requirements and abilities raise in line with this. Its pretty obvious that the youth route setting training that the BMC etc are putting into practice is filtering through. I was trying to possibly highlight this change in route setting will effect the 'worthiness' of some of these grades for kids. Lets put it this way, if my daughter wanted to 'chase the grade' there are a few places we would choose to go as we know they have more child friendly settings for a 10yr old.
TonyB - on 16 May 2017
In reply to mike barnard:

> Yeah I definitely don't doubt you get that many folk climbing 7a. I have my doubts about the E4 though!

I was certainly thinking about people climbing 7a and above. I actually suspect that 5000 in the UK might be an under estimate. I don't know about E4 as I only rarely do trad climbing, but looking through the logbook graphs for all users there are way fewer E4 and harder ascents than 7a and harder ascents. I think you're probably right.
jkarran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> The only direct comparison I can think of are the reto-bolted routes at Trollers Gill and Kilnsey.Pretty sure The Jim Grin used to be E4 and is now F7a. The Jim Grin (7a)Achilles Heel at Kilnsey used to be E4, and is now given F6c+. Achilles Heel (retro bolted) (6c+)

They were pegged and have the odd thread. Still, must have been scary at the grades they got.
jk
galpinos on 16 May 2017
In reply to TonyB:

Are you comparing 7a onsight to the E4s as most trad would be onsight/ground up whereas I'd assume a fair proportion of the f7as would be worked to some degree?
Robert Durran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:
> Are you comparing 7a onsight to the E4s as most trad would be onsight/ground up whereas I'd assume a fair proportion of the f7as would be worked to some degree?

Apart from the fact that E4 onsight is way harder than 7a onsight (let alone redpoint!), I suspect the vast majority of E4 climbers also sport climb (with most having no problem with 7a) but there will be large numbers of 7a and above sport climbers who don't (or barely) trad climb at all.

Even if everyone agreed that a given sport grade was equivalent in difficulty to a given trad grade, I'm sure far more people would be climbing the sport grade.
Post edited at 12:11
TonyB - on 16 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:
I'm not comparing 7a to E4.

I only mean to say that earlier posts suggesting that there were a lot of people climbing 7a or E4 and above seem plausible to me. I suspect the numbers given earlier in the thread (500-1000 on a busy weekend day) could be made up by just sport climbers.
Post edited at 12:52
Misha - on 16 May 2017
In reply to La benya:
True, once you can climb 7a and above you probably retain the ability to climb 7a for a while with sufficient indoor training, but I'd have thought most people at that level would be out climbing fairly regularly. Perhaps it's different for Londoners...

Portland is the single largest sport climbing area in the country and probably the most popular, so I'd be cautious of extrapolating from those numbers. Malham, Kilnsey and the various sport crags in the Chee Dale area are all popular but I'd be surprised if there's more than 150 people across those areas on an average weekend (most of whom will be climbing above 7a of course). The Ormes are a large area but never seem to be that busy, partly due to access restrictions. Beyond that, most of the sport crags are relatively small individually.

I'd love to know the real stats though... may be there should be an obligatory electronic check in at the top of routes ;-)
Misha - on 16 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
Here another piece of info: the Malham and Kilnsey Facebook page has 827 members. I imagine most of these people will climb at least 7a. I don't know how many are based in the Yorkshire area (there are certainly some group members from further away) and I don't know what proportion of Yorkshire 7a climbers are in that group (at least half, who knows?). So not the most useful piece of info but it's 800, not 80 or 8,000, draw your own conclusions...
Postmanpat on 16 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

Judging by what I see at Westway, no more than 5% of people are climbing 7A. So if we take the number of climbers in England at Wales at 100,000 (BMC estimate 2011 I think) that would make about 5,000 climbing 7A in some capacity.

But it's all anecdotal and probably varies from wall to wall and time of visits. My guess is that it's lower than 5,000 but I may go to the wrong places with the wrong people.
La benya - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Do you mean 7A or 7a?
I would say there are considerably less people climbing 7A than 7a
Postmanpat on 16 May 2017
In reply to La benya:

> Do you mean 7A or 7a?I would say there are considerably less people climbing 7A than 7a

7a I guess. ie.sports grades.
Toerag - on 16 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

My onsight top-roping limit is E2 5c, and indoors it's f6b+. For 7a you need to consult the South Devon and Dartmoor guidebook as many of the older sport routes down there are given E grades. From memory E4/5 is f7a depending on the tech grade.
AlanLittle - on 16 May 2017
In reply to DannyC:

Here's another highly scientific data point. I redpoint around 7a and am currently #372 on the 8a.nu ranking list for Germany where I live. 8a.nu isn't that widely used in Germany, I only know a couple of other people who log things on there, so I'll make a wild arsch guess that 10% of active climbers do. So we're back at PostmanPat's approximately 5,000. Of course we blithely take for granted that the climbing population of Germany is roughly similar to that of the UK. It certainly isn't an order of magnitude bigger or smaller.

Analytical enough for you? I hope I get points for showing my workings.
john arran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

One of our cats has a profile on 8a.nu. I don't think this is relevant to the thread in any way, especially as I haven't yet seen him clip the chains on a 7a, but I thought you might like to know anyway ;-)
AlanLittle - on 16 May 2017
In reply to john arran:

More widely used than I thought then. Perhaps I need to adjust my scaling factor.
L #4fs - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

I have never done an E4 that is anywhere near 7a. There are plenty at 6b+. E.g. Godzilla at rhoscolyn or star wars, Pembroke. Trevallen pillar. Fay might be 6c, and the e4 to its left is about 6a+.
Mick Ward - on 16 May 2017
In reply to #4fs:

Imho Our Father and Une Crime Passionel would both be at least F6c+.

Mick
thebigfriendlymoose - on 16 May 2017
In reply to Misha:
> Here another piece of info: the Malham and Kilnsey Facebook page has 827 members. I imagine most of these people will climb at least 7a. I don't know how many are based in the Yorkshire area (there are certainly some group members from further away) and I don't know what proportion of Yorkshire 7a climbers are in that group (at least half, who knows?). So not the most useful piece of info but it's 800, not 80 or 8,000, draw your own conclusions...

I suspect it's a very non-representative group (as is the attendance at Malham and Kilnsey in general), and absolutely useless for drawing general conclusions. I've climbed a fair number of 8a-8a+/bs and often feel like the crag punter: a charity case to be smiled at condescendingly and treated with tolerance (paranoid nonsense of course - I generally find that the better climbers are the least likely to be unpleasant or impatient - they tend to be more chilled and happpy with their status). Hell, Shark has a certain amount of notoriety on that page and UKB for not having RPed a certain 8b.... something that would have been cutting edge and probably beyond his wildest dreams when he started climbing. As boxing fans say... "there are levels in this game".

Incidently, I admittedly rarely route climb indoors, but I have nevemanaged to climb a route at a wall harder than f7a+. Horse for courses et cetera.
Post edited at 22:49
Robert Durran - on 16 May 2017
In reply to #4fs:

> I have never done an E4 that is anywhere near 7a.

Neither have I and you miss my point which is that onsighting E4 is generally more demanding than onsighting (let alone redpointing) 7a.
Misha - on 17 May 2017
In reply to #4fs:
To be fair, Godzilla is only E4 due to those dodgy flakes and Star Wars is only really E3. Not done Trevallen Pillar but if it's anything like it's 'E5' neighbour Ships That Pass in the Night then it's very soft at the grade. Fay is fair at 6c and only really hard E3, Sharpnose is pretty soft if you're fit (same for Arms Race at Avon). Not done 'the E4 to its left' Break on Through but heard it's more like E2 than E4. The E5 on that wall, Pacemaker, is probably fair at bottom end E5 rather than hard E4, around 6c+.

I agree few E4s are 7a, of the ones I've done. Admittedly I've not done many in the Lakes! Some which might be: Resurrection RH finish (reckon LH finish is 6c+); Mortlock's Arête; Amber Gambler (or I just had a bad day on it!), Fingerlicker (or I'm just crap at finger cracks!), Grand Plage, The Fascist and Me P1 possibly (might have just felt hard due to being greasy), Atomic Finger Flake perhaps.
Misha - on 17 May 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:
If you're a punter, I don't even make the punter scale ;-) It's good to go to a major sport crag now and then for some inspiration and to be reminded that you're not that good in the grand scheme of things...
Si dH - on 17 May 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

> I suspect it's a very non-representative group (as is the attendance at Malham and Kilnsey in general), and absolutely useless for drawing general conclusions. I've climbed a fair number of 8a-8a+/bs and often feel like the crag punter: a charity case to be smiled at condescendingly and treated with tolerance (paranoid nonsense of course - I generally find that the better climbers are the least likely to be unpleasant or impatient - they tend to be more chilled and happpy with their status). Hell, Shark has a certain amount of notoriety on that page and UKB for not having RPed a certain 8b.... something that would have been cutting edge and probably beyond his wildest dreams when he started climbing. As boxing fans say... "there are levels in this game".Incidently, I admittedly rarely route climb indoors, but I have nevemanaged to climb a route at a wall harder than f7a+. Horse for courses et cetera.

The Tor is even worse for this. Average max redpoint grade of people there is generally at least 8b.
L #4fs - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
For what it's worth, My point was that a lot of e4's are a lot easier to onsight than 7a.

It's interesting to look at the first rockfax to Yorkshire limestone which gives French grades and English grades to all routes.

7a is generally given as e4. Seems fair to me.
Post edited at 07:31
L #4fs - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Yes I am sure , and I haven't done lots of e4's. I was just reacting to the statement of Richard D saying onsighting e4 was lots harder than 7a.

Some will.be, but lots aren't.
L #4fs - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

I used to think the same. But there are so many that I think your concept of what is e4.has to change. It seemed to me that if you need aerobic stamina you get a lot of grade for your money.
Ian Patterson on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Neither have I and you miss my point which is that onsighting E4 is generally more demanding than onsighting (let alone redpointing) 7a.

I think Jon Steward expressed it above fairly well

'So if I try 10 E2 and 10 f6b+s and onsight 8 of each (therefore equivalent difficulty?) I'll have put in a whole lot more effort to get up the 8 E2s.'

If you're an equally competent trad and sport climber then the onsight sport and trad max's of 7a and E4 might well be pretty typical. This certainly worked for me, back in the day I onsighted my first 7a+ about the same time I onsighted by first E5 (with exception of some stupid grit solo when I was 19!), over the next few years I onsighted up to 7b but failed to o/s 7b much more often than I succeeded and also did a quite a few of the obvious classic E5s at the low to mid end of the grade.

To me this indicates that the max o/s ability does have some sort of equivalence at the level generally suggested (6c/E3,7a/E4, 7b/E5) however this doesn't preclude the fact that actually doing the route may feel like a bigger undertaking on trad. There's no issue with throwing yourself at as many 7a's as you like to get that elusive o/s, getting on a E4 can feel like a significantly bigger commitment mentally.
JMarkW - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Neither have I and you miss my point which is that onsighting E4 is generally more demanding than onsighting (let alone redpointing) 7a.

spot on. Most people who climb trad and sport would happily hop on any 7a to have a blast if that's their grade or thereabouts.

Feeling tired? Yeah give it a go? Not my style? Yeah give t a go? Looks like it might rain? Yeah give it a go. Can always go bolt to bolt, stick up, lower off.

Same for E4? I think not.......

cheers
mark
stp - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Apart from the fact that E4 onsight is way harder than 7a onsight (let alone redpoint!),

I'm not sure why you make such an assumption. There are plenty of trad routes that are easy to read from the ground: most crack climbs are an obvious example. There's also a fair bit of limestone sport that is really difficult to read, sometimes even when you're on the route. I'm not saying either is harder though. I think it depends on the route route and the type of rock, not so much on the protection needed.


> I suspect the vast majority of E4 climbers also sport climb (with most having no problem with 7a) but there will be large numbers of 7a and above sport climbers who don't (or barely) trad climb at all.Even if everyone agreed that a given sport grade was equivalent in difficulty to a given trad grade, I'm sure far more people would be climbing the sport grade.

I agree that's probably true. However that doesn't imply E4 is harder than 7a, simply because fewer climbers do them. Once you reach 7a and above there is far more sport climbing available to do in this country. But below 7a good sport routes tend to get thin on the ground. So there's more incentive to do trad routes at lower grades.

I pretty much only sport climb these days. I have had the odd period going back to trad. For me I find a brief period of adjustment is needed, not because it's harder but because it's different. A few days climbing is necessary to get used to placing gear, sizing up the right piece for a placements, getting used to falling on gear again, double ropes etc.

Robert Durran - on 17 May 2017
In reply to stp:

> I'm not sure why you make such an assumption.

Because I generally find onsighting 7a much easier than onsighting E4. But I do accept that this could be because I am better at sport than trad, despite thinking of myself primarily as a trad climber

> However that doesn't imply E4 is harder than 7a, simply because fewer climbers do them.

I wasn't making that implication.
AJM - on 17 May 2017
In reply to Misha:

> Fay is fair at 6c and only really hard E3, Sharpnose is pretty soft if you're fit (same for Arms Race at Avon).

That's definitely the stern end of a range which more commonly seems to vary between E4 and low E5 depending on fitness.

> Not done 'the E4 to its left' Break on Through but heard it's more like E2 than E4

I'd heard that rumour too. I then seconded a friend on it last year and was left a bit baffled as to where that rumour comes from!
Misha - on 17 May 2017
In reply to JMarkW:
Yes but that's due to the mental aspects - gear, commitment and so on. I think we're just talking about physical effort, in which case most E4s will feel easier than 7a to onsight. May be I'm just relatively better at trad...
HeMa on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Because I generally find onsighting 7a much easier than onsighting E4. But I do accept that this could be because I am better at sport than trad, despite thinking of myself primarily as a trad climber I wasn't making that implication.

Or the routes you pick in trad favor bolder climbing (so require more head and effort to psyche one up for the lead) and the sport routes are nice, casual and easy to read.

Where I mainly climb, the sport routes tend to be quite nasty to OS (lots of non obvious holds, and techy) where as the trad tends to be rather straight forward and safe. That said, I don't OS 7a or E4. But I do redpoint them. And yes, 7a sport generally takes less time than 7a trad (safe, so high E4 for OS? or E5?). And about as many goes for trad 6c as sport 7a.

Nb. I'm not really much into redpointing, so for me RP means generally anything from 2 to 10 goes... in fact I can't remember a single route that I've done that has taken more than 7 goes.
Robert Durran - on 17 May 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> Or the routes you pick in trad favor bolder climbing (so require more head and effort to psyche one up for the lead) .......

Far from it! I very much favour and am far more likely to succeed in onsighting steep pumpy, well protected E4's; in fact the ones which are more readily comparable to sport. And on these I would expect a lower success rate than on "typical" steep pumpy 7a sport.
HeMa on 17 May 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Interesting... as at my OS limit (6b+/c sport, E2 or perhaps the rate E3 for trad (meaning about 6b/+ trad, and again safe)) the correlations here seem to be rather spot on.

Then perhaps as the trad "style" is about the same for us both... perhaps the sport is different. As I wrote earlier, the sport is rather hard here, due to the rock and also "sporty" bolting (but not that often anymore). But my OS and flash grades are a lot higher on euro -limestone (provided I have climbed before hand).
timjones - on 17 May 2017
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

> I am researching a short article and would like to know how many climbers in the UK are hitting 7a.Can anyone give me a figure? Even a ball park one would be useful.

I would say that most climbers who put in a reasonable degree of effort are likely to have climbed at least 1 route that is graded 7a.
Whether the grading is correct may well be a different matter ;)
KeithAlexander - on 17 May 2017
In reply to timjones:

the old UKC chesnut of "anyone who tries PROPERLY can climb grade X" ?
timjones - on 17 May 2017
In reply to KeithAlexander:

> the old UKC chesnut of "anyone who tries PROPERLY can climb grade X" ?

Not at all.

Just an observation based on my own experience as a keen, but by no means gifted, climber who managed to put in enough mileage at enough different crags to stumble across a soft touch 7a+ ;)


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