Interesting that you propose a regrade in terms of E-Grades for this amazing achievement. I think this is confusing, as well, as renaming the ascent (translation from German to English) is not OK. Should all Spanish routes then be translated or "Bain de Sang" be renamed to "Blood Bath"?
The route is originally named "Eiszeit" and was graded UIAA 7+ (translating into French 6b+), A4. In times of endless grading debates (particularly with respect to the British E-System) do you think it is really necessary, to introduce an E grade where none was proposed by the ascentonists?
> The team encountered an average temperature of -30°c, however this dropped to -50°c at some points. The Huber's also commented on their website:
> "But sometimes [the temperature went] up to -5°c - T-shirt weather!"
I was going to say - I bet they didn't do these ascents without their tops on!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Totally agree. The huber's did not give these routes E grades so why should you? It really struck me as odd while reading the article and made more sense when I checked it out myself. I suspect most people can understand UIAA grades. Separately, I see this as the same level as 8a.nu speculating on the french grade of UK trad routes.
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> Interesting that you propose a regrade in terms of E-Grades for this amazing achievement. I think this is confusing, as well, as renaming the ascent (translation from German to English) is not OK. Should all Spanish routes then be translated or "Bain de Sang" be renamed to "Blood Bath"?
Oh come off it...
I'm not sure the grades given are very important? E4 / A4 are hardly cutting edge are they. Climbing in -30 C and actually getting to antarctica and doing the routes are what is amazing.
I'd assume the grade/name translation was largely to give realism to a predominantly UK readership. Maybe they could leave the original names/grades in for all the grade bores (maybe also the UKC team were working from an already translated press release?)...
I love the associated photo with the article, those peaks have a surreal beauty about them that words can't describe - aaah, I've got itchy feet now!
It makes perfect sense to give the E grade translation on a British climbing website as that way the majority of the readers will understand it. The comment about 8a.nu was stupid as UIAA grades are directly comparible to British E grades for big mountain routes like these unlike trad to sport. If they'd given a tech grade now... Sounds amazing E4 in minus 30 (shivers)
I was translating the page from German - using my superb pre-GCSE German language skills, and of course the completely accurate Google Translate.
It probably isn't perfect, I probably should have given original names and grades, however, Good Effort Hubers! Is there anything you two haven't done?!
The original report is available for anyone interested on the Huber's site - http://www.huberbuam.de/e_index.htm and if your German is better than mine (I would guess so!) then it will no doubt make a better read than my report.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: the Huber brother are simply amazing, always at the forefront of sport, trad, alpine, big wall climbing ect. it amazes me that a sad group of people still talk about how the routes in question have been graded, taking away from the hubers the deserved recognition for these far out routes, done in extreme climates. i'll bet the grade doubters will never even get close to putting up a new route little alone grading one. get over it and enjoy the experience rather than being a cyber critic.
I don't think anyone would seriously suggest that this (very) minor spat takes anything away from a great effort. The comments are about Jack Geldard translating the grade to the UK E grade. Whilst debatable, and in IMO unnecessary in this case, it's far from a new thing to do. I'm sure in the past some have found such translations helpful, maybe nowadays not so much. And given how the E grade has evolved to allow headpointing, rather than just onsighting, perhaps it is increasingly ill-suited to big mountain rock routes. But maybe the Huber's dropped a top rope over Holtanna and practised the moves first. No? E4 doesn't sound so hard when E12 exists, but of course they're not the same thing - so should the same grading be used?
I personally couldn't give a penguin's ass about E grades, however ...
I AM well through writing the upcoming book 'Mountaineering In Antarctica', which is a guide as well as a history. It's due out next year, so will cover these Huber climbs, as well as other hard rock routes done in QML by all nationalities. I will record the grades as they were given by those who climbed them, as I did in a previous book (Norwegians used UIAA, Americans used YDS, Russians used Russian etc). If someone wants to get lost in translation, that is up to them. But until some Brits go down there and climb something new and give it an E grade, that system will remain, for me, confined to your green and pleasant isle(s).
No Arjen, it doesn't come across as "arrogant and disrespectful". I climbed in Germany for years and the German magazines regularly translated other grades into UIAA. Otherwise many German readers wouldn't have understood them.
This is a UK based site and clearly a large section of the readership have not climbed all over the world and are not familiar with the numerous grading systems. Assuming that they are or just ignoring their needs would be "arrogant and disrespectful".