On both the thread attached to the news report here.
And on the original thread started by griffer boy 9a+ or harder at malham cove
To which Steve McClure, himself contributed. Perhaps the last word on the subject, perhaps not. This is what Steve said,
"Grades - how we love em!
What grade is this new route? How important is it to get it right?
I'm not qualified to really say for sure. Others like Graham, Sharma, Andrada, Paxi and Ramon would have a much better idea, their track record of hard routes is greater. All the hard routes I've done are my own, and they are compared to confirmed 8c+ routes, but that doesn't mean they are 9a. This new route felt way harder than my '9's' but that doesn't make it 9a+, perhaps I was doing it wrong, it might be 8c+, but then maybe I was doing it perfectly and it's even harder.....
It seems important to stick a number on things these days. If you don't, everyone else will anyway. I suggest it could be 9a+, an estimate based on effort and experience. But then how important is it to get it right? Not important at all! Whats important is honestly suggesting a level. If it gets down graded so what, if it gets up graded, so what again. What counts is its a great route that tested me right to my limit. Had it been 9b or 8c the journey from start to finish would have been no more or less rewarding."