Jens Larssen of 8a.nu in a discussion at 8a.nu says that, "The E-grading system is just a joke in the upper scale." as he still has difficulty reconciling that the E reflects both physical difficulty - the difficulty of the moves and how sustained a route is - and the boldness, or risk of danger of a route. He continues:
"According to the E-tables an E8 can be between 7b+ and 8b+ and even so Alex (Honnold) puts the E8 6c End of The Affair as an 7b. E8 6c have been registered as both 8b and 7b+ in the data base." See discussion associated with the news item, "Why so few 8b+ trad sends" at 8a.nu
At his blog, James Pearson asks Alex Honnold what grade does he think, End Of The Affair is? "E6," Honnold replies. Pearson continues,
"I asked Alex to assume, from a historical perspective, that End Of The Affair is E8 (the grade it has been for the last 22 years) and then asked him what grade The Promise would be in relation to this? His answer was without hesitation – E10.
The crux of James' discussion is that he believes that some believe that E10 and the English tech grade of 7a is the limit of difficulty and that our grading system is not being treated as open-ended, and that because of this there has been "backwards condensing” of grades. As regards the E-grade system he says that:
"I don't think it is broken, but I do think it is being misused and if it is to regain any usefulness there need to be some fundamental refines, starting with the insanity that is the ever widening English tech grade!"
Read James' full discussion at: jamespearsonclimbing.blogspot.com