The Great British Grade Debate – supported by the BMC


It's all over the place this great British grade debate. Climbing forums are alive with discussion, it's a hot topic wherever climbers meet, and not just between the top climbers. has run several articles and news reports about grades, as have both climbing magazines. It's reached some kind of momentum, like it never has before.

Now to get to the bottom of it.

Matt 'The Event' Heason has come up with a cracking idea. Get several top climbers in a room to talk about grades, get someone stern, responsible and knowledgeable to chair the debate, in this case the BMC's Nick Colton - and let them sort it out themselves. Well - with 300 spectators, and countless more when the film comes out.

Topics such as -- Are routes graded for the on sight? Can the grade of a route change depending on the style of ascent? If a new grade is proposed should the Media headline that ascent as if the grade is set in stone? Does the E-grade work? Would a French grade and a danger grade be better?

So, at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, on Sunday 1st March.......

Nick Colton of the BMC will chair a grade debate between the following panel of cutting edge climbers: John Arran, Dave Birkett, Lucy Creamer, Jack Geldard, Dave MacLeod, Steve McClure, James Pearson and others to be confirmed.

Questions will be taken from the audience.

More at

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