Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Debate On Grades

I always thought that part of the reason “old school” routes have a reputation for being sandbagged, is there was no harder grade than a 5.9. If you couldn’t climb it without aid, it became an aid climb. Then, later, many stronger climbers came along and climbed previous aid routes and they started grading climbs with 5.10, 5.11, etc. So there are many old school 5.9s which seem super hard today because they might be a 5.10 or more if they were graded today.
This is an article discussing grades at several different areas in the US – Gunks, Rifle, Indian Creek. A partial quote:
“And then there’s Indian Creek. A place where it all goes out the window, because the grade is completely dependent on the size of your hands. I love how my wife and I can have two completely different experiences on the very same route. It takes the idea of how routes can be different for every body type to the extreme, and makes you realize that it really is just all about having fun! You get thin hands there? No way, that’s heinous ring locks for me!”
And this from the comments:
“I like how in Indian Creek, you don’t give the grade but the camalot colour for the crack. It makes so much sense, but sounds really weird to people not used to it.”

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