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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 53
Author
Sport grades 'higher' than trad?

jezza
4/11/2011
10:38:11 AM
It is common for people to climb slightly harder on sport than trad (sometimes more than slightly - http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Display&ForumID=1&MessageID=9029 ). Why is this so, given our grading system takes into account the difficulty of placing pro? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(climbing)#Ewbank ) On average (taken over thousands of climbers), shouldn't it be true that most people climb the same on sport and trad, because the grading system takes into account the differences between sport and trad? Or is it just that my friends and I need to harden up?
citationx
4/11/2011
10:44:44 AM
Fear and stamina probably have a lot to do with it.
If you can climb a 25, I dare say climbing a grade 18 sport route will feel the same as if you have to hang around on a massive jug to shove a piece of trad in and then continue. If you climb 18, that jug may not feel so good and may drain you.
The first point, fear, also has a lot to do with it too, in my mind. When climbing harder trad (near my limits), I have found myself trembling and shaking, doing my best Elvis impersonation, until I place a piece that I feel is 100% death-proof. Magically, after this point, I have literally stopped shaking and everything has returned to normal, even though i'm in exactly the same position/on the same holds as when i was scrambling to place it...
The actual moves are no harder (although doing a 25 finger-crack is probably not going to be the same as a 25 at the glen - but that's another point ;-))
gfdonc
4/11/2011
10:56:32 AM
I can't. Generally if I can do the moves, I can do the moves. If I can't I can't. It then matters little if I'm on toprope, trad lead or bolts. Placing trad gear can increase the pump factor and makes an onsight harder, but after the gear is in there's little difference - for me.

Pat
4/11/2011
10:57:53 AM
Not all grades are that equal in trad anyway. Take a 13 at araps and summer day valley for example. My experience is that the araps one will usually be a little stiffer every time. Reading Argus today on Moonarie and it seems that the Moon is a little harder than araps. Grades are a guide and often depend on what technique you are strong on as well.

Sabu
4/11/2011
10:58:48 AM
Yea as above.

It takes a lot longer to fiddle with gear sometimes and I think its simply too variable to be captured by a grading system. One day you could grab the right nut and slot it straight in, another day it could take 3-4 goes to find that right one and get it in and the harder the climb the more important it is the right piece of gear (cue the elvis legs)!

Fear and maybe more so calculated risk is the other factor. I know that if I jump on a hard bolted route I could thrash around until I fell with probably limited risk. But if I were to do the same on trad and I stuff up, the risks more likely greater. I say calculated risk as well because its not always fear but rather a careful consideration of the risks involved with a harder ascent, the moves, the gear, location, bail options etc. All these get weighted up and may result in a decision to not risk it in contrast to the "I'll just have a go" attitude for a bolted route.

jezza
4/11/2011
11:00:32 AM
'Fear and stamina probably have a lot to do with it.'
True, but since the grading system takes into account fear and stamina then, on average, people ought to be climbing the same grades on trad and sport. That is, the fear-causing, stamina-requiring (to place the gear) trad route ought to be graded higher, shouldn't it?

..::- Chris -::..
4/11/2011
11:01:56 AM
The Grading system takes into account the "gear available", "exposure" and difficulty of moves.

It does not take into account how quick and good you are placing gear.

If you take 3 tries to find the right nut size on every piece on a climb, you are increasing the energy required to complete climb.

Also allot of people (myself included) have had some experience in their climbing life with being pumped silly and either placing shit gear or rushing gear placement or just being too pumped to place gear....

I had a bad experience on Blimp, around 12 years ago as a much less experienced climber, i took way way too long placing gear, trying to see in the crack eventually i found myself near the top unable to even let go to shake out with not much confidence in my last few pieces due to my pump and rushing... I was extremely scared and had time to think of my death, luckily the gear held (1st piece popped)

Had I either been quicker at findding the right gear.
Or had it of been a sport climb I would have ticked it on that day.

The very next day after failing on Blimp I ticked my first Grade 25 sport route...

jezza
4/11/2011
11:12:04 AM
'The Grading system takes into account the "gear available", "exposure" and difficulty of moves.

It does not take into account how quick and good you are placing gear.'

Yeah that plays into the theory I've come up with over the years. The theory is that the trad climbs I'm doing were graded by people who had plenty of experience placing gear. And falling on it too. Unlike me, they weren't molly coddled by years of gym and sport climbing (ie they had become experts in placing gear and graded accordingly). The same is true for most of my friends - possibly we could all improve placing gear quickly and appropriately. It's mostly the guys that have been climbing for many years (gfdonc) that climb the same on trad and sport. At least that's my theory.

..::- Chris -::..
4/11/2011
1:17:26 PM
On 4/11/2011 jezza wrote:
>Yeah that plays into the theory I've come up with over the years. The
>theory is that the trad climbs I'm doing were graded by people who had
>plenty of experience placing gear. And falling on it too. Unlike me,
>they weren't molly coddled by years of gym and sport climbing (ie they
>had become experts in placing gear and graded accordingly). The same is
>true for most of my friends - possibly we could all improve placing gear
>quickly and appropriately. It's mostly the guys that have been climbing
>for many years (gfdonc) that climb the same on trad and sport. At least
>that's my theory.

Yeah most climbers... hmmm actually all climbers i know there is usually around 2+ grade's between their best trad and best sport. For me personally there is around 3-4 grades different (pure trad to Sport i.e not mixed) but I really don't get into pre-inspection or pre-placement (more out of lazyness than ethics ;-) ) and if i did I could probably lift my "trad" grades up a little as all my energy would be focused on the pure moves rather than clouding my thoughts with gear and wasting valuable cranking juice with gear placement......If indeed you can still call it trad after pre inspection pre placement but thats another thread for another day.......

I'm always blown away / impressed on every level seeing an true onsight trad leader heading out at his limit weather it be grade 18 or 28.....

Bloody awesome that gfdonc is the same on both. Kudos!
mikllaw
4/11/2011
2:01:39 PM
I find that most trad routes are not only harder to climb than the same grade sportas route, they often have hadrer moves (at least in the 18 to 22 zone)

Andrew_M
4/11/2011
2:58:42 PM
On 4/11/2011 mikllaw wrote:
>I find that most trad routes are not only harder to climb than the same
>grade sportas route, they often have hadrer moves (at least in the 18 to
>22 zone)

Mikl, interesting to hear you say this - I've had a few discussions with folks about exactly this recently and the gradings of some of your recent sport creations have been the main subject.

High teens/(really) low 20s is roughly my leading zone and it's really noticeable that in NSW at least, there's a big discrepancy between old school trad grades and newer sport grades. A lot of sport climbs are sometimes several grades easier than the local trad climbs with an equivalent grade....even if the trad line has been put up recently.

Just one example that pops into my head is Bunny Bucket Buttress - headwall pitches would be 13 or 14 instead of 18 (compare gr 18 hand traverse to the gr 14, but harder, traverse on Ivory Tower at Kangaroo corner). The lower pitches might be 16/17 for a couple of moves if they were at piddington or the wolgan. Don't get me wrong...had a great day and glad it was easier that I expected but just kinda curious, when you graded it how did you arrive at the numbers? Did you put a big weight on exposure? Shouldn't the grade go down if there's no gear to place? etc
JDB
4/11/2011
3:10:08 PM
In my humble opinion, most people seem to think that all bolts are bomb-proof compared to trad placements and therefore are more likely to 'go for it' rather than slump onto their gear.

rodw
4/11/2011
3:16:58 PM
I agree..half the battle is mental and if you can go for it so to speak and quickly clip if in trouble makes a big difference. Also bolts can tend to lead the way a lot as you move to clip them so have an idea were the route goes....much like red pointing, a route always much easier than onsighting and you generally have a few grades difference btw red point grade and onsight grade....the grades the same in both cases then too.
armstp
4/11/2011
3:38:20 PM
Interestingly I seem to have exactly the opposite experience to everyone on this thread. I have led hundreds of on sight trad routes in the 18-21 range over the past 30+ years but I haven’t been able to get up a single steep sport route harder than 18…even on a toprope I failed miserably to get up a 17 sport route recently. I figure that this is because many sport routes are overhanging hand strength tests and I am not very strong in the hands or forearms. Whereas there are many older trad routes up to grade 21 that can be climbed on technique rather than straight strength. Also I find many old trad climbs to be generally more comfortingly protected than sport routes – on old classic Arapiles 20s like Electric Warrior, Vanoise, Rosy Shy, Marmite you never have to make a hard move without gear above your head. Whereas on a sport route you might have to do a hard move with a bolt below your waist – that’s not protection in my book!!

E. Wells
4/11/2011
4:37:27 PM
I recently onsighted a crack in katoomba consistant with my sport onsight grade, that was possibly graded to take into account the weight of the rack, which was considerable! Im pretty sure it didnt include the slime and moss, thats just a bonus! Today I climbed at zig-zag with someone who is so thwarted by fear on easy trad leads its freakin traumatic to witness, yet he will cruise the same climb seconding?..and why?..they dont look down and sort 'the other two limbs' out! The only trad climb I have fallen on was another wet one, Die Fox Die, in Mt Vic. If it had rings it would get a 22 still. (unless M*^%h bolted it then it would be 17)
tariadamar
4/11/2011
9:45:22 PM
just putting it ouyt their but would it also have to do with the extra weight you may have to carry when climbing a trad route compared to a sport.
mikllaw
4/11/2011
11:11:51 PM
too true
these days I carry (and place) thrice what I carried waybackwhenski
Wendy
5/11/2011
7:35:57 AM
Sport is scary. Someone else has decided where the gear should go for you, and it's rarely in agreement with where I think the gear should go (which is usually about every 30cm!). I climb similar grades on both, but have certainly been petrified reaching the next bolt on many occasions. Also, sport frequently has places where there's only one piece between you and the ground and I like a little more than that.

Gradewise, I think it has a lot to do with style. Many sport routes are relatively straightforward cranking. They have some correlation to the training many people do in gyms and on woodies. They bear some resemblance to the ideas of what climbing is gained from ladders and trees. Araps funkiness and cracks have somewhat less correlation - and people will swear the grades are harder, but they aren't if you have the skill set to climb them. Anyone who has actually passed through the crack climbing learning experience will remember the days when they swore grade 18 hand cracks were all the wrong size, when now they can walk up them blindfolded.

Kama Sutra is not going to drop 3 grades if you stick a line of bolts up it. The actual existence of bolts should be irrelevant to the grade, but the sort of routes that lend themselves to bolting are those people tend to find simpler.
Olbert
5/11/2011
8:38:21 PM
What is the hardest sport climb in the world? 9b
Hardest "trad" route? 8c+ according to this article:

http://www.8a.nu/?IncPage=http%3A//www.8a.nu/articles/ShowArticle.aspx%3FArticleId%3D4729

It's hard to believe that a three grade difference is because the people attempting the sport routes are better climbers. I think it much more likely that climbing trad is just dam fcuking hard and placing gear is not fully respected in the grade. Otherwise people would attempt to do 9b's on gear that, when preplaced would be significantly easier.

Note 1: "Trad" climbing at the highest levels is a a very fuzzy term. You could argue that one for years.
Note 2: The Australian Ewbank grading supposedly takes this into account whilst the other grading systems may or may not (I have no idea on that one). Noone really cares about the theory though. The actual way climbs are graded is: Do the route, compare the route to others around, give it your best opinion, have others shout at you and rant to the guide book author until the grade is changed to the consensus opinion. This is pretty much the same for every grading system in the world - the only difference with the Ewbank system is that it does away with silly letters, and plusses and minuses.

Eduardo Slabofvic
5/11/2011
8:46:14 PM
Is a route that is 10 or more pitches of about 40m to 50m each, with each pitch having 2 maybe 3 bolts, a sport route? Yeah that can be scary.

having your last piece of gear never lower than your feet is not scary.

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 53
There are 53 messages in this topic.

 

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