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Your grading system is f#@ked
6:04:28 PM
On 21/09/2004 Archangel in Oz wrote:

>So we are agreed then the Ewbank system grades moves, sport and trad routes
>and grades trad harder if more dangerous. Just so I know.

Yes I agree there is a question of interpretation......take the following 2 situations:

Climb 1 is cruisy grade 19 climbing until a single move crux of 23 and is well protected all the way.

Climb 2 is sustained grade 23 technical climbing on poor pro.

I guess the British grading system would give Climb 2 a higher adjectival grade than Climb 1.

In Oz Climb 1 would be known as a soft touch for the grade while Climb 2 would be a tough 23 or possibly graded a 24. As i've said before if you have a guide book you can find all this out and either you can climb it or you can't. I still don't see this as a shortcoming of the Ewbank system?

9:22:06 PM
The Ewbank system cannot be seen as a number alone. It is a number that attempts
to encapsulate the 'overall' difficulty of a route, allied with a description that gives
further context. If the system is implemented as Ewbank intended, then there is no
reason that it can't work at least as well as any other world grading system.

The problem is that there are so many different interpretations of what Ewbank grading
means. Certainly, one some bouldery routes, the grade of the hardest move on the
route will be the same as the overall grade, but this does not mean that Ewbank grades
reflect technical difficulty alone. For that reason, it's far more helpful to think of
bouldering 'V' grades when referring to individual moves, on harder routes at least.

What you described at Flemington is not an implementation of the Ewbank system,
but an adaptation and approximation of the system for the purposes of an indoor
comp. Refer back the the quote I posted a few replies back for a definition of what
the actual grading system intended. Really, the gym would have been better off
grading the route at 25 or so and saying that the moves ranged from V0- to V3.
But that's hardly a viable approach.

As dalai remarked, all grading systems work well enough. The Ewbank system works
just fine provided people apply it consistently.

mikl law
3:28:54 AM
"Your grading system is f---ed"
But it's simple and f---ed, not complicated and f---ed

Oh, you were in gym! So sorry, the correct system to use is the modified damage scale, from Mild Very Tendonpoppy all the way up to Extremely Herniacious.
End of discussion

Soloists of the world, Untie!
5:01:07 AM
ha ha ha ha ha glad i married ya Mikl boy.
Archangel in Oz
9:02:18 AM
On 21/09/2004 rodw wrote:
>where in the Blueys did you go?
>Mt Piddington, did two routes and then suffered the only rain I have experienced in five weeks in Aus. Ho Hum.
9:17:57 AM
Mate, there will always be people around that misinterpret and fu$% up any grading system. People who try to grade a single move using the Ewbank scale obviously have no idea WTF they are talking about. That is what bouldering grades are for. The Ewbank system grades the difficulty of the entire route, be it a route with a gnarly crux move or a sustained pumper. The seriousness of the route does not effect the Ewbank grade, it may make it harder to send mentally but the moves aren't any more difficult. Any more info other that the difficulty is put in the route description.

It is exactly the same as the American system except instead of using a bunch of stupid numbers, letters and decimals we just use a single number.

The grading system is fine, just maybe some of the people you have run into have no fu#$ing idea what they are talking about.

And I'll give you a tip, for the time being, don't mention the cricket.
12:23:45 PM
The actual words Ewbank used have been posted here before (I know that, because I posted them). They were taken from his guide to the Bluies that was published back in the late '60s.

One his incontrovertible arguments was that there is no need for sub-divisions, nor sub-divisions of sub-divisions; F8a+ indeed! Are there any climbs graded 1a+ or 1a- ? If there are, and the hardest is F9c+ that gives 81 grades if starts at 1a-, 1a, 1a+, 1b-, 1b, 1b+ all the way up to 9c-, 9c, 9c+ How do they grade climbs with that sort of precision?

How does a grading system that starts off at 'easy' and then goes through to Hard Severe and then changes to 4(a,b,c) then to 5(a,b,c) and then introduces E1 through E10 work? Are there any 4c, E4s out there? How about Severe E1?

I won't even mention the US system since it is so totally f#@ked.

Dalai is correct in his assertion that no grading system is perfect. The Ewbank system suits me fine, but it is dependent on people being honest when they write up their creation. There was a time in Oz where it was (is?) common practice to undergrade (eh Mikl?) and not mention scary run-outs etc in the description. For any grading system to work it requires feedback to guidebook editors from those who have repeated the climbs, to gather a consensus, to reflect changes in gear, technique and ability, but overall it requires honesty.

1:10:16 PM
>Where the system STOPS working (IMHO) is where the same system is used
>for the bolted/sport/equipped routes that came along later in the history
>of Australian climbing. I think it is axiomatic that most climbers will
>find climbing an RP protected 24 at Araps and climbing a ring-bolted 24
>at Upper Shipley to be quite different propositions. The stoopid thing
>is they get the same grade, but they are quite simply different things.

The problem is not the grading system, its climbers. No one would expect to climb the same grade for roofs, as grantie slabs, as crimpy faces climbs ect. So why expect to climb the same grade for sports or bolted routes?

The system works fine.......if you apply it as intended. BA is spot on. Bloddy hell, 1a+.. what does this stuff mean. ?? Give me a number, one number...
Archangel in Oz
4:59:13 PM
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What a can of worms! I thought I was getting it now I am confused again. It seems like my original assertion may have been closer to the truth than is comfortable. It does rather seem like as a body of climbers there is a degree of confusion.

I get the impression that you Australians would like to earn more “Ewbank Points” (cf E points in the UK) for a dangerous route but that is not how the system is set up. In the England the thought of stepping up a grade to climb a bold route helps with the mental preparation for doing it (or stops some altogether). And being used to this it is hard for me to think of our sport climbing chums in Aus having it easy. Not that I am obsessed by grades or anything…..

As to blokee slagging off the French system. The French system is the probably the best system in the world for what it is intended for. That is why it has been adopted across Europe even the Germans use it nowadays (for comparison at least). In reality it is almost identical to the Ewbank system i.e. the harder the route the higher the grade. It is just that in France any objective danger is removed by the use of bolts. Although not directly applicable they have an alpine system for climbing non bolted multipitchers.

The English system is bonkers, antiquated and utter nonsense to the unfamiliar but works well for trad routes in the UK. (Just to reiterate I am not suggesting you adopt it).

Now then who was talking about sledging the English cricket team…..maybe we should take up Aussie rules so we can beat you at that as well (Sorry couldn’t resist).

So then the Ewbank system only grades the overall difficulty of a route in its entirety and does not take into account objective danger. Nor should it be used to describe the difficulty of a move. Just so I know.
Archangel in Oz
5:37:19 PM
>On 21/09/2004 dalai wrote:
>If the concept of the Ewbank grading system is so scary, shocking and
>repulses you so much, you could just go to a cliff sans guide book and
>just climb!! Or I am sure there are a few early guide books in the State
>libraries which still use the old grading system you hold so dear.

Not scary, nor repulsive, and I am going to say this for the howmanyeth time I AM NOT SAYING THE UK SYSTEM IS BETTER. I am suggesting the concept of having one system for sport routes and another for trad may be a more effective grading system. The Ewbank system has history, value and applicability but IMHO not for both forms of the sport and it would appear there are some Australians who agree with me.

>Also for saying England has taken the high moral ground with grading...

Did I say this? I don't think so.

>The technical grade is still listed for many boulder problems. Even the
>newer B grading which is Englands own version of V grades don't match,
>only adding to the mess.

You’re absolutely right that bouldering grades are in a mess in the UK. (I think you should address this on a different thread though as it has nothing to do with what we are talking about here). btw that mess isn’t ‘adding to' a pre-existing mess elsewhere in the sport, UK grades are in perfect harmony and UK climbers understand them (once their six years of apprenticeship is served).

Biggup Frillypants. (Is Biggup an expression here?).

Right I'm off to Stanage.
6:30:55 PM
>it would appear there are some Australians who agree with me.

You obviously don't know there's the odd ex-pom on this forum who aren't admitting to it.

On 22/09/2004 Archangel in Oz wrote:
> It does rather seem like as a body of climbers there is a degree of confusion.

probably no more than you'll find about the E system or any other grading system by asking your average group of gym bunnies/bumblies. I'd suggest if you want to know the Aus grading "rules" pay attention to the authoritative sources rather than faceless accounts in a chat room who for all you know are also trolling or just don't know what they're on about.

Tmarsh has posted all you should need, plus you'll find it in the introduction of most climbing guides. I think you'll get a lot more understanding from a good close read of those existing statements than your own or others wildly innacurate attempts to re-phrase it.

For example you said:
>I get the impression that you Australians would like to earn more “Ewbank
>Points” (cf E points in the UK) for a dangerous route but that is not how
>the system is set up.
>So then the Ewbank system only grades the overall difficulty of a route
>in its entirety and does not take into account objective danger.

...both of which are dead wrong (muncher also got this wrong). Protection (being the inverse of danger) IS a factor which influences the Ewbank grade which should be given. Don't take my word for it, go read the (authoritative) definition - its all there.

It is fair to say that there is doubt among some AU climbers about whether this factor is IMPLEMENTED properly but it is indisputable that it is part of the system. IMO and from my reading of others' posts the PRINCIPLE of it seems to be considered a good one. See the "modest proposal" thread linked to by EdwardFrillypants

That said, I can give you two examples off the top of my head where seriousness clearly has influenced the Ewbank grade given to a route (despite having no guidebooks to look through and no intention to waste time looking): (1) Bygone at araps was 13 and dangerously runout, the addition of a fixed hanger has made it safe 11 - the last two guidebooks have reflected this change. The moves are obviously still identical. (2) Life in the Fast Lane is 24, but the Direct Finish is 25 with the DESCRIPTION adding "no harder than the original but the runout ups the grade" (or words to that Effect)

Finally its illogical to be so adamant about this one issue when, as for any grading system / country, there are a lot of other factors which influence grades, eg: whether the route suits the strengths of the first ascentionist, just how bad or far apart the gear needs to be to deserve mention or an increased grade, deliberate under grading to encourage repeats or just for a good sandbag, deliberate overgrading to establish a "soft" grade X climb (and boy that brings them running), grade variations from one area to the next, angle, rock type, etc, etc, etc. It's unreasonable to expect one factor (danger/protection) to be loudly and clearly defining the grade of every route you come across when in reality its inevitably going to often get lost in the "noise" of all the other factors involved.
6:48:14 PM
The climb is not, and never will be, defined by the grade. No grading system is ever going to be perfect, but the Ewbank System works for us. For someone who has been climbing "around the world for twenty years" (or words to that effect), you're pretty childish, aren't you?
9:52:05 AM
On 22/09/2004 WM wrote:
(muncher also got this wrong).

Fair enough, guess I have just been spending too much time bouldering and clipping bolts in the Bluies to get a good idea on trad grades.

10:29:16 AM
Maybe the problem lies in the fact that our grading doesn't give much opportunity for bragging rights.....
Dave C
8:09:15 AM
Archangel - You obviously learn't the fine art of trolling on the UKC forum didn't you? Brilliant effort!!
Incidentally, most climbers I know from over here have had no problem with the grading system. Get used to it!

To everyone else -
Do you know what a troll is?
9:45:26 AM
On 26/09/2004 Stuck in UK wrote:
>Do you know what a troll is?

I do, top effort Archangel you are a seriously misunderstood chap.
Frillypants: so this is where you have been hiding. Jeez, they even have a box for the dreaded practice on the registration form what sort of a place is it?
4:08:17 PM
Why did Chris Eubank get chosen as the person to grade your climbs?

Can you claim the same number of points when hanging off a top rope, or do you use the usual practice of 'grade - 3' for ascents in this style?
Archangel in Oz
10:26:45 PM
It's a fair cop. I had them going for a while.

Respect to WM and Tim, hopefully might catch up with you and do some routes one day. I am now back in Manchester in an office overlooking Old Trafford, which I can't see because it is raining so bloody hard.

I didn't climb on Stanage on Saturday as yes it was raining (divine retribution you might say).

I'll be returning to Oz in November.
Dave C
11:14:16 PM
Should have come to Stanage (Apparent North) on Sunday. Good conditions if a bit windy. Going back in November? Lucky sod!
6:07:48 AM
Yes it did all go a bit over the top, I only joined in to wind up the Jocks! Still normal viewing looks like it has been resumed and have lost all bragging rights.

Pop back in late November when we celebrate the first anniversary of the greatest achievement in sport ever :-)

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