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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 6. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 104
Author
to A(id) grade or not to A(id) grade
tundra
15/03/2005
11:38:59 AM
Hey Folks, what is the community consensus regarding the nature of Aid grading. Currently I am about to convert all the topo and route grades for the new Buffalo Guide from the australian 'm' grade (mechanical) to 'a' (aid) as the international (american?) standard. We can't seem like we are falling into the prevelant wave of american cultural imperialism but we rather give locals an idea of what they are up against abroad, and visitors a clear difficulty rating. fair? objections? (probably we will include a coversion chart for historical reference and relevance to other areas in Australia with the 'm')

Camos
15/03/2005
11:43:42 AM
Simon

I would tent to disagree, If I am understanding you to say that all aid routes in the new Buffalo Guide will be described in terms of American (A) grades with a conversion table up the back for Aussies to compare. I would have thought that the reverse approach would be more acceptable - ie describe the routes in Australian grades and then have the converison table up the back for overseas visitors to convert to their local grades. The latter is based on my assumption that the majority of visitors to Buffalo are Aussies

Cheers

C

nmonteith
15/03/2005
11:50:52 AM
A grades all the way Simon. We don't have a big enough aid climbing 'sub-group' in Australia to warrant a seperate grading system.
gfdonc
15/03/2005
12:07:08 PM
M grades are fine. I can think of some issues with changing it .. i.e. the old guidebooks will still refer to 'M' grades. Justifying the change for the convenience of visitors overseas can equally apply to free climbing grades - silly concept isn't it?
- Steve

nmonteith
15/03/2005
12:25:47 PM
I would say most serious Australian aid climbers would have done most of their aid climbing overseas - because of the great lack of 'big walls' in this country. The American A system is now the world standard. Every country uses it to describe walls in the Himalya, Greenland, Antartica, Patagonia ect... For us to keep hanging onto a system which is only used by about 100 (wild guess!) climbers seems a little strange!

shaggy
15/03/2005
12:28:56 PM
If it aint broke, don't fix it, why bother with all the work, your going to basically use a conversion table to 'regrade' in the guide, let those foreigners do it, besides, M8 will have to change his name back again.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
12:30:05 PM
Below is a cut-n-paste of an earlier posting of mine to this forum to help out & I have already forwarded this to Kevin Lindorff for VCC to use in the new guide.

I would be extremely disappointed if the Buffalo guide was to be expressed in A grades instead of M grades, and I know of more than a few others who would feel the same way, though they don't necessarily frequent this forum.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I have been giving the Aid Grade conversions some thought and have come up with the following if anyone is interested.

USA Australian
A0 = M1
A1 = M1
A2 = M2
A2+ = M3
A3 = M4
A3+ = M5
A4 = M6
A4+ = M7
A5 = M8
A6 = M9 (theoretical)

Feedback (pro or con) welcome.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I would suggest amending the above list in the new guide by putting the Australian grade column first then the USA one !

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
12:37:49 PM
On 15/03/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>I would say most serious Australian aid climbers would have done most of
>their aid climbing overseas (snip)

No way Neil !
There are plenty who only ever aspire to dabbling in it in Oz, and at most doing the renown classics at Buffalo or Grampians (Passport to Insanity etc.)

>The American A system is now the world standard. Every
>country uses it to describe walls in the Himalya, Greenland, Antartica,
>Patagonia ect... For us to keep hanging onto a system which is only used
>by about 100 (wild guess!) climbers seems a little strange!

I can see I am going to have to send the hit squad of BA et al, around to remind you of our (sub)cultural and guidebook history Neil, 'cos you have been reading too many overseas magazines!
:))

nmonteith
15/03/2005
12:49:28 PM
What are the benchmark M grades for the more famous Buffalo routes?

Certainly in Queensland where I learnt the shady-aidy process there is no M system in place. All new aid routes have been graded with direct references to Yosemite routes and the A system. I graded our new multi-pitch aid route Escention on Mt Warning with A grades and this was published in Rock Mag with topo and article. I have just automaticly halved the M-grade of any aussie route to get a real A grade which actually makes sense (to me)! For once the rest of the world has agreed on a single grading system for aiding - it seems a shame that we feel like we have to cling to our 'backwaters' grading system.
gfdonc
15/03/2005
12:57:04 PM
I'm enjoying the debate guys .. but I really do think Shaggy's last point seals it. ;-)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
1:23:07 PM
On 15/03/2005 gfdonc wrote:
>I'm enjoying the debate guys .. but I really do think Shaggy's last point
>seals it. ;-)
Agreed.

nmonteith said
>What are the benchmark M grades for the more famous Buffalo routes?
Many are already in the existing guide.
Those that arn't are contained in the original climb descriptions that VCC has from when the climbs were put up.
I for one, lament that the existing guide saw fit to often not include the original M grade after they were freed etc even though they published 1st ascent details of person/s & date.
I think it would be a small ask and a very worthwhile step to at least reinstate the M grades for the renown classics, because these days they are still mostly climbed on aid (albeit clean-aid) rather than free.
gfdonc
15/03/2005
1:27:12 PM
Actually good point raised there - there is no Aus equivalent to C1, C2 etc as seen in recent Yosemite beta.
We're all assuming the M grades are referring to clean aid only now, aren't we?
- Steve

nmonteith
15/03/2005
1:28:37 PM
I agree that aid grades should be obviously attached to the header descriptions of classics such as Ozy & Defender.
tundra
15/03/2005
1:36:55 PM
I am putting together a breakdown which gives the A grading 'real' function in that it describes (with benchmarks)
A0 as pulling or resting on gear amongst free climbing (hard Rain),
A1 is easy to place bomber pro,
A2 difficult to place bomber pro (defender on aid) no specialised aid gear required,
A3: difficult to place pro, some marginal, with some stretches of 4 or 5 bits (metres) pulling: 8 or 10 m fall potential without hitting ledges, punctuated with hooks (ozy),
A3+ difficult to place pro, some marginal, with some stretches of 8 or 10 bits.
A4 mostly marginal pro (bodyweight), difficult to place, for long stretches, punctuated by occasional hooks, occasional bomber pro. (long fall factor).
A4+ as above with a ledge below(lord gumtree). A5 as above with ledge and sans the bomber pro (good belay though)(copperhead road). A5+ crap gear all the way above a ledge with good belay
A6 is in theory a pitch with crap gear, big ledges and poor belay.
*Kind of straight forward, rings true to me re: northwall, gives the novice an idea of what to lookout for and the expert something to help his/her proverbial "balls swell" to quote HB. 'm' does not devide the issues good gear/crap gear - easy to place/hard to place - short falls/long falls - no ledge / big ledge.


IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
1:37:32 PM
On 15/03/2005 gfdonc wrote:
>We're all assuming the M grades are referring to clean aid only now, aren't we?
I'd go along with that, and this is an opportunity to reinforce this mindset by what is said/done in the new guide.

Something else to consider if I am not putting too fine a point on it.
IMO we have the opportunity of 'getting it right' with whatever is done for this new guide, in a bigger sense than just the guidebook, because Buffalo contains probably the most prolific number of iconic climbs of this style in Australia (?). In short it is a significant magnet for those who want to do aid.
The decision/s made here will have a very heavy influence on future guides / areas in an aid sense, because of the excellent and voluminous amount of work that has already gone into it.
Onsight
15/03/2005
1:40:25 PM
Might as well change all Australian sport routes over to French grading whilst we are at itÖ

This would be the death knell of Australian aid grades. Donít do it!

People should learn how to use the system. Put the US grades in a conversion table in the back, that is all.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
1:47:43 PM
Refer to Defender thread? It makes the typing of all the historical aid descriptions worthwhile (even if I did source it from various USA publications).
Link is http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Display&ForumID=15&MessageID=683&Replies=0

On 15/03/2005 tundra wrote:
>'m' does not devide the issues good gear/crap gear - easy to place/hard to place - short falls/long falls - no ledge / big ledge.
Thats only because no-one has yet spelt it out in those simple terms. Refer to my post above re we have the opportunity here.
Its just about as easy as you have already done, though I tend to differ on a couple of your examples for the given grades.
... (but that's another topic in itself !!).
Wendy
15/03/2005
1:54:55 PM
I've always thought the proliferation of grading systems with +, -, a, b, c, d etc etc were getting a bit silly given we have a perfectly functional series of numbers in a sensible ascending progression. Just because someone couldn't make up their mind to progress to the next logical number at some stage - did the US think numbers stopped at 10 for a while there? anyway, somehow in Australia, we've managed to come up with outrageously comlicated grading systems that are open ended progressions of numbers in the order we all understand them to go in (why has no one used the fibranicci series for a grading system? or the decimal points of pi?). I'd stick with ours. .

nmonteith
15/03/2005
2:19:26 PM
I always thought..(Comparing to Yosemite grades)
Defender A2
Ozy A2+
Ozy Direct A2+
Lord Gumtree A3
Copperhead Rd A4+

Lord Gumtree is certainly not A4+!!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/03/2005
2:32:13 PM
nmonteith said
>I always thought..(Comparing to Yosemite grades)

>Defender A2
>Ozy A2+
>Ozy Direct A2+
>Lord Gumtree A3
>Copperhead Rd A4+

>Lord Gumtree is certainly not A4+!!
Agreed (re Gumtree not being M7).

So we get out our trusty conversion guide ...
... bugger!, this is complicated and fiddly and ... :)
A0 = M1
A1 = M1
A2 = M2
A2+ = M3
A3 = M4
A3+ = M5
A4 = M6
A4+ = M7
A5 = M8

... and/but, I would vary your grades a little to;
Defender M2
Ozy M3
Ozy Direct M4
Lord Gumtree M5
Copperhead Rd M7 (M8? ... I have not done it yet so don't really know).


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There are 104 messages in this topic.

 

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