Some time back, I got my hands on a copy of Bill Birkett's 'Great Britsh Ridge Walks' - glossy, nice pics, minimal route description. Good coffee table fare.
Anyway, it was interesting to find that in grading scrambly/scrambling sections, the author employed decimal fractions in his grading system, rather than the traditional UK 1, 2 & 3. I think he graded Bristly ridge in Snowdonia as a 1.25 overall.
What's your opinion of such a system? Does it really serve any practical purpose for hillwalkers/scramblers attempting to guage the difficulty of certain sections of a route in the planning stages? If I said to those of you who are familiar with Snowdonia that the scramble up Y Lliwedd from Bwlch y Saethau was, in my opinion, a 0.75 rather than a grade 1, would that make any sense to you at all?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts
It's 0.75 if you keep as far to the left as possible.
10.75 if you go too far.
As someone who has been working through Grade 1 scrambles in the last couple of years I've often thought there should be a finer grading system. There is a vast difference between Striding Edge & Crib Goch and these should be something like 0.7 & 1.8.
The problem, as always, is who would do all the gradings and how to assign gradings, eg what weighting to give to exposure.
Pointless over development. Most of the g3 scrambles were Mods in the old climbing guides so that grade wasn't needed. Steve Ashton invented the grades to aid his first Scrambles in Snowdonia if my memory serves me.
They are scrambles ! ie they don't need a rope and if you don't like it you turn round.
Where is the sense of adventure?
That's several problems.
Another is that the grade will change if it's wet, or even if it's just cold (numb hands and/or having to use gloves).
I'm with mattsccm that it's an over-development. If you want to climb finely differentiated gradings an indoor climbing wall makes a lot of sense.
To me, there are really two grades in practical terms: "I can get up there" OR "I haven't a cat's chance in hell of getting up there"
My post-scramble refinement of the "I can get up there" grade is "That was a piece of piss" OR "That was fucking terrifying"
That could give a post-scramble combination such as 1:1 ("I got up there and it was a piece of piss") or 1:2 ("I just about got up there but I need to change my underwear").
There might be a 2:1 ("I really didn't think I could do that but it was easier than I thought") or even a 2:2 ("Against my better judgement I had a go anyway, scared myself witless but made it").
A grade 'D' would signify I had a go, didn't make it and plunged 500 feet onto some poor unsuspecting bastard tying his bootlace..
Many years ago, there was a guy on UKC who kept banging on about introducing an E0 grade between HVS and E1.
When UKC introduced voting to their route database, I suggested, very tongue-in-cheek, that the average voted grade should be used, to two decimal places. I also suggested negative E-grades, so that we could all be 'E-grade climbers', even those climbing Mods (E-7).
The thread seems to have disappeared into the web ether...
There's a world of difference in the problems a climb(or scramble)presents to someone who's 6ft or 5ft 3
Entertaining memories of climbing a route somehwre in Snowdonia with my pal Dave, who's a foot taller than me (I'm 5'8"). I can't remember exactly what it was (being over 20 years ago), but we're both similarly luke-warm stuff so I'd guess not worse than a HS or maybe MVS. It had 3 pitches and I just couldn't lead one because I didn't have the reach I wanted and he couldn't do another which had a traverse with hands and feet quite close together, and seeing him trying to fit himself in to a tight chimney was most comiical!
Between us we managed it, but with entirely different opinions of what the crux of the route was.
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