Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Bit Of A Moors Grading Re-jig

Fast development and publicising new routes straight after their FAs is bound to lead to a few grade discrepancies; it's hard sometimes to grade for what you actually climbed, rather than what you expected to climb from looking at the route from the ground. This led to a couple of humerus, and perhaps embarrassing... Downgrades. There are also a couple of routes I think might deserve an upgrade.

Res Publica E5 6c *- We did this after we had done no trad for ages, but that was still no excuse for the daft grade of E6 6c * we gave it. I think we must have been 'on crack' with this one- it's safe as houses. This has one of my favourite moves in the moors on it though.

Vampiric Obsession E5 6b*- I gave this E6 6b**, reasoning that it was harder than Narcisuss (which it is), but I think in the moors it is E5 max, when compared with the other round crag stuff. It's not much harder than its neighbour Honey Arete (E5 6b***) , which coincidentally might actually be E5 6a***.

Mane Vision E5 6c*- We had real difficulty grading this at the time, as our skin was so knackered from all the attempts and after lots of goes at a harder way, we found a simpler way to do the crux. I think it may well be E5 6c*, but it just depends on how good those tiny crimps feel with fresh tips.

Heel of Approval- Dave maintains this is E4, I'd be careful onsight though.

Chocolate Moose E3/4 6b***- This was a real lesson in how one's approach to a route can change one's perceptions of it. I worked it, finding the crux on a shunt hard and the landing far from ideal. The moves would be hard 6b were they in the middle of a 30 metre pitch, which above a not-terrific landing (protected by only one old pad at the time) I reasoned to be E5 6b/c, perhaps even E6 (back to the narcissus thing again). My mate Jack came and did it in a few goes above a load of pads showing it was super safe and font 6c+. I repeated it up to the top jug and concurred- even jumping off after my ascent! Boulder strength and boulder approach can make things a lot easier was the lesson of that day I think and something that needs to be thought about for future moors new routes. Not to worry though, the consensus was that it was actually three stars rather than two.

Owl Buttress Routes- I think we got the grading here pretty spot on- it's the sort of route we are better at grading. The Hypocrisy of Moose may well be harder than the H7 6c*** I originally gave it, after the gear was found by Dave to be largely crap, but apart from that and perhaps the Otter Wilderness Route being E6 rather than E5, I think we got that spot on. Starring was a bit of an issue here, as every route we did on the buttress seemed really good to us, but we were quite conservative- giving Howl Psyche (E7 6b) and Die By the Sword (H7 6c) a measly one star each.

The Jungle Drum E3 5c**- This route got gradually downgraded from the original E5 6b. It was quickly discovered that the direct start up the arete at 6b was unnecessary, after a large thorn bush was cleared out of the way on the left. After this it just got less lichenous and more of a friendly proposition, until a stiff E3 became more appropriate. Class little route though. The Polish Diplomat is still dependent on someone falling on to the cams and them holding though; if it wants a downgrade .

Stoupe Routes- They Stay the same adjectival grades, although the waves aren't 7a in hind sight- I've firmly come down on the side of it being a 'mere' H7 6c***. There was always a bit of a worry that the Scoop might be soft for E7, but until someone survives the fall I'm not convinced.

Snotterdictomy, Otterhill bastion and her direct all seem about right, although they will settle with time. Tricky business this new routing!