Monday 22 February 2010

Trad Grades - just a thought

I just looked at someone elses profile on ukc and a thought occured.

I am always impressed by a decent trad grade E4/5/6 and I was wondering why...

Perhaps it could be said that bouldering is a scale of strength and power.
Sport is a scale of stamina and due to the increased length (which means technique has a greater impact upon performance) the overall ability of a climber at the hardest climb they can do.

Trad however, is a combination of sport climbing and something else, something more intangible and to do with the comfort at a certain grade. If you are climbing at a certain Traditional level, with moves similar to the hardest moves you can do on sport, then it suggests to me that you are confident in your abilities and not only climb 'hard' but climb 'well'.

This opinion is based upon the percieved danger aspect of climbing above what may be marginal gear. If you intend to climb into an injury or death zone then in my opinion you should be confident that you are not going to fall, and if you are you must be reconciled with the potential consequences.

I don't think this makes traditional climbing any 'better' or 'worse' than sport or bouldering but it certainly seems to be a guide towards someone's ease within a certain level of climbing and I think this is what attracts me towards performing at the higher end of the grade range.

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