Author Topic: Maybe a bit silly?  (Read 1198 times)

Nemesis

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Maybe a bit silly?
« on: February 13, 2016, 05:59:00 pm »
I'm hoping I'm not completely alone on this one.  First of all, my hat goes off to these climbers, I think it's an impressive achievement.  Here comes the but.  I've always accepted as truth, that the harder grades of ice climbing somewhat signified marginal protection, i.e. the higher the grade the harder the climb was to protect.  Can it really be WI 12 if you're clipping bolts??  What say you?

http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/tim-emmett-klemen-preml-establish-260-foot-wi-12-at-helmcken-falls
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 06:13:35 pm by Nemesis »

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 07:33:15 pm »
I've never felt the WI scale considers protection, just technical difficulty of the moves.

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 10:44:15 am »
I thought The description for alpine ice 6 and 7 includes candled and dificult or poor protection.

Nemesis

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 11:35:48 am »

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 09:04:56 pm »
 this is just as I have always iterpreted ice grades. when it gets thin, poorly bonded, candled and generaly terrifying the grade goes up.

WI5: Long and strenuous, with a ropelength of 85º-90º ice offering few good rests; or a shorter pitch of thin or bad ice with protection that’s difficult to place.
WI6: A full ropelength of near-90º ice with no rests, or a shorter pitch even more tenuous than WI 5.Highly technical.
WI7: As above, but on thin poorly bonded ice or long, overhanging poorly adhered columns. Protection is impossible or very difficult to place and of dubious quality.
WI8: Under discussion.

Nemesis

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 06:42:24 am »
What do you think Trad?  If protection is part of it, can it really be a 12 if you're clipping bolts?  Or are the ice grades due for an overhaul and this is just a natural evolution of the sport?

Offline z.st.jules

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 12:57:03 pm »
hmm. yeah thats interesting. Perhaps an M grade would be more appropriate if bolts are being clipped? ... ive heard the opinion recently that reform for the winter grading systems is about to reach critical mass.

Offline strandman

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 01:09:40 pm »
How many routes above say, WI-7 have no bolts ? I bet very few ???

It sure does look like a beast though.

Offline neiceclimber

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 02:37:23 pm »
This new "ice arena" immediately enabled Gadd and his British climbing partner Tim Emmett to do something they’d never done before: climb ultra-steep terrain with ice axes and crampons, not up rock like in drytooling, but on pure ice. A playground which was so new that it defied comparisons, so different that even the difficulties of the routes were immediately "important": WI 10. WI 10? Yes a grade which wasn’t merely completely new, it was also an enormous leap from the maximum difficulties which, up to then, had been in the region of WI 7+ of which there were only a few rare examples worldwide. The logic behind this grading was that these new routes weren’t necessarily more dangerous than others, on the contrary, but they were "merely" more difficult physically. And, to a certain degree, comparable in terms of difficulty therefore to an M10 mixed or drytooling route, though completely on ice. Hence the grade WI 10.
From Emmett after they put up the first WI 10
http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=40492

Maybe I'm old, but I think the current WI/ M grading system is just fine. I would hate to be staring up at a climb listening to a bunch of young whipper snappers arguing about whether standard is 3b/c or c/d. The only reason to reform the grading system is so those looking to maintain or find sponsorship have something to spray to the climbing mags.

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 06:24:14 pm »
bingo. should have simply called it M10 and then gone up for annother lap ::)

Offline strandman

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2016, 10:59:20 am »
But isn't it ice climbing not mixed climbing ?  Why not an R/X modifier like in rock climbing for more serious routes ?

Offline neiceclimber

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Re: Maybe a bit silly?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2016, 03:40:11 pm »
IDK, ice can be soo fickle, what could be fat and bonded one year could be a verglas trickle for the next ten years. Personally, I take ice ratings with a grain of salt, you know a 4 is probably going to be a 4 but it could be a 4- one day and a 4++ x the next week, when a climb was FA'd is almost as telling as the reported grade. Look at central couloir on Webster, it's probably a 2 right now, but with slightly above average snow you could probably walk right up to green chasm without even putting on crampons.