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Hasn't voted

Nice page Brian...way to keep getting those summit ski descents.

I wanted to bring up a point of contention with the grades you list. I realize in at least one CO guidebook I'm familiar with "grade" refers to an amount of time to complete the route from TH to summit and back. However, a North American Grade actually takes into account more than just time. The time really only includes time on the technical portion of the route (whatever that is), and the grade is concerned with commitment and technical difficulty. Treasure Mtn. would likely rate a II at the most. III's in the US are routes like Whitney's East Face, Grand Teton's Exum Ridge, the West Ridge of Forbidden, and the Sandy Glacier Headwall on Mt. Hood.

Posted May 1, 2007 11:16 pm

Brian KaletRe: Grades

Brian Kalet

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the feedback. As you point out, there is some discrepency in definition of grade. I think the problem stems from trying to add a grade to nontechnical climbs. In this case, using what you call the North American system would result in nontechnical climbs having a grade of 0. And perhaps that's what they should have, but at some point, someone decided to add a grade to nontechnical climbs only describing the length of time required to complete the route and it caught on. Ideally there should be two systems with different names to avoid confusion. Perhaps nontechnical grade and technical grade. Two examples:

Treasure Mountain's West Face Direct
Technical Grade: 0, Nontechnical Grade: III

Grand Teton's Exum Ridge
Technical Grade: II, Nontechnical Grade: IV
Posted May 2, 2007 12:22 pm

bc44caesarRe: Grades


Hasn't voted

Without a technical portion climbs usually get a Grade I, like Mt. Adams. Technical portions include steeper snow, so Hood's South Side gets a Grade II. I think even 4th class routes merit a Grade II in many cases, certainly Ellingwood Ridge on La Plata and the Crestone Traverse, but also standard routes on Lindsey probably deserve Grade II. Standard routes on Elbert, Yale, and the like are definitely I's. It's really a commitment grade, not a time metric. I guess I just don't see the point in including the approach in a "climbing" grade. Anyway, if it's accepted in the Rockies and that's what people like to see, so be it. Then they're in for a surprise when they head to the Northwest and think they can handle a Grade III or IV!!
Posted May 2, 2007 7:32 pm

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