Mt. Cook rating system

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Mt. Cook rating system

by MichaelJ » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:34 pm

I have Palman's Mt. Cook book where he vaguely explains the MC system (ie, 1 is easy, 7 hard). But could someone please offer a little more detail or some translation into the Euro alpine grading system? I'm assuming 1 might equal F, 2 PD, 3, AD, 4 D, 5 TD, 6 ED, 7 ED plus. Is this about right? Any help appreciated. Thanks.

ps -- Anyone wanting to do some D routes on Cook/Aspiring/etc., next Dec/Jan 2007/2008 PM me.

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ant morgan

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Re: Mt. Cook rating system

by ant morgan » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:02 am

I can't really describe the NZ grades well, even the kiwi's struggle with it. Short ice routes with a few WI3 pitches and rap descents on Mt Hicks get a 4+, whereas the mega-long Zubriggens Ridge on Mt Cook only gets a grade 3+ or 4-.

But the grade 5's are getting around the TD mark. It really pays to read the guidebook description and study the topo map to get a feel for how difficult and long a route will be. Any info from other parties is good too, if you can actually get it.

Have a look at:

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Tom Fralich

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by Tom Fralich » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:36 pm

It's difficult to make a direct translation from NZ to French alpine grades. I don't think that your chart is exactly correct, since most of the NZ Grade 3 and 3+ routes I've done would surely be given the French alpine grade D.

For example, SW Ridge on Aspiring (NZ 3+), Linda Glacier on Cook (NZ 3), and North Shoulder on Tasman (NZ 3+) are all solid D in my opinion. No way would these routes be graded AD in Europe. I also did NW Couloir on Lendenfeld, which is NZ grade 3, but I found it harder than the Jager Couloir on Mont Blanc du Tacul which is widely accepted as D.

Your chart seems fairly accurate for rock routes. The W Ridge on Malte Brun is a NZ Grade 3 rock route, and I could see that it would only be graded AD in the French system. Since the rock is kind of shit in the NZ mountains and the climbing tends more to snow/ice routes, it seems that maybe the standard is a bit higher for these routes.

The comparison between TD and NZ Grade 5 seems pretty fair to me for any route in NZ.

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