My theory is that in this period the YDS system was used less objectively. Great climbers like Roper attached grades to climbs relative to their own climbing abilities. This often resulted in sandbagged ratings. Another possibility: its hard to rate a 1000' climb with 15' of 5.7 and 985' of 3rd and 4th class as a 5.7 climb. The tendency seems to be to average out the climbing, resulting in a climb rated under the hardest actual move. However, under rating could lead those who don’t have the skills (to do a particular climb) to believe they do. IMHO the current practice of rating climbs by the hardest move is much safer a practice and less subjective than the old school approach.
Great trip report! Were any pictures taken?
I agree for the most part. I would like to know the hardest move one can expect. We did what we thought would be a 3rd class climb but ran into a 30' blank wall. We ended up going back down and finding another route.
I carried an 35mm slr back in those days but not on the climbs. Sure wish we had small digitals back then.