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Hang Dogging and Downgrading
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Nov 6, 2013
Ryan Nevius wrote:
Nice spray, but there's absolutely no way a 5.11+ crack felt like 5.8. Maybe they were on the wrong route?

Actually, it felt right around the given grade (gently overhanging finger locks with good feet), but I had to show off. Which is exactly the point, that most downgrades are not actually a contribution to the consensus but a spray.
Marek Sapkovski
Joined Jun 8, 2013
66 points
Nov 14, 2013
Colonel Mustard wrote:
In all fairness, it's a really unimportant thing you ask ;). Sure, I've known the dog 'n fluffer. You just point, laugh, and move on with your life. NBD.


Um - and that helps improve the route grades on MP how?

Of course what I'm asking for is relatively unimportant. So is everything we talk about here. A better question would be whether it would make things better or worse, and whether it's worth the trouble to implement the changes.

GO
GabeO
From New Haven, CT
Joined May 13, 2006
336 points
Nov 14, 2013
M&M's
and continuing with the unimportant things...
Why not take the average, remove 2 outliers on both side, in most case that would results in a good consensus, my 2 cents.
Fred Bonnard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Sep 6, 2009
174 points
Nov 14, 2013
Tell 'em to get off your Island! doug rouse
From Denver, CO.
Joined Apr 15, 2008
733 points
Administrator
Nov 14, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
Fred Bonnard wrote:
and continuing with the unimportant things... Why not take the average, remove 2 outliers on both side, in most case that would results in a good consensus, my 2 cents.


that would remove my grade from 90% of the routes :)
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,072 points
Nov 14, 2013
M&M's
@ Slim: precisely my objective :) Fred Bonnard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Sep 6, 2009
174 points
Administrator
Nov 14, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
doh! slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,072 points
Nov 14, 2013
The Donger
I call it downward dog grading. Long Duk Dong
From The Far East
Joined Jul 11, 2008
15 points
Nov 17, 2013
Maybe if the downgrading bothers you this much it's just a sign you're too concerned with the grades and what everyone else thinks.

Then again, it's rock climbing, it's just a big fun meaningless game so I guess we can care as much or little about all the details as we want!
Bryan Hall
From Bend, Oregon
Joined Feb 16, 2008
137 points
Nov 17, 2013
The Wasteland. East Stronghold, AZ  photo by Lin M...
Maybe on a very new route your experience is helpful, even if you hung. On the otherhand, our history in the gentlemanly pursuit of climbing is one of inclusivenes: being truely helpful. Maybe that's out of sync with the current "me ethos"? In any event, grading is an OPTIONAL screen here. Don't fill it in if you didn't do it ground up.

If you have serious disagreements, make a Comment. If you failed within a few letter grades, consider it within human variation and make a note in your tick list. We all have good and bad days.

Personally, ratings in different areas are relative to that area and are helpful for gauging the next climb there. I use them to keep me out of trouble, albeit a conservative approach. We're out there to have fun, your particular experience is a comment at best; the consensus will work itself out eventually by the folks who managed to do it ground up.

Have fun, we are PLAYING, nobody but you is keeping score.
rob bauer
From Golden, CO
Joined Dec 2, 2004
1,736 points
Nov 17, 2013
Downgrading is a pass time of the wannabes. The real hard men( e.g. ondra, sharma, etc.) may downgrade something once in a while but it comes from experience not ego. Nuff said Nic the brit
Joined May 7, 2012
6 points
Nov 18, 2013
Colonel Mustard
GabeO wrote:
Um - and that helps improve the route grades on MP how? Of course what I'm asking for is relatively unimportant. So is everything we talk about here. A better question would be whether it would make things better or worse, and whether it's worth the trouble to implement the changes. GO


Yes, no.

In my experience, you would be fixing a problem that doesn't even exist. User motivations aside, the grades usually wind up fairly spot on. To guess the user competence to grade routes based on the self-reported style of ascent gets very murky. Should the hard man/lady who absolutely cruises 5.10 be allowed to rate it?

I find mountainproject grades to be as or more accurate than most guidebooks. The letter grades (the real area of contention) and controversy make better campfire conversation anyway. Who doesn't like going to the grades and seeing your favorite 5.10d rated 11b and shaking your fist at the dick bag who stamped 5.9 on it?

The inaccurate grades I see usually stem from time honored sand bags, a route with few ascents, or a bad fa grade that gets propagated for whatever reason. Given enough time in the wash, it all seems to even out.

If it still matters, you can climb and then down rate my friend's route called Tick On My Dick. And why do you hate democracy so much anyway ;).
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,382 points
Nov 18, 2013
Another note... My local crag is smith rock and without a doubt the grading there can feel a little goofy. Many people say the grades there are stiff while I personally think they're soft (except for the lower gorge...).

Most notable are the starts to many of the routes that are rated under 5.10. Smith has a lot of bouldery starts that are easily 5.10 but lead into 5.8 climbing. The result? The climb gets rated 5.8. I personally like that style of climbing and grading because a full day of one move wonder 5.10s would suck for me. Plus, I like that I need to get to know the areas character to better understand the grades. 5.10 knobs or basalt cracks will destroy me while 5.11 trad on tuff or steep sloper sport climbing makes me feel like a kid again.

It's all just way to subjective for me to care much but I do enjoy the confusion and beat down that comes to my ego every time I do start to think it matters.
Bryan Hall
From Bend, Oregon
Joined Feb 16, 2008
137 points
Nov 18, 2013
Last pitch of The Nose!
rging wrote:
Hang dogging an R rate route? I can only assume you retro bolted it while hang dogging. Two wrongs, sir, do not make a right.

You can hang dog on TR? Yes no?
But yes as soon as I saw the thread I was out there retro bolting the crap outta this bugger. Probably chiseled a couple holds as well. So three wrongs or is it four?
Oh yeah also grid bolted the whole sector on rappel and squeeze jobbed the fu€£ outta that old Woodward/Hensel sandbaggery! :)
Still haven't sent the original project clean, still gonna call it 10.a!
Joshua Reinig
Joined Sep 9, 2013
5,945 points
Nov 18, 2013
Fred Bonnard wrote:
and continuing with the unimportant things... Why not take the average, remove 2 outliers on both side, in most case that would results in a good consensus, my 2 cents.


I agree, and think this would be the best and cleanest solution. Furthermore, I think the people in charge should just do it and not tell anyone. Then the fools and the clueless who want to mess with the grades can keep doing their thing and believing that they're fucking with the rest of us, while they're really just playing with themselves.

And the rest of us can get better consensus grades.

GO
GabeO
From New Haven, CT
Joined May 13, 2006
336 points
Nov 18, 2013
...
You can either do it, or you can't. Worrying so much about the fucking numbers is in my opinion a big waste of time.

JUST my opinion!
Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Joined Oct 13, 2002
2,394 points
Administrator
Nov 18, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
so we basically need your consent to be part of the consensus? isn't the point of a consensus to arrive at some sort of a conclusion based on a pool of information?

if you look at 2 folks who probably get more shit about downgrading than anybody on this site (myself and tony bubb), you'll see that between the two of us we have over 50 years of climbing all over the place, all styles of climbing.

i think there are several things that really screw up the 'consensus' ratings.

1) is people postulating grades without any breadth of experience. a perfect example is the number of comments on routes that say something like "this route is 5.11 if you can't crack climb". umm no, it is still 5.9, you just don't know how to crack climb.

2) "consensus" being made up by a small group of climbers without the experience to grade routes. a great example being the rico era routes at shelf. he climbed with a handful of folks who's climbing experience consisted of 6 months in the gym. of course everything felt like 5.11 to them. when somebody would downgrade one of his routes, he would defend it by saying that the "consensus" was .....

3) areas where there are a small number of people putting up routes, and the people aren't consistently climbing at other areas to keep their grading calibrated.

4) people forgetting that grading is a spectrum. just because climb A is 12a and climb B is harder than climb A, climb B isn't necessarily 12b.
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,072 points
Nov 18, 2013
I only ever give a grade for a climb on MP when it differs from the current consensus. It's not worth my time to go agree with the consensus grades of everything else. And since I never upgrade a route's rating, the result is that I'm only ever downgrading. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same for most people downgrading routes.

Downgrading certainly doesn't make me feel any better, I'm just being honest with myself. Trust me, I'd much rather NOT have to downgrade. I'm still looking for a 12a onsight even though according to guidebooks (or MP) I've already had a few. They just haven't felt as difficult as other well-traveled climbs of the grade in the same areas (and ones that suit my climbing style, too).

I don't think hangdogging a route makes you any less capable of giving it a reasonable rating, but I do think you have to at least get the redpoint before you do, especially on endurance-limited routes. I'm sure we've all fallen off of "easy" terrain near the anchors due to pump...
Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
166 points
Nov 18, 2013
I think this whole thread is a bit silly, yet I am for some reason still drawn to give an opinion. Oh well, here goes.

Some people upthread have suggested that you aren't qualified to offer a grade opinion if you have not sent the route, or have hangdogged on the route, etc. This, I think, if not necessarily true, and often the reverse if true. Oftentimes, if I onsight a route, I am not too sure about the grade. If it felt hard, maybe I just botched a sequence or missed something. On limit-onsights, I seem to barely remember the route afterwards...it all disappears into a blur. Conversely, on a route that is 2 number grades below your limit, you probably can't tell the difference between letters. A 5.14+ climber can't reliably tell the difference between 12a and 12b, but a 5.12 climber usually can.

When working a route ("hangdogging", as the old crusties call it), you really get to know the ins and outs of a route. You learn the most efficient sequence, you think about the route a lot, you compare the difficulty to similar routes in the area...any you gain a pretty good ability to describe the routes graded difficulty, even if you haven't quite sent the thing yet.

I'll put it this way: Lets say two people try a route. One person climbs several number grades higher than the route's grade, so they warm up by onsighting the route. For the other climber, the route is just at their limit. They put in 6 tries over a weekend, and come quite close to sending, but never quite make it through the exit crux. Who is likely to have a better understanding of how to grade the route? I would say the second climber, even though they didn't sent it.

Of course, to flail on a route once, not even do all the moves, and then downgrade it to make yourself look big, is quite silly and should not be considered a legitimate opinion. This is kind of a dickbag move (unless it is in jest), but it doesn't seem to common a scenario.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
34 points
Nov 18, 2013
Nic the brit wrote:
Downgrading is a pass time of the wannabes. The real hard men( e.g. ondra, sharma, etc.) may downgrade something once in a while but it comes from experience not ego. Nuff said


I definitely would never consider a sport climber a "hardman". Research the stonemasters and please respect your elders.
Sendstown
Joined Aug 28, 2013
0 points
Administrator
Nov 18, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
Nic the brit wrote:
Downgrading is a pass time of the wannabes. The real hard men( e.g. ondra, sharma, etc.) may downgrade something once in a while but it comes from experience not ego. Nuff said


how do you know that they aren't downgrading based on ego, and how do you know that other folks aren't downgrading based on experience?
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,072 points
Nov 18, 2013
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
JCM wrote:
I think this whole thread is a bit silly, yet I am for some reason still drawn to give an opinion. Oh well, here goes. Some people upthread have suggested that you aren't qualified to offer a grade opinion if you have not sent the route, or have hangdogged on the route, etc. This, I think, if not necessarily true, and often the reverse if true. Oftentimes, if I onsight a route, I am not too sure about the grade. If it felt hard, maybe I just botched a sequence or missed something. On limit-onsights, I seem to barely remember the route afterwards...it all disappears into a blur. Conversely, on a route that is 2 number grades below your limit, you probably can't tell the difference between letters. A 5.14+ climber can't reliably tell the difference between 12a and 12b, but a 5.12 climber usually can. When working a route ("hangdogging", as the old crusties call it), you really get to know the ins and outs of a route. You learn the most efficient sequence, you think about the route a lot, you compare the difficulty to similar routes in the area...any you gain a pretty good ability to describe the routes graded difficulty, even if you haven't quite sent the thing yet. I'll put it this way: Lets say two people try a route. One person climbs several number grades higher than the route's grade, so they warm up by onsighting the route. For the other climber, the route is just at their limit. They put in 6 tries over a weekend, and come quite close to sending, but never quite make it through the exit crux. Who is likely to have a better understanding of how to grade the route? I would say the second climber, even though they didn't sent it. Of course, to flail on a route once, not even do all the moves, and then downgrade it to make yourself look big, is quite silly and should not be considered a legitimate opinion. This is kind of a dickbag move (unless it is in jest), but it doesn't seem to common a scenario.

+1
Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Dec 12, 2002
3,757 points
Nov 18, 2013
CoR
Locker wrote:
You can either do it, or you can't. Worrying so much about the fucking numbers is in my opinion a big waste of time. JUST my opinion!


If you would do a better job resoling we would all be climbing 5.14s and not having this conversation.
rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Joined Jul 18, 2011
181 points
Administrator
Nov 18, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
kind of related, but slightly drifting.... i remember when MP (actually climbingboulder.com) first started there was a big controversy about whether people should be allowed to submit routes if they had not sent them. some folks even went so far as to say people shouldn't submit routes that they didn't onsight. i have always thought that a person who has come close and failed a few times usually has the best grasp of the route and can give the best description.

i don't agree with dogging a route and downgrading it, but i also don't necessarily think people who haven't sent a route are completely incapable of grading it.
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,072 points
Nov 18, 2013
Last pitch of The Nose!
Davarious wrote:
I definitely would never consider a sport climber a "hardman". Research the stonemasters and please respect your elders.


CLASSIC!!
Joshua Reinig
Joined Sep 9, 2013
5,945 points


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