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By Nick Russell
Administrator
From Bristol, UK
Sep 6, 2011
Starting out on the crux traverse <br /> <br />Photo by Alastair Begley - <a href='http://www.masterplan-photography.co.uk' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.masterplan-photography.co.uk</a>

Perhaps this discussion has come up before (and if it has, please would somebody redirect me to the appropriate thread?)

Since there are several different grading systems in widespread use around the world, would it make sense to have some "formal" way of putting these on new routes, in particular those outside the US? I can understand the desire to standardise across the site to YDS (I'm talking about rock routes here, not knowing much about ice/mixed/etc.), and I think that feature should be retained so here's my suggestion for how best to implement it:

  • Retain a compulsory field for grade in YDS - this keeps the site standardised.
  • Add an addition (not compulsory) field for a "local grade" or something. This would give options for say a British trad grade, or a French sport grade if they are more applicable to the region.

I know that these can be added to the description (and that's what I'll continue to do for now), but that doesn't allow for a consensus after the route is initially added.

Thoughts?


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By Joseph Stover
From Batesville, AR
Sep 6, 2011

I posted a few routes in NZ a couple years back. It wasn't difficult to translate Ewbank to YDS roughly accurately. I just used a comparison I found online and sort of roughly averaged with what I thought it would be in YDS. And included the Ewbank grade in parentheses as the first note in the description.

I think it's inevitable that MountainProject will eventually allow other grading systems to be used, at least for international routes.

I agree that it would be a good compromise to require a YDS grade, but allow other grades to supplement that. Since the ultimate target audience is American climbers, at least for now still. That way international climbers could get consensus grades on US climbs, and US climbers could know what their favorite projects are according to climbers from elsewhere in the world.

Intuitively, this probably shouldn't be too difficult to code into the site, but I don't really know. Once the demand builds, I am sure MP admin will work out something. Would it be better to do now while the international database is small or later when it is huge?


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By Dan Flynn
Administrator
From MA
Jan 9, 2012
5b upper pitch in the clouds

Hey Nick and Joseph --

I've also been thinking about this -- I'd really like to eventually be able to search for routes by French grades, for example, since I now think mostly in that grading scale. The YDS is here to stay on this site, but I really like the idea of adding an optional 'local grade' in the actual database, instead of just in the description. Then routes with both grades could be sorted and searched for by those systems.

For now I will also continue to add French grades in the descriptions, but if MP is going to take over the world, something will have to be done about international grades!

Dan


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 9, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Great idea!


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By Nick Russell
Administrator
From Bristol, UK
Jan 27, 2012
Starting out on the crux traverse <br /> <br />Photo by Alastair Begley - <a href='http://www.masterplan-photography.co.uk' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.masterplan-photography.co.uk</a>

Good to hear that some others agree about this!

@Joseph: I don't think the size of the database will make any difference to how easy it is to code but it will affect the completeness, since the people who have already added routes are unlikely to come back and change them.


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By Dan Flynn
Administrator
From MA
Jun 27, 2012
5b upper pitch in the clouds

Still hoping we can get some traction here. Being able to see the local grade will make the site more useful as it grows outside the US.


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By Dan Flynn
Administrator
From MA
Aug 16, 2012
5b upper pitch in the clouds

I've decided for areas I add, I will do the effective but unelegant solution (suggested by another mp'er): add the local grade directly in the route name.

It's not pretty, but it works!


Example here


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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Aug 16, 2012

A problem is that grade conversion is inconsistent among places and conversion tables. I climbed in Switzerland and found that the grading was all over the place depending on area (just like here) and whether it was UIAA or French grades. And the various grade conversion tables found on the web don't agree on the conversion. Some significantly differ.

Examples:

www.absolutemotions.com/rock_climbing/climbing_grades.htm

www.rockfax.com/publications/grades/


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By Dan Flynn
Administrator
From MA
Aug 16, 2012
5b upper pitch in the clouds

hey Brian--

I completely agree. All the more reason to have routes listed in their original grade, which will be the relevant one for the region.

Definitely, the scales do not directly translate; sometimes compressed (5c being surprisingly hard, 6a+ being almost the same but tiny bit harder) and others more stretched out (6a+ notably easier than 6b). And I don't feel like 6c is identical to .11a, for sure.

Conversion to YDS will be necessary for the MP database, but right now I have two problems with relying only on YDS for this site:

1. Visiting US climbers will have to convert what they see on these pages and what they see in books or talk about with locals, just a minor annoyance

2. Local climbers will never contribute to or use MP. This is a shame, because I think the MP platform is the best of all the climbing databases out there. I know we would have more users in Switzerland with some support for local grades.


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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Aug 16, 2012

I agree the MP has the best route database and I'd like to see more international route infomation. I think that the option you suggested of putting the local grade in the route title works well. That way climbers who do the route can still input what they think the YDS grade is and you get a consensus grade conversion.

Dan Flynn wrote:
hey Brian-- I completely agree. All the more reason to have routes listed in their original grade, which will be the relevant one for the region. Definitely, the scales do not directly translate; sometimes compressed (5c being surprisingly hard, 6a+ being almost the same but tiny bit harder) and others more stretched out (6a+ notably easier than 6b). And I don't feel like 6c is identical to .11a, for sure. Conversion to YDS will be necessary for the MP database, but right now I have two problems with relying only on YDS for this site: 1. Visiting US climbers will have to convert what they see on these pages and what they see in books or talk about with locals, just a minor annoyance 2. Local climbers will never contribute to or use MP. This is a shame, because I think the MP platform is the best of all the climbing databases out there. I know we would have more users in Switzerland with some support for local grades.


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Aug 16, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Dan Flynn wrote:
Definitely, the scales do not directly translate; sometimes compressed (5c being surprisingly hard, 6a+ being almost the same but tiny bit harder) and others more stretched out (6a+ notably easier than 6b). And I don't feel like 6c is identical to .11a, for sure. Conversion to YDS will be necessary for the MP database, but right now I have two problems with relying only on YDS for this site: 1. Visiting US climbers will have to convert what they see on these pages and what they see in books or talk about with locals, just a minor annoyance 2. Local climbers will never contribute to or use MP. This is a shame, because I think the MP platform is the best of all the climbing databases out there. I know we would have more users in Switzerland with some support for local grades.


First off, 6c is generally considered 5.11b which might be why it does not seem like .11a.

Grades, weather here in the US or abroad vary a bunch through out the country and even at individual areas.

I would also like to see a way to add international grades if applicable.


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By Nick Russell
Administrator
From Bristol, UK
Jun 5, 2013
Starting out on the crux traverse <br /> <br />Photo by Alastair Begley - <a href='http://www.masterplan-photography.co.uk' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.masterplan-photography.co.uk</a>

So far I see 3 administrators broadly supporting this proposal, and it's been raised again on a different thread here (motivated again by the obscure British grading system).

How do we take this forward and actually try to get it implemented? Who has overall responsibility for the decision? Who has control over the code for the site? I know that it's a big task, but so was (e.g.) writing an app and that got done.


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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Jun 5, 2013
Artist Tears P3

I'll bring this thread to the attention of the site landlords and try to get some discussion going.


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By Nick Russell
Administrator
From Bristol, UK
Jun 5, 2013
Starting out on the crux traverse <br /> <br />Photo by Alastair Begley - <a href='http://www.masterplan-photography.co.uk' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.masterplan-photography.co.uk</a>

John McNamee wrote:
I'll bring this thread to the attention of the site landlords and try to get some discussion going.


Great, thanks John!


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