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By Ross
From Pinewood Springs
Jun 22, 2011
Biker Fun
Hi Mtn Prj

I'm suggesting a change to the Star Rating shown on all routes. Correct me if I'm wrong but currently the system takes the average of each user star rating input.

I suggest no star rating until say 5 users have submitted their rating.

In this way we will not see obscure routes listed in the 5 star group when only one person has submitted a rating. This situation can easily result in misleading information from Mountain Project, and this serves no one.

--Ross

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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Jun 22, 2011
But then are you going to get on a route if it has no star because it has not had 5 people rating on it?

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By Red
From Arizona
Jun 22, 2011
Cobra Kai
Just click the details link and see how many people have voted. Then take that into consideration.

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By Mark Roth
From Boulder
Jun 22, 2011
not climbing
You can see how many people have stared a route. Use your own judgement. Sometimes the FA over stars to attract traffic. If they are the only tick, just take it with a grain of salt... True classics will have lots and lots of votes.

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By Brian in SLC
Jun 22, 2011
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
I think if you take the star rating on any given route at face value, then, you can be misled.

I consider the source. There's folks who rate obscure routes, or, non obscure routes say in a place that doesn't have much vetted beta for it (almost anything outside the U.S. for instance). I'd rather have an idear of an area and/or route from most users, rather than toss out the star rating because one or two folks get psyched about some choss pile in the remote backcountry.

Subjective anyhow. But, I especially appreciate someone who's been on a trip to a distant place, taken the time to enter route and area into this database, and, if they're saavy, and took the time to suss out the classic routes in an area, then, I'd hope to see that reflected in the star rating. Even if no one else has been there and rated the route.

As well, the consensus thing works over time. If you do manage to hike in to some off the radar place because someone rated a route as 4 stars, and, its a POS, then give it a bomb. All equals out.

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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Jun 22, 2011
Me and Spearhead
Red wrote:
Just click the details link and see how many people have voted. Then take that into consideration.


My point exactly.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jun 22, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Once I'm on the route, I don't care what the star rating was. And that it encouraged me to climb something chossy doesn't bother me either. I like the current voting system.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jun 22, 2011
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
I do think many people over star like crazy, particularly when they are all excited about an FA or a good ascent, but I don't think we should need 5 ratings to show. Many of the obscure routes are mediocre, but there are definitely others that may be new and unknown that are worthy of people being called attention to. I think a little reminder that pops up when you star a route to think for a minute if it really is a 4 star route would be more useful, or maybe a guide for posters of what "OK", "Good", "Great" and "Classic" mean. If I am looking at a star rating and there is only one rater, I check and see how they rate other stuff that I know.

Most routes should probably be 1 and 2 stars to be accurate. That route you are giving 4 stars: is it really even close to as good as some famous classic?

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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Jun 22, 2011
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
M Sprague wrote:
I do think many people over star like crazy, particularly when they are all excited about an FA or a good ascent, but I don't think we should need 5 ratings to show. Many of the obscure routes are mediocre, but there are definitely others that may be new and unknown that are worthy of people being called attention to. I think a little reminder that pops up when you star a route to think for a minute if it really is a 4 star route would be more useful, or maybe a guide for posters of what "OK", "Good", "Great" and "Classic" mean. If I am looking at a star rating and there is only one rater, I check and see how they rate other stuff that I know. Most routes should probably be 1 and 2 stars to be accurate. That route you are giving 4 stars: is it really even close to as good as some famous classic?



Good post. I found it hard to rate things 4 stars (or in some applications 5) because my expectations used to be so high, and mostly what I climbed I felt were average climbs to begin with. Joshua Tree has thousands of routes, with the great majority of which I thought to be just "ok."

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 23, 2011
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
Have to agree with Red.

The difference between great and classic is not always another star. We have some classics here in AZ that I used to think deserved 4 stars but if I did them today I would only give them one or two stars.

Mean Mistreater is a classic 5.10 but compared to newer routes that are more sustained at the grade with better movement it just doesn't compare.

More input will winnow out the wheat from the chaff.

Oh, forgot to mention that "your route gets four stars if you climb with EFR". Local climbers quote after the last guide came out and there is truth to it. You have to sing that to the tune of the old Texaco commercial. "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco starrrrr".

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By MojoMonkey
Jun 23, 2011
Adam Stackhouse wrote:
Good post. I found it hard to rate things 4 stars (or in some applications 5) because my expectations used to be so high, and mostly what I climbed I felt were average climbs to begin with. Joshua Tree has thousands of routes, with the great majority of which I thought to be just "ok."


I think a global scale is impossible - I just try to rate consistently by area. If I applied the same standards for a classic climb at the Gunks to a local single pitch sport crag in a former quarry, the quarry climbs would get panned. That isn't helpful to someone climbing at the quarry though. And someone who hates trad might have flipped those ratings anyway.

So, as said, take them with a grain of salt and look at who rated them and how they rate other climbs you may be familiar with. Check out the description and photos if available, and try what sounds good.

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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Jun 23, 2011
Courtright Reservoir, September 2013
MojoMonkey wrote:
I think a global scale is impossible - I just try to rate consistently by area. If I applied the same standards for a classic climb at the Gunks to a local single pitch sport crag in a former quarry, the quarry climbs would get panned. That isn't helpful to someone climbing at the quarry though. And someone who hates trad might have flipped those ratings anyway. So, as said, take them with a grain of salt and look at who rated them and how they rate other climbs you may be familiar with. Check out the description and photos if available, and try what sounds good.



Agreed

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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Jun 23, 2011
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
Like Mark said, its mostly up to you to look up who has rated it and what they seem to think of it.

Some routes that are definitely classic are only rated on MP 1-3 times because they are hard 13's or above, this doesn't make them non-classic, it just makes them less climbed.

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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Jun 23, 2011
Imaginate
The point is not that we don't know how to look up who rated individual climbs, everyone knows how to do this.

When I'm trying to pick a crag that I want to go to I'll look at the routes at the crag on the side bar and see if there are a good number of 3 and 4 star routes at the levels I want to climb. I'm trying to get an idea of the number of quality routes at a crag in order to pick the crag. I don't have time to go into such detail to click every climb to make sure it wasn't just rated by the optimistic FA.

I think Ross's suggestion has merit.

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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Jun 23, 2011
Disagree. Under this new plan, I'd look at an area and see no quality assessment at all? If I'm going to the trouble to look at mp, I would rather have some information rather than none. There are thousands of routes on here with only one or two mp opinions on them. If it's a small/unpopular/new area I don't think it is that big a deal to click on one or two route descriptions, where you might notice that only one person has starred the stuff.

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By Pinklebear
Jun 23, 2011
Pinklebear
This seems like a bad idea. Many of the climbs submitted here are added by their first ascentionists. So for a new route, one you want to turn people on to thru MP.com, you'd not even be allowed to give a quality rating to get the discussion started?

It makes no sense.

Sure, I'm as guilty as anyone else who puts up climbs of "padding" with an extra star here or there. If you take the time and effort to put up a route, chances are it appealed to you as at least a "good" (say, two-star) climb in the first place, or else you wouldn't have bothered.

Still, consensus over time always seems to reach a solid average, and to be honest, anyone with half a brain can stand on the ground below a route and figure out if it's zero stars or four. It ain't rocket science.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Jun 23, 2011
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Red wrote:
Just click the details link and see how many people have voted. Then take that into consideration.


+1. There is also the guidebook. See how many stars they give. At a place like the Red, it seems like the author only gives out many stars to the super hard routes. It is all relative to the person giving the rating. Some people are just having more fun on the same route than another person. I like RC's 5 star rating system, it gives a little more clarity, but any more than that and most routes would probably not get full stars. I have added several routes here over the last month to a year and many of them have seen less than 3 ascents.

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 23, 2011
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
A lot of folks I know who use MP don't take the time to give stars to routes and few will change a rating. I ask them to post what they think as it gives us the consensus. But some have better things to do or don't really care that much. As a beginner I would have over starred everything as every time I got off the ground with a rope I was psyched. I did a ton of dinky little top-ropes and loved every minute of it. Now I know the difference between a one star and 4 star route.

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By Kangaru Rat
From Under a Rock
Jun 23, 2011
Everyone seems to have it wrong! I thought that obscure routes automatically get high star ratings, and then are downgraded in quality as they become more traveled.

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By Steve Pulver
From Williston, ND
Jul 20, 2011
This problem seems very similar to the NetFlix prize ( It would be nice if Mtn. Proj. could offer a million dollars to come up with an algorithm! but more realistically maybe just modify their algorithm, even though it looks like it takes some serious computer power. (Maybe not including 'blends' or the 'time dependent baseline predictors' would make it simpler?)

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