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Trad vs. Mixed vs. "Sport/Trad"
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By dp-
May 7, 2014
It seems like this thread is about the pro, not the climb. (and didn't we just do this thread a couple of months ago?) While gyms are great for training, they have as much to do with climbing as a spin class does with cycling in traffic. Let's not freak out about the bolt spacing on classics because they're more sparsely bolted than what people have gotten used to.

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By Eric Sophiea
May 7, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
dp- wrote:
It seems like this thread is about the pro, not the climb. (and didn't we just do this thread a couple of months ago?) While gyms are great for training, they have as much to do with climbing as a spin class does with cycling in traffic. Let's not freak out about the bolt spacing on classics because they're more sparsely bolted than what people have gotten used to.


This thread was supposed to be about how MP can be more useful to people seeking a specific kind of climb while addressing the issue of climbs being labeled as Sport/Trad which is confusing and possibly dangerous.

If we just had this discussion in the AZ/NM forum, I missed it. Sorry. Was there any resolution about what we as users can do or how the format of MP can be utilized to help people looking for fully bolted climbs to quickly find what they are looking for?

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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 7, 2014
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord
dp- wrote:
(and didn't we just do this thread a couple of months ago?)

wasnt every thread done a couple months ago?!

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By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
May 7, 2014
Flatirons
I am surprised that there is confusion about this. There are plenty of routes that ONLY have bolts and are still described as trad routes by almost everyone I know (e.g. Slab climbs in tuolomne, jtree, stone mountain NC).

I think the JTree guidebook does a good job of describing the differences. First you have climbs marked as trad or sport. Sport implies a) no gear and b) bolted in such a way that it is G or PG protection-wise (also referred to as sport bolted). Trad implies a) some gear needed and/or b) sporty bolting.

Then it lists the recommended gear (like MP has "protection" listed for a route). For a bolted trad route like Stitcher Quits (120ft, 4 bolts), you will get a gear recommendation like "4 QDs, something for the anchor" or maybe if it takes the odd singleton piece "4 QDs, optional 4 inch cam". For climbs that take mostly gear (even if you clip the odd bolt/pin) you will get the obvious "gear to X inches, extra Y sized pieces". For pure sport routes, you will get # of draws as expected.

That always seemed like a pretty clear way of describing things to me.

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
May 7, 2014
Aiding. Photo by Locker.
Ryan, I think that is a pretty common understanding, too (at least among folks that have actually climbed bolted slab).

However, it's not super common in the Mountain Project Database, which is the impetus for the discussion.

Lots of trad climbs on MP that are very run out, yet bolted, are classified as sport climbs in the MP database.

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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
May 7, 2014
Dan on Hurricane
I actually agree that the term trad has been historically used in the case of runout climbs that happen to have some bolts. But if the point is to provide a clean way to categorize a climb, the historical definition is too ambiguous from a normalization perspective. The two major categories in this discussion are gear requirements (which I would argue is how the terms sport and trad are currently being used on the site) and safety (which is expressed through the movie ratings). To have a term that covers multiple relationships between the categories would be poor database design in many cases.

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By Scott Phil
From NC
May 7, 2014
Interesting thread so far.

Here in North Carolina there is a running joke that whenever anyone asks about sport routes you send them to Stone Mountain. Many of the climbs there have very few opportunities for gear--some have none. All have incredible runouts. Sometimes the first bolt is well over 20 feet off the deck (I still remember my first time on Rainy Day Women--that first bolt seemed about two miles away). The runouts on the upper pitches can easily exceed 40 feet--or more. The majority of routes easily earn an R rating.

So are they Sport climbs? All you need is a handful of quick draws. In the MP data base roughly a third are classified as Sport (including one X rated) while others are classified as Trad. Many climbs have an R rating. Others are PG and many have no rating. While locals know about the runouts, a visitor relying only on the MP route description would be in for a shock the first time they got on some routes.

At Table Rock the traditional beginner climbs (Cave Route, Skip to my Lou, etc.) on the east face are bolted, but all are classified as Trad climbs. With modern gear you can get some protection in between the bolts, back in the day we used just the bolts.




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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
May 8, 2014
Stabby
Sport climbs should adhere to a very specific set of parameters, then everything else called trad. Sport climbing is a specific activity, trad climbing is always about ascending routes, regardless of their origin.

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By Eric Sophiea
May 8, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
There is now a route at Rocks & Ropes climbing gym named "Sport/Trad" in honor of this thread. Thanks Luke Bertelson!

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By Jimbo
May 18, 2014
I guess I don't understand the problem.

B,G,C = bolts, gear and a fixed anchor. The C (chains) should be an A for anchor

B,G,A, R or X = bolts, gear, fixed anchor and it's run out

B, R or X = bolts, no gear, no fixed anchor and it's very run out

G, (R, X, PG13) = it's a run out out gear climb with no fixed anchor

G is well protected trad with no fixed anchor

Etc., Etc., I don't see how or why there would be any confusion.

Perhaps MP should tag routes with just an "S". Which would signify a "sport route", which is certainly defined these days as bolted, safe and has fixed anchors.

If the general consensus is it's pretty run out by today standards (like Quick Draw McGraw) add a PG13 to the S. If it's R rated it's not a sport route so you go back to the B, R or X.

Searching for a route type would be easy. I want to find safe trad lines with a fixed anchor. Type in G, A and bingo there you have it.

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By Eric Sophiea
May 18, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
Jimbo, it would be awesome if MP could implement something like this and give a search feature allowing multiple variables.

That's exactly the point of this discussion: it's not that complicated, but the current Sport/Trad designation doesn't make sense to a lot of people, especially since those climbs show up if you search for "sport."

Thanks for the clear summary and input!

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By Tim McCabe
May 24, 2014
Here's one that's definetly labeled wrong mountainproject.com/v/millenni...

As the commenter points out your going to want some gear on this one, well if you want to stay safe anyway.

Also see mountainproject.com/v/minor-ne...

As I said in my post at the other thread I don't have a problem figuring out what to expect from a route listed as Trad/Sport but obviously not every one else does.

Terms can change meaning over the years that I get but at some point there should be some kind of consensus at least as far as this data base is concerned.

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By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From The Bubble
May 25, 2014
Personal Photo
Lots of great points in this topic, and the "Trad, Sport" combo has always bugged me as well.

I've changed the way you categorize routes as shown below. Routes are now either Trad, Sport, or Other, and can no longer be Trad AND Sport.

Obviously the real world doesn't fit in perfect buckets, and the route descriptions will have to provide the details. These types are meant to provide a quick filter for those looking for either sport or trad.

There are 4,000 routes in the database (of 113,083) that are marked as both Trad and Sport. Given this new system, I suspect all of them require some gear, and I am tempted to automatically convert them all to Trad, but haven't done so yet.

New route type designations.
New route type designations.

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By michaelp
May 25, 2014
Nicely done!

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
May 25, 2014
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
Nick Wilder wrote:
I am tempted to automatically convert them all to Trad, but haven't done so yet.


Do it! It would make searching for routes a bit easier. There are a TON of routes in North Carolina that folks have labeled Trad and Sport because they have some bolts. If someone searches for sport routes, they are not looking for these trad routes, and they shouldn't be displayed.

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By Mtn. Dumass
May 25, 2014
From my experience(which is vast)trad is sport.

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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
May 25, 2014
Ooops...
Brian Abram wrote:
Do it! It would make searching for routes a bit easier. There are a TON of routes in North Carolina that folks have labeled Trad and Sport because they have some bolts. If someone searches for sport routes, they are not looking for these trad routes, and they shouldn't be displayed.


Agree.

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