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Discussion: How to tick a 7+/8-

  • Started: 11 weeks ago on Mon 9th Nov 2020

Public discussion This is a public discussion in World.

started this discussion 11 weeks ago.

How to tick a 7+/8-

Hi there, this is maybe a known bug, but I am not able to tick routes in UIAA +/- grades. Most times I don't want to choose between 7+ and 8-, because that grade is definitely an exisiting thing Like FR 6c (which can be logged).

replied 11 weeks ago.

Yeah, this is a known bug, see here. Pretty annoying imho.

replied 11 weeks ago.

If you log a route you can add your personal grade and put the french 6c rating for example. Does this help?

Konrad replied 11 weeks ago.

That's the workaround I use as well, but it only works for some grades and not for others (say 7/7+ which would pretty cleanly convert to 6b/+).

It would be nice to implement ticking slash grades. I know they're a bit controversial, but also just a fact of life in many regions/guidebooks etc.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I see :-( and this is such an old bug. In the case 7+/8- it "works" for me at the moment to log it as 6c, but I don't wanna look up conversion tables every time and as Konrad mentioned, wouldn't work for every combination. And it's just not "clean".

replied 11 weeks ago.

I actually use this "bug" as an opportunity to reflect more closely on my ascent: did it feel more like 7+ or more like 8-? Could I have improved something during my ascent which would make it feel like 7+? Is it 8- for me because I cannot reach a good hold directly but I have to use a smaller hold in between? I think that most in-between grades stem from a subjective difference in difficulty.

But of course, from a technical point of view, it doesn't make sense to have the possibility of grading a route like this without being able to tick it with the same grade.

replied 11 weeks ago.

You're right, I do the same reflecting But like you say, enabling the grade for creating routes but not logging routes makes no sense. So what can we do to get this fixed?

Konrad replied 11 weeks ago.

I personally dislike guides and first ascensionists using slash grades, as imo they imply a false sense of precision (try climbing routes 'blind' and guessing the assigned grades).

However, I don't think this site is the place to rectify that. I want to be honest in my logging and use assigned (and not subjective) grades to track my climbing

replied 11 weeks ago.

But grade assignments can change and be changed. Grades are always subjective. So why not change from 7+/8- to 8- if the majority of climbers logs it as such? Isn't thecrag exactly the place for something like this?

I see what you mean by "to be honest". Trusting that the first ascensionist knows better what the grade is than someone who just came along and climbed it. But in the end, the first ascensionist can also just turn his subjective impression into a grade, which might be off (and often is).

Tom B: Keep pushing the github issue by Anderl by commenting and giving your , for example. It's always good to help the thecrag staff in identifying important tickets.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I also dislike the usage of slash grades. But let's face it, they're a fact and very common, at least in UIAA and some other grading systems. They should be tickable; ignoring slash grades here won't change anything. Finding a better consensus here and there is certainly important but another topic.

Konrad replied 11 weeks ago.

Ofc, I agree that nothing is set in stone - but most assigned grades at least reflect a consensus and are deferential to local tradition (yay! sandbagging!🥳), which can be very different form my personal impression. If I can't crack climb in sandstone properly, it doesn't mean I should log a 7- as an 8+ bc that's how the route felt to me... I know, I know, this is getting really off topic

+1 for being able to accurately log the assigned grades used by the rest of the world, nonsensical as they may sometimes be.

niklask replied 11 weeks ago.

+1..

replied 11 weeks ago.

I'm a little afraid where this would lead. Everyone ticking climbs as 7a/+?

Ticks in full grades of the respective scales and consensus grades with optional slash seems perfect to me.

To me it seems much more desirable to finally have a proper system on theCrag to encourage climbers to give a grade suggestion. In most cases climbers just "agree". Isn't it much more interesting to know what the 30 climbers who ticked a route thought how hard it was, instead of focusing on "6b" "6b+" "or something in between"?!

I think it's more "in your head" when you can't decide between 6b+ and 6c. But having a slash grade if the grade oppinions are 50/50 seems fine.

It's a difficult topic after all. Probably every change to the system would cause new problems.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I also would like more flexibility in grading -- not just / grades, but bracket grades.

e.g. "5.9 (5.7PG, 5.5X)" -- hardest moves are 5.9 but are well protected, there is run-out 5.7 climbing, and unprotectable moves with bad fall consequences that are up to 5.5 in difficulty.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I don't know other grade systems as FR and UIAA, but slash grades just exists in UIAA guides (and gyms)! I don't know (and think) that they make sense in FR (never seen a FR slash grade in official guides?), but in UIAA we need them.

Tarje Bargheer replied 11 weeks ago.

The beauty of computers is that they don't mind something like "the grade given by 1/3(7+) and 2/3(8-)". Instead of trying to implement slash-grades as the half-fix it is - I would say it is more sensible to work towards allowing ascenders a click on an interval between grades. It would encourage personal opinion of the route difficulty more - and the (closest) consensus grade can still be displayed as the numbers we like and understand.

replied 11 weeks ago.

From an implementation point of view, I would "simply" extend the selectable values in the "Grade" drop-down list of the log ascent page, and do so in such a way that all values that are also allowed in the route editor can be selected.

I'm sure there's already a logic behind the allowed values in the route editor...

replied 11 weeks ago.

That would be an enormous list … it already is. But the grade parser also allows grade ranges, like "7a to 7c". Also, there have been complaints about the dropdown already, it's especially annoying on mobile.

replied 11 weeks ago.

Then change the drop-down to the same type of input field like in the route editor, prefilled with the assigned grade.

Or maybe better, like in the length field, something like a checkbox with "use assigned grade". For those cases the climber wants to change the grade, he can uncheck and type in...

-> I like this one - +1 from me

replied 11 weeks ago.

Would prefer not to further dilute the rating scale. Where does a 7+/8- or 6c/6c+ show up in your pyramid? Or does every pyramid have to be extend to represent all possible grade combinations?

I am of course aware, that the stepsize in the UIAA scale is quite large, but this is why "other platforms" have a "soft" or "hard" button to click when loggin a route ;-)

replied 11 weeks ago.

A 6c shows up as 8- for example (it's the perfect grade representing a UIAA slash grade). I don't think the grade pyramid is a big deal 🤷‍♂️. And again, I've never seen a French slash grade in real life, so this not the point...

We also could just give up and tell all route setters in UIAA gyms and crags that they should stop creating slash grade routes. 😅

replied 11 weeks ago.

Or add more pluses... 7 7+ 7++ 8-- 8- 8

replied 11 weeks ago.

Slash grades for routes are fine. If I bolt a route and say it's 6a/b and wait for more ascents – why not. But for individual ascents, it should be enough to choose between, for example, UIAA 7, 7+, 8-, 8.

I don't see why 7+/8- should be any different to other slash grades.

replied 11 weeks ago.

I still don't see why theCrag allows assigning those grades but not logging them.

Just take a look at one of the biggest gyms in the world: https://www.thecrag.com/en/climbing/germany/oberbayern/area/400654371

Dozens and dozens slash grade routes and you are forced to decide every time something different than the route setter / community assigned? I'm not convinced 😅

replied 11 weeks ago.

One of the gyms I go to does the same. Setters grade all routes in french grades and because it's in Germany, they also give the uiaa grade. Slash grades are quite uncommon outside – or probably used in special cases like: route is height dependant, no consensus yet, etc. Gaps of exact conversions like "6c = 7+/8-" are inevitable but they're not such a big deal. According to the crag's help article, uiaa 9 equals 7b+/7c. Anyone I know considers it 7c. But it doesn't really matter much.

Maybe this thought helps to convince you: If a setter grades a route 6c, for you, who thinks of grades in uiaa, it's a high 7+ or low 8-, in the best case. Maybe you even disagree. But there is no gap to fill between 7+ and 8- for your individual ascent.

Just because 7+/8- is a common conversion from french grades, doesn't mean the uiaa scale is lacking the grade.

replied 10 weeks ago.

I don't care much about gyms. But also on rock slash grades are quite common. Not in FR, but in UIAA and probably other systems, too. Guide books use them, route setters use them, and they mean a grade in the middle of two, not a range. Not that I like it, but it's just the reality for many crags. Might be region dependent, though.

For theCrag, basically I see three options:

  • "Change the world to something better approach": Change all slash grades to a full grade according to some consensus and allow to tick only full grades.
  • "Accept current situation". Allow slash grades both as a route grade and for ticking.
  • Redefine slash grades as a grade range (which isn't the usual definition) and display them as "7+ to 8-". I think we had that until a while ago.

Everything else seems inconsistent. The above surely doesn't hold for all grading systems and might appear bizarre for Aussies with their fine-grained system . Some insights from non-UIAA climbers might be helpful. Which systems commonly use slash-grades apart from UIAA?

replied 10 weeks ago.

Option 4: Convert everything everywhere to the Australian scale:routgrades from 1 to 40. Can't get easier than that ☺️

replied 8 weeks ago.

Thanks everyone for your opinions and input. Slash grades are a controversial fact of climbing. If you like them or not, if your grading system supports them or not - they are a reality in many parts of the world and theCrag reflects that within many grading systems it supports.

We are aware of an unfortunate limitation when recording ascents with slash grades. This is based on a design choice made many years ago and on the list of things to fix. Sadly, it is very complicated and has lots of implications which makes it a major effort timewise and thus gets pushed out over other priorities.

We might have some smaller fixes in this direction before we tackle the bigger piece but can't offer a solution other than the things suggested above for the time being.

Please bear with us and be assured that this will be fixed one day .

Happy climbing!

replied 8 weeks ago.

And then you can scroll through years over years of your climbing logbook and adjust ascents in grades you can no longer even distinguish because you became so much stronger. 😂

replied 8 weeks ago.

Another factor is grading-bias. It's already apparent in french grades when looking at the grades 5c+ and 6c+. On average 6c+ should be as common as 6c and 7a. But it isn't. IMO, the same is true for UIAA slash grades. If you would introduce slash grades, grading would not be more accurate.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Thank you Ulfi for your explanation 👍👌

replied 8 weeks ago.

Tobias Auth, might this be due to the translation between grade scales?

Look at my profile, for example, i have almost no 6cs (none in trad). Not because there are no 6cs in Switzerland, but because there is no grade in Australia which translates to 6c (all ascents from Australia have been logged either as 6b+ or 6c+).

If an 8- always counts as 6c and never 6c+, than there would be naturally more 6c's than 6c+ in the system. And it seems that 7+, as well as 8- are getting accounted to 6c.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Andreas Aachen Looking at crags with native french grades, 6c+ is often underrepresented

All crags I look at, for example: Kalymnos, Siurana, Leonidio, Berdorf and especially Margalef and Ceüse, all have a 6c+ dip.

I realize that argument is a little weird. I just think it kind of proves that there is more precision available than is needed.

In my oppinion, a call for finer steps in the UIAA scale is for personal reasons like "for me personally it's harder/ easier than this. Not to make grades better for everyone. And it sure would not make it better for the community as a whole - for the use grades are actually for: Give climbers an idea how hard a route might be.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Tobias Auth and Andreas Aachen these are certianly not conversion related issues but probably something we call "grade preferences", somthing you can observe in most different grading systems where certain grades are preferred and others are less used. A good way to look at that is the grade scales for each crag or country.

We also see shifts over time in certain grade systems in relation to eg UIAA that can't really be explained other than through convenience in conversion (and this meaning matching numbers in a table and not using a fine graded background system like theCrag does).

A few years down the road we might hopefully be able to eliminate these discussions using more sophisticated algorithms.

For those who missed it, we have started with the introduction of grAId on theCrag, an AI that grades routes based on ascent data. I copied 2 links down below for those interested in further reading. It is currently available for Australia only (check the route page to see it). So the best you can do is to tick your climbs, incl. attempts - the more data we have the better the actual grAId will be

Article in Vertical Life: https://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2020/08/making-the-grade/

The scientific article on that topic: https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.05388

replied 8 weeks ago.

Wow, first example I looked at is graded 27, some say it was once 26. grAId gives it 29. That's a wide range.

Looking forward to grAId grades of routes I climbed myself.

Charlie Brown replied 8 weeks ago.

To help with the accuracy maybe a feature that let people log in one entry how many attempts they took? (and of what type e.g. 3 hang dog, 7 red point)

I mostly only record my successful ascent. If I'm about to embark on a new project I may only record the first attempt and the final red point.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Charlie Brown are you suggesting an improved way of logging X attempts without logging them individually.

The way the system works we need each attempt to be separately logged to get value out of all system features. This is not easily changed as there would be dozens of features where the workflow and maths would change.

replied 8 weeks ago.

While the logging slash grades is difficult to fix properly I am happy to enter into a discussion to work out how we can make it less bad without doing a full rework.

For example the level of difficulty of an ascent (ie CPR) comes from the easiest of route grade or ascent grade. This logic is hear so you can log a lesser effort than the full route.

The current system chooses the low end of the grade range. If we change it to choose the higher grade then the CPR assigned to the ascent will be accurate.

If the CPR is accurate then the other thing left is how it is displayed. Maybe we could implement a flag which tells the system to display the route grade or ascent grade. If you change the ascent grade then the ascent will display the ascent grade, otherwise it will display the route grade.

Both of these suggestions do not resolve the underlying issue, but the do resolve a lot of the symptoms.

Thoughts???

replied 8 weeks ago.

Ulfi: So you reckon the reason we see more 6c/7a than 6c+ is an unconscious bias of route developers? Very interesting!

Regarding the route translation (sorry I know its a tad of topic here): How come a 7+ is sometimes showing up as a 6b+ and sometimes 6c. How does the system decide which grade to translate it to?

Charlie Brown replied 8 weeks ago.

Do you mean it picks the lower end of the grade range after being adjusted for the ascent chosen? Think I'm getting confused between ascent and grade. Maybe if you explain using examples?

I assume the issue for the cpr is that if a multiple amount of ascents are added then this will screw with the time line affects of the data? But wouldn't this be fine if it is limited to the date? Now if I do a route with my partner I'll often climb it two or three times setting up top ropes and cleaning, but I'll again only log it once rather than log it individually two/three times.

If in a day I hang dog a route once to get the beta, then have two red point attempts (which I actually don't know how to log), then send on the third I'll also only log the final red point. I believe many others do too. As it seems you guys are really looking to make something of the data entered in to the crag, I think being able to log multiple absents would provide more accurate info.

Charlie Brown replied 8 weeks ago.

Ha ha, you know what. I just was looking at the log ascent page again and noticed the add tick button. Never seen it before!

replied 8 weeks ago.

Simon Dale Please don't implement some background logic that yields inconsistent results in the display of grades. I think it's confusing enough as it is. Already, in the logbook, if you log a different grade than the route grade, two grades are shown and you have no way of telling at a glance which one is which.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Charlie Brown you can log your red point attempts individually as failed attempts. There is a separate tick type.

The system allows you to log multiple attempts they are just separate ascents.

There is a Add Shot button if you want to do it in a single UI

replied 8 weeks ago.

Christoph Rauch the reason why the display of grades for ascents is so confusing is that there are two potentially conflicting requirements.

  1. You do not want to control the grade of their ascent but rather just use the grade of the route.

  2. You can sometimes to the route in a differently to what was expected by the grade of the route (eg Pitch 1).

My suggestion is getting the climber to tell us this.

Anyway I am only interested in getting some quicker solutions to help with this slash grade issue if there is general consensus, otherwise we just have to wait until we can find the time.

Mark Gamble replied 8 weeks ago.

"Simon Dale Please don't implement some background logic that yields inconsistent results in the display of grades."

VERY odd sort of statement Christoph Rauch. Thecrag.com has been doing this from day 1.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Then add some words like “another” and “even more”.

Simon Dale This was not meant as criticism, I know it’a a hard problem. My idea would be to at least show the context when hovering over a displayed grade (like “route grade” or “ascent grade”). I know you’re avoiding hover texts because of mobile, but I don’t have a better idea af the moment.

replied 8 weeks ago.

Simon Dale what about the Checkbox in log ascent page: "Use Route grade" (like "use route length". This box is checked by default. If disabled by user, he has to choose the grade like now.

So what about displaying a slash route in the grade pyramid... I don't think it's that important (so you don't have to introduce dozens of new grades there). Leave it as it is. I'm sure you already have your background calculations necessary. For example, when I log a 6c and display my grade pyramid in UIAA, this route already is somewhere.

And for those rare examples like "6a to 6c+" or whatever routes, I'm sure you also have those calculations already, because you choose a color for that routes, for example? I would just use the mean value

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