UKH

UKC should display the consensus grade

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It is my opinion that UKC should display the the consensus grade for all climbs. 

As it stands, climbs are displayed with whatever grade was attributed at FA, or at least when the climb was logged in UKC.  This seems wholly undemocratic. In many cases these people are the least qualified to have an objective view on grading.

Take this climb for instance, https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/southwell_landslips-21985/ope_in_hell-365857. It is a complete sandbag at 7B and judging by the voting system, it should be up around high 7B+ low 7C. There must 1000s of other examples, going both ways.

The UKC database already has a voting system for each climb so why not use this data to find the average vote and display that information, instead of the FA grade?

Another option could be to display the consensus grade as well as the FA grade.


Consensus Grading on UKC?

Consensus grading
47 votes | 0%
The grade of whoever first put the climb on UKC
125 votes | 0%
Login to vote
87
 ianstevens 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

They definitely don't got both ways. One rule of climbing is that if it's soft, you don't notice, if it feels hard, you're not as good as you think you are. Aka people are crap, have egos and love grade inflation. (see: Three Pebble Slab (HVS 5a))

5
In reply to fatchild:

> Take this climb for instance, https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/southwell_landslips-21985/ope_in_hell-365857. It is a complete sandbag at 7B and judging by the voting system, it should be up around high 7B+ low 7C.

 

I’d agree this is a massive sandbag 😂 I’d be keen to try it in winter conditions!

I think a more prominent average grade on the logbook could be useful, but it’s something I often check anyway. But I think the grade listed should reflect the guidebook unless the guide changes it in a new edition…

In reply to fatchild:

User voting is sometimes an interesting input into grading, but I don't think it's unbiased or necessarily well-informed enough to be the primary metric. And I don't think the two options you've presented for voting are the only two options at all. My preference is generally for the grade to be updated to match the most recent, most definitive guide, which I think does generally tend to happen, at least on the more actively moderated crags. It's certainly not fixed at whatever the first person to upload it set it to. But those guide authors might have at least considered the user voting on here, though I don't know how common that is or how seriously it's taken.

That does get a bit awkward when it's a route that's included in a Rockfax guide, because then the grade is pegged at the official Rockfax grade on here, even if there's been a more recent definitive guide that the crag moderator would like to update it from. Used to be particularly annoying when it was a very old Rockfax guide, but I think they're gradually getting into a pattern of updating their digital material more regularly than just when a new paper guide is due out, so hopefully that will help.

In reply to fatchild:

As you pointed out, the voting indicates what you 'might' expect. And none of it truly matters...... its just a game we play

3
 Ben Harris 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

It would be useful to have the consensus grade displayed on the crag page alongside the "official" grade so that you can see if there is a discrepancy without having to visit the page for each route individually.

 deacondeacon 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

Your method is a surefire way to introduce grade creep.

As long as routes are no more than a grade out we're all good 🙂

In reply to fatchild:

Just changed the grade of Ope in Hell (f7B+) and updated it in the Dorset Bouldering master document. That is the way the system works and it serves us pretty well.

Your poll should have at least a third option...

Grades on UKC should be reviewed periodically by guidebook authors and/or crag moderators taking account of online voting and their own experience and altered where appropriate.

Alan

Post edited at 10:51
 john arran 01 Dec 2022
In reply to Ben Harris:

> It would be useful to have the consensus grade displayed on the crag page alongside the "official" grade so that you can see if there is a discrepancy without having to visit the page for each route individually.

Or, perhaps less confusingly, maybe just a symbol to show whether user consensus deems the displayed grade to be stiff or soft.

 Lankyman 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

Just accept you're a punter and join the rest of us dissilusioned has-beens. You'll be much happier in the long run.

 profitofdoom 01 Dec 2022
In reply to Lankyman:

> Just accept you're a punter and join the rest of us......

I have invented, built and activated a grading robot. It did Three Pebble Slab (HVS 5a). Result? HS 4b. Cenotaph Corner (E1 5c). Result? E9 7a. Can't argue with that. It is available for rent, 12 quid an hour 

 Offwidth 01 Dec 2022
In reply to ianstevens:

It's funny you should mention that route. Whilst I hope this doesn't turn into another long argument about its grade (humerous though some of the old contributions may have been), our BMC definitive democratic consensus of experienced guidebook volunteers was bottom end E1, as per the previous definitive (for the incredibly serious 4c pure padding on the right hand slab finish, with a horrible fall in prospect if you slip at the top); we also said HVS 5a if you finish leftwards. So any seemingly absolute view on HVS for an onsight on that right-hand line (I struggle to think of another HVS classic with a finish of that style) looks arrogant to me. The topo line in Rockfax has that serious finish and the previous grade was E1, matching the UKC voting average of a clear low E1. However, mysteriously the route became HVS again in the current edition. The UKC voting average remains a clear low E1.

Post edited at 11:43
In reply to fatchild:

Can you not just look at the voting graph to see what people think? 

In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

Presumably they want the voting consensus given a more official-looking status so that they can either show off the higher grade in their logbook or feel better about not getting the tick.

 ianstevens 01 Dec 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> It's funny you should mention that route. Whilst I hope this doesn't turn into another long argument about its grade (humerous though some of the old contributions may have been), our BMC definitive democratic consensus of experienced guidebook volunteers was bottom end E1, as per the previous definitive (for the incredibly serious 4c pure padding on the right hand slab finish, with a horrible fall in prospect if you slip at the top); we also said HVS 5a if you finish leftwards. So any seemingly absolute view on HVS for an onsight on that right-hand line (I struggle to think of another HVS classic with a finish of that style) looks arrogant to me. The topo line in Rockfax has that serious finish and the previous grade was E1, matching the UKC voting average of a clear low E1. However, mysteriously the route became HVS again in the current edition. The UKC voting average remains a clear low E1.

I picked it on purpose; I know the history (at least for the last 15 years or so). Personally, I honestly don't think its *that* hard - top end HVS for me (but I like(d) friction slabs, runouts, and mild sandbagging).

1
 Lankyman 01 Dec 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

> I have invented, built and activated a grading robot. It did Three Pebble Slab (HVS 5a). Result? HS 4b. Cenotaph Corner (E1 5c). Result? E9 7a. Can't argue with that. It is available for rent, 12 quid an hour 

I never did Cenotaph but I'm sure that if I tried it now your gradings would be 'entirely accurate and reasonable'. You can quote this in your marketing bumf

 steveriley 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

Consensus grades are interesting and fun but grades need an editorial function. It's not a democracy I'm afraid - we're not to be trusted.

It's only in the last decade that UK support for the death penalty fell below 50% - https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-and-research/public-opinion-polls/international-polls-and-studies. There, that escalated quickly.

Though if there was a Bulk Edit function to upgrade logbook ticks, I might come around

1
In reply to fatchild:

I do disagree with consensus grading (on UKC). I do however strongly advocate that UKC displays the consensus quality, that is number of stars, at least as an additional function. Mountain Project does this and it is a much more comprehensive way to search for routes.  So not just what the FA decides the route quality is, but an average (non-integer...) rating as determined by users

 jimtitt 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

UKC logbooks are hardly a reliable source, Indian Face has 19 votes and varies from low E10 to low E8. Explain!

2
 Offwidth 01 Dec 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

>Explain!

My guess is climbing humour and the occasional idiot.

 ian caton 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

As long as the grade is in the right neck of the woods it's ok. It's only to give you a guide as to what you are getting into. 

 Darron 01 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

The climb you link has only had 8 people grade vote.

In reply to profitofdoom:

I asked the OpenAI GPT-3 Chat bot this question, and it answered:

"Pebble Slab is a type of stone commonly used in hardscaping projects such as patios, walkways and more. Generally speaking, it is classified as Grade 3 stone and is available in many different sizes".

So there you go. Coming to an AI generated guidebook near you.

In reply to fatchild:

Why rely on pesky humans to tell you if your a + grade out out your latest project?

https://darth-grader.net/ 

All hail the algorithm!

In reply to fatchild:

The logbook shouldn't show the average grade that other climbers have voted when you cast your own vote. People will be anchored to the average grade rather than voting for what they consider it to be.

I wonder though whether there are any better examples of first world problems out there?

 gooberman-hill 01 Dec 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

And there was me thinking that Cenotaph Corner (E1 5c) was the N Wales benchmark E1 5b. When did that go up to 5c?

3
 Brass Nipples 02 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

There was a route in the Leicestershire quarries that gave a grade between VS and E3 depending on your height.

Doesn’t Kinky Boots at Baggy Point also say something in the guidebook description like 

“Fall across the gap, if you are under 5’6” and have a competent belayer you will now find yourself hanging upside down in the zawn”

The grade can often be height dependent 

Post edited at 09:01
 GrahamD 02 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

There isn't a "concensus" grade as you describe it :- a one climber / one vote tally from All that are UKC users AND who vote on routes irrespective of their ability to grade and excluding the many that don't use logbooks.

A concensus is a general agreement (or at least acceptance), it is not a popularity contest.

Personally, I view guidebook grades, in general, as being pretty close to the general concensus amongst those best placed to establish the concensus. 

In reply to fatchild:

Your little vote only gives 2 out of the many possible ways of handling this; neither of the options are IMO what should be displayed so I have not voted.

Also, since you can pretty easily work out the consensus grade from the votes cast graphic, there's no need to have it otherwise displayed.

And, there's confirmation bias - as an example, if you think the routes at Stanage Popular end that are voted for at say mid-grade VS 4c are going to indicate the difficulty of VS 4c's across the country, then you're going to get some nasty surprises.

The most important thing about grades is that they be consistent; without that, they're useless. I know it'll never be perfect, but we should strive for consistency. Making the consensus the default/primary grade of a route would be a huge backwards step in that respect.

 farhi 02 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

The problem with relying on the voting system is the bias of it, which most people have already mentioned.  A good example of a climb where it's often a first of the grade.  People who say "first 7c!" are quite likely to also vote for it as 7c etc, but maybe it's actually a bit soft?  

Changes to grades should be managed on a case-by-case basis, which the current system does sort of successfully. 

 spidermonkey09 02 Dec 2022
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

While you're here Alan, is it possible to fix the mess of grades and names on the Gordale crag page, particularly around Pierrepoint, and amend some of the recent unwarranted upgrades that the recent Kilnsey app update caused; eg. Grooved Arete now 8b when it isn't, Myra now 7c+ etc. There is a brand new Wired guide to these crags and the grades on here should reflect that.

Happy to help moderate, just drop me an email! Cheers

 fred99 02 Dec 2022
In reply to Brass Nipples:

> Doesn’t Kinky Boots at Baggy Point also say something in the guidebook description like 

> “Fall across the gap, if you are under 5’6” and have a competent belayer you will now find yourself hanging upside down in the zawn”

I've done it, and am 5 feet 6 and a half inches tall. It was very close.

In reply to fatchild:

While I don’t think the consensus should rule, I think it should be a consideration, especially where there are lots of votes in popular areas, where we have obvious stuff to compare against.

Here’s an example.  Have a read of the comments.Morrell's Wall (f5+)

3
In reply to afx22:

> Here’s an example.  Have a read of the comments. Morrell's Wall (f5+)

But there already is all the necessary information...

  • 3* -- looks like it's considered a quality problem
  • f5+ -- shouldn't be too hard
  • voting grades graph - most people giving it f6A or f6A+ -- hmm, maybe something's come off or it's undergraded lets have a look at the comments
  • comments -- hmm, looks like it's undergraded, I'll approach it as I would a f6A/6A+

What more do you need?

1
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> While you're here Alan, is it possible to fix the mess of grades and names on the Gordale crag page, particularly around Pierrepoint,

I am not seeing these at Gordale Scar unless you are talking about the link-ups listings which are impossible to moderate anyway. Happy to let you have a look though but I am not sure what mess routes you mean.

> and amend some of the recent unwarranted upgrades that the recent Kilnsey app update caused; eg. Grooved Arete now 8b when it isn't 

Grooved Arete (8b) - 70 votes just about favour 8b

Myra Hindley (aka Big Vern) (7c+) - again, 7c+ on the votes really

Alan

 kevin stephens 02 Dec 2022
In reply to gooberman-hill:

> And there was me thinking that Cenotaph Corner (E1 5c) was the N Wales benchmark E1 5b. When did that go up to 5c?

When the crux got so polished. Cemetery Gates is benchmark HVS 5b

1
 kevin stephens 02 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

Look at UKC photo voting and the actions of some voters to award 1* to try and demote  a 5* voted picture they thought should have got 3*

Post edited at 15:23
 JLS 02 Dec 2022
In reply to fatchild:

>"There must 1000s of other examples, going both ways."

An obvious solution I would support is to have oscillating grades.

In Olympia years all grades could be increased by one, reverting back to their original grade the following year.

In football World Cup years all grades could be decreased by one, similarly, reverting back to their original grade the following year.

In doing this, all grades would still be correct most of the time, however if you ever felt a grade was incorrect, it would be a simple matter for waiting for the year in the cycle which suited you, in much the same way you might save a route for better conditions.

In these days of instantly updating databases, there is no technical reason for not implementing such a worthy system. Of course, the old punks that run this sport will never agree to anything that doesn't involve the placing of bolts (or similar) to sort a grade.

 spidermonkey09 02 Dec 2022
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Do you just go on the votes though? Cause if so I really don't agree with that, that's what the whole thread is about! Both those routes have been accepted at the given grade for years, Grooved Arete especially, so I'm not sure why they were upgraded. There's a reason they were not upgraded in the Wired guide, why have Mark/Steve decided otherwise? Based on what, just votes? Cause I don't think that's right at all. 

Re Gordale, the mess is mostly around Pierrepoint and it's various starts. It's been started from last dog forever but doing the route from there is given an inferior listing on the page and doesn't get the Pierrepoint "tick, " or the extreme rock tick. one listing is also just "dogpoint to the roof," it should at least be Dogpoint L1! Happy to tidy things up if you can make me the moderator, just let me know. 

Post edited at 16:46
2
 Marek 02 Dec 2022
In reply to JLS:

A bit "20th century" that, isn't it? I though "personalised" data was more the rage: The UKC codebase (with a bit of not-very-I-AI) could look at the viewer logbook, the (now private) absolute grades in its database and provide some personalised grading info...

"Hardly worth the effort"

"Nice route, but you won't like the walk-in"

"Should be OK, but you've never climbed on basalt in the rain, have you?"

"You'll need at least a week and a good belayer"

"Hmm. Death wish? Try the Samaritans"

etc.,

In reply to Michael Hood:

> But there already is all the necessary information...

> 3* -- looks like it's considered a quality problem

> f5+ -- shouldn't be too hard

> voting grades graph - most people giving it f6A or f6A+ -- hmm, maybe something's come off or it's undergraded lets have a look at the comments

> comments -- hmm, looks like it's undergraded, I'll approach it as I would a f6A/6A+

> What more do you need?

It’s easy, unless your limit is F5+/6A.  I think accuracy of grades matter most when the climber is at their limit.

And the majority of votes are F6A+.

 JLS 02 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

You are on to a winner there for sure. If only I'd thunk of that and had the wherewithal to monetise the idea. Oh well, I'll just get back to my guidebooks and Tipex...

 wbo2 02 Dec 2022
In reply to afx22:

> It’s easy, unless your limit is F5+/6A.  I think accuracy of grades matter most when the climber is at their limit.

And herein lies the problem - how many people operating at the grade level are good at grading? How many have much experience outdoors, but have an expectation from indoors? 6A outdoors is tough!

In reply to wbo2:

> And herein lies the problem - how many people operating at the grade level are good at grading? How many have much experience outdoors, but have an expectation from indoors? 6A outdoors is tough!

I agree.  An inexperienced climber will not be as well positioned as an experienced climber.  

However, I think an experienced F8B climber would be less able to tell the difference between a 5+ and a 6A than someone who has similar experience but operates around that level.

Indoor vs outdoor.  Ha ha.  I agree with that too!

 leland stamper 02 Dec 2022
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Grooved Arete (8b) - 70 votes just about favour 8b

> Alan

What am I missing? 70 votes but only 58 logging the climb and only 50 admit to leading it? I thought you could only vote if you logged, but apparently anyone can vote what ever they want. I just voted for Grooved Arete as 7c although I've never been to Kilnsey and it's the first time I've heard of Grooved Arete. I think something strange is going on . Most climbs (including Myra Hindley) get far fewer votes than they do logged ascents.

1
 wbo2 02 Dec 2022
In reply to afx22: true, re. The 8B climber, but Morrells wall is of the grade and quality to be attractive to a lot of 'new'  people , but how many can grade, whilst all can vote. 

In reply to afx22:

> It’s easy, unless your limit is F5+/6A.  I think accuracy of grades matter most when the climber is at their limit.

 - but it's also a boulder problem, where the difficulties and the dangers are obvious from the ground. If someone whose limit is 6A jumps on it, they're either going to give it a cursory go and give up, find it hard and give it a proper go, and maybe succeed, or find it hard, give it a proper go and eventually fail. They might even jump on it when they wouldn't have bothered if they knew it was considered 6A+, and if they do that and tick it - is that not a pretty great result, really?

In reply to wbo2:

> 6A outdoors is tough!

I lent a guidebook to some guys fresh to 'the outside' at Plantation a few years ago. "Oh this looks great - yeah, let's warm up on this V4".

In fairness, they did seem suitably warm by the time they were done

 Misha 03 Dec 2022
In reply to spidermonkey09:

To get the pure ER tick you’d need to do the ER start but in practice most people would just log the ER route and note that they took the modern start. Not a big deal. 

In reply to afx22:

> It’s easy, unless your limit is F5+/6A.  I think accuracy of grades matter most when the climber is at their limit.

> And the majority of votes are F6A+.

I wasn't actually trying to say what the grade was, merely pointing out that your example of Morrell's Wall (f5+) was not a good argument for making the "consensus" grade the primary grade since all the information to decide how hard the problem might be was already there.

And on a non-serious boulder problem like that, it really isn't a problem if the grade's not exactly right. If a problem's grade is close enough to where you're operating and you think it looks worthwhile then give it a go. You're rather unlikely to get into serious unforseen danger.

Post edited at 22:03
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Your poll should have at least a third option...

> Grades on UKC should be reviewed periodically by guidebook authors and/or crag moderators taking account of online voting and their own experience and altered where appropriate.

> Alan

And maybe a fourth: I've just been spanked by a route and would like the grade inflated to salve  my ego please.  

I think that would have a lot of support. 


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