/ Trad VS Boulder VS Sport Grade difference.

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jackob - on 06 Mar 2019

Interested to hear how peoples grade differentiates between different disciplines in order to figure out where my own weaknesses lie.

Im talking about outdoors here too.

Personally i feel like im quite weak at bouldering compared to my sport grade (probably mainly due to a lack of interest in it)

Anyway ill start the ball rolling:

Sport: O/S 6c  / RP: 7b

Trad: O/s E2 (never really redpointed any trad routes.

Boulder: 6C+

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1poundSOCKS - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

> Personally i feel like im quite weak at bouldering compared to my sport grade

Climbing performance is complex, and a handful of numbers don't necessarily help to create a good picture. But I would say a sport climber who can boulder 6C+ could be easily looking at 7c redpoint.

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ianstevens - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:


Sport: 6c o/s; 7b+ rp

Trad: E4 o/s; E5 ground up/rp

Boulder: 7A

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joe.91 - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

I'm a little skewed.

Trad: o/s E2, never head point

Boulder: 8A

Sport: 7c+ traverse, never done any hard roped stuff!

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ianstevens - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to joe.91:

> I'm a little skewed.

> Trad: o/s E2, never head point

Never fallen off, lowered down and tried again? Not a headpoint as such, but certainly not o/s... (genuine question btw, not meant to be sarcastic/inflammatory)

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Rick Graham on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

You rightly understand that grades are an attempt to get an idea of how hard routes or problems are for an average climber at the grade.

Add to the question how relatively good you are at cracks off widths slabs bridging etc.

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Ciro - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sounds like reasonably rounded numbers for a sport climber to me.

I've redpointed one 8a, and at the time hadn't bouldered in years but probably 7A would have been my limit. That's where I personally felt that lack of boulder power was becoming a limiting factor in my  Spanish endurance sport climbing, so I've become a boulderer for a while to shake things up.

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joe.91 - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

In my early days but these days I generally get up most things clean without any issue, I need to push myself more but its the willingness to push it and embrace falling off is what I don't like! The plan this year is to push into E3. 

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deacondeacon - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to joe.91:

With all due respect Joe if you can boulder f8A you could get up a safe E6 (never mind E3)  

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joe.91 - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to deacondeacon:

Wish you would tell my head that! 

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deacondeacon - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to joe.91:

Seriously, the secret is mileage. When you go climbing don't do 3 routes a day, do seven. Once you're head gets used to the fact that the E grades don't equal scariness you'll be killing it.

Sunset slab at HVS is far scarier than Block & Tackle at E6. 

I know its easier said than done but I managed it and I'm shit (and now that I'm only climbing 2-3 routes a week I'm back down to HVS) lol

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Exile - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Interesting.

Mine are almost identical to you:

Sport: Best O/S 6c  / Best RP: 7b 

Trad: Best O/S E3, (E2 usually) Best RP E5 (not done loads)

Boulder: 1x7A

Winter: V 6 most days, VI 6 good days, VI 7 good days with a following wind.  (Not directly what you asked about but a good winter for me can lead into a good trad season as the head game bit helps.) 

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Derek Furze - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

I always find this interesting and the comparisons are very different to those being made years ago when sport climbing started being a thing in the UK.  I am working back into it, so the current comparison probably doesn't help, but my best onsight is loads of 6c and some 6c+.  I have never really worked anything, so I can't tell what my redpoint would be - something to try at some point as I am back to onsighting 6b+ outside even though the weather is rubbish.  Trad is more interesting - we always considered that 6c/6c+ translated to E4 and my best trad onsights were at that standard, with an occasional E5.  Certainly at the time, I used to think E3 was standard.  Never really bouldered much, though I like it when I do, but don't tend to get excited about working problems.  As above, I think the bouldering or sport grades should translate to much higher trad grades.

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Offwidth - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sport O/S 6a, RP 6b, normal comfortable flash grade 5+ ...also failed to work a french polished 5 sandbag. I don't sport climb much.

Trad O/S E2 (I won't headpoint harder than my best O/S lead but found some E1 headpoint practice harder and more intimidating in prospect than some E3 flashed seconds) Normal comfortable lead grade VS. Backed off the odd HS sandbag.

Bouldering  flashed 6B, worked 6B+ (all probably overgraded) normal comfortable working f5+ and failed to work a f3A ( a nasty font sandbag).

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Michael Gordon - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sport 6c

Trad E3

(don't really do any bouldering outside)

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DenzelLN - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Trad - VS

Sport - 6a

Boulder - f6c+ outdoors, got my eyes on a few f7b+ problems this year - flashed multiple V8 indoors, usually sit around V6/V7.

Im scared of ropes.

Post edited at 19:10
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SenzuBean - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sport: O/S 6c (never really have time for RPs)

Trad: O/S E2

Boulder: 6B+

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Martin Haworth on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sport 6b+ on sight

Trad E3 on sight

Boulder F6A on sight

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deacondeacon - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Trad: E5 o/s & E6 headpoint

Sport: f7b+

Biuldering: F7B

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Strife - on 06 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Bouldering: 7A

Sport: 7a+ RP (always short and bouldery)

Trad: E2 OS

My lack of endurance is a weakness I hope to finally address this year.

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HeMa on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

As I would like to climb each discipline equal amounts, I'm quite happy with my tally.

Boulder Flash 7A (generally 6C or so)

Boulder Worked 7B (generally 7A, but in a session)

Sport Flash/OS 7a (if rope fit, 6c or so)

Sport RP 7b (can't really be arsed, so by worked I generally end up getting these in sub 10 goes) 

Trad Flash/OS 6c (french grade, so perhaps E3 or E4)

Trad RP 7a (again, not huge amounts of work)


So by all accounts I'm around French/'Bleau 6c climber.

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Mick Ward - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to deacondeacon:

> Seriously, the secret is mileage.

Totally agree. And, when you add in Rick's point about how good someone is at different rock features (e.g. slabs, cracks, steep stuff) and you add in different rock types (e.g. grit, limestone, granite, slate), I think that gives a qualitatively better picture of where someone is really at than just comparing the numbers.

Just my two penny worth!

Mick

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ianstevens - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> failed to work a f3A ( a nasty font sandbag).

I've seen those things break people climbing in the mid 7s

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Offwidth - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Mileage never worked for me and I had plenty. It did mean that I'm pretty similar in ability on any rock type or style. All my early grade improvements came by climbing with much better climbers. Currently any declines from my aging body seem to be offset by devious experience... so my grade abilty has mainly stayed pretty level with time (except on bold stuff near my technical limit which I used to be attracted to, but now generally avoid).

Post edited at 10:27
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Mick Ward - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Mileage never worked for me and I had plenty. It did mean that I'm pretty similar in ability on any rock type or style.

Don't want to be arguing with you but surely you must accept that, without mileage, most people won't be similar in ability on any rock type or style?  If I haven't got trad mileage, I default to a grade which my subconscious mind 'knows' is generally OK. 

If I have enough trad mileage, my subconscious relaxes and says it's OK to climb harder. As I grow older, more and more 'evidence' seems to be required - which is annoying. The 'hey, I'm not bothered, I can climb what I like' mindset of yore has well and truly deserted me. Such is life.

If I've not climbed on a particular rock type or in a particular style for more than a couple of years, I'm shit at it and have to relearn. (Sure, the relearning tends to be a lot faster than the initial learning.)

If I've not been trad climbing for a while, my skills are rusty and slow. (More relearning!)

Which takes us nicely back to... mileage.

Mick

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Offwidth - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Don't get me wrong, I support getting mileage it's just not the most efficient way to improve, except right at the start. Most people will plateau at some point, grade wise, despite plenty of traffic, and something like climbing with better partners or training or coaching will be needed. I'm not good enough to get much worse when I spend time away from a particular rock type.

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paul__in_sheffield - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Mick Ward:

Hi Mick, have to agree with you re: mileage.

looking at logbooks and setting aside a bunch of Font 7c and 7b which were probs I either got lucky on, or just suited me for no apparent reason, then it looks like I can haul my lazy a**e up to French 7a+ on the rare occasions when I actually try hard. I think this would be something around E56a in old money which sounds about right.

Heres the thing though, The only way I would get back to that on trad would be to do laps and also get back into consistently lobbing off things like we did back in the day to become less sensitive to the scary stuff. Mileage, mileage and more mileage would do it. I always though that the onsight ethic held people (including myself) back ;-)

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AlanLittle - on 07 Mar 2019
In reply to Strife:

> Bouldering: 7A

> Sport: 7a+ RP (always short and bouldery)

> Trad: E2 OS

> My lack of endurance is a weakness I hope to finally address this year.

Are you me?

Bouldering: 7A (one, once. Handful of 6C/+)

Sport: 7b RP (always short and bouldery)

Trad: E2 OS (but have only done a handful of trad routes this century)

Planning to address my endurance weakness / fear of steep pumpy routes this year, starting with a coaching trip to Kaly in May.

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Mark Stevenson - on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Always an interesting question. My grades in 2018:

Sport: O/S f7a+, flash f7b, redpoint f7c

Trad: numerous O/S E3, one O/S E5

Bouldering: rare, but I did do a 7A+ traverse

Very interested to see that many people who are redpointing 7b/+ are still only onsighting in the high 6s. I never consider 7a onsight to be that desperate having first done it in 2002, but that probably means that my worked grade should undoubtedly be higher.

Also the general trends would suggest that I should really be regularly leading harder than E3 trad, rather than once in a blue moon as currently, but I already know that!

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Climbthatpitch - on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Mine seam to be different to everyone else's. I need to get out and boulder more

Sport 6b+

Trad E2 

Boulder 5+ ok haven't boulders outside in a very long time so I hope this would be better now

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Ian Patterson on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to Mark Stevenson:

Sport 2018 o/s 7a+ (probably would have done 7b if I'd actually tried more o/s) rp 8a,  all time o/s 7b/+ (actual slash grade in the guide!) rp 8a

Trad 2018 HVS repeat , all time o/s E5

Bouldering 2018, didn't really boulder outside, could give myself 7A for start of L'Obsession, all time 7A+

Probably pretty weak for my sport grade, get up things with a mix of endurance and experience/cunning.  When I was trad climbing up to E5ish, sport grade was similar except that hadn't rp'd above 7c (but hadn't done any long rp projects).

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Jon Greengrass on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

12 years ago when I climbed outside regularly

Sport: O/S 7a  / RP: 7a+ ( this was second go as I never did any redpointing)

Trad: O/S E2 

Boulder: 7A (slab)

Within the last year indoors I've managed

Autobelay O/S 7a, there isn't anything harder to redpoint

Boulder O/S V3, Flash V6.  

I'm fit enough to climb and downclimb a 6b non-stop, I'd be interested to see what kind of trad grade this would equate to?

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HeMa on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

> I'm fit enough to climb and downclimb a 6b non-stop, I'd be interested to see what kind of trad grade this would equate to?

I’d say E2/3, but fvck do I know or understand them E-grades. 

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Jon Stewart - on 08 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sport: O/S 7a  / RP: 7a+ (although this took quite a few goes, I'm totally incompetent at working a route, so probably not a 'redpoint' in the proper sense)

Trad: O/S E4 (never really redpointed any trad routes)

Boulder: V7 (I think all the V7s I've done are also given 7A not 7A+ so V7 sounds better). I've flashed V6 once but that's a totally anomalous fluke -worth mentioning here for egoistic purposes only. 

These aren't really concurrent grades though. I've never put any real effort into sport climbing; it was about 10 years ago when I was bouldering a lot; when I climbed E4 more regularly I was just doing loads of trad (think I only did one last year, One Step Beyond which is probably E3, and none in the couple of years before that). So these are more like different high points along a long and winding journey rather than numbers to be taken together.

Post edited at 17:35
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rurp - on 09 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Onsight 7a+, E3,

boulder 6c+( once), usually 6a+

red/head 7b, E4

These numbers reflect my weakness of being lazy and having the attention span of a goldfish, so trying something more than twice sucks the joy and starts to make it feel like a job. I need instant gratification! Such a two year old.

You seem to be a strong boulderer relative to your onsite grade in comparison so maybe weakness is stamina or lack of interest as you say  with sport, Trad it’s usually the fear/desire scales tipping that holds us back!

best of luck and keep going 

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Misha - on 09 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

Sounds like your sport and trad onsight grades could be higher.

I onsight 7a and E5 on a good day. Onsight all 6cs and E3 5cs. Bouldering - pah! It’s only good for indoor training ;-)

Sport RP 7b+ but don’t do a lot of redpointing above 7a+ (which I generally get first or second redpoint, so arguably not proper redpointing!). 

Post edited at 09:39
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Andy Farnell on 09 Mar 2019
In reply to jackob:

All time best:

Sport 8a+ rp, 7b+ os

Boulder 7C, 7B os

Trad E6, E5 os.

Not climbed trad for nearly 20 years, best last year was sport 8a and font 7a+.

Andy F

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JackM92 - on 10 Mar 2019
In reply to Strife:

Si the power takes a long time to get! Had onsighted E3 on Culm slabs at a time when I couldn’t redpoint 6a+ on Limestone.

Managed to boulder a few 7A’s and redpoint 7b this year and have been working much harder stuff, but still lacking power. It seems so difficult to learn to move dynamically and fluidly after doing too much trad climbing.

Last year was onsighting E4 fairly regularly and redpointed up to 7a+. 

Interestingly Dave MacLeod wrote in one of his books that he was redpointing 8a at the time he was an E4 leader.

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