Community Lead Route Grading Project

Community Grading Project

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Community Grading Project. Our goal was to take the grades proposed by climbers that have sent the routes,share them with the community, and use the data to improve future lead sets. It is always interesting to see how different people feel about the difficulty of climbs. Also, until grades are posted, this list acts as a community resource to help guide route selection as well as a platform to suggest a grade. In the end, we hope that the movement inspires you, that you learn, try hard, and get more psyched on climbing.

We took the the 241 proposed grades for the last lead set and compared them to the posted grades. The data indicates that the proposed grades are easier than the posted grades by an average of 1 letter grade over the entire grade of 5.9 to 5.13. There are some more trends the closer we look.

In the 5.9-5.10d range and the 5.12a-5.13a range, the community grades proposed were, on average, a little less than 1 letter grade easier than the proposed grades. In the 5.11a-5.11d range, the community proposed grades were a little more than 1 letter grade easier than the proposed grades.

The routes with the largest difference from the posted grades seems to be relative to the nature of the climbing. Climbs that were straightforward pulling were given grades 2 letter grades easier the posted grades. Routes that were more sequential or beta intensive were given grades 1 letter grade easier the posted grade.

Over 60% of the responses came from climbers on 5.9-5.10 – a range that made up only 40% of the routes in this set. Seeing this much activity in this grade range, we have increased the new lead set to have more climbing in this .9-10d range, as well as the 5.11 range.

Grade Range % of Total Responses Avg Responses per route Routes per Range Difference from Post Grade
5.9 – 5.10d 64% 12 38% <1 letter grade
5.11a – 5.11d 23% 5.5 29% >1 letter grade
5.12a ⋦ 13% 2.8 32% <1 letter grade

The data was cleaned of suggestions over 4 letter grades different to avoid skewing of the data (only 3 data points were removed).

Thank you all for your participation in this project, and we look forward to the next round for this incoming lead reset!