Climbing difficulty classification

Difficulty in classifying ice climbing Wow Yeah Yeah finally found!

Really rummaged the major BBS...

There are two systems commonly used - NEI and Scottish Systems (WISystem)

The most reasonable grading system is Canada and France. This system is used in Canada and the Alps. Ice climbing in these two regions accounts for about three quarters of the world. American climbers like Jeff Lowe also use this grading system. It contains two numbers, like II-5. .

The first number (the Roman number) indicates "severity", which represents the degree of remoteness, the length of the climb, the difficulty of descent, the degree of danger, and the continuity of the route. "I" has only one pitch at the side of the road. However, the "VI" needs to have a high mountain climbing experience. Unless you climb a fast top climber, you will inevitably sleep.

The second digit (Arabic number) indicates "technical grade", which represents the technical difficulty of the most difficult part of the route. It also includes the vertical status, the difficulty to ensure, the type of ice, and the duration of the rope pitch. The "2" represents only one ice axe; as far as I know, there are only some vertical or nearly vertical routes in the world and there is no guarantee, or the huge cantilever walls are "7". Since this is very much like the WI U.S. system, this technical grade is also expressed as "WI", so the WI system is basically like a technical grade.

This kind of system contains quite a lot of information, because with two different forms of difficulty grading, however, the two are not totally irrelevant. In other words, the technically easier route does not generally require much effort. (Because you can climb down)

Difficulty level:

Level 1: A short distance climb on the side of the road, safe and easy to drop.
Level 2: One to two pitches, where the traffic is easy to reach, is a bit of a danger, easy to climb or dangle.
Level 3: At low altitudes, several pitches may take several hours; or need to walk or ski some distance, have good cold tourism techniques; or occasionally have cold damage; usually use vertical drop Down.
Level 4: High-altitude multiple rope pitches or in places where people are rarely smoked, climbing and cold tourism techniques may be required, and may suffer an avalanche or falling rocks. Difficulties in downsight may require the use of artificial fixed points.
Level 5: High mountains, long distances, and long climbs require superb ability and cost. They can suffer from an avalanche or bad weather and may have to be very long and difficult to descend.
Level 6: The mountain peaks, multiple pitches, only the top climbers can be completed in one day, and there may be problems with the transport of cold mountain climbing.
Level 7: The largest and hardest alpine climb in the Himalayas (as defined by Jeff Lowe).

The Scottish ice climbing grading system is also related to the technical grades (1 to 7) and evaluates the most difficult pitches, including the type of climbing encountered, the thickness of the ice, the appearance of the ice like a chandelier, mushroom or protruding suspension .

Level difficulty:

Level 1: You can walk with only crampons.
Level 2: Ice on a single pitch 60 to 70 degrees, containing a few short steep steps, to ensure safety.
Level 3: Ice that lasts 70 to 80 degrees, is usually thick and hard, may contain short cliffs, but has good breaks to ensure safety.
Grade 4: The ice lasts 75 to 85 degrees. It is good to ensure that the area is in a scattered distribution. There are a few prominent vertical areas. Usually the ice quality is good and it provides good protection.
Level 5: There are a lot of hard rope pitches between 85 and 90 degrees, which is almost the skill and ability needed for climbing 5.9.
Level 6: Very steep, with no difficult pitches at rest, often hanging to ensure that the ice is not top quality, safety is suspicious, requires high skill, almost rock climbing 5.10.
Level 7: The ice wall is almost vertical. It is very thin, and the quality of the ice is not good. I don't know whether it is attached to the rock and it is difficult or impossible to protect it. It is about 5.12 professionalism in rock climbing.

Reprinted from Shenzhen Mountain Adventure Magazine

Ice climbing level profile

The difficulty of ice climbing is determined by the first climb of an experienced climber, whose reference is a permanent alpine climbing route that does not change with season and time. The traditional difficulty classification uses the Scottish difficulty system and is divided into 7 levels:

Level 1 Difficulty: Shorter climbing routes, moderately difficult ice slopes, slopes below 50 degrees.
Level 2 Difficulty: The climbing route is longer and the snow and ice slope is greater than 50 degrees. In some places there is ice, snow or rock canal.
Level 3 Difficulty: The climbing route is longer and the slope in some places is close to 90 degrees.
Difficulty Level 4: The 90-degree vertical ice climbing route is long and difficult to climb. There may also be mixed climbing in some locations.
Level 5 Difficulty: The climbing route is very long. It is almost full of 90-degree vertical ice walls. There are many difficult places. There are many mixed terrains.
Level 6 Difficulties: Extremely long climbing routes and most of them are permanent alpine ice walls and mixed climbing, especially difficult.
Level 7 Difficulties: High-altitude mountains such as the Himalayas and remote areas unattended. The climbing route is long, climbing difficulty and danger are very large.

The American mountaineer Jeff Lowe classified the permanent ice wall and seasonal ice wall according to these seven grades. AI is a permanent ice wall and WI is a seasonal ice wall. When the climber sees one of the two symbols, he knows whether he will climb the seasonal ice wall or the permanent ice wall.

Although it is difficult to climb ice, the difficulty of climbing will vary depending on the season and climate.

The situation on the ice wall often undergoes some changes. Each climber must increase the difficulty of ice climbing by one level while climbing, thus ensuring the completion of the climb.

Finally, the ice-climbing enthusiasts were asked to carefully collect information on the ice walls they were going to get ready for climbing. Climbing ice must be bold and discreet.

Ice and Snow Rock Mixing (M1 - M8) Zhang Zhongshu, Qiu Zhe Compilation

There are no general consensus of the established system for rating ice described above. There is no consensus. By Jeff Lowe, the letter "M" is added to the technical grade. A "M5" is assumed to be as hard as a "5" in pure ice (the equivalence is obviously hard to establish) but involved dry-tooling and similar Maneuvers. Sometimes, the grade is detailed into the pure ice part and the mixed part, ie Octopussy is "M8 WI5" since there are extreme dry-tooling moves to reach the free hanging stalactite, but once established on it the ice is not that Hard. However, usually the latter part will be omitted since it is not the crux, leaving only "M8". The global rating could read something like an algebraic formula: "II M8 WI5 X" (X in my opinion: I think all The free-hanging stuff can easily collapse, as some climbers have experienced in the ear Ly 90s. I would be cautious with the current fad for this sort of climbing).

This sums up the system described above and is not consistent. However, this method seems to be mainly in Colorado (where the hybrid climbs many places, it may be too little ice) and is supported by Jeff Lowe. The letter "M" is added in front of the technical level. "M5" means equal to the "5" of pure ice (which means difficulty), but it includes dry climbing and similar techniques. Sometimes the classification will be divided into pure ice parts and mixed parts. Octopussy is "M8 WI5" because it is very difficult to climb a stalactite with dry climbing, but it is relatively simple if there is ice. However, usually the latter part is omitted because that is not the hardest part, so only "M8" is left, and the complete classification reads like the algebraic formula "II M8 WI5 X" (X may be easily collapsed, some climbers I had experienced it in the early 1990s and I would be very careful about this type of climbing that is now popular.

Another way to rate the mixed climbs is to give a rock-climbing rating for the rock moves. This method is preferred by the Canadians, who seem to be somewhat doubtful about all the M9 climbs :-). The problem here is that you have Ice climbing gear, so usually the rating is not "absolute" but relative to how it feels with crampons, and therefore easier than a normal rock rating, but again there is no real consensus on this. (from Quang-Tau Luong)

Another way to determine the level of hybrid climbing is to evaluate the rock climbing section. This is the method used more often by Canadians. They are basically skeptical of all M9 level routes:-) The problem is that you have ice climbing tools, so This grading is not "absolute" and is related to the crampons, so it is simpler than climbing. In general, you cannot draw the equal sign.

The mixture of ice and snow rocks is mainly mixed with ice and rock, or dry-tooling with ice axe and crampons. Difficulty is determined relative to pure ice wall or rock climbing. It can be imagined that it is difficult to draw equal numbers between the two, so it can only be relatively comparable.


Comments on the ice rating system (from Quang-Tau Luong)

Comments on the ice climbing route

Although Albi Sole refers as grade 5 as the "5.9 of ice climbing", dont kid yourself. A grade 5 lead is a quite serious undertaking, more comparable in my opinion to a 5.10 trad lead. I am once of the only person that I Know (:-)) who has been able to lead grade 6 ice while being only a 5.10- climber. You will see that grade 5 ice is actually rather difficult to find. For instance a guidebook like the one for Western Ontario or Western British Columbia has 140 pages, but lists only a handful of grade 5 climbs. There are no grade 6 at all in well established areas such as New England, Ontario, British Columbia (well, I must say was, until 1996, when The Theft was Climbed in BC). This is because a grade 5 climb has to have about a half-pitch vertical, and a grade 6 a full pitch vertical, which brings me to the second point. Vertical is 90 degrees, not 85 degrees. This seemingly Insignificant difference is actually quite important. When you are on 85 degrees ice you might have the feeling That it is overhanging, because of your position, but in fact there is not that many formations which are strictly vertical, except free-standing columns.

Although Albi Sole's fifth grade is equivalent to "Ice Climb's 5.9", but don't get it wrong; the fifth-level pioneer is a rather difficult task, and my opinion is no less than the traditional 5.10. Once I was the only one who had the ability to climb only 5.10 to be the Pioneer Sixth Ice Climber. You can see that Level 5 Ice Climbing routes are hard to find; like Western Ontario or Western British Columbia, the guidebook has 140 pages, but only a few five-level routes; in a fully developed place like New England, Ontario or British Columbia There are six routes. This is because about half of the fifth stage is vertical, and the sixth stage is where the entire pitch is vertical, which will make me to the second point. The vertical is ninety degrees instead of eighty-five degrees. It seems that the difference is actually very important, because the relationship between your postures, when you are on the eighty-five degree ice wall, you may feel that On rocks, unless it is an independent column.

There are only a handful of grade 7 pure ice climbs in the world, to the best of my knowledge:

As far as I know, there are only a few routes for the seventh-grade pure ice climbing in the world, as follows:

Riptide, and Gimme Shelter (Canadian Rockies) were the first established (mid 80s). Gimme Shelter is still unrepeated, because it has never reformed completly.

La Massue, and La Lyre, both at Fer de Cheval, (Northern Alps), both established the same day in Dec 1991.
Sea of ​​Vapors (Canadian Rockies), winter 1993 (7+)

A part from those, there are a handful of one-pitch climbs which are mixed, and which have received a grade 7. T. Renault in France (Laventure, cest laventure next to Glacenost in Northern Alps, France) and J. Lowe in The US (Terriebel traverse, Seventh Tentacle, Octopussy 8??, in Vail CO) are the authors. While Thierry climbed "Laventure, cest laventure", the chunk of ice when he was standing collapsed, and he had to do a one- Arm pull-up that he was he was not capable of. Jeffs climb is free-hanging stalactites which are reached through a dry traverse. Protected on the rock and with a preplaced screw from what I have heard. The second ascent party said that one Climb first in grade 6 climbed in the world .

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