The Great British Grade Debate ? supported by the BMC

by Mick Ryan – E12? or 8b R/X ? Phew! It´s all over the place this great British grade debate. Climbing forums are alive with discussion, it´s a hot topic wherever climbers meet, and not just between the top climbers. has run several articles and news reports about grades, as have both climbing magazines. It´s reached some kind of momentum, like it never has before. Now to get to the bottom of it. Matt ´The Event´ Heason has come up with a cracking idea. Get several top climbers in a room to talk about grades, get someone stern, responsible and knowledgeable to chair the debate, in this case the BMC´s Nick Colton – and let them sort it out themselves. Well – with 300 spectators, and countless more when the film comes out. Topics such as — Are routes graded for the on sight? Can the grade of a route change depending on the style of ascent? If a new grade is proposed should the Media headline that ascent as if the grade is set in stone? Does the E-grade work? Would a French grade and a danger grade be better? So, at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, on Sunday 1st March……. Nick Colton of the BMC will chair a grade debate between the following panel of cutting edge climbers: John Arran, Dave Birkett, Lucy Creamer, Jack Geldard, Dave MacLeod, Steve McClure, James Pearson and others to be confirmed. Questions will be taken from the audience.More