rebuffat's ratings? : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

in Rebuffat's book, the 100 finest, the ratings on the high end climbs such as direct west face of the dru and the walker spur are do not seem to make sense when i try to convert them to the french system. for examle, the american direct on the dru is rated by Rebuffat as VI+. the back of the book notes that this climb is rated 6a now. how can i deceifer what the other pitches are on the rest of the route: V, V+, VI, etc.? this answered question would be much appreciated. thank you, josh.

-- josh beckner (, January 11, 2002


The old system went IV-,IV,IV+,V-,V,V+,etc the new system is identical but with sometimes different designations. You can see 4-,4,4+,5-,5,5+,etc... but also 4a,4b,4c,5a,5b,5c.. Normally the Rebufat rating would translate to 6c, but I suppose it has been downgraded to 6a.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, January 11, 2002.

I think it is mistake to try and compare in this way. Bear in mind that Rebuffat climbed most of his routes in big boots and placed pegs if necessary. To give an example. Last season I climbed the Rebuffat route on the Midi which gets a grade of TD with pitches of A1 and V. I climbed it in rock boots, without resorting to aid and rapped back to the gear on completion. I found the climbing straight forward, probably about French 6a. That same week I also climbed the S.Ridge of the Moine in big boots etc., which gets a grade of D with pitches of IV and found that the harder route overall. In fact there were a couple of moves that I thought were harder than anything on the Midi and would have taxed me in rock bootss. The Walker is probably about French 5c but there is a lot of it and it is much more susceptable to varying conditions. I think the overall moral is treat Alpine grades with a great deal of respect, don't underestimate them and don't get too hung up on the technnical grades of individual pitches, you can usually pull on gear if you have to. Escapable technical rock routes are a totally different proposition to mountaineering routes. If you are into climbing rock routes free the Mont Blanc Topo Guides by Michel Piola give better comparisons and some clueS about if a pitch is "frigable".

-- Al Randall (, February 12, 2002.

if you need to ask,you are not ready to attempt it!

-- john and susan hare (, June 22, 2003.

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