Thursday 10 September 2020

New Routes and Boulder Problems - Guidelines

If you think you have done a new route or problem and are looking at submitting new route information to UKC, then make sure you have checked out the current guidelines. These guidelines have been produced to help climbers understand the parameters of standard route recording and avoid any disappointment if their climb or problem is regrettably rejected. They are also available here.

Standard Definition of a New Route or Problem
The definition and parameters of a new route submission in the traditional sense is as follows:

1. A climb done on a section of rock where no climb has been done before.
2. A new significant independent start and/or finish to an existing climb.
3. A significant traverse. 

Significant is defined by a distance of approximately 1 meter away from an existing route or problem.

A submission of all the above types of first ascents would require the following information: 

Climb Name, Grade, First Ascent Details

Bouldering - Sometimes boulder problems have sit starts and alternative finishes added to them. In this case those additions would normally only incur a sub-note of information in a route description of which the grade and first ascent details would only be needed, as these variations are often part of the original problem. 

Eliminates and Variations

Climbs that eliminate holds do so by eliminating holds on climbs either side of them. These kinds of climbs are often narrow and restrictive in nature and do not allow for much/any deviation. New climbs in this style can be submitted in their full stature, though they are often seen as lesser climbs compared to original more independent climbs either side of them. 

Effects on original climbs - It is often the case that the original independent climbs become artificially restricted with the addition of eliminates being established next to them. In theory, eliminates generally are hard to establish without some form of incursion on an already established climb. Original climbs generally have much wider parameters to climb in with alternative holds are up for grabs, which can be used to climb a route in an alternative way. Some climbs which are established as being independent and often sandwiched between two other climbs do on some occasions utilise a hold from another climb or wander mildly into another climbs space. This is often deemed acceptable as long as this is kept to an absolute minimum, otherwise, the climb would become a variation of the climb it encroaches on.

Eliminates should in all instances be ignored when climbing an original climb.

The term variation is often applied to eliminate lines to allow for some misgivings, but it is expected that an eliminate climb is as independent as possible. 

Bridging - Where a climb is presented with a potential back wall to bridge against, the first recorded ascent style of that climb takes president with any subsequent elimination or addition of that back wall taking a secondary position within the description of the same climb. 

The elimination of holds or specific holds on climbs do not depict a new climb or problem of any kind unless it depicts the elimination of a main aid, such as an arete. 

Aretes - Climbs up the left side or right side of an arete would normally stand as independent climbs, as long as they do not violate a climb which purely climbs the arete in its own right using the left and right side when required. As such any addition to that original climb would become a sub climb of the original. 

Boulder Problems – Hold Specific

Hold specific problems will not be recorded due to the potential impact problems of this nature has on the rock and additional difficulty with documentation. This is where only specific holds are used for hands and feet as used on already existing problems.    

Boulder Problems – Existing Routes

Problems which are part of an existing full-length climb will only be noted if there is a sit start presented. A start and endpoint must be noted. Again, this would only be noted as a sub-note of the original climb.

Boulder Problems - Micro Variations

Micro variations will only be recorded as a variation of an existing problem as a sub-note. This is where an alternative (new) hold is used or removed to start an already existing problem and only changes the problem in a minor way. This would only require (Grade and First Ascent Details) It would only be noted as a sub-note of the original problem, though some originators may want to consider which micro variation becomes the dominant problem and weather a micro variation is valid or in fact needed. 

Boulder Problems - Links and Extensions

Links and extensions in this context fall more within the parameters of a traverse or boulder problem with regards to Southern Sandstone. A new traverse is defined traditionally as using a pre-defined line or area of holds permitted in order to traverse across a wall from a specific start and endpoint.

Those who add onto or into (or both) an existing traverse or problems should take into consideration the original traverse name and parameters. In general, new ground defines a new climb, but linking problems together is often done in various fashions and sometimes warrants an individual route description depending on the nature and length of the ascent, but often would just become a sub-note with a name associated with it. A sub-note would also occur if there is only a minor deviation of the existing traverse of the problem.