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Jasper climbs Vertical limits M12 E2

18.02.2003 by

On 25.01.03 Robert Jasper redpointed what he believes to be his hardest creation ever, "Vertical limits", M12 E2 in the drytooling hotspot Ueschenen in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.

On 25.01.03 Robert Jasper redpointed what he believes to be his hardest creation ever, "Vertical limits", in the drytooling hotspot Ueschenen in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.

The route in question is a stunning 35m roof which, much to his own surprise, he managed to repoint 5th go. Jasper believes "Vertical limits" to be similar to Will Gadd’s Canada testpiece "Musashi", graded M12. Given the run-outs and possible ground fall from the fourth bolt, Jasper adds E2.

For an explanation of Jasper's proposed new grading system which, much like the British scale, incorporates the psychological aspect of a route, see below.


Robert Jasper on "Vertical limits" M12 E2.
Photo by Robert Bösch
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E-Grading - to know the risk!
by Robert Jasper

The present-day German, French and American grading scales don’t convey any information about how serious a mixed route is, and I therefore propose the E-grading system. This helps to differentiate, as it’s obviously a totally different thing to climb a M9 which is bolted like a sportclimb, or a M9 where you have to place your own gear!

In Great Britain there is already an E-grading scale which offers this information, but it interferes in some points with the UIAA Scale and, like a normal grading scale, is still open and can therefore increase further.

As a addition to the UIAA scale and the mixed (M) and the waterice (W) scale, the E-grade makes sense because it is closed and clearly defined! It takes into account the quality of the protection, the danger of injury and the psychological demands, all of which have three levels:

Protection Danger of injury Psychological demands
1. Good 1. Low 1. No fear
2. Fair 2. Moderate 2. Fear
3. Bad 3. High 3. Big fear

3 points = E1
4 points = E2
5 points = E3
7 points = E4
8 points = E5
9 points = E6

A E1 route is well protected, there is a low risk of injury and consequently the psycholgical demands are practically non existant.

A E6 route on the otherhand has poor/bad protection, the risk of injury is high and consequently the climber has to overcome great psycholgical demands.

Three examples

Route: „White out“: M10/E1
Location: Isenfluh, Switzerland
Protection: Good= 1 point
Danger of injury: Low = 1 point
Psychological demands: No fear = 1 point
Total: 3 points = E1

Route: Flying circus M10/ E4
Location: Kandersteg, Switzerland
Protection: Fair =2 points
Danger of injury: Moderate =2 points
Psychological demands: Fear = 2 points
Total: 6 points = E4

Route: Beta Block Super: W7/E6
Location: Kandersteg, Switzerland
Protection: Bad =3 points
Danger of injury: high =3 points
Psychological demands: Big Fear = 3 points
Total: 9 points = E6

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