Lattice Blog

Are Hard Climbs Better? Part 2

In our previous post we looked at user ratings for ascents in the top 100 female/sport/boulder database. We missed an important detail though…when an ascent is logged a default rating of 0 stars is given (thanks to NP for the spot!)

This complicates things because if we look at the breakdown of ratings by grade…

For both routes and boulders, we see their is a significant decrease in the proportion of 0 star ratings given as grade increases. This begs the question, are these 0 star ratings ‘real’ or are they users choosing not to rate their ascent? If it is the latter then we should take out these ratings, as they’re not really ratings at all.

Another option is to simply remove all the 0 star ratings from consideration. This isn’t ideal because we might be removing some real 0 star ratings from the mix, but hopefully if a given grade gets lots of 0 star ratings it’ll also get enough 1 star ratings to keep the average rating low.

With all the 0 star ratings removed, our graphs look like this

and here’s the original for comparison

Note that there is a significant difference in the scales used on the User Rating graphs! Whereas in our original analysis the lower end of the scale was starting at a average rating of ~0.7 stars we’re now starting at a rating of ~2.3 stars.

Interestingly it appears that hard routes still get a higher rating, though the effect is smaller than was suggested in the original post. It’s not clear that the trend is present for boulder problems, though.

Thanks again to NP for spotting the issue.

3 responses to “Are Hard Climbs Better? Part 2

  1. How good a climb is is extremely subjective. I feel like people will give climbs better ratings that they spend more time on projecting, just because the feeling of satisfaction is higher. Also harder climbs are generally projected for longer and because no one would spend a lot of time projecting a shit route, the bad hard routes are just sent less often.

  2. Duh, the best routes at the crag are nearly always the hardest ones! That’s we all train our asses off and spend all winter hanging from our fingertips in the cellar!

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