|Grade 21 is the threshold of the old guard and the new wave. People climbed grade 21 in leather boots, woollen ropes and gloves for belay devices on coach trips from the city. It was an adventure and placing gear (or no gear) along the way was part of the adventure and part of the ethic. Ethics are critical in the pursuit of adventure. How you do it is more important than if you do it, or die.
Then came the new wave; with tights. They could climb grade 22. Tights made climbing a sport and sport is all about highest, fastest, strongest. Ethics are flexible in the pursuit of success, rather than adventure.
Sure, there are no regulations. You wonít be fined, but you will be judged. If you donít have the power to place gear on a grade 10, just back off a grade or two. Youíll find that the eyes in the sky will respect an onsight 8 infinitely more than a pink-pointed 10. Donít rest on your laurels though. Work on it, get strong and youíll find the 10ís will follow. Once youíre up to grade 22, you will be eligible to wear tights, take your top off and choose your own ethic; adventurer, purist, bi, soft, cheat. Meanwhile, enjoy the adventure.