Keep in mind a few things when considering technical difficulty:
-The YDS ratings and class rating extensions are based on consensus. As in what may be class 4 for me (5'6") may be class 3 for Andyouseeme or Matt Lemke (7'giant"). Or a 5.8 crack to me may seem 5.9 to them since I can utilize smaller and closer spaced holds they cannot, though that part's a bit ridiculous - everybody knows the tall freaks who don't have step stools readily available in the kitchen (hypothetically; my kitchen consists of a jetboil on my car hood) have the advantage at weekend warrior skill levels.
-Class ratings do not account for exposure. This one gets beaten to death, but nobody ever remembers it when recalling difficulty. Yes, there is a strong correlation between difficulty and exposure, but the two are not always linked. Ever crawl into the top bunk of a bunkbed? Yeah. About class 4. Ever jump a high fence? ~5.easy. Climb a roof? 5.easy. Walk this path
? Mostly class 1. The facing in/out thing is pretty good in dry conditions. I don't differentiate much between technical difficulty on route, but Class 3: Mindless non-simply-balancing hand placements. Class 4: Begin actually looking/considering the holds, which are readily available. 5.easy: Actively search and test for both hand/foot holds. 5.4-5.8: Make somebody else lead it, if possible. Alpine >5.9: The weather looks crummy and I'm supposed to go to a wedding later.
-Class ratings are generally given by the most difficult move, not the average difficulty. In addition, the ratings mostly consider only the required moves. Kelso Ridge has plenty of class 3/4, but most people bypass it all to the right on crappy scree trails in summer and then claim it is overhyped and easy (the flexibility is what makes it such a popular beginner route). Hence, the ridge purists on the site. Stay the ridge unless forced off or bored.
The average hiker with no climbing background should have few problems with low-moderately exposed class 3 or 4. Physically. Mentally, however, is a different game.
Comments in red:
I have three questions:
How many of you did NOT do the summit block move? We're going out there in a couple weeks and I'm not sure if I'm going to attempt the move. I'm very confident I can do it, but I'm just not sure it's really worth it. Anyone else have a similar sentiment?
If you're confident you can do it, then do it. It would be silly to go all the way out there not to summit. Yes, some individuals say that they climb for their own goals and blah blah (ironically on a public site with public peak lists, an overzealous forum, and lengthy "accomplishments" sections). It would be wrong to give them crap for it as individual goals are different (unless they're a braggart), but they still didn't summit the peak. They can't close their eyes and make it non-existent. The summit exists and just because it is inconvenient or difficult does not change that fact. I'm not gonna stop at the Dallas crux and say I summitted Dallas. I'm not gonna stop 100' short of Bross' true summit and say I summitted Bross. Nor am I going to drive to 14K' on Evans, or take a train down Pikes (okay, these guys aren't good examples as they still hit the top; the mode is more in question). I'm not going to claim all the 14ers without doing Culebra as it stills exists. Nor am I going to throw an asterisk next to my peak list or become a defensive, blustery hedgehog. Oh yeah - AND IT'S FUN! Afterwards, maybe, but still.
What moves, stretches or sections are actually class III? The ledge system is NOT class III in my opinion. Does exposure make class III? Was the descent down Bierstadt to the ridge III? I know the traverse up over or around the gendarme is class III, but seriously, what else on that route warrants that distinction?
Answered above. A few moves of c3.
Same question. I know the rebar rock move is class III. I would say the homestretch is probably 2+ or low III. The chockstone is probably III. But again, what else on that route is class III?
I would agree with most of this, but the chock move at the top of the Trough is the only class 4 move on route for me. Short, easy, and not exposed, but c4 nonetheless. There may be one or two moves near the Keyhole at c3.
Mohare - depends on the weekday. But 1-2 parties (2-6 people) sounds about right in summer conditions.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich