Climbing Grades

Having climbed in various countries using numerous different grading systems. I am happy to say that our grading system is by far the most informative and useful. This is because it consists of two different grades the Adjective grade and the Technical grade. The Adjective grade gives an overall grade for the climb including the difficulty of the moves as well as the danger/experience factor. The technical grade is the British grade for the hardest move. Not too be confused with French grades as British grades are a lot harder. See the second table bellow to compare.

Adjective Grade Technical Grade
E1 5a Easy moves (5a) but poorly protected
E1 5b Average moves with some protection
E1 5c Hard moves for grade but well protected

Using the two different grades you can get an idea of what to expect for example a route with an easy technical grade for it's adjective grade e.g a VS 4a will be poorly protected. Whilst for a VS 4c to still be a VS it should be well protected.

Although climbing grades do officially start below VD the routes tend to be better described as scrambles. climbing grades

The above British grading system doesn't really work as well when people pre-praticed climbs or when top-roped. For top-roping climbs it's considered acceptable to just claim the French/sport grade as the adjective grade only applies when lead traditionally.

Whilst Most climbers spend most of there time onsighting routes this is when the climber turns up and climbs a route. A lot of professional climbers spend a lot of time pre-practicing routes on a top-rope so when they attempt their climb they already know all the moves and gear placements. An alternative grading system has been suggested for these head points but nobody seams to have taken this on board so the grades for an onsight e.g. the adjective grade is pure speculation for most of the hardest routes.


The website has become outdated so I'm working on adding new content from my recent expedition/the last 3 years and am having the site redesigned so check it out on a few weeks time.