I have a bit of experience going on via ferratas. But never wondered about their grading.

I know that most countries have 1 to 5 grading systems. From that I have seen grade 1 would be doable by any body without any outdoor experience. Now how would higher grades correspond to fitness and experience?

Could it be compared with scrambling or rock climbing grades?

  • Does this help? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_ferrata#Grading
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:06
  • 3
    I didn't even know via ferrata had grades, very interesting.
    – user2766
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:08
  • WedaPashi, it gives a basic idea. But doesn't explains the requirement. Sustained arms strength? Is it a standard 20 pull ups or something else is expected from a person going for that route?
    – Val
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 11:49
  • Comparing between any kind of grading system is problematic, see here and here and here
    – user2766
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


So I'm reading that you already understand the grades as weda has posted them.

Now how would higher grades correspond to fitness and experience?

Skills != grade != fitness. Grade is equal to difficulty and is subjective so this type of comparison never works. Some explanation on why this doesn't work in How does a route setter grade a climb? and Rating unorthodox climbs

Could it be compared with scrambling or rock climbing grades?

I can't find any official source but reading the descriptions I'd say they are equal to the scrambling grades commonly used. So I would suggest they would sit thus:

A : Walking (not graded)
B : Grade I scramble
C : Grade II scramble
D : Grade III scramble
E : Moderate/Difficult climb Sport grade I or II

So only grade E would be on any climbing scale.

Disclaimer: I made this comparison up based on the descriptions on wikipedia. They seem to match the scrambling grade descriptiions. I've never been on a via ferrata!

  • I find that skills and fitness go along most of the time. And can compensate lack of one another. During my army days we had many people able to do grade 5.10 climbs without any skills at all, just because they would be able to pull themselves to the top.
    – Val
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 10:30
  • Yeah, exactly @Val. What I'm trying to say is it's a rule of thumb. Someone strong may be able to do some harder climbs that someone with more skill can't and vice versa. Grading systems are simply rough idea of how "hard" a climb is. This doesn't translate into anyone skill set or physical attribute. It's combination of all factors.
    – user2766
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 10:05

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