27 votes
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Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

The biggest difference in indoor climbing is that your routes are mapped out for you. It can be challenging to figure out the proper sequence, but it's much easier if you know where all the holds are ...
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  • 1,524
13 votes
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Winter route grades

In the US ice grades fall into three categories; Water Ice, which is seasonal and often shifting in difficulty; Alpine Ice, which is permenent ice found on glaciers or high altitudes; and Mixed Ice, ...
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  • 1,524
10 votes

How do you grade a bouldering problem?

Short answer: Climb lots of other routes in many different areas and have lots of other people climb your routes. Let me get into why you opened a can of worms with your question: Ratings for routes ...
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  • 7,471
10 votes

How do you decide on a climbing grade?

I was a route setter at a UK Wall for about 10 years and we used two primary methods alongside each other. Experience of the route setter - before you started the route you would have a purpose, ...
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10 votes
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Explanation of aid climbing grades

I wont cover what is aid climbing here. Original Aid Rating System: A0: Occasional aid moves often done without aiders (etriers) or climbed on fixed gear; sometimes called “French free”. A1: All ...
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9 votes
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What do classifications of belays (like "4th class belay") mean?

The belay class in the linked answer is in reference to the typical methods one would use in grade 4 (or 5) Yosemite Decimal System. Typically, in a rock climbing context you typically see grades ...
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  • 4,417
8 votes
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Rock climbing grading theory

The theory is that (sport) grades should reflect the technical skill, strength and stamina required to redpoint the route. Therefore the definition of, say a 8a route is that "a climber that ...
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  • 1,887
8 votes

Is there a general rule for climbing runout grading?

First of all: Even if in a region/guide the Yosemite Decimal System is used, you cannot be sure that ratings are comparable to other regions/guides using the same system. This varies a lot depending ...
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  • 21.5k
8 votes

Are there particular grades that indoor climbers often struggle with

I can only answer from my personal perspective. It might not be statistically relevant, but I dare say it could be a little generalisable. I have been climbing actively (more than 3 days a week), ...
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  • 3,313
8 votes
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What kind of technique is required for bouldering outdoors?

There is no generic answer to your question - it all depends on the kind of boulders you'll encounter on your destination. For example, if you have overhanging jug problems, the technique required is ...
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  • 4,417
7 votes

Most Eco-Friendly way to Identify a Climbing Route

Muir Valley is a privately owned area, so presumably the coins are acceptable to the retired couple that owns it. Don't know about Ontario, but in the US (the Red River Gorge aside) most climbing ...
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  • 5,179
7 votes

What are the rules to grade sport climbing single pitch routes?

I would argue you've left off the most subjective of metrics, but the most useful: similarity to other routes in the same area. I don't think there's going to be a single equation to grade a route. ...
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  • 6,769
7 votes

Rock climbing grading theory

There are many aspects to a climbing route's difficulty, so it is fundamentally questionable to lump it all into one number, and is really only accepted because most climbers don't have a huge ...
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6 votes
Accepted

What would make one brick wall harder than another?

I don't think there is an (international) standard for making brick walls or even bricks. While it's true that (most) brick walls have a 90 degrees angle, all the other features can be fairly ...
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  • 3,474
5 votes

Why are indoor climbing grades easier?

I suggest that this is because you climb in gyms more than you do outside. Back when gyms were rare, when I went to the gym, it felt way harder for the grade than outside routes. That was because I ...
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  • 151
5 votes

Explanation of aid climbing grades

While most people think that the YDS system is easy compared to the British rating system, I am not sure that is the case. In the YDS system, there is a rating, a grade, and a class. The grade ...
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  • 10.5k
5 votes

How much does an overhang add to the difficulty of a problem?

Contrary to e.g. the aid climbing difficulty scale, sports climbing and bouldering scales are comparative (at least in the grades that came up after the seventies). So a grade does not directly tell ...
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  • 21.5k
4 votes

What do classifications of belays (like "4th class belay") mean?

A better description for 4th class belay would be simul-climbing or running belays. That is when you are roped together with intermediate protection. I described such a scenario here. Its typically ...
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4 votes

Is there a general rule for climbing runout grading?

From what I can piece together, according to the The Gunks Guide by Swain the protection rating system was proposed in Rocky Heights, A Guide to Boulder Free Climbs by Erickson. According to Swain the ...
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  • 10.5k
4 votes

What kind of technique is required for bouldering outdoors?

Required techniques vary from area to area and problem to problem, that said I think there are 3 techniques that are universal. This belief stems from my philosophy that the best thing about climbing ...
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  • 10.5k
2 votes

Are there particular grades that indoor climbers often struggle with

I can't speak specifically to "indoor climbers", but i've definitely witnessed some fairly common overall plateaus, and experienced a few myself with regards to outdoor climbing. I would however say ...
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