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Climbing and Bouldering Grade Conversions

In North America both sport and traditional rock climbs are graded using the YDS (Yosemite Decimal System). This climbing grade system starts at 5.0 (similar to climbing a steep ladder) and progresses in difficulty all the way up to 5.15 (a smooth overhanging cliff). The grade of a rock route is based on the crux, the most difficult move. Usually the first climber to complete a route assigns a grade which may then change as more people make the ascent.

Climbing grades are subjective. Standards vary among climbing areas. Routes may feel substantially harder than their grade indicates depending on the weather, the length of the route, the type of rock, the whims of the first ascensionist, any number of factors.

Use this chart as a rough guide when comparing climbing and bouldering grades found in other parts of the world.

Climbing Grades


French UK Australia UIAA USA Hueco UK Font.*
1-2 HVD 8-9 I-II 5.2-5.3 -
2-3 MS 10-12 III 5.4-5.5 -
4 S 13- IV 5.6 -
4+ VS 13+ V- 5.7 -
5a   14 V 5.8 -
5b HVS 15 V+ 5.9 V0 B1 4
6a E1 5b 19 VI+ 5.10a V0+ B2 4+
6a+ E2 5c 19 / 20 VI+ / VII- 5.10b
6b   20 VII 5.10c V1 B3 5
6b+ E3 5c 21 VII+ 5.10d
6c   21 / 22 VII+ / VIII- 5.11a V2 B4 6a
6c+  E4 6a 22 VIII- 5.11b V3 B5-6 6a+
7a   23 VIII 5.11c/d V4 6b/c
7a+ E5 6b 24 VIII / VIII+ 5.12a
7b   25 VIII+ 5.12b V5 6c+
7b+ E6 6b 26 IX- 5.12c V6 B7 7a
7c   27 IX 5.12d
7c+   28 IX / IX+ 5.13a V7 B8 7a+
8a E7 6c 29 IX+ 5.13b V8 B9 7b+
8a+   30 X- 5.13c V9 7c
8b E8 7a 31 X 5.13d
8b+   32 X / X+ 5.14a V10 B10 7c+
8c E9 7b 33 X+ 5.14b V11 B11 8a
8c+   34 XI- 5.14c V12/13 B12 8a+
9a E10 7c 35 XI 5.14d/5.15